Monday, March 27, 2017

An East Coast Getaway

Road trips with the family are usually busy, stressful, and filled with endless picture taking. However, despite all the stress and the struggles to create memories, road trips are, without a doubt, extremely fun and enjoyable for everyone. I remember my autumn road trip from a couple years ago. I was twelve back then and my family from the Philippines came over here to the U.S. to visit us. My mom, grandparents, uncle, little sister, and I decided to go visit the east coast and to just keep driving by and stopping in hotels for the night only to continue to drive again in the morning. Our first stop was the capital of the United States: Washington D.C.

The White House and Capitol building were cool beyond belief (the White House had tall fences around it) but I preferred the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial over it. No joke, both the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial were really breathtaking whether it be night or day. They way the water reflected the Washington Monument was beyond beautiful and was definitely worth the long trip. At the end of the day we went back to the hotel and rested until morning the next day.

Next stop was the Hershey’s Chocolate Factory in Pennsylvania! This might be my favorite. So much chocolate in one area so little time.My uncle, little sister, and I participated in the chocolate testing activity. I think I almost started crying out of happiness.

Actually, no. I take it back. The best place we went to during our road trip was Central Park in New York. Time Square was awesome in all its big screen glory but Central Park really hit it home for me. Since it was fall, the infinite trees had a variety or gold, amber, and ruby leaves adorning them or making a carpet throughout the park. The crisp breeze of a fresh fall day whipped through the air and brought the leaves flying up up and away. It really was the perfect day to be out and about.

But I think despite all the great places we went to, possibly my most memorable memory was actually being in the car. Being the only one willing to do so, I was put in the one back seat surrounded by every single food you could possibly imagine. I even had my own personal bread stock. It was great. That along with the other memory where I learned that coffee was a diuretic and that putting yourself to sleep is the only way to relieve the need to use the potty made an impact too.

All in all, this road trip was enjoyable because everyone let loose and allowed the gallivanting vacation spirit to take over them. My family is coming over again this summer. I’m looking forward to another memorable road trip.

Labels: An East Coast Getaway

Advances in Medical Science


This is a broad topic, so I will specialize a bit. My main interest is in mental health, but the treatments have effects on physical health. Therefore both the mind and the body will be discussed. You can’t separate the mind from the body.

Peer Support

There is a peer support alternative in Boston in the South End at the following address:

Solomon Carter Fuller MHC Ground Floor

85 East Newton Street

Boston, MA 02118

Telephone: (617) 305-9976

This group is called the Transformation Center. It is also sometimes called the Boston Resource Center. The idea may be to create multiple Transformation Centers across the state.

There is also a Peer Education Recovery Center (PERC) in Jamaica Plain. See the references (5 & 6).


The carotenoids include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin. There could be carotenoids that have not yet been discovered. These are healthy to the eye as well as the fact that beta-carotene is considered to fight cancer.

Dietary Fiber

These fibers are also very beneficial. They fight obesity because they have no calories. They also fight cholesterol and cancer. They slow the rapid rise of blood sugar after eating. This is important both in diabetes mellitus and in hypoglycemia.

Lignin and pectin are beneficial fibers.


These are vitamin-like components. At one time they were called “vitamin P”. Then it became clear that there were a lot of different flavonoids. Examples are anthocyanidins, flavan-3-ols, flavones, etc. The cancer rates are lower in Japan, where they consume more isoflavones than in the US. This includes breast cancer rates. Isoflavones are in soybeans, which are consumer more in Japan.

My own theory is that flavonoids may also benefit mental illness. The rationale for this is complex, and is explained in my previous articles (see the references).

Beer does have flavonols, but not that much of them. Green tea leaves have much more. Green tea is also high in flavan-3-ols. It also has flavones, but not that much.

Anthocyanidins are in red wine. White wine has very little.

Chocolate has flavan-3-ols. However, I do not recommend chocolate because it has caffeine.

Buckwheat has flavonols.

Fruit juices and fruits have flavonoids. The fruits themselves have more.

Orthomolecular Psychiatry

The following organization is outstanding:

Orthomolecular Development

3100 N. Hillside,

Wichita, KS 67219




Amino Acids

One of the sources I have used on amino acids is the book “Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals, & Supplements: The Complete Guide” by H. Winter Griffith, M.D. This book was published in 1998.

I have been interested in the food composition of amino acids because of my theories on mental health. One of my theories is that amino acids are flooding the brain cells in the various forms of mental illness including Alzheimer’s disease. This means that it may be useful to cut back on amino acids in the diet.


Tryptophan is in barley, brown rice, cottage cheese, fish, shellfish, crab, meats, milk, peanuts, soybeans, etc. For the normal person, tryptophan is healthy. However, if your brain is allergic to it, it becomes a problem. This is true of almost any amino acid.


Tyrosine is in canned beans, cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, fish, ice cream, lima beans, meat, miso, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, shellfish, soybeans, etc. Miso is made from soybeans. It is a Japanese soup.


The general rule on amino acids is that they are found in higher concentrations in animal products except for butter. My theory is that the various forms of mental illness, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, schizophrenia, depression, etc. are all errors in amino acid metabolism. The brain must be fine tuned by nutrition. More information on this is given in the references.


1. National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association. 730 N. Franklin, Suite 501, Chicago, IL 60610-7204. (800) 826-3632 or (312) 642-7243.

2. National Foundation for Depressive Illness, Inc. PO Box 2257, New York, NY 10016. (212) 268-4260 or (800) 239-1265.


1. “Depression.” World of Scientific Discovery. Ed. Kimberley A. McGrath and Bridget Travers. Online. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007. Science Resource Center. Gale. 28 December 2008

2. “Depressive disorders.” World of Health. Ed. Brigham Narins. Online. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007. Science Resource Center. Gale. 29 December 2008

3. Papolos, Demitri, and Janice Papolos. Overcoming Depression, 3rd ed. New York: Guilford Press, 1997.




7. “The molecular neurobiology of depression.(INSIGHT REVIEW)(Clinical report).” Nature, Oct 16, 2008 v455 i7215 p894(9). Science Resource Center. Gale. 29 December 2008




11. “Corporate self interest and Vagus Nerve Stimulation for depression: an American corporation has pressured the FDA and psychiatric organizations, researchers, clinicians, and patients to use its expensive arid unproven Vagus Nerve Stimulation device for serious depression. This advocacy compromises scientific and medical integrity.(Questionable Medical Treatments).” Skeptical Inquirer, Sept-Oct 2008 v32 i5 p35(6). Science Resource Center. Gale. 29 December 2008

12. “Association between folate intake and the risk of depressive episodes.(Nutrition & Health).” Nutrition Research Newsletter, August 2008 v27 i8 p3(2). Science Resource Center. Gale. 29 December 2008

13. “Increased omega-3 fatty acid consumption lowers depression in the elderly.(Diet & Geriatrics).” Nutrition Research Newsletter, June 2008 v27 i6 p15(2). Science Resource Center. Gale. 29 December 2008

14. “Don’t talk down antidepressants.(Mindfields).” New Scientist, March 8, 2008 v197 i2646 p49(1). Science Resource Center. Gale. 29 December 2008


16.Sildenafil as treatment for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.

Harinstein L.

JAMA. 2008 Nov 26;300(20):2365; author reply 2365-6.

17.Check your vitamin D intake to avoid multiple health consequences. Three 2008 studies link low vitamin D levels to depression, hip fractures, and increased risk of death.

[No authors listed]

Health News. 2008 Nov;14(11):9-10.

18.Statin-associated psychiatric adverse events: a case/non-case evaluation of an italian database of spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting.

Tuccori M, Lapi F, Testi A, Coli D, Moretti U, Vannacci A, Motola D, Salvo F, Rivolta AL, Blandizzi C, Mugelli A, Del Tacca M.

Drug Saf. 2008;31(12):1115-23. doi: 10.2165/0002018-200831120-00007.

Labels: Advances in Medical Science

Aches & Pains

You get up to turn off the alarm clock, your joints stiffen, and your mobility is hindered. Getting up in the morning is hard enough, much less with a nagging ache or pain.

Most people have dealt with aches and pains upon getting up in the morning after a good workout, which are not only bothersome, but may also prevent us from having a productive day. However, For some it is a day-to-day occurrence and a constant reminder to become more active.

Truth is, most of these aches could have been prevented. If left unchecked, it could lead to muscle imbalances, and improper movement dysfunction. Whether it is from not stretching after an intense workout, living a sedentary lifestyle, or improper ergonomics at one’s work place that, in worst cases can lead to injuries.

“Most injuries probably could have been prevented. I put them into two qualifications. One is being in an unsafe position, so they could have prevented that. Another way injuries happen is if that person has an unbalanced muscle structure whether they are playing a sport, or during a recreational activity, and there’s not a good muscle balance or they have tight muscles,” explained Craig Cryer, Director of Physical Therapy/Sports Medicine at the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center.

Corrective exercise might seem foreign to most gym goers, but they serve beneficial purposes for most. Corrective exercise, as described by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), is a systematic process of identifying a neuromuscular dysfunction, developing a plan of action and implementing the corrective strategy. Simply put, the process includes identifying the muscle imbalances in your body that inhibit proper range of motion, followed by stretching the over active muscles, and strengthening the under active muscles from the imbalance.

Corrective exercise would be best to implement at the beginning of a workout program, especially if it is your first time back in the gym in a while.

“For a de-conditioned person, once you put them into an exercise program, they have a higher chance of getting hurt. If they are hurt, they can’t train. If they can’t train, they’re going to quit. If a de-conditioned client comes to you, you have to get them exercise-ready first. That is the first step of what you’re going to do with them, and then you can start to begin to implement a program for their specific goals,” clarified Bryan Caldwell, a strength and conditioning trainer, who holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Wellness and a Masters of Science degree in Physiology, from Oklahoma State University.

Corrective exercise will not shield someone from being injury-free. There are certainly some injuries that can not be prevented; even high level athletes who are fine tuned can still get hurt. Although in good shape, an athlete can still benefit from having a balanced muscle structure, as can those who are just getting back into the swing of things.

“For athletes, having a corrective exercise program implemented with their normal training program, will have the most success. I would say improving range of motion, for instance with a boxer, is something that is important. In training, you want to increase flexibility. You want to make sure a boxer’s core, and lower back are in place so he can stay healthy and not get hurt as much,” explained Caldwell, who has trained with World Class boxers such as Adam Richards, and Houston natives Juan Diaz and Rocky Juarez.

The first step in a corrective exercise program is to assess movement patterns, distinguish movement dysfunction, and muscle imbalances.

A common example of a muscle imbalance seen by trainers is having a posture with rounded shoulders. This widespread muscle imbalance is mostly found in people who have desk jobs and are sitting in front of a computer most of the day. This improper posture is typically caused from improper ergonomics at the work place by having your spine to go into flexion, and creates the impression of a hunched over back.

“When you have somebody who has a desk job, they sit there all day long. If their ergonomics isn’t right, their range of motion for their neck, shoulders, and their back is not going to be well,” said Leslie Lawson, Massage Therapist, and owner of Balanced Health Massage Therapy. “I call it Cumulative trauma. If you do the same thing over and over again everyday and your posture isn’t good, whether it’s your job, your sport, or how you sleep, you are going to keep those muscles extremely tight.”

Once the muscle imbalances are identified, the next step is to relax the over active muscles through some form of inhibition. This can be performed by inhibiting the muscle through self-Myofascial release through the use of a foam roller or by receiving a massage. This step is used to decrease the over activity of muscle fascia found in over active muscles.

Aside from having relaxed muscles, a massage could also extend other benefits as well.

“The massage helps to rid the body of toxins. When you increase the blood circulation to the heart, it opens our lymphatic ducts, and in doing so, it dumps those impurities into the bloodstream. Also, increase your water intake to help the kidneys filter it all out, but your going to see lactic acid build up in those muscles too so the massage helps to rid that as well,” specified Lawson.

Once the over active muscles are brought down to a relaxed state, the next step is to elongate the previously shortened muscle and connective tissue to increase range of motion in the tissue and joint. In this case, this includes stretching the overactive pectoralis major/minor muscle group, and the Latissimus Dorsi.

This can be done by performing various forms of stretching. NASM recommends beginning with a static stretch meaning to elongate the muscle to an end range and statically holding that position for a period of time.

Next step is to activate the under active muscles through isolated strengthening a technique used to increase intramuscular coordination of specific muscles and to isolate a particular muscle to increase force production capabilities. In this case the subject is dealing with under active rhomboids (middle to lower trapezius), rear deltoid muscle, and in some cases the Posterior Rotator Cuff.

“Every single issue is based on balance,” said Cryer. “Every muscle has an antagonist. If that antagonist is tight, or weak, then that muscle is not going to function properly,” explained Cryer, summing up the importance of achieving a balanced muscle structure.

Using the scenario of a person with improper posture and rounded shoulders, the process of activating under active muscles can be achieved by performing exercises to strengthen the rhomboids and rear deltoids. This can be achieved through scapula retraction by contracting the rhomboids and performing back rows. To increase strength in the rear deltoid, one could perform rear deltoid flys which would assist in stabilizing the shoulder girdle.

It is important to correct muscle imbalances in the proper amount of time, before adverse effects occur.

“If we don’t have proper range of motion, you’ll damage your joints, tendons, the ligaments, your vertebrae, your nerve endings there is so much that factors into it,” described Lawson.

Although it can be time consuming, it is a crucial step in getting the body to a balanced muscle structure. Having a balanced muscle structure can help with force output, proper range of motion, and relief from minor aches and pains.

“The reality is that we are an instant generation, a snap of the finger generation of people who want a cure quick,” exclaimed Cryer. “Usually comes in the form of a pill. Toughest part of exercise education is to convince clients this is the long term route. Yeah you can take the pill and the pain will go away, but it has a possibility of coming back.”

People who are looking to get back in shape and have not worked out for a while can benefit from having a clean slate in their muscle structure to steer clear from injury and complete an exercise program with minimal aches & pains.

Labels: Aches & Pains

A Quick Study of Car Warranty Options

When you purchase a new vehicle from any car dealership it comes with a warranty. This warranty is usually called a Factory Warranty. The car manufacturer makes this warranty possible for a specific number of years or until you reach a certain number of miles. It covers most mechanical and electrical problems. This includes parts and labor. Normal wear and tear on your car is not covered under this warranty. This means that car seats, tires, brakes, etc. are not covered.

Some factory warranties offer Unlimited Mileage so that you don’t have to worry about reaching a set mileage thereby ending the warranty. If you have a factory warranty with unlimited mileage for three years you could drive one hundred thousand miles and above. It wouldn’t matter. You are covered for the full three years.

When it gets close to the ending of your factory warranty you will usually be offered an Extended Warranty. It comes by mail offered by the manufacturer, a warranty administrator, who works at the car dealership, or a corporation. Extended Warranties cost extra offering huge commissions to the seller, but if you are hard on cars it may be worth the investment in the long run.

Let’s say your factory warranty is good for two years then you may wish to purchase an extended warranty good for an additional year. The extended warranty would cover the same parts with labor as the factory warranty, but you may want to check to make sure.

Some companies do like to factor in a one-time deductible. Although an extended warranty is sometimes referred to as a Service Contract it differs in that it becomes effective when a factory warranty expires. A service contract is effective immediately and may end during the time of the factory warranty or before.

A Powertrain Warranty covers mainly the engine and transmission plus the parts that make up the four-wheel drive. It is another option you may wish to consider instead of buying an extended warranty.

When visiting the car dealership you may find that you want to purchase a Demo Car. A demonstration car has miles accrued upon it before you leave the parking lot. It may have been a loaner during repairs on another car or a test drive vehicle for a popular car name such as Saturn. Demo Cars may still be covered under the factory warranty depending upon mileage and time remaining in the factory warranty itself.

If you are in the market for a used car they often carry a Limited Warranty. This is a warranty that, like its name, covers limited parts and labor. When buying a used car you may hold the car dealership responsible for a car that doesn’t live up to state standards with an Implied Warranty unless the dealer specifies AS IS. By using the words “AS IS” on the price sticker it makes the Implied Warranty null and void. You take the risk when you buy the car.

Being aware of what is covered under any warranty is crucial to saving time and money. Ask your car dealership for the warranty documents on the car you purchase.

Labels: A Quick Study of Car Warranty Options

All About Growing the Showy Milkweed

The showy milkweed is known botanically by either the name Ascepias speciosa or Asclepias giffordii. It is from the milkweed family of plants and is native to the United States.

Showy Milkweed Description

Growing one-and-a-half to three feet high, this perennial has large leaves and clusters of flowers. The leaves are blue-green, oval, and large while the flowers are showy, rose-colored, and on tops of the stems. Some blooms can be pink, green, or purple. It has a gray overtone to it and feels velvet-like to the touch. Stems are erect and it has a milky sap. Bloom season for the showy milkweed is between May and September.

Growing Guide

The showy milkweed prefers to grow in full sun and moist soils. It can be propagated by seed and by root cuttings. Root cuttings should be done in spring or fall and seed can be sown fresh in the fall or after two months of moist stratification in the spring.


This native is found through the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. It is in meadows, fields, and prairies.

Wildlife Attracted

It attracts hummingbirds to the landscape as well as butterflies. It is a larval host plant to the Monarch butterfly.


All milkweeds have a poisonous nature, but this is one of the least toxic of the milkweed family. It should not be ingested. The sap may cause some irritation in sensitive individuals.

Source: NPIN

Labels: All About Growing the Showy Milkweed

Aches and Pains when You Get Older

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote about aging and said, “The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.”

I took my parents for their annual physicals yesterday. After the routine blood work and blood pressure tests, the doctor asked them how they are feeling.

My mom said to the doctor, “I have some pain in my hip.”

The doctor smiled and said, “That hip is going to be 91 years old this year, it has every right to ache once in a while.”

My mom smiled and said, “Yes, but the rest of me is going to be 91, too, and it doesn’t appreciate being kept awake at night!”
He prescribed Aleve.

Mr. Emerson was right that old fiddles produce the best music and fine wine gets better with age, but the body doesn’t necessarily age gracefully. There will be aches and there will be pains, but there is splendor that comes in old age.

Proverbs 20:29, “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.”

When we are young, we have few stories to share and much time to share them. As we age, there are stories to be told and less time to tell them. The audience may even leave the theater before the old finish the act. I was reminded of that at the park recently. A family picnic was taking place and the family gathered around a toddler to watch him challenge the slide. An older member of the family sat nearby, watching from the bench. I wondered what the old man was thinking and the stories he could tell but the audience had shifted away from him and the attention was given to the young.

In the words of William Wordsworth, ‘That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not; rather find strength in what remains behind.’

Though there is not much splendor in my mother’s old hip, it has traversed many miles on this planet, delivered four babies and, oh, the stories it could tell even though they are now muffled in aches.

Labels: Aches and Pains when You Get Older

25 Favorite Thanksgiving Quotations

Thanksgiving may be one of the most beloved American holidays of the entire year. This day-long celebration of appreciation crosses denominational, relational and traditional boundaries. Over the years, as Thanksgiving traditions have remained or changed, several noteworthy Thanksgiving quotations have emerged.

Here are 25 of our favorite Thanksgiving quotations, arranged alphabetically by speaker (or author). Some are ponderous, while others may be simply humorous. Any of these might merit sharing and airing across the Thanksgiving banquet table.

Here they are … 25 favorite Thanksgiving quotations.

“It is therefore recommended … to set apart Thursday … for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor.”
Samuel Adams
(From the first Official Thanksgiving Proclamation)

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”

“Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”
Henry Ward Beecher

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Erma Bombeck

“Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in.”
Phillips Brooks

“On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge our dependence.”
William Jennings Bryan

“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.”
Johnny Carson

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

“My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.”
Phyllis Diller

“Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.”
Estonian Proverb

“There is one day that is ours. There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat … biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to. There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.”
O. Henry

“It’s like being at the kids’ table at Thanksgiving – you can put your elbows on it, you don’t have to talk politics… no matter how old I get, there’s always a part of me that’s sitting there.”
John Hughes

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.”
Irv Kupcinet

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“I love Thanksgiving turkey.
It’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”

“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.”
William Shakespeare

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”
George Bernard Shaw

“If you think Independence Day is America’s defining holiday, think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title, hands-down.”
Tony Snow

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“If you cannot feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
Thornton Wilder

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.”
Author Unknown

Ways to Use Favorite Thanksgiving Quotations

How can families and friends use these 25 favorite Thanksgiving quotations during the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday? Here are a few ideas.

Print all of the Thanksgiving quotations, and cut them into individual strips of paper. Place these strips into a large basket or bowl, and pass it around the Thanksgiving table. Ask each attendee to pick out one quotation (without looking) and to read it aloud. Go around the table until all quotations have been read, perhaps stopping to discuss each Thanksgiving quotation or favorite ones along the way.

Set one printed Thanksgiving quotation at each place setting at the table. Ask each person to read aloud the one he or she has received.

What is your own favorite Thanksgiving quotation?

Labels: 25 Favorite Thanksgiving Quotations

All About Growing the Prairie Acacia

Also known as the fern acacia, prairie wattle, and the whiteball acacia, the prairie acacia is a native plant to the United States. It is a member of the pea family. Besides the common Acacia angustissima botanical name, it has synonyms of Acacia angustissima var. hirta, Acacia hirta, Acacia angustissima var. texensis, and Acacia texensis.

Prairie Acacia Description

Growing one to four feet high, this perennial shrub has deciduous leaves and white or salmon colored flowers. Stems are thornless and wand-like in appearance. Leaves are feathery and attractive. Flowers are shaped like globes and are said to resemble a shaving brush. The blooms come on the ends of stalks. Bloom season is between June and September. It typically has an open form for growth and is well liked in the landscape.

Growing Guide

The prairie acacia prefers to grow in full sun or partial shade with a dry soil. Propagate by seeds or softwood cuttings. Seed needs scarification. It is cold and heat tolerant, making for a well adaptable plant. After a hard frost the plant will die back to the ground.


This native is found in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas, and Arizona. It is seen in prairies, plains, meadows, slopes, hillsides, and pastures.

Wildlife Attracted

This is a great attractor for butterflies. It is a larval host plant to the Spingicampa raspa. It makes for a good cover. Many types of animals and livestock will graze the prairie acacia, due to the seeds being so high in protein.

Source: NPIN

Labels: All About Growing the Prairie Acacia

A Cherry Blossom Tree is the Perfect Gift for Mother's Day

Cherry blossom trees are striking to the eye. As Mother Nature introduces us to April, streets are adorned with these trees accented with pink lush and weepy petals. The symbolism behind the cherry blossom tree can attract many people to purchase one at their local garden center to beautify their own lawns. Though a bit on the pricey side, the cherry blossom trees are extremely easy to care for and add a glint of splendor to any home. These trees can span over thirty feet, and the taller they are, the more lovely they seem to be. To many people, the cherry blossom trees are so exquisite that they journey to Washington D.C to witness the National Cherry Blossom Festival each year. It is here that over one million visitors experience true loveliness as the flourishing petals rain onto our motherland. The symbolism that lies behind the cherry blossom tree can also lure people into buying one for loved ones during the flowery, spring months. Purchasing a cherry blossom tree for your mother on Mother’s Day would be a very unique gift.

According to Chinese tradition, cherry blossom trees indicate beauty and feminine strength. Wouldn’t it be lovely to purchase one of these trees for your own mother to signify the vigor needed to raise you? Mothers need to feel empowered, especially in a society where mothers are considered to be ‘just housewives.’ If you purchase a cherry blossom tree for your mother on Mother’s Day, she would understand the genuine gratefulness that you want her to feel for providing you with such a warm and fulfilling life. In China, the cherry blossom tree can also represent female sexuality and love. Your mother would also be honored to receive this gift as a symbol of the devotion that she has offered to you, your siblings, and your father.

When you purchase a cherry blossom tree to embellish your mother’s lawn, the tree will stay strong and hold true to your hearts. You will stare at it for many different reasons and remember each time what it means to you and your mother. Your children or other special loved ones will also find hidden meaning in the lovely cherry blossoms as they scatter to the ground year after year. Just as the love for your mother grows year after year, the tree will grow even stronger as well. Purchase a cherry blossom tree at your local garden center. Perhaps you will want to take your mother with you so that together, you can choose the perfect cherry blossom tree for Mother’s Day.

Labels: A Cherry Blossom Tree is the Perfect Gift for Mother's Day

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Tough Economy Can Be Good for Your Career

Shaky economy or not, now is the time for newer professionals to move full speed ahead when it comes to life in the workplace. Unlike their more seasoned coworkers, newer workers don’t have a track record of successes (or much of any professional history, for that matter) to fall back on when times are tough or to justify a lackluster performance or slower sales. Instead, they’ve got to hit the ground running and start building a string of experiences now – economy be darned.

For go-getter newbies in the workplace who want to make a name for themselves, a tough economy provides the perfect landscape. Newer professionals who are able to land the client, make the sale, or simply contribute to the success of their workplace will be able to stand out from their more experienced coworkers, particularly if they are bringing in dollars when other coworkers aren’t. Not a bad way to launch a career.

Economists tell us that recessions and tough economic times come and go – and knowing how to navigate in rough waters and work under less-than-ideal circumstances are skills that any employee needs to succeed. For Generation Y professionals, who have often been branded – fairly or not – as entitled employees who have high expectations and demand lots of hand-holding in the workplace, a tough economy may provide the ‘tough love’ that will help build a stronger, more resilient workforce in the long run.

Labels: A Tough Economy Can Be Good for Your Career

7 Random Parenting Tips and Advice

Parenting isn’t easy. It’s full of ups and downs, challenges and joys. No parent is perfect. Even the most successful parents will, at one point, wonder if they should have done something differently. Parenting advice can be very beneficial for all parents. Here are a few tips that might help you in your parenting journey.

Random Parenting Tip #1: Learn how to manage and cope with stress.

When you are stressed, the kids feel it. It can affect their behavior and feelings. Therefore, it is essential that parents learn how to manage stress in a healthy manner. Read “Stress Relief Tips for Moms” for some suggestions. (These tips can, of course, apply to dads as well.) In order to care for your children, you need to care for yourself.

Random Parenting Tip #2: Remember that you are your child’s biggest role model.

The old saying “Do as I say, not as a I do” should not apply to parents. You are the best example for your children. It is important that you behave appropriately in front of your kids. For example, try your best not to badmouth other people. You should also try to give up bad habits such as smoking. It can also be a great idea to try to always have a positive attitude, or at least not complain in front of your kids.

Random Parenting Tip #3: Encourage your children to participate in extracurricular activities.

Some of the best athletes, musician’s and artists became the way they are through their parental support. It is a great idea to try to encourage your child to participate in sports, music classes and more. By all means, do not force them, but allow them to have the opportunity if they want to.

If you can’t afford it, there are many programs that offer activities at low cost. Many cities and large towns have Community Centers, where art and sports classes are offered for a very reasonable fee. There are also programs such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YWCA/YMCA, and more.

Also, try to limit the activities where they still have time to just be a kid. If they decide they don’t enjoy it, let them try something new.

Random Parenting Tip #4: Do not tolerate sibling bullying.

One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is to overlook sibling bullying. They may simply say it is sibling rivalry and they need to stay out of it. Sibling bullying can be very detrimental to the whole family. The child that is being bullied might experience feelings of sadness and/or depression. If you believe your child is being bullied by another sibling, then by all means get involved. This might even require some professional help.

For advice on preventing sibling rivalry and sibling bullying, read “How to Prevent and Reduce Sibling Rivalry.”

Random Parenting Tip #5: Apologize to your children when you’ve made a mistake.

All parents will mess up at one time or another. The key is to handle it appropriately, and this includes apologizing to your children. An apology can help your child learn to apologize when they’ve messed up as well.

Random Parenting Tip #6: Join a church.

Parenting can be hard. Having the support of a church family might help you. Even if you do not believe in God, the encouragement that your receive from others might be worth it. In addition, your children will development new friendships. For advice on finding a church, read “How to Find a Church if You’ve Never Been to Church.”

Random Parenting Tip #7: Forgive and forget.

Remember that your children are children. They will make mistakes. They will make poor choices. They might even set your living room on fire. But, remember that they do deserve your forgiveness and unconditional love.
Do not constantly hold their mistakes over their head. Just as schools are required to forget when children have made bad choices, try your best to forget the past.

These are just seven random parenting tips. Another article that might be helpful to read is “What Makes a Good Mother?” Good luck with your parenting journey!

Labels: 7 Random Parenting Tips and Advice

Antidepressants: The Easy Way Out?

One in every ten Americans is taking an antidepressant to battle some form of depression or other health related problems. Last year 232.7 million prescriptions were written for antidepressants. Compared to a study from Centers for Disease Control that stated 118 million antidepressants were prescribed in 2005 it has almost doubled in 2 years time. In 2007 Centers for Disease Control made it known that antidepressants were the number one prescribed medication in the United States. Most people have taken an antidepressant or know someone else who have.

What does an antidepressant do?

Doctors prescribed antidepressants so frequently but what for? Antidepressants are medication that treats depression and other illnesses. Other illnesses include, Bi-polar disorder, Panic disorders, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Insomnia and even more. However, the most common reason antidepressants are prescribed for is depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental type of illness. We’ve all seen the late night infomercials that say ask “Where does depression hurt?” then the rest of the commercial goes on to explain that depression hurts everywhere. Some symptoms of depression is sadness, numbness, sleep problems, weight gain, weight loss, fatigue, headaches, crying spells, lack of interest in life, feelings of helplessness, and in severe cases, suicidal thoughts.

What causes Depression?

There are different kinds of depression. Circumstantial depression, the circumstances in one’s life causes them to be unhappy. Some examples are, a loss, environmental disasters, tragedies, personal dissatisfaction, relationship trouble, divorce, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and stress.

Family history is also a blame for depression. Many people believe that depression is hereditary. Speaking from personal experiences, in my family there is a history of depression and other mental illnesses. The majority of my family have been on antidepressants or currently still taking medication for depression. It does seem like it is passed down genetically. However, depression can also be a learned behavior. For an example, a child who grows up around people who are depressed may grow up to be depressed too.

Depression can also be a symptom of another health problem, hormones, allergies, PMS, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and others. Even food allergies can cause depression as stated in (The Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing 2001)

Why are antidepressants so popular?

Antidepressants are popular because it offers a somewhat quick solution to many health problems, especially depression. People who are depressed feel that taking an antidepressant is a huge step in overcoming depression.

Linda, a mother in Oklahoma who takes Paxil, told me, “Taking an antidepressant It does work. It was like a brand new me when I first started taking it. I was more social, less depressed, I was actually happy.”

Anti-depressants can be a lifesaver for many people. It can give them the jumpstart they need to get out of the depression and start living life again.

Sheila, a friend of mine, believes, “If you find the right one they do. But I believe it has to be the right chemical balance in the system.”

Finding the right antidepressant to work is the hard part. There are many different types and brands of antidepressants available that it is hard to determine which one will work for each person. Each person is different and reacts differently to each antidepressant. Some antidepressants work better for other people.

I asked different people if they thought anti-depressants worked?

Jonathan answered, “Yes, even if the medicine is a placebo the reference or frame of mind is changed. If the med does have an effect then it usually has accomplished it’s goal.”

Judy answered, “Yes. They work for me. People who have a chemical imbalance need a chemical to fix the imbalance. “

Antidepressants not only treat depression but other things as well. From a personal experience with migraine headaches, I have been prescribed a few different antidepressants and so far none of them have worked in preventing my migraine headaches.

If Antidepressants are the miracle drug, then why should I NOT take them?

Antidepressants can cause more harm to the human body than help. People can become too reliant on them, antidepressants can lose their effect after taking them for awhile and has many terrible side effects that may be worse than the actual depression. Some antidepressants may not work at all for some people. It can become too expensive to purchase. Many doctors prescribe antidepressants as a quick-fix for depression and does not solve the underlying health problem. It may just treat the symptoms but not actually treat the underlying cause of the depression or illness. Some medication can not be taken with antidepressants which could cause serious side effects if taken together.

People are so very different, finding the right anti-depressant can take a very long time. The difference could also result in some scary side effects, such as reactions, sometimes opposite reactions such as a deeper depression and anxiety. In 2004 the Food and Drug Administration put a warning for Prozac, a common anti-depressant. It said that it could cause an increase of suicidal thoughts in teenagers taking Prozac.

Are there any alternatives to antidepressants?

Though antidepressants may help depression but it is not the only solution. There are many different alternatives that can be less expensive and healthier in the long run.

Determining what is causes a person to be depressed can go a long ways in coming up with a solution. Counseling and therapy can allow a person to talk about their troubles and get suggestions on how to fix the underlying problem. In some cases, just talking to a friend or a family member can help. Having a good support system can help a person overcome depression.

The solution can be as easy as just changing the way that person thinks. The phrase, “think positively” and “look for the silver lining.” has truth in it. Pushing negative thoughts out of the mind and concentrating on positive thoughts can be hard but can also be effective in becoming happy. Negative thinking is a habit, one that can be hard to break. Positive thinking may help a person decrease the amount of negative stress, be more resistant to colds, better stress coping skills, breath easier and more benefits. (2007, Mayo Clinic Staff) Turn a negative thought like “It is raining and I am stuck at home.” into “It is raining but it is a great day to try a new craft or skill, or just relax.” Practice makes perfect and this method does take time.

A change in diet may be successful in curing depression. The human body needs a certain amount of calories, vitamins, fruits, vegetables, fat, meat, and calcium to be healthy. Eating healthy can help the body function better.

Exercise builds endorphins which is a chemical in the brain that helps a person feel happy. Exercise also helps the body to be healthier and fit physically as well as mentally.

Aroma therapy, light therapy, herbs and vitamins are some natural ways to help with depression.

Why do doctors prescribe antidepressants if there are alternatives?

Doctors are trained to determine the health problem and by their judgment they may prescribe medication. Not many doctors will suggest other alternatives or are aware of them. Natural ways to treat depression are not very popular and there is not as much money in natural ways, and lack of resources available.

Antidepressants may be the number one prescribed medication but it is still fairly new. Not all of the side effects or problems have been sorted out in the different antidepressants. Antidepressants may be the solution for many people for depression but there are alternatives. If there were more awareness of alternatives to antidepressants maybe it too, would become more popular.

Labels: Antidepressants: The Easy Way Out?

5 Quick Steps to Protecting Yourself Online

It’s becoming harder and harder to protect your data on the internet, as the importance of the internet in transactions and the handling of information increases day by day. Here are 5 measures you can take online to ensure your vital data is not stolen.

5 Rules to Protecting your Data Online

1. Keep it off your Computer

As computer viruses become both more advanced and more common, it’s now more than ever important to keep this information off your computer. If you really must store credit card numbers, bank information and other personal details electronically, use a removable drive which is only plugged in when you need it, and immediately removed afterwards.

2. Do not use the Same Password for Everything

This is probably the most common mistake people make, as once that password is compromised, every account you have on the internet is compromised. It’s understandable that remembering 20 different passwords can be a pain, but there are methods that can take to ensure your passwords are both unique but can also be remembered.

For example, have a variable in your password that changes from site to site. As a very basic example, your eBay password could be abceba123 whilst Amazon could be abcama123. Notice the 3 letters in the middle are the 3 letters of the site you’re logging into. Just come up with your own system that works for you, and ensures if one password is compromised, you’re not making it easy to access every other account you own.

3. The importance of https://

Make sure the site you’re using has an address that starts with https:// rather than http://

EVERYTHING you send on the internet can be read along the way, so make sure when you’re entering personal information, the S is there. Many small sites don’t even purchase security certificates simply to save cost, and you’re also not going to see any phishing websites with it, so always check to make sure it’s there. It’s also represented by a small padlock icon along the bottom of most browser windows.

4. Don’t save your credit card information online

Many big shopping sites allow you to save your credit card information with them. Which is no doubt convenient – it lets you purchase stuff quicker, great for their sales! But in this economic climate, what guarantees do you have that they are paying for the appropriate precautions to protect your data? Generally, you have none. Just spend the 15 seconds and enter your details each time. If it’s not worth spending that time for, you probably don’t need to buy it!

5. Wireless Networks

With the explosion of wireless networks in the past few years, this is becoming an increasingly common way of connecting to the internet, at hotels, bars, cafes, airports and the like. However, be sure of the network you’re connecting to. Anyone with a computer can set up a wireless “hotspot” and make it look legitimate. If you connect to one of these, at best you’re going to get bombarded with advertisements, at worst you’re going to have your data harvested. Only connect to secure networks, and confirm they belong to the establishment you’re at.

Labels: 5 Quick Steps to Protecting Yourself Online

A Different Outlook on Robert Allen Standford's Relations in Antigua

The article “Robert Allen Stanford: sinner or saint?” is written by an accomplished Jamaican journalist H.G. Helps. Mr. Helps writes about his experience working in Antigua for a newspaper called the Sun, which was owned by Texan-American billionaire Sir Robert Allen Stanford. The article gives a compelling account, or rather a fitting example of how objectivity and freedom of the press is significantly affected by corporate and political interests. The article also manages to encapsulate all that has been taught in this course, Understanding the Media, about the true nature of the media, and how objectivity in the media is regrettably successfully challenged by various factors.

The main issue in Helps’ article is the fact that he and a colleague of his, Louis Daniel, were dismissed from their posts at the Sun because they refused to skew the news they produced in favour of the ruling political party, the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), whose leader, and Prime Minister of the country Lester Bird, was a close companion of Robert Stanford’s. The article contains Help’s account of how Stanford was willing to use the newspaper to aid the ALP in regaining power, because a change in government would mean a change in policy that would put the huge investments he had on the island at risk, seeing as he was disliked by the opposition United People’s Party (UPP) because they believed he was interfering too much in the country’s affairs.

Power and Influence

Helps begins by mentioning that Stanford is a household name in Antigua and Barbuda, notwithstanding the fact that he also later mentions that he was furthermore heavily disliked by the Antiguan people. Helps, by doing this, starts the article making it clear to the reader that Stanford is a man of considerable clout. Being an American billionaire, Stanford has monetary power; however by establishing the relationship that he had with the Prime Minister Lester Bird, he gained political influence. Therefore, he was able to have the support of the government in his ventures on the island, which reinforced his influence. This practice of wealthy transnational corporations and individuals going into developing countries, befriending governments to gain political influence while establishing businesses for their economic advancement is by no means a recent phenomena.

However, with the advancement of globalization, which creates competition, these transnational corporations and individuals, and also companies in the host country which have to compete with these entities, need to be able to out think their competition and keep their markets. The media is a very effective tool in this process, and many companies, not just transnational entities, have demonstrated that this is understood. The best example in Jamaica of a company that uses the media effectively to defeat their competitors is Digicel. They have used, and continue to use, media effectively to maintain their relevance and status as Jamaica’s leading telecommunications provider, leaving their competitors behind. For example, when another company was launched recently called Claro, Digicel increased their television, radio, print advertisements. They also staged concerts and broadcasted competitions and giveaways.

Therefore by establishing the Sun, Sir Stanford showed he understood the power and influence of the media, and that for a tiny island as Antigua where the population is approximately 70,000, he could have a mode through which to exert his influence on the Antiguan people, and further his agenda and that of the government that allowed him to hold such power.

Media Ownership

It therefore holds then that the entity that owns the media is able to set the agenda. Agenda setting is therefore not only dependent upon the major news of the day, but also the discretion of the owners of the media houses. Here is an example. Four people have died in a car accident. Grave, important news, as it may have cause endless traffic and the blockage of a major roadway. Important news, however, it is election time and footage of the opposition leader, a generous colleague of the TV station’s owner, offering the affected families considerable monetary aid needs to be shown as the first story of the newscast. The article contains an example similar to this one, whereas Sir Stanford wanted to only have Helps and his colleagues publish material that was beneficial to the ALP, therefore information about corruption in the government was to be dumped and replaced with stories of their achievements.

With the dominance of the neo-liberal practice of privatization, which saw the ownership of the media transferred to the hands of and media houses being established by private companies and transnational corporations and individuals, media is now largely private owned, with the exception of a few communist countries such as Cuba that have government run media houses. It is argued that even though objectivity is challenged because of the media being privately owned, the alternative, state-run media is also seen as unsuitable because freedom of the press is not recognized. Therefore, what is a suitable option? A balance probably, where media is owned and operated by both the government and private companies in a partnership? One is able to see the possibility, without beforehand observation, that this would be unwise, as there would rarely be consensus on certain issues or when interests are at stake for both entities. Or, if this was the case with the Antiguan government and Sir Stanford, where there was partnership between these two and the ownership of the Sun was split, then it would not have made a difference, as they both would have the same agendas and publish material to suit their common interests. Notwithstanding, at the end of all discussion, someone has to own and manage the media.

The Consideration of All Entities

What one should worry about is the fact that Sir Stanford is not alone. As a media student I have learnt that entities like Sir Stanford are almost the norm in the field of media. But can you blame him really? If one does not consider the fact that he is now being allegedly charged for fraud, was he wrong in his decision to skew the newspaper’s information? In a world where globalization is a celebrated, encouraged and advanced trend, which business is a key characteristic of, was he wrong in trying to secure his business interests in Antigua?

What H.G. Helps writes about Sir Stanford will cause one to believe that he was morally incorrect in trying to distort the news. However, one could also sympathize with the fact that a change in regime could have meant the collapse of Sir Stanford’s business in Antigua and cost him to have to forgo huge investments. If one were to put themself in his position, would you have done the same once you were faced with the realization that if the ALP lost, you would be in a predicament? Remember that in the article, Helps mentions that when he first began working for the Sun, Sir Stanford had told him that he would not interfere with Helps’ work and that he would have “…full freedom to practise fair journalism.” (Helps)

His attitude may have changed because of the threat, real or perceived that he felt. Consequently, I believe that when the topic of the decline of aspects of the media such as objectivity and press freedom and the causes of this decline or these problems are being deliberated on, the perspectives of all parties involved should be considered.


Objectivity is a principle that persons involved in media are encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability. However, this has become increasingly difficult, when one considers the current global environment. The business of media has to now be viewed in the context of globalization; a global system that promotes competition, the generation of capitalist profits and the building of international influence; and analyzed by talking this into consideration. Business owners have to ensure that their interests are protected against failure, which is to be avoided at all costs.

Before the charges were brought against him, Sir Stanford was seen as a successful billionaire, and an individual that globalization has created and depends on to further the process. He personified the process. Helps represents the journalist trying to be as objective as humanly possible, however he meets upon Sir Stanford whom he believes is just a wealthy opportunist whose money will prove whether he is a sinner or saint. He sees Stanford as a hindrance to the development of media in Antigua, and it is made obvious by the article that he shares the same ideas that we have learnt in class about the truth about media. The article shows that he is not thinking widely about the issue, because if he really was, he would have concluded that the actual roadblock, and not the facilitator of media objectivity, is called globalization.

Labels: A Different Outlook on Robert Allen Standford's Relations in Antigua

Amarath, Quioua, Teff: An Overview of Alternative Grains

In today’s society, many Americans are searching out methods in which to improve dietary health. For many, the introduction of grains not commonly used in American dishes, has become a new experience in not only improved dietary health but also an introduction to new flavors and grain varieties used internationally. The following is a review of three of the most common international grains, not commonly used in the United States, which may boost and improve overall physical health.

Amaranth is a highly beneficial nutrient to the body. Grown throughout the United States, Amaranth grows upwards of seven feet, and has become a popular, and profitable crop, among American farmers. With a variety of useful applications, amaranth can be used as a breakfast cereal, a popcorn like snack and even added to soups and stews. Full of a Vitamin E styled nutrient, Amaranth may offer signfiicant health benefits in the lowering of cholesterol and improving skin tone and elasticity.

Quinoa, a second international grain, was considered a standard part of meals dating back many centuries. As a grain with the highest protein content, Quinoa is considered a perfect grain replacement for diabetics and individuals suffering from wheat and gluten related food allergies. With significant iron content, individuals low in iron, especially those suffering from anemia related conditions, will find Quinoa a quality staple addition to any dietary program. Additionally, vegetarians commonly use Quinoa as a common staple to the diet. Prepared similar to that of a rice product, quinoa can be used to compliment any poultry or fish dinner.

Teff, also considered to be a natural wheat alternative, is used in many third world or developing countries as a dietary cereal type of food. Easily mixed with water, Teff makes for a great porridge, consistent with that of oatmeal. Although minute in size, Teff is full of bran and is high in calcium content. As a result, Teff is commonly used to treat individuals who are malnourished or require additional supplements for bone health. As a gluten free product, Teff can be used by diebetics or for those who are allergic to gluten products and makes for a perfect warm cereal in cold weather.

As with any change in dietary programs, the implications upon the body may require several days or weeks to net the true affects. Initially, with the introduction of these grains, may individuals will experience a renewed sense of international flare with a flavorful explosion in the outcome of meal preparations. Following use after several weeks, however, these grains will provide the necessary dietary health so desperately needed in the American diets thereby providing an even greater advantage to the American consumer. For dietary suggestions in the use of Teff, Quinoa or Amaranth, visit

Labels: Amarath, Quioua, Teff: An Overview of Alternative Grains

Anti-Depressants Improve Dietary Restriction Compliance in PCOS Women

For women who live with PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome, there is a risk associated with development complications over the course of life when proper medical management is not pursued. For many women with PCOS, a diet that is healthy, coupled with exercise and medication management, will provide the best possible outcome.

If you are a woman living with PCOS, it is important to understand how best to manage your health complication through proper diet. For many women, PCOS is very closely associated with diabetes or other abnormal metabolic conditions that also must be well managed. In fact, most physicians, today, recommend consuming a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, such as that found in the Atkin’s diet program.

If you are considering a high protein and low carb diet, it is important, however, to remember that this type of dietary program can adversely affect your mood and disposition. Often, when women engage in a high protein and low carb diet, the effects of the diet lead to feelings of lethargy and many women fall into depression and feel very lethargic on this diet. To balance these complications, therefore, your physician may need to over prescription medications that serve to balance energy and depressive symptoms.

As a woman with PCOS, your diet is important and the high protein, low carb diet may offer the best options in terms of natural health. If you find that you feel depressed and lethargic, ask your physician about the use of B-vitamin supplements and, when appropriate, the use of anti-depressants as well. For many women, these medications are absolutely necessary to ensuring your ability to maintain the diet and, ultimately, improve your PCOS complications.

Another aspect of dietary management with PCOS lies in the great risk for non-compliance. Because the diet can make you feel lethargic and depressed, you may be inclined to not follow the diet as you should. By using anti-depressants and b-vitamin supplements as soon as you are diagnosed with PCOS, you will experience a greater rate of compliance with the dietary program.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a complex condition affecting millions of women. When symptoms are not managed effectively, PCOS can lead to abnormal health complications, including those associated with fertility and other gynecological complications. While there are many treatment options available, your best option lies in your diet and management of a low carb option. Maintaining this type of diet will also reduce your risk for developing other co morbid health complications such as diabetes but may, ultimately, lead to complications involving lethargy and depression. With proper medication management, your health can be well maintained with PCOS.

Labels: Anti-Depressants Improve Dietary Restriction Compliance in PCOS Women

5 Ways to Find Discount Volvo Parts

You have worked hard towards your goal of owning a Volvo, to you it’s not “just” a car, it’s a dream you have realized. However, you do not want to go into debt whenever a part needs to be replaced. What you do want is the best quality parts for the best possible price. Check out these tips to realize that dream too, with discount Volvo parts.

1- One of the most reliable places to get genuine Volvo parts at a discounted price is a salvage yard. This might not have been the first thought that came to mind when you discovered that you needed to replace a part. However, salvage yards deal with factory parts that are still working even if the original car is not. Most salvage yards operate on an “as is” basis, but they also depend on their reputation to stay in operation, they test parts before putting them up for sale. This is an excellent option if you are looking for something like a cooling fan or a windshield wiper motor.

2 – Searching the internet can yield excellent results when looking for discount Volvo parts. This is what most websites specialize in, quality parts for less. An added bonus of internet sites is that they can also offer reviews from previous buyers, installation instructions and forums that are filled with other enthusiasts who are more that willing to answer your questions.

3- A more hands on way to find the discounted parts that you need is by going to auctions. An auction, specifically a car auction, is a great way to find the parts you are looking for as well as a great way to get them for a good price. Another advantage to the auction is that you can physically handle the piece and talk to the seller to get an accurate history.

4 – A close cousin to the auction is the swap meet. At a swap meet, there will be a number of other Volvo owners. These owners are looking to get rid of certain parts and accessories, sometimes for money, sometimes in exchange for parts they may need. As with the auction, a swap meet allows you the luxury of speaking with the owner and holding the part.

5- The most obvious place is not likely to be a good source of discount parts, but it never hurts to check. The dealership will be able to get you the part you need, even if its at full price, if your other options fail to produce the part you need.

Labels: 5 Ways to Find Discount Volvo Parts

'America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag' by Sarah Palin - a Review

Sarah Palin’s “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag” is a love letter to the three things she seems to adore best; her family, God, and the United States of America (Alaska being an extra special place.)

“America by Heart” is written in a breezy, conversational style that is as likely to quote a song from Sesame Street as it is from de Tocqueville. This shows that Governor Palin has actually read a book or two (something her enemies, enraptured by the Tina Fey caricature, will never credit), but that also she draws inspiration from an eclectic variety of sources, which includes also the natural beauty of her beloved Alaska and her own life’s experiences.

The portrait of Sarah Palin that is revealed, as with “Going Rogue”, is of a woman who is not at all complicated or tormented by inner demons. Unlike certain people who have been Presidents she does not have parental abandonment issues, problems with drink or drugs, or daddy issues, or anything else that is supposed to make someone more interesting. Sarah Palin is a quire ordinary woman who just happens to be one of the most famous people on the planet, by stint of opportunity, luck, and no little ability on her part.

One is also struck, reading passages describing what Palin calls “pioneer feminism” or of the central place religious faith has in American life, with how obviously clear what she has to say is. One finds oneself, occasionally despite oneself, nodding in agreement while reading the book.

There is, of course, more than enough in “America by Heart” to annoy the left. The pioneer feminism concept is sure the enrage the folks at NOW, who wouldn’t be able to kill, gut, and cook a moose to save their own lives, but are quite capable of sitting around the faculty lounge whining about the “patriarchy.”

Here is another passage that I particularly enjoyed:

“When I was growing up, nothing demonstrated the American ethic of innovation, enterprise, and striving-the “strenuous life”-more than the American space program. I wasn’t even born yet when John F. Kennedy pledged in 1961 to land a man on the moon within the decade. But I have early memories of when that ambitious goal was accomplished in 1969.”

Sarah Palin goes on to admonish President Obama, whom she sees as lacking some of JFK’s more charming qualities, for his abandonment of a return to the Moon and the whole “mission to the Muslims” kerfuffle that roiled the blogosphere earlier this past summer. The passage comes at the end of a long meditation of the nature of striving, informed by Palin’s experience as a long distance runner. The passage has also caused a firestorm among a group I call “The Internet Rocketeer Club”, which eschews the idea of the heroic in space exploration and thus is very supportive of the Obama space policy.

It seems that Sarah Palin’s main talent is annoying people who deserve being annoyed and making them crazy. That is something that is rare and to be cherished. Ronald Reagan had it. George W. Bush had it in spades.

That quality alone will make a Sarah Palin presidency delicious to experience. She will certainly do no worse and likely very much better than the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Source: America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, Sarah Palin, Harper, 2010

Labels: 'America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag' by Sarah Palin - a Review

Antidepressants Helped Me when I Needed It

As a child I was known as sulky, sullen, and bratty; as a teenager, temperamental; as a young adult, hormonal and self-centered.

I often cried over nothing even when I was getting what I wanted and, even more often, had no idea what I did want. As soon as things appeared to go my way I usually panicked, anticipating the worst at any moment. My life was a long string of “what ifs.” What if one of my kids gets sick? What if my husband is killed in a freak accident? Every time someone was late getting where they were supposed to be, I came unglued.

In reality I was, and still am, depressed.

For most of my life I waged an un-medicated battle to control the dark clouds, panic attacks, and inability to function. I saw antidepressants as a crutch for the weak who couldn’t cope on their own. Now I realize that attitude is sometimes tantamount to telling a diabetic that he will be fine if he just eats right. Coping mechanisms help, but are not always the only solution.

The gift of admitting that I needed antidepressants came from my ex-fiancée. During a rough patch near the end of our relationship, I found myself in counseling once again – for probably the tenth time. After several sessions my counselor recommended that I speak with my primary caregiver about medication for my depression. After a short visit with my nurse-practitioner, I started taking Zoloft.

Far from spacing me out as I expected, the medication gave me a moment to take a deep breath and act rather than react to upsetting situations. The screeching fights between me and my significant other became calmer and I was able to rationally decide that the best way to save my self-esteem was to end a failing relationship while we were able to be, if not friends, at least not enemies.

Since that time I have continued taking medication for my depression with a couple of changes, mostly due to finances. Medication is not my only coping mechanism for dealing with depression, but it does still allow me to take a deep breath and avoid irrational reactions to stressors.

I still use the tried and true coping mechanisms, such as deep breathing exercises and forcing myself to face my fears. I also use humor to cope by defusing problems with laughter. Nevertheless I still need something to help by allowing me to act rather than react.

Labels: Antidepressants Helped Me when I Needed It

3 Things You Need to Know About Striped Bass Fishing

You don’t have to go to New England or even to Georgia’s Santee-Cooper in order to catch quality striped bass. These fish are anadromous which means that they were born in freshwater, usually go to saltwater to live, and then come back to freshwater to spawn. However, in the South , as well as other parts of the US, these fish sometimes never leave out to saltwater and therefore can be found in inland rivers and streams. Pound for pound, they are more aggressive than most other freshwater fish. However, in order to catch them, there are a few things that an angler needs to know.

First, they like for the water to be very cold. It is rare to find striped bass in warm waters since they can lose 6% or more of their body weight each hour in waters that are above 68°F. This means that, in the hot summer months, you will need to use deep-diving plugs and spoons in order to reach them. Conversely, in the cooler winter months, you will want to switch up and use shallow-diving and topwater lures in the shallows.

Striped bass are not in the same family as largemouth bass and therefore they have practically nothing in common with each other in terms of mannerisms, feeding habits, etc. Most notably, striped bass need long-flowing, turbulent waters to spawn. During this time, which is usually around the full moon in March for the Deep South, the male and female striped bass will spawn on top of the water. The fertilized eggs will then float downstream. During this time, based upon the warmth of the water, it can take 29 to 80 hours for the eggs to hatch. The warmer the water, the sooner the egg will hatch. Therefore, for this two week period of the year, striped bass will go into waters as warm as 72°F in order to give their spawn the best possible chances of survival. This makes hydroelectric dams a prime spot to fish.

Finally, being that they are anadromus, they will not behave as a largemouth bass in how they hunt or in how they fight. Stripers are more of an open water fish that will travel great distances and rarely rely upon structure for ambushing prey. This means that running here and there trying to get a bite will not work on stripers like it does with largemouth. Because of their aggressiveness, this also meand you will need heavier tackle and larger baits. Typically, most striper anglers will use around 14# to 17# test line and fish with plugs that are well over six inches.

Stripers are tons of fun, fierce fighters, and highly addictive to catch. Few anglers still know much about them. However, if you will follow these three key guidelines, your chances will be greatly improved to hook into the fight of your life your next fishing trip.

Labels: 3 Things You Need to Know About Striped Bass Fishing

A Different Point of View

The news media will regularly present views from Democratic (liberal), Republican (neo-conservative), and independent (moderate) perspectives. However, I rarely, if ever, see my point of view represented in the mainstream media.

Let me begin to sum up my politics by saying that I believe our most fundamental right as human beings is the right to not be bothered if we don’t want to be. Supreme Justice Louis D. Brandeis got it right when he said, “The makers of the Constitution conferred the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by all civilized men — the right to be left alone.”

I am somewhere in between a Goldwater Republican and a libertarian. I do not go along with the agenda of the neo-cons who currently control the Republican Party nor do I completely adhere to the Libertarian Party line. In fact, people often become exasperated with me because of my stubborn refusal to genuflect to any of today’s standard ideologies.

I believe in small government whose only functions are to do for us what we cannot logically do for ourselves as individuals. I don’t believe in a “nanny state” that tells adults they must wear seat belts or motorcycle helmets.

I believe we should fight wars only when our national security is directly threatened and only after all other means of resolution have been exhausted. I believe in pre-emptive strikes in certain cases, but never pre-emptive wars. When we do have to go to war, I believe we should use a take-no-prisoners approach, with the ultimate goal of vaporizing our enemies. I don’t believe a military draft should ever be imposed. I do not believe in nation building.

I believe in legal immigration and would increase the quotas for most countries if I could, but I think illegal immigrants should be treated like the criminals they really are — not given special rights or handouts.

I do not believe in attempting to legislate morality (or immorality). I believe people should be allowed to do what they want, as long as their actions do not adversely affect or directly threaten someone else. Just because something is vile is not alone enough to make it illegal. I do not believe in policing thoughts, i.e., if someone is reading, hearing, or watching something that might cause them to think negative thoughts, it’s none of my concern.

At the same time, I believe in accepting personal responsibility for one’s own choices and that each individual must bear the natural consequences for his or her actions, e.g., don’t say you didn’t know smoking causes lung cancer and don’t blame the government when you get HIV due to your promiscuous, careless, and/or perverted behavior. I believe tobacco, alcohol, and pot are equally bad for a person’s health, but should be equally unrestricted.

I believe the rights of speech and expression, no matter how offensive or inciting, should be completely unabridged except for direct, explicit threats or speech that directly endangers others, e.g., yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. I believe implied threats should be protected speech for the simple fact the implication could easily be misunderstood. I don’t believe so-called “hate speech” by one person should be blamed for a violent act committed by another.

I don’t believe pornography, indecency, or violence in the media should be blamed either. If given the chance, most convicts will blame anything, everything, and everyone but themselves for their own actions. That’s human nature, so I don’t put much credence in studies that say outside forces like that cause people to rob, rape, or murder.

I believe abortion, except in cases of rape, non-consensual incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life or health, is murder.

I believe it’s proper to use the death penalty against those who are beyond any doubt guilty of certain types of murder. However, I believe it should be applied fairly and consistently. If not, then it should not be used at all.

I believe punishment for those who deliberately harm others and/or their property should be swift and sure, but not excessive. Punishment should never include torture or humiliation and should be applied by the penal system, not other prisoners. Inmates should not be allowed to set up a “pecking order” or have any control over the conditions at a prison or jail. The prison administration should rule with an iron fist and enforce a zero tolerance policy toward aggressive behavior.

No inmate should ever, under any condition, be left unsupervised with one or more other inmates. Any inmate harmed by another inmate should be allowed to sue those responsible for security at the facility in which he or she is detained. No arrestee or inmate should ever be subjected to a strip search unless probable cause can be established that he or she is carrying contraband on their person and is refusing to voluntarily hand it over.

I believe in absolute property rights. People should be allowed to do whatever they want on their own property, regardless of zoning laws, as long as they are not creating a hazard for anyone else. Ugly paint colors or structures do not constitute hazards. The government should not be allowed to forcibly take all or part of someone’s property.

I believe anyone who is mentally sound and has never been convicted of a violent crime should be allowed to own any kind of firearm he or she wants.

I believe in capitalism in its purist form. I believe the republican (little ‘r’) form of government, which the United States has, is a much better form of government than a democracy. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule in which the good of the majority always trumps the rights of the minority. I believe in a colorblind society in which everyone is given equal access and opportunity without discrimination or special favors.

I believe in separation of church and state, but I’m not an extremist about it. I see no reason why the government can’t play favorites with the majority religion (in our case, Christianity) when it comes to open displays, as long as those who practice other religions are free to do so without encumbrance. If someone is offended by the open display of the majority religion in our country, then they are free to leave anytime they want.

I believe no one has the right not to be offended by another person’s speech, religion, dress, etc. Being offended once in a while is the price we have to pay for living in a free and open society — a small price indeed!

Labels: A Different Point of View

5 Easy Ways to Block Pop-Ups

In today’s busy technological age, advertisers keep trying to find new ways to grab attentions toward their products. Basic banner ads are still used a lot, but common web surfers tend to overlook these nowadays. Because of this, intrusive advertising, such as pop-ups, are now being used, so that you have to acknowledge them. No matter what the nature of the advertisement is, pop-ups can tend to become a nuisance. Fortunately, there are now several ways to keep them away from your computer screen altogether.

1. Service Pack 2 for Windows XP

The recent release of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has brought about some big changes to its operating system, the most noticeable being the added pop-up blocker for Internet Explorer. The pop-up blocker can be found within the web browser and can be customized per your personal wishes. With the personal preferences tab, pop-ups can be either allowed or blocked, and the user will even be alerted when a pop-up has successfully been blocked by the web browser.

2. Alternative Web Browsers

If you have another web browser other than Internet Explorer, they usually have an added pop-up blocker feature, as well. The Mozilla Firefox browser, for example, is highly acclaimed and has gained a lot of popularity nowadays as a substitute for Internet Explorer. With Mozilla Firefox, an effective pop-up blocker is available, along with tabbed browsing and other special features that may not be found on other web browsers.

3. Web Browser Tool Bars

With Internet Explorer, websites have increasingly begun to provide downloadable toolbars, which come with one-of-a-kind features meant to enhance a user’s experience in web browsing through various ways, including a pop-up blocker. These toolbars can be installed fairly easy and very quickly; the only hard part would be reading the fine print in all of the license agreements. These toolbars are very effective in blocking pop-ups, however they may also be taking information regarding your web surfing habits. If you think toolbars are ideal for you, trust only those with a good reputation and ensure that you read all of the fine print.

4. Software on Pop-Up Blocking

Individual pop-up blocking software can be found practically everywhere on the market. These come with various interfaces, and the prices range can be either free or high. Picking the ideal one is quite arduous, though. However, a lot of these programs that need payment come with a free trial download at first, so you can get a feel of whether this program is perfect for you before you commit.

5. Internet Access Software

A couple of internet service providers (ISPs) come with pop-up blockers along with software that they give their internet subscribers. Adding this feature with the ISPs basic software makes things much easier for subscribers, so they no longer have to look for one elsewhere.

Pop-ups simply cannot be avoided on the internet, but this does not mean that you have to live with them. These are only five basic solutions to the problem, but there are hundreds of solutions available to get rid of the clutter of pop-up advertisements, giving you the chance to enjoy only the content that you personally wish to see.

Labels: 5 Easy Ways to Block Pop-Ups

Thursday, March 16, 2017

5 Simple Tips to Develop Concentration

Whenever you are trying to do some important task which requires high concentration, follow the below given simple tips:

1. Do one thing at a time:
It helps concentration if you just do one thing at a time giving it your complete undivided attention. Multitasking (doing many things simultaneously) will make you distracted and it is an ineffective way of doing things contrary to what many people believe. Do one thing at a time in order to develop more concentration. If you are trying to think of giving presentation at office, or studying for your exam – for the next 30 minutes or so, just tthink of that alone. Focus your mind on the details of the job and how you plan to do it.

2. Do something as if first or last time:
Whenever we do a new thing we concentrate more, we pay attention to many details and are intently focussed on the work. However with repetition, we begin to pay less and less attention to doing things. We take a lot of everyday things for granted and do not observe as intently as we should. In order to develop focus and observation, try to look at tasks which you do everyday as if you are doing or seeing them for the first or the last time. This will encourage you to observe details which you may have missed before, thus improving your observation, concentration and also in gaining new insights.

3. The 5 more rule:
This is a wonderful technique. Whenever you are in the middle of a task and are tempted to give up — just do FIVE MORE. Read FIVE MORE pages. Finish FIVE MORE math problems. Work FIVE MORE minutes”.

By implementing this strategy, you are stretching your mind past the point of frustration and building up mental endurance just like good athletes push past the point of exhaustion by not giving up when their body initially protests of tiredness.

4. Be project specific:
Before you start any work, be clear in your mind as to what you want to accomplish. Before sitting down to study for exams, be clear what chapter you want to study now, how much time do you intend to study etc. Be as specific as possible and move on to some other task only after you complete this. This way your mind will be completely focussed on the work at hand without other worries invading it.

5. Use a concentration scoresheet:
Whenever you do some important work use a concentration scoresheet. Each time you find your mind wandering, make a check mark on the sheet. If you do this on consistent basis, you may find that you have far fewer check marks and far greater concentration.

If you use the above tips, you should notice good improvement in concentration levels. I have a blog wherein I provide simple tips like these to improve our everyday life. You can check out the blog at:

Using the above tips, do you notice an improvement in concentration levels and also in the quality of your work?

Labels: 5 Simple Tips to Develop Concentration

A Whole Bunch of Reasons to Avoid the Santa Monica Pier

Living in and around Santa Monica for the past 15 years you sort of get into a groove of places that you go and places that you avoid. I wasn’t sure why I had avoided the Santa Monica Pier for so long, but I had. In fact I had not set foot on it for at least 10 years. So last Monday afternoon I took a walk. A walk on the Pier and I sure wish I hadn’t.

The most recognizable sight in Santa Monica is the famous and oft pictured sign at the entrance to the pier. Commonly thought to be the official edge of historic Route 66… It isn’t. Route 66 actually actually ends a block away at Santa Monica Blvd. and Ocean Ave. You can view the Will Rogers Highway Dedication Plaque at Palisades Park if you are so inclined. But lets stay on track: So I took a walk on the pier.

Safety Alert: the pier itself (the Planks and the nails/spikes that hold them) are old, warped, and often in terrible disrepair. Wearing sandals should net you at least one stubbed tow before you are able to escape. As I tripped along the aging surface I could not help but to think for just for a second about all of those brand new parking enforcement vehicles that are absolutely everywhere in Santa Monica… or the cost of the full time police patrol at 4th and San Vicente where an armed officer is paid to tell you not to stretch in the grass median (it’s for walking and jogging only).

Back to the pier. After opening a small wound on my left foot I kept a close eye out for those little 18″ x 18″ plywood patch boards that seem to be meant to close gaps between broken planks but actually results in a far worse tripping hazard than anything they might cover. Maybe they would serve a reasonable purpose if the installation technique had included using enough screws to hold them securely to the planks.

The first thing you might see on the pier itself is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant which I believe is legally required to be on every pier in America. Try not to think of the last time you ate at one, just think happy thoughts about Forest Gump and the late Bubba.

Once get you passed the fine dining at Bubba Gump you will be happy to find lots of fast food that is simply impossible to find anywhere else: Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Coffee Bean (which is actually awesome) and some overpriced fried seafood joints that change their cooking grease at least once per year, unless it’s a leap year. About midway across the pier you may find yourself in need of a pit stop. You are in luck because not a dime was spared on some temporary/permanent bathrooms pictured just below.

The picture also provides a good example of the type of folks that have time to hang out on the pier. Please note the latest style… Are they shorts that are too long or pants that are too short? I will call them “shants”.

Now then, the main attraction is just ahead on your left. No, it’s not the gimmick roller coaster or the trapeze lessons; it’s the remote controlled boats! This is your chance to pay $2.00 for the opportunity to control a boat that moves very very slowly inside of a smallish bathtub/jacuzzi. The best among us are able to navigate tsuch boats into the well identified docking station that happens to be an exact replica of a normal sized miniature remote control boat dock.

As you approach the end of the pier you will see a Police/first aide station and the final eatery. After you dress your foot wounds you just might be hungry enough to view the overpriced menu at Mariasol Cocina Mexicana. If you’re lucky, you will go about 10 steps too far and find yourself having a look at the local anglers and what they may have reeled in. This is where another Pier rule sets in – if you walk to the end of a pier you likely will see a Skate fish that has been caught and is slowly suffocating and bleeding out through its chopped off tail. Here is a photo of the one that graced the pier for me and the fine shant wearing gentleman who caught it –

When you catch your skate here is a youtube video showing you how to clean and prepare the fish for cooking.

So why would anyone ever set foot on the Santa Monica Pier?
Well it wasn’t clear at all, not until I saw one final thing that reminded me what all piers are meant to be. The pier is, in all her glory, just a place to sit with the one you love – the one that you chose to grow old with and to watch one more sunset.

If you still insist on going I wont stop you; I just don’t have the time. So here is some information that may help you navigate through the fray:

Official web site – directory with links to the arcade, the aquarium, and history
Pacific Park – information about the rides, attractions, and food court on the pier
Twilight Dance Series – free concerts that run on the pier from June – September
Santa Monica “Drive-In” at the pier – free films at the pier in Aug. – September
Taste of Santa Monica – September 14th (THIS SUNDAY) event featuring Santa Monica restaurants. This year: $40.00 – to stuff your face for 4 hours. Take a look.

Labels: A Whole Bunch of Reasons to Avoid the Santa Monica Pier

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