Monday, October 21, 2013

TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury Resources

As Thing2 and I continue to deal with the traumatic brain injury resulting from her car accident in 2001, these are some resources we have found helpful.

Books and Videos we have seen or read
TED Talk: Jill Bolte Taylor 
Over My Head by  Claudia Osborn
My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

Books and Videos we have not yet seen
Ted Talk: Jane McGonigal
TED Talk: Kim Gorgens Protecting the Brain Against Concusion
TED Talk: Michael Merzenich on the Elastic Brain

How Deep Can You Change  (BrainLine)

Book Awards - Handy page

My page of book award sites  -- What's up with Blogger... it lets me create pages that no one can access?!

I will be updating this list over time. --- If I can figure-out how to make if visible.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This fall the anchovies are plentiful, and the sea life is amazing.  I am going to try to get a day off in the week to so we can go whale watching, but failing that, we should just go on the weekend.

On Friday evening there were about 30 sea lions and hundreds of seagulls and terns swarming the entrance of the harbor feasting on the little fish.  It was like a sea-life version of a harvest festival with children frolicking around groups of adults.  We didn't see any pelicans.  They were probably already satiated and sleeping-off their food coma's elsewhere.

Last year thing2 shot this video featuring mostly pelicans.  The anchovies were coming right up on to the beach with the waves.

Starting at the 40-seconds mark you will see pelicans clumsily body-surfing.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nellie Bly and the story of the story of Nellie Bly

I have only a passing acquaintance with the story of Nellie Bly.  I believe there was a paragraph or two in my history book regarding her groundbreaking journalistic expose about a New York mental hospital which she got herself admitted to by pretending mental illness.

I've run across snippets about her over the years, and would like to read a serious biography of her.  For some reason, all the books I've seen until now were childrens.

Last night I noticed an audio book called 'Eighty Days', a new book about her race around the world.  I'll post more on that as soon as I've read it...

However, my library also has book about Nellie Bly published in 1951 by the American Flange and Manufacturing Company.  What?!?   Why would this company print this book?  I will have to check it out. --

Meanwhile - online resources :

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Things that go mmfffbt, thump, bump in the night

As I mentioned in my catch-up post.  Two of our neighbor's cats have chosen to reside with us a majority of the time.  We recently had two cat doors installed, one to the garage, the other from the garage to the outside so we won't have to let them in and out manually when it gets too cold to leave the sliding door cracked as we do now.  In one week's time they were trained, and one of the cats uses the doors regularly, seeming to enjoy the independence of coming and going as he wishes.
The other is less enthusiastic, seeming to feel that as his staff, we are shirking our duty if we don't let him in and out the sliding door.

The other night, we had just gone to bed when Thing2 said, I hear some muffled meowing, I think he brought something in.  I got up and looked, and all I saw on the floor in the living room with the cat was a feathery cat toy.  But then Thing2 came and looked, and saw it.  A mouse.  It was alive, but not moving -- all legs out.   I got a towel and carried it outside and put it in some bushes, and once it was safely in the towel, it did move -- maybe just playing dead earlier.
Two nights later, a racoon came in at about 5AM.  I knew we were going to have to close it down at night, but I was hoping we would have a little longer before it was a problem.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hard times, some times

There are so many ups and downs in my life, sometimes I cannot keep track of which direction I'm going.
Down: Forgot to set the alarm and woke up late.  Had to run out of the house 10-minutes after I woke up, ruining my morning routine and setting the day up for a wobbly start.  Bonus points for having Thing2 be upset with me because she was also counting on my alarm, and unbeknownst to me, had an appointment at the lab first thing in the morning.
Up: Thing2 met me for lunch with her mother, and Thing2 and I had a nice moment together at the end of lunch.
Down: Got stuck in a meeting and was later getting home than I had expected/told Thing2.

Feels like I should try to find some more Up's to balance-out the downs, but can't do it tonight.  Some days are just like that.

Yesterday I related some of the really dark days of Thing2's illness to a friend, and the wife in my audio true-story book just died -- my brain has recently had too much negative input, which has definitely colored my mood.  It's not helped by Thing2's current problems with persistent weight loss.

Not my picture.  This would be way too scary a scene to stop and take pictures.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life keeps zooming by

I have already updated this blog 5 times -- in my head.  Seriously, I keep thinking of great posts.  And I really want to write them, but I just don't have the time.  I have a 90 minute commute every day.  And that really takes a chunk out of my free time.
So I don't forget -- here are the posts I would have written, and may still write, if I ever get the time:

  1. I now understand some people's obsession with their lawns.   I have discovered a similar obsession with my pool.  It's just a small pool, but I love caring for it and tinkering with all things poolish.  I was in heaven on Sunday, troubleshooting the sweeper.
  2. We have accidentally 'stolen' two of our neighbors' three cats.  (The third one is half-wild and I don't think anyone can steal it.)  The two cats have moved-in with us voluntarily, after we had to put down our girl kitty in May after a long illness.
  3. Mom has had one small heart attack and two small heart 'events' in the last 10 days.  On the small ones, the tests showed an amount of heart damage below the threshold they consider a heart attack, but enough to make them keep her in the hospital over night.
  4. Some fabulous, unforgettable audio books.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron, Bossypants by Tina Fey, Where is the Mango Princess by Cathy Crimmins.
  5. We've discovered that Thing2 has a moderate traumatic brain injury from her car accident.  It's been an eye-opening revelation.  Some of her biggest impairments are social.  'Mango Princess' is about a brain injury and its impact on a family.
  6. Despite the fact that I love my work, and my job -  we are now living in a place where there are so many fun things I want to do - sailing, kayaking, swimming, frisbee, hackysack, kite flying - I can now imagine giving up work one day.