Questioning the Mental Health Field

NOTE: In no way shape or form should one go off their medication without being under a doctor’s supervision.
NOTE: This article is not trying to discredit human suffering or behavioral issues. It’s designed to educate so informed decisions can be made on treatment.
NOTE: There are nearly 80 million people taking psychiatric drugs in the U.S. alone; 8.5 million are children with 1 million of them between zero to five years old.

NOTE: in 2016, tHE APA (American Psychiatric Association) is pushing for electroshock therapy for children and teens.

Snopes logoThere has been an article circulating about how the father of “ADHD” (Dr. Leon Eisenberg) discredited the “disease” before his death.  So I thought I would go to to find out what they have to say and they state that it’s partly true (due to German to English translation issues). I enjoyed the SNOPES fact checking article because they reveal even more damaging information to the psych field as they found an additional interview where the interview was in English (no translation from German needed).

Additional information from SNOPES:

On a related note, an August 2012 Der Spiegel English-language interview with (now retired) Harvard psychologist Dr. Jerome Kagan quoted Dr. Kagan as being critical of “fuzzy diagnostic practices” and the over-prescription of drugs such as Ritalin for behavioral problems in children, and as referring to ADHD as “an invention”:

SPIEGEL: In the 1960s, mental disorders were virtually unknown among children. Today, official sources claim that one child in eight in the United States is mentally ill.

Kagan: That’s true, but it is primarily due to fuzzy diagnostic practices. Let’s go back 50 years. We have a 7-year-old child who is bored in school and disrupts classes. Back then, he was called lazy. Today, he is said to suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). That’s why the numbers have soared.

SPIEGEL: Experts speak of 5.4 million American children who display the symptoms typical of ADHD. Are you saying that this mental disorder is just an invention?

Kagan: That’s correct; it is an invention. Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.” In fact, 90 percent of these 5.4 million kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.

keyboard imageI did further researched online about a government-funded clinical trial (1999 to 2003) about the Neuro-imaging of Dopamine Metabolism in Normal and Psychiatric Patients.  It gave all kinds of technical data about their hypothesis, but in the end (study was completed in 2003) no results were given. Hmmm.

CCHR Int (Citizens Commission on Human Rights) has published a number of quotes from psychiatrists themselves and I would like to share some of them with you.  The purpose?  To educate, open your eyes, hope you’ll demand better solutions than dangerous pysch drugs.

“There are no objective tests in psychiatry-no X-ray, laboratory, or exam finding that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder.” “There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bull—. I mean, you just can’t define it.” — Allen Frances, Psychiatrist and former DSM-IV* Task Force Chairman

(*DSM: Diagnostic Statistical Manual, version 4, classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals)

“Virtually anyone at any given time can meet the criteria for bipolar disorder or ADHD.  Anyone.  And the problem is everyone diagnosed with even one of these ‘illnesses’ triggers the pill dispenser.” — Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, Psychiatrist

“Despite more than two hundred years of intensive research, no commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorders have proven to be either genetic or biological in origin, including schizophrenia, major depression, manic-depressive disorder, the various anxiety disorders, and childhood disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity. At present there are no known biochemical imbalances in the brain of typical psychiatric patients—until they are given psychiatric drugs.” — Peter Breggin, Psychiatrist

Of course there will be the inevitable come back that a person someone knows has schizophrenia and is a danger to themselves and society so they must be kept medicated.  Or they know someone where the psych drugs were helpful. I’m not going to argue that point.  My only come back is, what about holistic solutions?

person suffering imageI understand, who wants to suffer?!!  A pill that numbs your ability to feel seems like the perfect case scenario when one has been suffering (long or short-term); but are you aware of the side effects of some of these drugs: suicide, violence/hostility and psychotic break, heart problems, seizures, depression, addiction, stroke and sudden death…

My involvement in cleaning up the mental health field was initially to help protect children, and to educate their parents on the dangers of these labels being handed out hoping they’ll look for alternative help; but I’m also interested in seeing our Veterans receive the proper help; giving a voice to at-risk teens who are forced on medication and restrained when they rebel while in “the system”; and to advocate for our seniors who are being kept docile in their convalescent homes.

Stop the abuse imageThe fact that over a million kids are on dangerous meds and have been labeled with a psychiatric disorder is unacceptable. I guarantee you that if given the chance, one could find out why their child is behaving the way they are.  Take a look at their diet (possible allergies, insufficient nutrients, inability to process foods properly, etc…)  lack of physical activity, overloaded stimulation, someone is suppressing them, environmental issues, non-optimum home life (bad parenting, parents fighting, anger issues, illegal drug use…).  Of course the bad parenting is hard one to look at; but how often do parents take away a child’s dignity?  Almost daily.  If one of those parents spoke to you like they do their children, you would be completely taken aback and tell them to “Fuck off.” A child can’t.

As for the millions of adults who are on psychiatric medications for your ailments I beg you to learn the side effects of any drug (psych or not) before you agree to take them.  Ask questions about alternative treatments available that are non-drug in nature. Do your own research. DO THE WORK.  Do not accept wholesale that psych drugs are the solution.

In closing, I’m not saying people don’t suffer from mental conditions. But finding the cause and working with each individual is a lost art in this society when a doctor offers medication as the solution, a solution that for many is a life-long sentence.

People who have been damaged by psychiatric treatment can report the doctor and/or facility.  (click here)

Know your rights.  Know that there are non-harmful alternatives to psychiatric diagnoses and psych drugs. (Read about some of them here)

Check out Vital Warrior, a non-governmentally funded organization helping vets with “PTSD” with non-drug solutions.  Now these guys rock.

A Couple of Things…

1. Due to recent circumstances I have found myself watching TV more than I have in years.  The causation of course started with my knee replacement surgery and being confined to bed rest for weeks. I started by re-watching episodes of “The West Wing,” and movies, but graduated to reruns of “Sex and the City,” “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory.”  So during this time I was inspired by a few television commercials, but none more than by ROBO TWIST!! I’ll be honest, I just have to have it! The device actually twists off hard to open lids. They say it works on any size jar and it’s ideal for seniors, kids and perfect for arthritis sufferers….and weaklings like me.😉

Seriously, I’m getting it and I’ll report back!

2.You know those commercials where they claim, “These are real people not actors”? I can’t help but wonder if we’re suppose to assume that actors are not real people.

3. I accidentally came upon a program while working on the computer. It kept pulling my attention away and I was getting more irritated by the moment. It turned out to be a program called “Housewives of Orange County.” Now I had heard of these “Housewives” “Reality” shows, but seriously, what a load of crap!!! I am embarrassed for womankind!

4. So why does this society feed into the quasi celebrities that are created by “reality” TV?  The whole Kardasian, Housewives of the Orange County, New York, Dallas, or that TV show on MTV show where they all lived together?  Is this society THAT bored that these shows are entertaining?  Sadly, the answer is yes.  These shows continue and become more inane because the numbers show enough people watch that they can charge money for advertising.  That’s all fine and good, because I don’t have to watch them; but when these “celebs” start showing up in news feeds, or on the cover of magazines, that’s when I get really annoyed.

5. As much as I love having people taking advantage of the hiking trail up above City Hall (called the Botanical Gardens), I’m sad to report I have not seen any deer since they opened it a couple of years ago.  It was amazing to have deer pass by while shooting hoops.

6.  Did I mention I’ve been lifting weights? I can’t believe how quickly one loses their muscles when you don’t use them for a while. Sure I started with curling 5 lbs, but I’m proud to say I’m up to 7.5 now!

Denny's Item7. For Father’s Day this year I decided to surprise my dad and go out to breakfast and attend Church with him that morning. He was super jazzed.  What I took away from our outing, and to be honest, it’s a little unnerving, was this item on the menu at Denny’s.  If I get below 115, I’m trying the Maple Bacon Sundae!!

8. Call me naive, but I didn’t even know this was a thing:

“I quit my job to breastfeed my boyfriend every two hours.”

Here’s the story in the NY Post online.

9. THANK GOD!  Somebody finally was bold enough to reveal what the Gay Agenda really is:

Gay Agenda

10. From my favorite quotes file:

“Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law.” -Boethius

Thanks for listening!

A Couple of Things…

1. Adding insult to injury after five months of pretty intense pain due to knee replacement surgery is the fun you get to go through coming off the pain meds when you no longer need them.  But I’m happy to announce that I made it through the withdrawals this week.  I’ll be honest, I was whining and complaining and dragging my ass while my body adapted to working without them, until I saw a movie where a guy was going through morphine addiction withdrawal.  All I’ve had to endure is low energy, flu-like symptoms and crabbiness…and the kicker is, I was down to only taking two a day (at the beginning it was two every four hours!!) and I still had to endure adverse physical effects.  But I’m feeling much better and looking forward to gaining my strength back.

2. I’ve never understood the concept of what a training bra is suppose to train breasts to do.

3Basketball court. Not to be a smart ass or anything, but I saw a LeBron James quote just days after winning the championship which read, “No Plans to go nowhere at this point.”
So that would be he has plans to go somewhere?
Here’s the quote:

4. Another Grammer Nerd Observation:

It’s funny enough when someone talks about themselves in third person; but even stranger when they start talking to you in third person. Example, “Maybe I’ll go see Pam about this” instead of “Maybe I’ll go see you about this.”

Happy Memorial Day5. Memorial Day recently passed and it occurred to me that we should stop saying, “Happy Memorial Day! What’s so happy about people dying while serving their country?  I saw a ton of those memes and advertisements saying such that weekend.  How about “Honoring Memorial Day” or “Remember and Honor” instead?  Now we just need a catch phrase when you want to convey it orally to each other.  Thoughts?

Honor Memorial Day

6. I don’t know why I feel more compelled to buy a lottery ticket once it’s reached 250 million dollars. Like 200 million dollars wouldn’t be enough? Or for that matter, one million.

7. Father of son convicted of rape said 6 months in county jail steep “A steep price for 20 minute of action“. He could have faced 14 years in prison.  Prosecutors asked for six.

I wonder if he’d think the same way if it were his daughter assaulted by someone else’s son.

Vote 20168. I would like to thank Bernie Sanders for engaging people. Just under 10,000 came out to see him speak in Ventura alone!  I love that the younger generation found a voice which spoke to them and they supported someone who did not look like them.  No matter what party one is affiliated with, you have to admit, this rocks.

9. One more political-type observation that’s as funny as shit.
President Barack Obama on Jimmy Fallon writing thank you notes (wait for Obama’s third one):

10. I’m a little over a month away from my next birthday.  Here’s a little bit of trivia about my youth…more to the point, about my parents.  They once confessed to me that they had celebrated my birthday on the wrong day for years!  IT’S THE 30th, not the 31st!!!

From my favorite quotes file:

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” ~Oscar Wilde

Thanks for listening!

Knee Replacement Surgery 2016

Hello!  It’s been too long since I’ve written a blog so I thought I would get caught up on why I haven’t written, which most people know is due to having surgery.

The purpose of writing my blog is to share my thoughts and ideas and to hopefully put a smile on your face and sometimes I do write about deeper topics, but I try to come from a place of hopefulness not despair and believe that something can be done about it. So when I’m not feeling creative, or I’m struggling, I’m not coming from a place where I should be writing.

So for starters…

Samantha Boom Boom Baumgardner

Samantha Boom Boom Baumgardner

The day before my surgery, I had to put my precious Sammy to sleep. She was the best dog ever.  I miss her like the dickens and still tear up when I remember those big beautiful brown eyes looking up at me.

ACOT_16006_2On Thursday, January 14, 2016, I had totally knee replacement surgery on my right knee. I have photos to prove it, but they are terribly graphic and once you see them, you’d be hard pressed to erase the mental image picture, and who needs that?  So here is a photo on Saturday, January 16, where I’m updating  I look alright because they have some really nice pain meds in the hospital.

ACOT_16006_3My daughter arrived from Portland on Saturday night in time for my release from the hospital on Sunday afternoon. She was my necessary caretaker, otherwise I’d have to of gone into a convalescent hospital for a couple of weeks.  As I wrote on FB page, “I’m grateful for Sydney Rose playing Nurse Ratchet, she literally would not let me take my pain meds 1 minute earlier than scheduled. She kept a chart of shots, pills, Metamusial, machine therapy, exercises, PT visits, plus she kept me safe, fed, clean and she let me color in her tattoo on her arm.

You’re lucky I didn’t write during the first few months of my recovery because I had to do everything possible to not bitch and complain and moan and groan about the pain and forced idleness. It sucked. It sucked hard. I couldn’t even stand in the shower on my own!

I re-watched every episode of The West Wing, and actually looked forward to falling back asleep again.  I was sleeping at least 15-20 hours a day in the beginning. I would even break down and cry three to four months into it because I couldn’t believe the pain was not alleviating.  I was frustrated.

For fun, here’s a little known fact during this time.  I continued to write my article for the Breeze.  I actually wrote my column that Sunday in the hospital before heading home.  It’s been the only time I asked Sheldon (Publisher) to look over my writing for mistakes or inappropriateness. And then on Sunday, January 31, I had to record the Q&A for Ventura Rocks at CAPS Media at W20 at the Watermark.  I had to be driven of course (more on that later), but I was still using a walker to get around and I was high as a kite from the pain meds. People say you can’t tell, but if you have a moment, check out the episode, the Q&A comes in at about 7:40:

Now about that video, I look HORRIBLE in the studio, I KNOW!! We’re just now getting the lighting right (five episodes out).  I don’t mind the out-of-the studio footage, but man o man!
In any case, did you see Eve Mimiaga on the other side of the bar?  She was my chauffeur.  And not just for getting me to the Watermark that day, she literally drove me everywhere for a couple of months.  To my doctor appointments, physical therapy twice a week, and when I started back to work she would take me to and from work every day.  She was a lifesaver and I’m eternally grateful to her.

So I was on a walker for three weeks, and then a cane for another two or so weeks. I learned on the third day in the hospital how to get up and down stairs (up with the good, down with the bad), and I’m just now, this past week taking the stairs one foot on each step (instead of two feet per step), going downstairs.

I started back to work at City Hall on a shorter schedule at three weeks, but returned full time at four.

ACOT_16006_4At about 3 1/2 months I was able to bend my knee to about 102 degrees, they want 120 (I started at about 40). My doctor told me I could continue with physical therapy working on getting it to bend, or he could just put me under and bend it for me.  I asked about what could go wrong (other than anesthesia mishaps) and he said he could accidentally break my leg.   He didn’t, and he provided a photo to prove he did bend my leg, and I was in physical therapy within an hour and at 120 degrees without pain.

I continued with my physical therapy for another couple of months to get more limber so I could wrap my arms around my knees and to be able to get my leg flat.  I started at -10 degrees, then -7, and at my final appointment last week I was at -3; and bending wise, I’m at 133 degrees with my arms around my knees.

About that physical therapy?  They say knee replacement is about the hardest PT you can endure, and I agree 100%.  It’s painful and I couldn’t have done it without pain meds. I remember the first time I could actually pedal the incumbent bike all the way around with the seat all the way back; it was a major milestone. I started just going back and forth, but eventually I got to where I could pedal without pain rapidly and with the seat all the way forward.  I took baby steps and made progress little by little.   But the physical therapists themselves have a tough job of inflicting pain, I was reduced to tears on more than a dozen occasions. I even refused to work with one particular person due to his roughness.

I went in for surgery feeling pretty fit, so I don’t know how out-of-shape or older people get through this procedure.  It’s harsh!  But I’m beginning to feel better and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My pain level started (scale of 1-10) at 8-9 and then down to constant 4-5 when not medicated.  Now I’m at 1-2 and weening off the meds which is also a hard endeavor as my body is use to having them in my system.  I’m riding my bike, able to walk up and down some steep hills (California Street up to City Hall), walking without limping, dancing, and hoops can’t be far off (I’m giving it another month or two to heal).

A couple of nice side effects?  Being taken care of by some extraordinary friends. And it may sound vain, but I was afraid of gaining weight due to inactivity.  But instead of gaining I lost 20 pounds at one point. I haven’t weighed 115 pounds since before puberty when I got breasts. A friend pointed out that I lost all my muscles I had gained after having been active and exercising the past five years and muscles are more dense.  Physical therapy was all about building up my quad and other muscles because they stopped working to protect my knee. So now I’m rebuilding my muscles (legs and upper body) by working out and drinking protein shakes.

I knew I was coming around because I started writing down tidbits to share with you on my blog, “A Couple of Things…”  I thought I’d just get you caught up on my status, and be done with it.  Like I always say, I’m not looking for sympathy, or encouragement, just understanding.

So there you go.🙂


A Couple of Things…

1. New Year’s Eve analysis (3 points)

#1 – A Critical Error
Not hydrating

#2 – A Stupid Error (non critical)

# 3 – The Smartest Plan
Having a designated driver

New Year’s Eve was great and exactly how I thought it should go.  Lots of fun, music, dancing, hugs from friends, walking downtown from venue to venue running into even more friends, cold drinks, hot texts, getting home before midnight to avoid that awkward moment, and the highlight of every New Year (this one no exception), a phone call just minutes after midnight from my daughter Sydney Rose.

Going to sleep on the first day of the new year knowing everything is all right, is comforting in every way.  Waking up later that morning with a hangover, not so much.

So many horrible photos that night, but here are a couple of my favorites with Diego from Bombay’s, Mike from Amigo’s, Brian from the Dive Bar Messiahs who was REPRESENTING!:

2. Twin babies born in Ventura are making news.  The first at 11:59 am December 31, 2015, and the second at 12:01 am on January 1, 2016.
Sage words of advice to the baby girls.  For sure it will be a thorn in the side of the younger girl up until she’s about 35 that her twin is “one year” older than she, but then all of a sudden, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES, you will forever be the younger one.  Wear it well baby girl!! Wear it well.

3. True story:  A gentleman – who I assume was hitting on me – was telling me bluntly how having deep long kisses are more important than the Big Chalupa (yeah, I know a horrible metaphor, but he was too graphic). In any case, I wasn’t offended until he referred to me as me a seasoned older lady.  So honestly, I don’t know if he was hitting on me because I didn’t stick around to find out.  #NotAGreatPickUpLine

The slippers4. I have to admit these bad boys were my favorite Christmas gift.  I asked for slip on slippers, and well…no doubt about it, my family has a sense of humor!

4a. My second favorite is a brand spankin’ new Spaulding basketball my dad bought for me as incentive to get back on the court. I keep it in plain view for inspiration.

5. I saw an article on about the world’s first “smart bra.”  I guess it measures a woman’s biometrics (measuring heart rate, steps, etc…) At $150 a pop, I’m thinking, not-so-smart bra, and anyways, I still consider the “Wondrabra” the first smart bra!

6. People walking around with a giant chip on their shoulders very rarely get the cognition that they have anything to do with it.

Portland7. Sydney Rose walking to work on Sunday, January 3, 2016 sent me this photo from Portland, OR.  BURRRR!!!  So glad I got her that jacket that has an internal heater for Christmas!  She sold her car and canceled her insurance and either walks, Ubers or uses public transportation.

8. I read somewhere that if you’re using a period while texting, you might be coming off like a jerk, in fact, some people think it’s a sign of insincerity

9. I thought I would share with you this amazingly quirky video of a small dog enjoying a head massage.  I not sure why this particular piece of music was chosen to go with the video, it just makes it even that more goofy.

tajin14oz10. Have I mentioned that the guys at work introduced me to spicy seasoning you shake onto fresh fruit? OMG!!!  Sooooo good!  It was a tad bit hard to find because it was not on the seasoning rack in the market, in fact it was found along side the fresh fruit in the produce department.  The guys first squeeze lime all over the fruit, be it watermelon, apples or oranges, then generously season the fruit with this godlike spicy goodness.

11. And with my knee surgery on the horizon, I choose this one from my Favorite Quotes file: “Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” – Paul Theroux

Doubtful I’ll blog until after my surgery.  So wish me luck and see you on the basketball court as soon as humanly possible!

Self Portrait from my photography class a few years ago.

Self Portrait from my photography class a few years ago.

A Couple of Things…

Skype1. Christmas morning I woke up, made coffee and updated  Then it occurred to me that I haven’t woke up alone on Christmas morning since before I was married, over 28 years ago. I either had my husband, or by daughter with me. Times are changing and I can fight the changes or adapt, or make new traditions…like Skyping with my daughter who is in Portland, OR, for over an hour.

Sammyxmas2.  Look what Sammy got for Christmas!!!  She must be the most stylish pup on the street!  And yes, she was with me this morning, so I was not totally alone😉


3. The tradition of going to see a movie on Christmas afternoon continues today.  I’ll be meeting up with the Mimiagas to see The Big Short downtown.  I have to see the movie early enough so that the popcorn doesn’t interfere with Christmas dinner.😉

4. In preparation for my knee replacement surgery, I’ve been taking advice on how to keep busy, while being bed ridden for a couple of weeks.  One that piqued my interest was “adult coloring books”.  It was with some mild trepidation that I searched on the internet with those key words, but alas, it turns out, not porn.😉

5. I mentioned before that I have never EVER been able to touch my toes without bending my knees, my back just doesn’t allow it.  And twice I’ve been told it’s because I have long legs.  HAHAHAHA!  I have short stumpy legs.  But thanks!

Caps-PB6. Most people know that I love to inspire people to support Ventura’s music scene.  I started with creating the website, then writing a column for our local newspaper, The Ventura Breeze, and now I’ve been asked to host a local access TV show we’re calling Ventura Rocks for CAPS Media (Community Access Partners for San Buenaventura).  It took me years to get use to hearing my own voice when I was a radio broadcaster, and I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever get use to not only hearing myself, but now having to view myself.

7. Every now and then I have to share a mime.  This one literally made me laugh out loud!


8. Remember the first time you saw Rocky Horror Picture Show?  Life was never the same again!


9. You gotta see this YouTube video of a cat’s solution to keeping his paws dry.  It’s about the goofiest thing I’ve seen in quite some time:

10.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season and that 2016 will be a special year of love and good will from you, and for you.

11. From my favorite quotes file. “The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.” ― George Carlin

A Couple of Things…

Syd-Christmas19971. I’ve been lagging on my blog.  It’s the week before Christmas and I’m “keeping it together” as best I can trying to always look at the glass half full. I will not be seeing Syd Rose this year other than a morning Skype appointment, and I don’t expect any surprises as she’s working two jobs and I’ll be flying her home to help me with my knee surgery in  mid January.  Oh yeah, I’m having knee replacement surgery, so hopefully I’ll get that skip back in my step, and I’ll be back on the court mid 2016.


snowflake_c_NOAA2. From the “Things that Blow my Mind” file:
No two snowflakes are alike.  Really???  That a snowman made up of millions of snowflakes does not have two alike? That up at Big Bear or better yet the Antarctic, you’re telling me that no two snowflakes during one winter’s snowfall are alike?  That around the world in one given year, no two snowflakes are alike?  That during the course of history, over billions of years around the globe, that no two snowflakes are alike?
I say, “Prove it pretzel boy!!”
I’m now filing it under the category of questions, with “If a tree falls in the forest…”

3. When you expect something in return, THAT’S NOT HELP.

4. SPOILER ALERT: BIG BANG THEORY, move along if you did not see ShAmy’s Big Night.
ShamyI knew Sheldon and Amy would do the nasty, or as Sheldon puts it, “Have coitus,” this season and it was quite nice how they pulled it off. But if I had written the episode, post coitus, Sheldon’s voice would have dropped several octaves and started sounding like a man.🙂 #BigBangTheory

5. A friend of mine suggested that if you don’t accept treatment for life threatening illness, then in his opinion, that is a form of suicide.  I want to be able to choose how to exit this life; to have it be on my own terms choosing the best quality of life over longevity.

6. Talk about drastic measures, I read a story that a small Italian town had banned death and threatened higher taxes. Because the town’s population was dwindling, the mayor was hoping to encourage healthier living.

7. I hope I never lose the ability to find formations in the clouds that look like people, animals,  spaceships or phallic shapes.

8. I saw a post on Facebook about terrorists threats recently in LA and she said there was too much bullshit in the world to cope and she was going to crawl into a hole.  To that I say, “Congratulations terrorists, you’re winning.”

We (YOU AND I) must imbue our community with hope and love and joy more than the  evil that attempts to wear us down.  They win, when we give up.

hammerhead9. The problem with Hammerhead sharks is that it’s hard to take them seriously when they always look like a cartoon character; however that being said, I’m sure if I ran swam into one, I’d take them as serious as a heart attack!

10. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Saturday Night Live cast members from 1 – 141.

Top Ten:
10. Chevy Chase
9.  Gilda Radner
8.  Amy Poehler
7. Phil Hartman
6. Bill Murray
5. Dan Aykroyd
4. Mike Meyers
3. Tina Fey
2. Eddie Murphy

1. John Belushi

Not making the top ten?  Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Jon Lovitz, Chris Rock, Jimmy Fallon, Dennis Miller, not to mention Billy Crystal, Martin Short, or Christopher Guest. 141 Not Ready for Prime Time Players.  Some of the skits I’ll admit are real yawners, but others are classically ingrained in my mind.

11. From my favorite quotes file: “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.” Buddy the Elf

If I don’t get around to it, may the holiday seasons bring you love and joy and 2016 be the best year ever.  PEACE!

A Couple of Things…


1. So I got to see my baby girl this past weekend.  I flew up to Portland for four days.  We spent one afternoon driving to the coast down at Pacific City; she took me around a few of the different districts; we took a limited number of photos; we bowled; we went to the movies; we had a few adult beverages and we dined to together.  BREAKING NEWS…. Sydney is no longer a vegetarian.  This is a direct quote from her, “I’m over it, I did my time.” She didn’t eat meat for eleven years!!

As for her hair color, she told me she was going to dress up as Princess Bubblegum, hence the purple/pink hair…but I think she rocks that color Halloween or not!

2. I came across this short video on the horrors of Daylight Saving Time.  It’s funnier than shit.  If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor… This is totally brill:

3. Speaking of movies, my friend Carol thought it prudent to warn me out of the blue, “Just so you know, ‘Cowspiracy’ is not a comedy.”  Yeah, I probably would have made that assumption too.  And while we’re on the subject I’m pretty sure “Raccoon Nation” isn’t either.
Here’s a link to tease it:

“It’s possible that moving into the urban environments is creating technically smarter raccoons.”

I wholeheartedly concur.

4. I get a little disillusioned when I see posts about how much one loves their spouse or girlfriend, even though I know better. Why do people post lies?  On my better days I think it’s because they wished it were true, or on my crabby-woman days, I think they just like the validation when people comment how cute they look.   I think I will continue to leave my personal relationships personal, and might, just might post that I got married…someday.  But of course, I could always change my mind.😉

5. If you build it they will come.

It was a fantasy movie people! TOTALLY FICTION!
If you build it, they will come if you promote the shit out of it and provide a service people actually want.

6. I saw a Facebook thread about the recent music awards here in town. Some people like it, and some people don’t.  But someone who likes them commented, “We’re all in this together.”  Well if we’re all in this together, why are we competing against each other?

fire-message7. A friend of mine, John Vance, is a Fire Chief and he took a photo of the bulletin board at his station saying “We don’t tell anyone to write this on the assignment board, they just do!”

I would make a minor change on #3 so it would become a metaphor for everyone in life:
1. Be Nice
2. Be Safe
3. Put out Fires
4. Do your Job


8. I always like to be in the middle of reading a book, sometimes I have more than two going at any time depending on my mood.  Fiction/Non-Fiction/Fantasy/Horror,Drama…I just finished an odd book called “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon and another one called “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins.  Sometimes I’m just happy to get through a book, it’s rare that I give up.  My biggest accomplishment?  Getting through “War and Peace” and completely digging it!

9. Popular foods taking on new hues as food makers purge artificial dyes from their products.
I’m all for it though I stopped buying cereal years ago.  I can’t even remember the last time I purchased milk for myself. CM3bU5ZUcAAvHHT

10. Did I see I story that said, “Starbucks to tweak pumpkin spice latte formula to include real pumpkin.”?  Sadly, yes, I did.

11. Is anyone else completely disgusted by the Cottenlle toilet paper campaign? Something about giving you confidence to go commando? Really???

12. From my favorite quotes file, “We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.” ― Rod Serling

Thanks for your time!

A Couple of Things…

dabear1. Don’t poke the bear. I have a confession. I poked; he didn’t mind.🙂

2. The pope has come and gone and though I’m not Catholic, I enjoyed reading some of the public interest stories on his visit to the U.S.

This is among the best: On sex abuse by Priests and then the cover up the Pope was quoted as saying, “I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry.”

And among the the worst. USA Today reported, “The Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples met with Pope Francis last Thursday during his U.S. visit, a meeting kept secret from the media, her lawyer says.”

(I rarely do an addendum…but this is newsworthy regrading “the worst”:
How the Outrage Over the Pope’s Kim Davis Meeting May Have Paid Off in a Big Way
blog on the Huffington
Author: Michelangelo Signorile )

3. If you know me, you know I love animals so I had to read the story with the headline: “Ruthie Rosemary the cat survives wildfire!”
Her family was forced to evacuate as a wildfire was encroaching on their home and as they were loading Ruthie into the car, she jumped out and sadly had to be left behind. Five days later they returned to their severely burned property when they heard a mew from underneath a burned out truck. No one can figure out how Ruthie survived and she only suffered singed whiskers and eyebrows.

4.  Every now and then I pass someone who is reading a recent issue of the Ventura Breeze.  I always nonchalantly check to see if they’re reading my Music Scene column.  One of these days I’m going to stop and say, “Hey! I wrote that!”

Syd's new home

Sydney sharing an apartment here with a friend.


My apartment building when I was around Sydney’s age.

5.  Sydney Rose has officially moved to Portland after living near McMinnville for the past two years. She sent me her new address and I Goggle-Mapped it (By the way. “Google-Mapped” DID NOT come up as a misspelling).  It’s a cute brick building which sort of reminds me of the brick building I lived in around her age back in Fullerton. I loved that place with its wood floors and little fireplace.  Plumbing sucked, but who washes dishes anyways? Apparently we both love old brick buildings!

6. Does any business want to be known as their city’s “Best kept secret?”

7.  Let’s discuss Wife Beater Tank Tops. We should be appalled, and not so flippant or cavalier when referring to this type of clothing. Even some women’s clothing are referred to as Wife Beaters.  Why not just call them by their original name, a tank top?

8.  Have you ever wondered if you should brush then floss, or vice versa, floss then brush?  This question just occurred to me recently after I invested in one of those Sonicare toothbrushes.  I did a little online research and it appears that even dentist argue on this point but the argument that makes the most sense to me is to floss first to dislodge “stuff” then brush it away.
In case you’re now wondering, According to the American Dental Association, “It doesn’t matter.” Just do both.

9. .  Everyone loves a parade! I’ve been participating in Ventura parades promoting for the past three or four years; first it’s the St. Patrick’s Day parade, then in August it’s the Ventura County Fair parade. They’re a lot of fun, but I’ll admit, I’m always a little nervous to see the photos of us on social media afterwards.

10.  I went to a local theater production of West Side Story at the Rubicon Theater.   I knew going in there was a 110% chance that I would cry as I’ve seen the movie dozens of times and I’ve never gotten by without bawling my eyes out during the final scene. But sadly I was screwed in the first few minutes when I was overcome with emotion and the tears welled up over the the power of a live orchestra and the cast recreating the opening scene. These kids nailed it, and it was only for one weekend of shows!  I felt privileged to be able to see it. And yes, I was prepared with a stack of tissues.

11. Why don’t cell phones just come with protective housing instead of making people purchase a case so the glass doesn’t break?  Or better yet, develop a non-breakable glass.  Am I the only one baffled by this?

12.  I saw a recent mime on Facebook:
“Bacon Fact #18
Bacon is healthier than crystal meth.”


13. From my Favorites Quotes File:  “If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade. That’s life.” – Mike Ditka

Thanks for your time!

A Couple of Things…


Photo by Maggie McKinney

1.  Every year, another year older and I’m told, another year wiser.  As I attempt to age gracefully I find throwing caution to the wind and embracing what makes me feel alive is the best medicine.  Live music, loud music, good friends, great conversations, an intimate connection, my family especially my daughter Sydney Rose making me proud, my pup Sammy hanging in there at 15 years of age, shooting hoops, giving to my community and feeling like I’m helping in some small degree. These are the things that for me, make an extraordinary life.

2.   I would much prefer to live in a world where trophy hunting does not occur.

That being said, Oxford University is reporting that Cecil’s brother is protecting Cecil’s cubs after a hunter illegally killed him in Africa. Usually the pride will slaughter the dominate male’s offspring after he has died.  So, this is a small victory and a definite miracle of nature.

Elenor Roosevelt3.  I understand Eleanor Roosevelt is very close to being the next person on the twenty dollar bill.  I wholeheartedly support this choice. What an amazing woman.

4.  From time to time I’ll see a Facebook post about when someone’s mom “left them”.  Something like, “It’s was 10 years ago today since Mom passed away…”   Well, it’s been 40 years since my mother died and honestly, I couldn’t tell you the day.  I remember it was winter. Her funeral was about the darkest day of my life. I could research it and find her death certificate, but I would rather remember her birthday which was July 24. She would have been 81 this year, and I fear one of those crazy cat ladies.  I would have loved it!

clown-head5.  I ADORED Emmett Kelly.  I took this doll everywhere with me when I was a toddler. Who couldn’t love this face?  Especially since it’s all I have left of him. I even went out as Emmett Kelly for Halloween one year and my mother put some sort of face cream and then coffee grounds on my face for the beard. That lasted about 10 minutes.

6. So I got bumped off Facebook and I was notified that my computer had a virus.  I tried to log back on and they would not let me without installing their virus program.  I did research and saw that a number of folks believe it’s a ploy for Facebook to download data or collect data from your computer.  I did not download their software; two weeks later I logged in, no problem.  Conspiracy theory?  This one I just might believe.

7.  Successful men are sexy.  Cheap ass successful men, not so much.

8.  Lives matter – PERIOD.  I’m behind the Black Lives Matter campaign, don’t get me wrong, but I recently saw a post putting down an old man of 70 saying he was probably going to die soon anyways. I’m sure the senior citizen was a jerk for eliciting such a response, but please.  I’m a little tired of people putting down race, sex, and yes age.  Babies, kids, teens, adults and seniors all deserve to be treated with dignity…until each individual proves otherwise.  Actually, let’s try to stop lumping people into groups. That’s called stereotyping. Stereotyping police, public sector workers, big business, lawyers, priests, feminists, nerds, toddlers, surfer dudes, musicians, alcoholics, the homeless, well, you get my point. Each individual has their story, all those groups have amazing people who want to make a difference, and a very small minority who are commie-rat bastards.

In the immortal words of The Osmonds, “One Bad Apple Don’t Spoil the Whole Bunch, Girl.”

9. I saw a “human interest” segment on a morning news show where the guest was suggesting women should shave their face daily.  Are you kidding me???  That being said, I know a woman who went into labor, but would not go to the hospital without waxing her upper lip first.  True story.

10.  Give a hand up, not a hand out is the message the City of Ventura is spreading. Local resources help those who want help.  This is true. So when I recently stopped at a signal where a woman was standing with a young boy sitting beside her with her sign asking for a handout, I politely asked her if she knew that there were resources.  She spoke back in a foreign language (not spanish), and I smiled kindly and remarked that she should remove the diamond earring in her son’s ear before asking for a hand out.  She promptly told him to remove it.  Yeah, she understood every word I said.

11.  I have to say that Dave Grohl has to be one of my favorite rock stars of all time.  Nirvana?  Are you kidding me?  And then the Foo Fighters?  Dave is such a great songwriter and artist and all around great person. He broke his leg during a concert, came back and finished it not wanting to let the fans down.  The man has serious integrity.  The latest incident to support this opinion is when this guy in Romagna, Italy, wanted the Foo Fighters to play in their small town, so he gather 1000 musicians to play Learn to Fly .  They did and Dave responded IN ITALIAN that he would in fact get the band there to play a concert. This YouTube Video has had over 20 million views since posted. IT IS AMAZING. I fuckin’ cry every time I watch it:

Here is Dave’s response – I LOVE HIM:

12. From my favorite quotes file: “In this day and age, when you can use a machine or computer to simulate or emulate what people can do together, it still can’t replace the magic of four people in a room playing.” – Dave Grohl

Thanks for your time!