Wednesday, October 11, 2006

104B off topic: NaNoWriMo

I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year. That's the craziness of writing a novel (50K) in 30 days. Join me. Link to my NaNo blog below and in the sidebar. Will include word counts, excerpts, etc.
Expect silence from me, unless something huge happens, during the first couple of weeks of November.
.Gevera Bert's NaNoWriMo Blog

My progress:

Monday, October 09, 2006

104 smoking pot HELPS memory and a little wine will do you fine

The propaganda says that smoking pot makes you stupid, slow, and forgetful. New research (actual science, not anti-drug campaigning based on fear and ignorance) shows that pot may actually HELP people with Alzheimer's retain their memories. Ironic, isn't it? Although pot still remains illegal everywhere, and who knows how one can obtain it in such a way to avoid prosecution.
The story says:
New research shows the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function....(M)arijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs. THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients.
And if THC had any other source, it would be aggressively pursued. I'm no dope fiend or anti-dope activist, but it's a shame that pot has such a bad rap. Alcohol is legal and just as destructive to mind and body IF ABUSED, and so is tobacco.
Speaking of alcohol, another study says red wine is also helpful to those with Alzheimers:
Red wine has...been shown to reduce levels of bad cholesterol and to protect against heart disease and some cancers....(Researchers) working with mice carrying a gene linked to Alzheimer's, fed them either red wine, water, or ethanol. They found that mice given red wine had significantly less memory loss.
I detest the dead-grapes taste of wine. My dad likes it but only drinks at holidays.

Friday, October 06, 2006

103 "it was like this" (illustration)

Photo source: scan of "Prince Valiant", October 1, 2006.

This is the picture I spoke about in my last entry--notice the bracers which my father interperts as the restraints put on him, and the screaming look on the man's face. This is how he felt. This is what it was like for him.
A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

102 "You know her better than me"

My dad gives me the funnies every week. He has no problem remembering that. In fact, if he forgets to give them to me, he gets very upset. And if he gives them to me and I read and discard them in his presence, he becomes confused, fishing them out of the trash and giving them back to me. He can't understand that I just want to READ them, not OWN them.
This week, before he even gave me the funnies, he asked my mom to call me "because you know her better than I do" and ask me if he could have them back. My mom said he even knew my name on Sunday--and sure enough he did call me "Bert" when I was leaving my grandmother's.
When I found out WHY he wanted them back I was very sad.
In the October 1 Prince Valiant, there's a cell (is that what they are called?) of the comic which shows a man with a beard, wearing leather bracers (wrist armor) and yelling. It's part of a battle. But my dad isolated that cell (maybe they're called frames? neither seems right) and showed it to everyone. He pointed out the leather wristbands. "That's what it was like. See those?" He showed the bruises on his wrists. "That's what it was like." The cell/frame, out of context, could easily be a man in agony. As soon as I can get a copy, I will post that frame here. (I've got 2 copies promised to me--we'll see--my dad already cut his copy up before I could scan it and it's not online for another month.)
On Monday I had to take my female perfect lorikeet, whose name we don't know how to spell (rescue bird)--it's Aunnie or Onnie, like a combination of "aunt" (not "ant") and "annie"--to the vet for a check-up. Right before I lost my Zen she was diagnosed with fatty liver disease. I have been feeding her half-rations and pouring medicine into her 2x a day for 2 months now. She was up to almost 100 grams in weight, with a fatty bulge in her abdomen and another in her chest, and her blood was full of fat too. I brought her mate Hogan too. Onnie is the same age as Gwennie (they came from the same breeder in the same box) so she's around 13, which I think makes Hogan 15 or 16. Hogan has never been sick the whole time I had them (since 1995) and he's also the only bird I have with perfect feathers. This is the first time Onnie's been sick. I always try to bring my dad to the vet with me. It's helpful for someone to get the door for me and it's also to get him out of my mom's hair for a couple of hours.
He settled in my SUV with the box o' birds on his lap. "Where are we going?" "To the vet. You know, up in Berlin. You'll know when we get there." "Are we going to Hartford?" "No, we're going to Berlin." "Not Hartford?" The hospital was in Hartford. "I don't want to go there." "We're not going to Hartford. You'll see." He peers at the birds. "Which is the original one?" "I don't have him today. Lance is at home. This is Hogan and Onnie. Remember a long time ago we went to the airport to pick up some birds? Onnie was one of them." "No." But he does remember, because when we went to pick up my poor doomed sweet Prism in May, he remembered going there before to get birds "a long time ago" (12 years).
He's happy with birds in his lap. He holds up the box and talks to them. Tells them they are pretty and have nice green feathers. He worries about the state of Onnie's plucked head (Hogan pulls out her feathers) and tells Hogan "don't hurt him like that."
Onnie is down to 68 grams, more like what she should weigh. Her blood was like "cranberry juice" as the vet commented, not like cream of tomato soup like last time. We're waiting for the bloodtest to come back. Hogan is fine, he just needed a wing clipping and he likes car rides.
On the way home, a truck ran a red light on route 68 near Stop and Shop and almost "schmocked" us ("schmocked" is my father's new all-purpose word which he invented). My dad saw and alerted me so the accident was avoided. I thanked him. He waved his arm in my direction and said "They don't like it when I do that. They get mad." He means my mom, of course, who has forbidden him from saying anything about her driving. Which I can understand. He can be annoying. But in this case, he was right.