Sunday, January 29, 2006

Why Blog?

Where blogs are concerned, I seem to be more of a lurker than a writer. I spend time browsing from one blog to another, lingering on photos and videos, but I take time to read, too. Sometimes I wonder what to write in my blog.

Browsing through some blogs I found Blog de la Blog, started just yesterday with a post asking "Do people actually read these?"

Yes, Buck, I read it. Some people have read mine, too, but more people who happen by just go on to the next blog. Some people even leave comments, and that makes me smile. I wonder about what other people write and why.

My introduction to blogging was as journaling, and many people really do use their blogs as diaries or logs of daily activities. Some create travel logs, including itineraries and pictures of famous landmarks behind family and friends and landscapes typical of the travel destinations. We see party pictures, family reunions, new babies, new siblings and sweethearts.

The blog world seems to be a good place to get over a breakup, to lament about what is no more, to dream about what never was, to wonder what is yet to be. There are fictional stories, poetry, essays, maps, art and music. People share similar experiences, recipes, accomplishments, rants and random thoughts. Some share links to sites they found helpful, interesting or just plain fun. Some are meeting places for regular visitors, like a conference call in writing instead of on the phone

A blog can be anonymous so it feels safe, or it can be a personal platform so it feels empowering. Blogs have a single theme, something important, a fetish, selling a product or idea, or they are diverse. Some are like the person lecturing in the park to a casual crowd, or to a few passers by, or to no one at all, but they have their say. It may be read, or maybe not, but it has been written.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Osteoporosis and Multiple Sclerosis – A Common Match

Apparently it is not uncommon for MSers to also be diagnosed with Osteoporosis. Robert Herndon, an MS specialist says although Osteoporosis is a common disease, it is "more common and more serious in those with multiple sclerosis." He talks about osteoporosis, emphasizing the MS relationship in an article for the International Journal of MS Care. The abstract, in one bolded paragraph, is followed by an easy-to-read and informative article.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Osteoporosis is characterized by loss of bone mass. When bones thin, they break easily. Bones most at risk are the spine, hip, wrist and forearm. In the United States every year, there are more than 700,000 spinal fractures, 250,000 hip fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures, most because of osteoporosis. These fractures cost 13.8 billion dollars.

There is plenty of information available leading up to the disease, but very little about having the disease.

The information tells in great detail who gets it, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated with medication and exercise. It tells only generally how the disease progresses.

Here are a few interesting sites:

The sports medicine site is not very pretty, but it is informative.

Wikipedia has a good site for general osteoporosis covering prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

The Osteoporosis site is quite comprehensive.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Peter's MS Site

I have seen several sites by MSers ready to chronicle their MS progression. Often the site begins and ends with the same post. That's understandable. MSers aren't the only ones who never get back to the blog.

But Peter is different. He was an advocate and a motivational speaker. He had several active blogs, but he hasn't made a post for a year. Peter's site is still worth visiting. It has some good posts and interesting links.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Reality Shows

The first reality show we watched was the first Survivor. Wait, we saw MTVs program where a group of kids who were strangers live together for a period of time. On that one there was no winner, it was just the experience. I would have done that years ago – I think.

Then we saw "Survivor." I would have considered doing that, but I would have been voted off in the first or second show. I am not good at deception, especially with an alliance. An alliance is composed of allies -- another word for friends.

Since then, we have watched some reality shows, and not others. Some of them were not reality shows at all, but more like game shows. I know, I know, if there is a winner it must be a game. I like some game shows, but not these.

This season I enjoy "Dancing with the Stars." I used to really like dancing. I was never as good as these contestants, but I can relate to them and it certainly is fun. And I like "Project Runway." Again, I can relate to the contestants and I think their design challenges are fun.

Fun. Fun.

I like stories with actors playing characters, too. I think the TV schedule is becoming overrun with reality shows . . . although I do have a couple of ideas for good "reality" experience shows.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sisters and friends

(and one mother and one brother)

The mother is here

The brother is here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I do not like censorship. Who gets to make the decision what is acceptable anyway? What if the censor doesn’t agree with you? Or with me?

Potter Stewart (1915 – 1985), appointed to the Supreme Court by Eisenhower, said “Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself.”

Albert Camus (1913 – 1950), an Algerian-French writer and one of my favorites wrote, “A free press can of course be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad.”

Censorship happens around the globe. Censorship and book banning are still practiced today, even in our free democracy. The National Coalition Against Censorship provides alerts on censorship news. The Censorship Pages covers freedom of speech and the written word.

The question is freedom of speech. I don’t know the answer, but I do not think censorship answers anything. It may be different for national security. and parenting is a different matter. In parenting, it may be a question of appropriateness.

Clare Booth Luce (1903 – 1987), journalist and politician, said, “Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but, unlike charity, it should end there.”

If I don’t get to read about a topic, how do I know if I agree or disagree with it? Don’t take away my choices, and don’t try to make them for me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Life among Uprights

I live in a wheelchair. Actually, it's a three-wheel cart or scooter, but I am seated. People who stand are uprights.

Always sitting is a lesson in perspective. At a table or in a sitting room I am eye-to-eye. In many situations I am eye-to-stomach.

This gives me -- and other sitters -- a perspective most uprights do not understand. It has advantages. Children are drawn to me because they can look me in the eye. They are drawn to my cart because it looks like fun. Some children and most animals are wary of me because the cart can be intimidating and I can look them in the eye. And actually, the cart is kind of fun.

Relating to full-grown uprights is a different story. I am easily lost in a crowd or waiting in line. It is difficult to garner attention -- so many people do not pay attention or look down -- and bump me or trip on my cart. It is a real effort to keep from running over someone's foot.

It is often difficult to recognize someone right off unless the chin is distinctive. I certainly notice weight gains and shoes, shined or not, and guys, I know when you do not remember to zip up. The back view is not always pleasant – although sometimes it is very pleasant.

First impressions and lasting impressions – often just a matter of perspective.

Peace on Earth

Right after Christmas I wrote a post about world peace, including links of interest. Some of the sites did not have current activity, but I thought they were worth reading, maybe inspiring new activity. I wondered why I did not find a blog devoted to peace. Well, I kept looking.

Here is a world peace newsletter -- and it goes beyond ending war. It includes links for personal peace, tips for various facets of lifestyle as well as peace from world conflict; peace sites and events. The newsletter is current.

Plough Shares Fund is a 24 year-old foundation that offers grants for projects to eliminate weapons and prevent conflicts. The site has current news articles and expert lists including experts from many nations covering many events. This site also offers a newsletter.


On the propeace site, registered users can leave comments on current news. There is also a summary of U.S. governmental activity.

Here’s to peace in your life and mine, and peace in your world and mine.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Respect for the Disabled

I read a blog by a Canadian disability activist that led my thoughts to this subject, and they have been tumbling around ever since. She had two posts that prompted me to leave comments.
1) Tucker Carlson of MSNBC referred to Canada as a retarded cousin
2) A deaf teacher was lauded for her achievement despite her disability

First, let's look at Tucker Carlson's story. I did not see the broadcast; I read the quote provided on the blog.

The complaint was not so much that the insult was directed toward Canada, but that the phrase "retarded cousin" was used as an insult. In this day of "political correctness" Mr. Carlson should have known better. He was being informal, but the description he may have thought was cute was actually denigrating,

It is sometimes difficult to know exactly what terminology tells the story without being hurtful. Media professionals are trained to use words as tools. They, above all others, are capable of promoting fair and accurate portrayals and are remiss when using negative descriptions reporting the straight news. Carefully selected words tell stories, relate feelings and reinforce positive attitudes.

Now, the second complaint.

The problem was the reporting of a Maryland teacher honored with advanced certification. The teacher was identified as deaf. She is deaf, but was that the story? Miss Yamada won regardless of her hearing so should that have been mentioned? The statement added that she was certified "despite her disability." An accomplishment is not achieved despite something. She won the certification because she was good – not despite her deafness. The word "despite" is often demeaning and should be used sparingly.

There is, however, another side of this question. News of an accomplishment achieved by a disabled person may inspire another disabled person to try something previously thought unattainable. It may also give a positive image of a disabled person to the able-bodied.

A news story includes WHO WHAT WHY WHEN WHERE HOW
But, a well-delivered news story also includes RESPECT

Here are a few links to related topics:

Canadian guidelines for word usage
A blog covers news concerning disability
News of persons with disabilities, special reports, and opinions


Thursday, January 05, 2006

100 Things

I encouraged my cousin to write a list about her and she did. I asked if she was going to put it out on a blog and she did (click here). I wrote this list a couple of years ago and never posted it. Updates are needed (I now have another grandchild), but that will wait for another list. It is time for my list to be posted. Here goes:

100 things about me, some of my thoughts and a few vignettes -- in no apparent order:

1. My name is Vicki, not Victoria, not Vic, but Vicki
2. I was born in Jennings, Louisiana.
3. I currently live in Texas with my companion, my friend, partner and helper, my sweetheart, Garry.
4. I have two boys, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.
5. I like movies, old movies, good stories, suspense, character studies --not shoot-em-ups, not slashers, not violence.

This list is just too long for my blog. To see all 100 -- plus a few more -- click here.