Posts Tagged ‘recommended’

Some sci-fi novel series I'm fond of started with one really popular book, and then were expanded. The author ended up writing novels which were technically prequels to the series, but since they were written as a more mature, seasoned writer, they were actually better books (imho) than the ones that introduced everyone to that universe. I don't think I would have understood or enjoyed the published-first novels as much if I'd read them first.

Instead I stumbled upon a later novel, then looked up the in-universe chronological order of the stories and read the books in that order. The two examples that come immediately to mind are Catherine Asaro's Skolian series and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series. I think that Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series worked the same way for me.

Anybody got other series that fit this profile? I love finding new works where there are several books!

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Just discovered the Apartment Therapy website, and the book. They do regular 8-week challenges, a la the Flylady folks, where you follow along in the book and wreak (chaotic good) havoc in your dwelling.

Starting tomorrow (Sept 5th): The Fall Cure.

I'm SO freakin' there. Who else is along for the ride? Woo!

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Worked up a rather long reply to a friend who has a parent with some issues, and thought others might appreciate the info. Getting a parent to actually TAKE vitamins or admit anything is wrong might be, well, some kind of karmic irony in action. But maybe you can use the info to get their doctor to evaluate and propose some supplemental nutrition.

  • The excellent Alzheimer’s pages at Healing with Nutrition mention that “Two of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the elderly are folic acid and vitamin B12. These deficiencies lead to motor skill disturbances, confusion, delusion, fatigue, memory loss, numbness, and ringing in the ears. Sounds like dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, and multiple sclerosis all rolled up into one. The important thing to realize is that there are often no differences between the subtle signs of nutrition deficiency and what we interpret as “old age.””
  • Some doctors’ papers available at an Australian site offer a lot of hope:
    “Not a single one of the scores of middle-aged-to-elderly people who have consulted me since 1981 for memory-loss or early Alzheimer’s dementia – and who stayed on my program – has ever gone on to develop the full-blown Alzheimer’s Disease.”
  • This research paper indicates that “cholinesterase inhibitors, FDA-approved drugs that slow the breakdown of acetylcholine in Alzheimer’s patients, help alleviate dementia symptoms.”
  • Try increasing available acetylcholine via nutritional supplements.
  • Look at other medications the folks are on to find any anticholinergic drugs that may be bringing on dementia-like symptoms; also check the listed side effects and interactions to see if ‘cognitive impairment’ is listed.
  • Consider applying several of the suggested therapies from CERI’s table of anti-Alzheimer’s recommendations, especially DMAE, glutathione, and lots and lots of lethicin and B’s. Note that we forwarded info from CERI’s programs on dealing with Downs Syndrome via nutritional therapy to Mike’s brother when our little niece was born with it. She is mainstreamed and does really well, though she may top out at some point (is only 11 now). Mike’s mom thinks that it’s because little A “only had a mild case”– um, yeah. Trisomy-21, you have it or you don’t, eh? Dunno if their Alzheimer’s stuff is as good, but give it a shot.
  • This MIT research “suggests that a cocktail treatment of omega-3 fatty acids and two other compounds normally present in the blood, could delay the cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s disease” (omega-3′s, uridine, and choline)
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon oil, or deep-sea norweigan fish oil, are both the best omega-3/omega-6 good-ratio supplements out there. Flaxseed oil requires the body to do more conversion (a conversion which cats can’t do, found out about it on a make your own petfood site). Pasture-raised eggs, specifically the yolks, are an excellent source of omega-3; current indoor, factory-farmed eggs and meats are quite lacking in them compared to historical values. Most modern grain-heavy diets provide a ton of omega-6 but without omega-3 in the right ratios you run into trouble. Yes, that’s a very vague statement; go look these up yourself, I’m tired now.
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    A framework for understanding poverty, by Ruby K. Payne

    Whether you have grown up in poverty or in wealth, this book will teach you things you never knew about yourself and your culture, and how it differs from others. Worth buying or reading just for the “class assumptions” quiz, one each for poor, middle class, and wealthy. The questions alone will be a real eye-opener.

    I got the book through the library LINK+ system, thinking it was a socioeconomic text. It turns out to be a guidebook for folks in public service, such as teachers, program administrators, and health workers. The book very clearly and candidly tackles the differences in values between classes. It can get a bit heavy-handed at times, but that’s almost a requirement to hammer home the point that people in poverty (and they differentiate between generational and situational poverty) have different values from the middle class. The generationally wealthy have different values from the middle class, too, but the middle class doesn’t spend nearly as much time bashing them as individuals because of those values.

    Which, in my opinion, is why all 3 classes are included, as the message is that time and again one sees middle class “helpers” designing programs and individual approaches that are almost guaranteed to fail when dealing with people in generational poverty, because they go directly against the values of those people. Points are also raised about how the differing value sets work against people who are trying to reset their class affiliations, either from poverty to middle class, or from middle class to wealthy.

    In my specific case, I am made aware of certain values– and expectations! — of mine which are directly working against my success in some career goals and my satisfaction level in some friendships. That’s incredibly valuable to me. It’s also more than slightly upsetting, seeing more clearly the extent to which I’ve self-sabotaged various things over the years, and also how I’ve unwittingly sometimes ridden various assumptions to the top. Well, I’ll raise a glass to more conscious choices, and continue the learning curve.

    I mentioned in an earlier, friends-locked post that I had been feeling keenly disappointed in what I perceived as a lack of reciprocity among some people that I helped through difficult times. Well, there’s a direct-pattern value from generational poverty that says that one is required to share one’s good fortune with one’s community, and that the community will share back. People help each other through difficult times. The middle class community, on the other hand, values self-sufficiency, especially financial self sufficiency, above personal relationships on that level. If you get a bonus, you’re not even obligated to take all your friends out to dinner or buy a round at the neighborhood bar– those are poor to working class values, not middle class.

    A specific example– over the years, especially the ‘bad valley years’, I’ve cheerfully picked up the tab for lunches and dinners for friends who weren’t working. Fast-forward to now, when I’ve had some business disappointments (employee nightmare costing me a full quarter’s revenue, and the fiscal year’s profit; me taking some time off to finish a book project). The same friends are going strictly dutch when we go out, down to line items like who had a soda and who didn’t. Nice. Guess who feels like a dork? Not them! [PS- These lunch/dinner folks are not on LJ, afaIk, so if you're reading this and feel guilty, it's all in your head.]

    So I will chalk up several of those disappointments to class values. There are still one or two cases where I feel like folks personally took advantage of me, either because we were involved or because they perceived me as ‘rich’ compared to them, or both. But going forward, knowing the differences frees me from having to pick up the tab so much, from giving things away because I feel obligated to do so, and generally acting like I’m still stuck in rural NH/Maine during the 1970′s recession/depression.

    I also will work on confronting my feelings about how to integrate my love of dressing in unusual ways, and my hatred of brand brandishment with the undeniable FACT that brand conformity (in clothing) is perceived as reliability and stability by the class of folks who hire and fire at the levels I work, and who network socially while clad in those brands. Ugh.

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    If you’re looking for places in walking distance of where you live, or evaluating a neighborhood to see what’s walkable, try WalkScore, a maps mashup that shows resources in an area. It’s not perfect, but it may show you things that you didn’t realize were around a corner that you hadn’t visited, like a convenience store or a bookstore.

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    Discovered the excellent Public Health and Nutrition List” run out of UW. Lots of cites of interesting nutritional, morbidity, and research info.

    A really great posting by on the topic of thyroid and chronic fatigue led me to the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers web pages. Highly recommended. I’ll see if there’s one in the SF Bay Area, to support me in my continuing struggle to balance thyroid/energy levels and activity levels, with fewer stall-outs at 30K feet.

    For those looking for some of the research I’ve mentioned socially, here is one of the key papers on cinnamon’s effect on blood glucose, with a list of related papers at the end (most with links).

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    If you haven’t seen me in person in a while, it doesn’t mean I am avoiding you– time is slipping by me in odd ways, and suddenly another week.. or month.. has passed. I’ve also been skulking a bit, and trying not to make plans that I’d end up breaking due to moodiness or family stuff. We had some stuff going on with both of Mike’s parents for a while, where his mom was in and out of the hospital (she is out now for over 2 weeks) and his dad picked up a hospital bug while visiting her, so then he was in and out of outpatient urgent care. All seems to be well now.

    I’m enjoying various reading bits:

  • Norman Crowe, Nature and the Idea of a Man-made World (architecture and evolutions of building designs)
  • ATTRA publications on organic gardening
  • Designing California Native Gardens, Keating & Middlebrook
  • Hands-On PMP (book review for LOPSA)
  • The Machines’ Child, Kage Baker’s new Company novel– squee! I liked it, but (OF COURSE!) it ends on something of a cliff-hanger and now I’m in suspense again, grr.
  • re-reading Sharon Shinn’s ‘angel’ novels of Samaria
  • S.M. Stirling’s Oregon trilogy, ‘Dies the Fire’, ‘The Protector’s War’, ‘A Meeting at Corvallis’; making me want to actually suck it up and learn SCAdian or Marklander fighting; I really like the practical, non-fluffy paganism in the books too
  • new C.M. Kornbluth ‘Eater of Souls’, really enjoyed it (she did ‘Black Sun Rises’ Coldfire trilogy)
  • re-reading Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire books, need to troll used bookstores for them, they’re on the acquisition list nowAphids are getting my corn, but I may be holding them back enough to form ears, we’ll see. The first of the red kuri squash are ripening, stems going tan and getting woody, which is when they’re almost ready to pick. Beans, beans, more beans— have put up several quarts in the freezer, yellow, green, and purple. The latter will turn green when cooked, but are still fun.

    Mike fixed a clogged fuel line on the Bluebird today, and installed a new fuel filter. Last week he got all the batteries charging, after topping them off, and ran the generator. The previous week he took the generator battery out, cleaned it, and charged it here at home. Today he had the engine running long enough to bring it up to the normal 150F operating temp and rolled the bus back and forth a few times in the spot. Birdie is getting ready to ride the roads again– maybe to Burning Man, maybe to Oregon, certainly up to the Montebello Open Space Preserve for 10-meter contesting in the fall. Think biiig hamshack, with its own kitchen, bathroom, heat, air conditioning, roof-mount antennas, and genset. Plus a battery bank that can operate easily for those nice off the grid, off the gennie multipliers.

    See you in the future, whenever that actually gets here. Hugs to all n sundry.

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    If someone had asked me a few hours ago, “What kind of flowers do you like?”, I probably would have said, “I dunno, roses, but only the fragrant ones. Not sure what else… Stargazer lilies, I like those.”

    But that was before I spent the past couple of hours sorting my still-too-humungous seed collection. Even after giving away about 2/3 of my seeds (by volume, at least) I still have, um, a lot. Folks that expressed interest in having me do gardening at them, I’ve got you in mind, no fear. :-)

    Sorting through the flower seeds, I realized that I have definite favorites, based on combinations of colors, scent, ease of growing, and just plain “I really really like that”. I have so many different kinds of poppies that I had to start an envelope just for poppies, though I tossed the 3 kinds of cosmos in there too. Zinnias, I have scads of kinds of zinnias. There are my buddies the cornflowers, still going from an infinite number of packets from a $5 shoebox jammed with diverse seed packets that Mike brought home one day a couple years ago from a flea market.

    I think “cottage garden” is the unifying theme on the flowers I like. Nasturtiums, gladiolas, zinnias, dahlias, poppies, sweet peas, cosmos, it’s all that kind of thing. I rarely make bouquets, even though I picked most of my flowers (omg, did I just say ‘picked’?! gah!) to be kinds that require cutting or deadheading in order to keep blooming.

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    …is rocking my world.


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    …though not for a number of friends. Still, I’m easily amused.



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