Sometime today I had my 2000th reader Follow me on WordPress and 750th Follower on social media outside of WordPress. Wow! Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog, as well as to the many people who have responded to my blog with numerous “Likes” and even more views. 2750 Followers as of today’s date.
Blog Statistics January 1st, 2019 to January 15, 2020
TOTAL POSTS 60
TOTAL COMMENTS 472
AVG COMMENTS PER POST 8
TOTAL LIKES 4,194
AVG LIKES PER POST 70
TOTAL WORDS 44,081
AVG WORDS PER POST 734.68
When I first started writing this blog in 2011 I expect to have only a very few followers, likes and views, and didn’t really take blogging all that seriously until spring of last year, when I started to blog about the health challenges I am currently facing, as well as about various strategies related to a lot of different issues. Still, it is currently focussed around health issues, with a subtext running through about the story of my family and my romantic relationships.
So my blog is being read by a lot of you, and I really appreciate your genuine responses and comments over the past year. You’ve given me a lot to digest, and have made me feel both heartbroken, from time to time, and inspired, from other letters and comments. Your courage at facing real physical and emotional health problems inspires me to continue with this blog. If the information the blog conveyed gives anyone comfort knowing that they are not alone, or inspiration to take action to improve their situation, or simply education that allows them to understand someone with these problems, then I have done a service.
I am a true believer in the concept, “Tu Um Est”, which roughly means, It is Up to You! which is the motto of my undergraduate university, The University of British Columbia. I’m also a strong believer in lifelong learning, and acknowledge that while knowledge and information are purely temporary, changing moment by moment in ways we can’t even begin to anticipate, learning is an abiding, persistent process resulting in our constant evolution as human beings.
This blog celebrates these processes, and are in themselves evidence of constant change in my understanding of life today. Diseases thought to be incurable are now cured on an everyday basis. Things we thought were immutable truths have been proved false, or, if not totally false, incomplete. As I write into the future I will continue to seek out new ways to improve the quality of my life, through sharing the wisdom of others, passing on the things I’m learning as I go, and hopefully continue to illuminate and educate my followers, casual viewers, and fellow readers.
Once again. Thank You. It is humbling to realize that people appreciate what I’m writing, and are kind enough to say so.
Reprise from ten years ago – Welcome to my world of Art and life.
There was new beginning in my creative life in 2010 when I went to Nanaimo to take pictures of Bodysage 2010 and the Canadian Bodypainting Championships. I went as a photographer but ended up on stage for the finals at the Victoria Fringe Festival and Championships. Even more amazing, I won a prize for the best performance by a model.
Who knew I had it in me? Not me, that’s for sure, although I admit to having been on a stage a few times before in my 57 years of living. (I’m almost 67 now)
When I was just a young lad, in my early teen years, I modelled bathing suits for Jantzen Swimwear one summer. My aunt Physlis was a clothing designer with the company and she took me with her and introduced me to the stage.
It was first my modeling job, and, I must admit, my last until the Bodypainting championships.
I was happy just to be a photographer at the festival and show. There were a good number of beautiful models and skilled painters working together to create amazing designs. It was great to earn the respect and affection of the crew and a delight to shoot under the circumstances.
I got a lot of great shots, which I shared with the artists and models after it was over. Still, the biggest surprise was being asked to be painted on the Friday night before the big show.
Of course it was initially just a great joke. After all, everybody else was either a painter or a model, and I’d been taking thousands of shots of people nearly naked in all sorts of compromising positions.
Of course I said yes. I can take a joke as well as… as well I can, and I thought that it would be hillarious to be painted as a penguin for the party on Friday night. Who knew that it would be so popular with the models and artists that they insisted that I go into the show on Saturday Night at the Fringe Festival.
Well, the rest is history. And the dance of the Penquins has never been danced quite so awkwardly, or by such a comical character.
That performance and the photos I took that week launched me anew in the world of fashion photography, model portfolios, and just plain fun with new friends and a new generation.
Life is interesting when you start down a road you didn’t even dream existed.
I’m lost on a road to “God knows where.” Feeling scared. Uncertain. It’s my story right now, and I’ve good reasons for my emotional state. It’s not the first time in my life I’ve been lost or overwhelmed by circumstance. There’s no doubt my situation is difficult, and solutions to my problems seem beyond my current […]
Two years ago I wrote the above blog entry in my other blog “Out Here in Paradise” and re-examining some of the issues with which I was ensnared at that time have shown that progress is possible, even given serious and intractable problems.
Mine isn’t a new story. My health is not good, and is deteriorating over time. It is responding to my focus on trying to find a solution to my worst problems, and a way to cope with the things I won’t be able to control. My financial situation is a disaster, brought about by a series of mistaken steps, all of which seemed to be the correct decisions at the time, but have left me in serious debt, absent an income on which I can rely, and quite uncertain as to the potential for even basic survival, under my current situation.
Two years ago my health was a lot worse than now. At least it seemed so at the time. I had just got out of the hospital where I was extremely ill with pneumonia, with a new diagnosis of COPD, to go alone with my diabetes and chronic arthritic and neuropathic pain. I didn’t know it then but I also had the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia at work. I had a lot of good reasons to be depressed, just based on my health, not to mention a lifetime of fighting with bipolar depression even since my twenties, more than forty years.
So that was where I started to fight against continuing to fall down the Rabbit Hole, and started this blog, where I’ve largely focussed on discussing my attempts to improve my health and the quality of my life by taking intentional control of those things I can control.
If you follow this blog you will have read about my struggles with my medications, and coming to an understanding of how they interact with each other, and have many side effects, some of which still plague me.
You have seen my excitement of discovery when I read Dr. Jason Fung and realized that I can take control of my diabetes by making significant lifestyle changes, including intermittent fasting and radical reduction in the amount of carbohydrate in my daily diet. I came to realize that exercise every day is important, just not exactly for the reasons that I thought. I’ve lost a lot of weight on this journey, with the result being an increase in energy, a renewed sense of hope for the future, and a continued plan to improve matters further.
I’ve written about my challenges with my marriage and how we have evolved to a new set of understandings that allow for the possibility of staying intimate friends, while perhaps moving to a new description of our relationship. In our new relationship as Nesting Partners, rather than Husband and Wife, we talk far more openly about just about everything, than we even did in the past. Which is a good thing.
I’ve written about Polyamory, the state of being committed to being open to romantically or sexually loving more than one person at a time, within ethical boundaries and with full disclosure of the partners to each other and to every new person brought into relationship. We’re both struggling with our new definition but have continued to be loving to each other while figuring out how to move forward into the future.
In that Blog from two years ago I was feeling completely defeated financially as well. Things in this regard haven’t resolved themselves entirely, but I have made strides in dealing with my debts by filing bankruptcy. It wasn’t fun and it isn’t over yet, but it will be soon, and I will be able to move on into some meaningful employment or business. I’ve also learned the outcome of my problems with the Securities Commission, and while I’m far from sanguine about the Decision made, and the sanctions against me, I am in a place where I have begun to see how I can move forward from here. I have accepted entirely that I am accountable for my current financial situation, and if I am to rise again, it will be because I make it so.
Here are a few random thoughts about how I will get out of this mess.
Make a list, detail the issues including both those which seem unsolvable and those which appear to have potential solutions, no matter how unpalatable.
Take concrete steps to begin to address some of the issues. Whether or not I can solve everything, or even most things, I can do something about most things. I desperately need to break the hold that my emotional condition has on me.
Start listening better to the people in my life who care about me. At the moment they seem to believe in me more than do I myself.
Creatively analyzing my situation with a view to possible improvements in it. A little improvement is better than none. Maybe everything isn’t quite as far gone as I currently believe, maybe I can still pull myself back from the brink. Of if not, figure out how to ride out the storm caused by going over the edge.
Let go of the past, embrace the future. What is, is. What has already happened is done, over and can’t be changed. But what has not yet happened, may never happen, or may result in outcomes totally different than anticipated by my fears.
I haven’t entirely let go of the past, and I continue to work on those things from the past that still cause havoc in my life. What can say, two short years later, is that there is hope, and things have actually improved, through hard work, a renewed practice of personal discipline in following my new lifestyle, and a willingness to be open and transparent to my partner, which means a lot less anxiety of both our parts, and a better, if not a little more complicated, redefinition of our lives, both together and apart.
It’s Thursday night, and I’m sitting in an airplane, about to take off for New York. I’m heading home from Las Vegas after attending Obesity Week 2019, the world’s largest obesity medicine conference, a collaboration between The Obesity Society and The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons.
I don’t quite know how to express my feelings and thoughts about this event, but the words ‘anger’ and ‘hopelessness’ immediately come to mind. My anger and hopelessness are best exemplified by the first keynote speech, delivered by Dr. William Cefalu, who is chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association.
After accurately describing our country’s spiralling healthcare costs, and the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes and obesity, Dr. Cefalu went on to discuss the benefit of low-calorie approaches for diabetes reversal. He also highlighted bariatric surgery and medications. But ultimately, he harped on one point, that is frequently repeated at conventional obesity medicine conferences:
“There is no best diet. The best diet is one that a patient can adhere to.”
The above article by Dr. Tro Kalayjian the physician behind Dr. Troys Medical Weight Loss and Direct Primary Care is a discussion about why it is so difficult for the medical profession to accept fundamental changes in medical understanding about diabetes and current treatments for it. It is why patients continue to get contradictory advice from doctors who really ought to know better than to recommend any number of established and well known dietary strategies that simply don’t work. It’s not that they don’t work anymore, it’s that they never worked, and there is no scientific basis for any of them.
This sounds pretty revolutionary to me. The esteemed Canadian doctor is joined by a number of US based colleagues who are challenging the status quo in the treatment of diabetes, and sending a message to their profession. Just stop! Stop misleading the public! Stop lying to patients! Stop killing your clients!
Of course, they are doctors and they don’t quite put it that way. But what else can you say when so many health professionals and authorities continue to promulgate misleading information, such as “moderation is the best strategy” when clearly, based on current information that is simply not true. Moderation will kill you if by moderation you include relatively mundate advice about carbohydrates and sugar. What sciences know is that consuming carbs in excess of certain pretty limited amounts leads to metabolic syndrome, metabolic syndrome leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to diabetes. Diabetes leads to lots of really bad stuff that can kill you, or at the least, make you really really sick.
If you or someone you love is fat, obese, or has diabetes or prediabetes follow the link on this blog entry to the above article and understand what is being said. Doctors are willfully ignoring solid medical evidence in favor of standing by old, disproved theories because they are afraid of rocking the boat. Read Dr. Fung’s book, the Diabetic Code.
Stop believing anyone who says that eating many small meals a day is ok. Stop following advice so far heard that has led you to being overweight and obese. If you want to live and healthy, long life, fire your current endrochronologist if he or she disparages the most recent research and tells you not to follow Dr. Fung’s advice. Run away from anyone who says that carbs and sugars are not the cause of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and many many many other life threatening diseases.
This is the first award Rain Coast Review has ever received. For that matter this is the first award I have ever received on any of my blogs over the years, which is actually significant since I’ve been blogging for more than ten years on different sites, and on different subjects. No blog I’ve ever done has had more follower or views either, than this one. From this I conclude that the topics in this blog must be of more direct interest to other people than the others.
http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/ My thanks to Dear Kitty1 for the nomination. Writing a blog can be a lonely avocation, and sending out my words to the universe sometimes seems to be the height of foolishness, especially if expecting a response to those words. An award is something more than just a response, it’s a kind of thank you back for having written something I noticed and that mattered. Wow. Really? Thanks a lot.
As for the conditions of the award: here are my answers for the seven questions.
Who is my favorite visual artist? Well, that would be me, myself and my art, which is mainly photography, but also pencil drawing and graphics. I have a YouPic account to display some of my PG 13 graphics and photography.
What is my favorite bird species? Crows are my favorite birds because they are (a) native to British Columbia, where I live, and (b) they really are so smart and generally don’t put up with a lot of shit from people. They remember insults or threats, and they will aggressively protect themselves and their offspring.
Which is my favorite mammal species? I’m kind of fond of human beings. Truthfully I actually really like almost all species of mammals, but there isn’t any other than human that I’d really like to be physically intimate with. Although roughhousing with my dog or scratch my cat’s ears is sometimes pretty close.
What is my favorite insect? Grasshoppers. Naturally. Good eating especially quick fried on a stick with garlic salt. Sounds crazy but they’re really tasty.
What is my favorite plant. I don’t really have one but I can tell you that my dog really likes to chew on grass, especially if his tummy is upset. He swallows a lot of fresh green grass and once he has had enough regurgitates it. This seems to be an effective stomach remedy for her. That’s good enough for me.
Where do most visits to my blog come from? More than half of my visits and views come from the United States, although I have a lot from the UK, Canada and the rest of the English speaking world. Some from Asia and the rest from Europe. Not many, if any from South America or non English speaking Africa. It’s fun to see where people are who read me.
If I was invited to make a space journey, to which solar system planet would I like to go? As long as I didn’t have to stay there permanently I think that Mars would be the first choice, after the Moon (which of course isn’t a planet because it circles the earth rather than the Sun). I would choose Mars because I believe that it will be the first planet on which human being will permanently settle and colonize. I’m old enough to know that I’m probably never going to be picked for a journey into space anyway, but I’m fascinated by space exploration and hope that mankind will populate both the moon and Mars while I’m still alive. I remember vividly standing in a field with my Dad as a young boy watching the first Sputnik cross the sky. My Dad was so excited, and told me that the satellite was man’s first step into becoming a space faring species, and that he expected I would live to see the first man in space. Of course, he had no idea that within a decade Neil Armstrong would step onto the surface of the moon. Of course I was riveted to that event on televisions, which of course was only in black and white TV.
The seven questions for my own nominees are:
How many different jobs have you had in your lifetime so far?
Are you married?
Have you been divorced?
Do you have children? How many?
Do you have grandchildren?
Do you even like children? Why or why not?
Name one child you like by first name.
My Three nominees for the Real Neat Blog Award
The following are three of my favorite blogs because they challenge the established view on things, and they each do it will some flair and style.
Late in 2014, I made this Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I wanted to try to do something about that.
It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty. So, I made the award with this logo then.
It is good to see that this award, which later came back to me, since then has gone to many places of the blogosphere. And that some people have made new logos for it; like the one at the top of this blog post.
The rules of this award are:
Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.