Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lost in Walmart...

Yesterday, I had to stop at Walmart on my way home from work...I was getting ready to check out, and saw a little girl about 4 or 5, and she was starting to cry and looked panicked. I asked her if she had lost her mother, and she was sobbing and saying her mommy was just there a minute ago, etc. I told her that the lady up front could call her mommy on the loudspeaker, and to come with me. She trustingly reached up and held my cart handle and I walked her over to a cashier and told her the little girl had lost her mother. As a Walmart employee was walking off with her to page her mother on the loudspeaker, her father came running up to get her.

This incident might seem innocuous enough, but it really bothered me. I realized how vulnerable little children are when they don't have their parents there to protect them. I thought of how scary it would be if one of my little girls got lost, trusted a stranger to help them, and ended up getting hurt by that person. I wondered what to tell my kids about who you can and cannot trust when they get lost in a store. My heart also went out to all of the poor little children that are kidnapped by strangers and sexually abused. If a child can be that terrified by losing her mother for about 2 minutes in a store, imagine how much worse it is when that child is forcibly stolen and abused. I don't know how human beings can do those types of things to innocent, trusting children. :(

Friday, March 24, 2006

Pigs like mud...

This is what A******* learned in kindergarten today...

"Pigs like mud because it cools them down so they can't get a sunburn."

She drew this picture and wrote this all by herself.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bye-Bye Birdies... kid problems ever end? Our teenage daughter A....... pulled a great one yesterday. She went outside with our two cockatiels (whose wings have not been clipped in a long time and are able to fly) on her shoulders. They sat there calmly, until she started walking back in the house and made a dramatic "blowing-kiss" movement with her arm and startled the birds. They flew away and this happened just after dark. We tried to find them with flashlights, but to no avail. Do kids realize that we have rules for a reason? Do they not know that we had a rule to not take the birds outside for this very reason? Now the kids have lost two pets, cost us the $160 we spent on the birds, and maybe caused the death of the poor little cockatiels that maybe won' t survive in the wild. If we had another two cockatiels, it is likely she would take them outside tonight because she never seems to learn from her mistakes. :( Anyways, we are sad the little guys are gone...birds are more personable than you would think.

How to know you have arrived...

In an assessment I conducted a few weeks ago, I learned the secret of success...

When asked what being successful meant to him, he answered, "To not live in poverty. To get financially stable. To be able to buy a 40 ounce beer when I want one without having to beg two bucks off of someone."

I must be a success, because that is something I am capable of doing. :)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A New Way to Save the World

There is a man that is receiving inpatient mental health services that believes that he can save the world and mankind if he will jump off his bed and hit his kneecaps on the floor...He has to be on a 1 to 1 with staff at all times because he keeps banging his knees on the ground, and I believe he has broken his kneecaps. If you could save mankind from today's ills by merely jumping off a bed onto your knees on a tile floor, would you do it? In his delusional thinking, he might be expressing more unconditional love than most of us possess...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Photo Requests...

My Ebay store has been picking up a lot more business this week...Maybe because I added NativeMinnow's Photo to my stock...I even have some people buying photos and making requests for other photos. One guy purchased like 6 photos and then told me several places in town that he would like photos of...I took some today and made some cool prints out of them. I think he will probably buy some of those.

Also, one of the women at Costco (where I do my enlargements) told me that if I would get some photos of John Deere tractors, she would buy some of those from me. I will keep my eye out...this is Bakersfield afterall...I am sure there are plenty.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Day in the "Lie"fe of C******** was my major irritant yesterday...I found out my 13-year-old son has been slacking in school and had like 40+ missing or late assignments. The rule we established in our home a few years ago to deal with A***** when she was being a slacker in school is that the kids would have to complete the homework assignment (even if they couldn't receive credit) and write a 3 page report for every missing assignment. Well, C****** owes me an entire 70 page spiral notebook full of reports. I feel bad, but he knew the consequences when choosing not to turn in his homework, so I don't feel I can go back on that. Anyhow, I got home last night and asked him how much homework he did. He said that he worked so hard and finished like 17 different homework assignments. I asked to see them, so he gets out a notebook and begins to show me the ones he completed that night. The first 4 were black ink. The fifth was in pencil.

I said, "You didn't do that one tonight!"

To which he responded, "Yes I did."

I asked, "Then Why is it in pencil instead of ink?"

He replied, "Because the pen ran out of ink."

Knowing that C***** lies almost pathologically over even small insignificant matters, I asked to see the pen.

He stammered, "I threw it in the garbage can outside."

Calling his bluff, I took him out to the driveway and dumped out the garbage. "Find me the pen," I demanded.

Maintaining his lie, he began to look through the garbage on the driveway, acting amazed that the pen wasn't there.

"Where is the pen?" I demanded again.

"I don't know! I threw it away! I promise!" he cried, as his eyes brimmed with tears.

Even after confronted with the metaphysical impossibility that the pen could have disappeared, and the one-in-a-billion chance that someone had come by and dug through the trash to pull out a pen that did not work, he still swore up and down that the pen was thrown into that garbage can. This went on for 10-15 minutes to the point I began to wonder if maybe C*****, because he can be scatter-brained at times, might have thrown it into a different garbage can. When asked this, he denied it, again sticking to his story.

Time for a different angle (I kept on this so doggedly because I am really tired of his constant lying...I am starting to worry that it is going to adversely affect his future if he doesn't stop doing it soon). "Okay, I will give you the benefit of the doubt for the me on the paper you wrote where the ink was running out."

Instead of coming clean, he dutifully walked into my room where the assignments were and said, "See right there."

I looked and saw writing with dark ink, and no signs that a pen had gone dry. " looks like a normal pen...I don't think it actually ran out."

More tears, streaming down his face, "I swear it did! Why don't you believe me?"

By this time I was extremely angry, because I knew for a certainty that he was lying once again over something completely meaningless. If he had told the truth, he would have been chided for not doing more homework, and maybe given another assignment to do.

Well, after about another 10 minutes of denial, he finally came clean with the truth...

He had been watching TV after school, helping a friend play Gameboy, and had only completed one assignment.

I am truly scared for his future if he doesn't learn soon that honesty is an important virtue, and if you have no integrity, you have nothing.

On a brighter note, today I came home, most of the kids' chores were done, and C***** had completed like 15 of his missing math assignments and one page of a report. Not perfect, but showing some effort at improving. I just wish he would start understanding the importance of a man's word.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wow..I only missed 21 hours of work this pay period...

Wow...good thing Melissa is working so much overtime, because with President's Day and the kids and I being sick, I missed 21 hours of work over the past two weeks...Oh how I miss sick leave and vacation time...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rant on sensationalized media reports...

Now I have to post a revision to the blog on Iraqi violence...I didn't realize that over 1,300 Iraqis have already died due to last week's sectarian violence. That's a lot more serious than gang violence here...

However, I still feel that about half the people in the US are so spiteful right now because of their hatred for Bush, that they would celebrate if the Iraq War actually spiraled out of control into a civil war. The people that hate Bush the most are the ones that see things in black and white. If the war in Iraq is successful, and the Iraqi people embrace their new freedom and democracy, and unify themselves in the love of their nation and allow that nationalistic love to overcome their sectarian hatred, the people that hate Bush would be upset because somehow that would mean that everything Bush did was right or good. They are so vehemently opposed to the war, that they want the process to about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Politics are so polarized right now, and sadly, the media is also so polarized right now. It is very difficult to actually find the truth. Were mistakes made in prosecuting the war? Yes. Was it a complete and utter failure? No. Did Bush emphasize certain intelligence that later turned out to not be true? Yes. Did he blatantly and schemingly lie to the American populace? No. I really think it is sad that people get so caught up in conspiracy theories and vilifying a person, that everything turns black and white in their minds.

Another example of this is the current uproar over the video briefing President Bush received re: the possibility that the Katrina storm surge could top the levees and cause flooding. Bush recently made a statement "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees." Now Bush-haters everywhere are jumping on this video and saying it proves he is "lying" and "covering up." The fact is, the man with the national hurricane watch program had said that their was a possibility that "maybe the storm surge would top the levees and cause flooding." Most experts believed that the storm surge would POSSIBLY push water over the top of the levees, but not actually breach them. Bush's statement was not a lie.

An interesting link that discusses post-breach news reports and expert interviews supports what Bush said on the Today show... The link is here...

Anyway, I didn't mean to get into this for this long, but I really am tired of Americans seeing the world in Black and White.

One of the main things I value about my training to become a psychologist is that you can never jump to conclusions, that you should never "overanalyze" one piece of evidence and draw conclusions from that (although Psychodynamic/Freudian psychologists would disagree), and that you should never try to analyze anything out of context. An example of this is a recent psychological evaluation that I conducted on a woman with Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type. For years, she has maintained that her diagnosis is Anxiety Neurosis. Many people have labeled her as crazy for that. Anxiety Neurosis isn't even in the current DSM-IV. I bet many mental health professionals considered her holding onto that diagnosis a sign of delusional thinking (which it actually is to some degree) and more seriously that she probably made the diagnosis up in her crazed mind. I even thought this initially, but I like to understand things in context and a quick Google search indicated that Anxiety Neurosis was a DSM-III diagnosis that was quite similar to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It wasn't something she had made up. Many of the other delusions she has are based somewhat in reality too. For example, she thinks she does not need antipsychotics because one of the first times she was hospitalized for a psychotic break was after a thyroidectomy in the early 70s. The doctors gave her Synthroid (synthetic thyroid hormone) and the symptoms desisted. Ever since that day, she has held onto the false belief (delusion) that all she needs is Synthroid, even though other doctors have documented that in other hospitalizations for psychotic breaks, administering just Synthroid wasn't enough. It required antipsychotics. Without knowing the context, a person would just assume that this was some delusional rant...but in understanding, the delusion (although still a delusion) makes more sense.

Finally, everyone knows that Bush is not the greatest speaker in the world. There are calendars and books filled with "Bushisms" of things that he has said that sounded silly. If I was always put on the spot, and facing hostile questions from people who hated me, who were ready to pounce on any word I said and overanalyze it and misrepresent the true meaning, I think I would make some errors in speech myself. I hated this as early as Dan Quayle's vice presidency. Dan Quayle was a senator and a vice president. He was smart, capable, and successful in his life. HOwever, when in stressful situations, he said things that sounded funny or idiotic. Dan Quayle was not stupid, but the hostile media grabbed ahold of those situations and created a negative public opinion about Mr. Quayle.

I am also tired of the media sensationalizing everything. It might sell stories, and gain viewership, but it is hurting the news media in the long run. I think more and more people are going to become disenamored with the media and less trusting of what the media presents to them. If even the news has to have a political slant then how can you trust the news? It becomes propaganda for the right and the left extremes and basically worthless. I do like the Jim Lehrer news program... (I think that is the name of it). Of all the news shows I see, that is the one that does the best job of stating the facts without passing judgment. I can watch that and draw my own conclusions...

One final annoyance I have felt regarding the news media. It is about the Dick Cheney incident. Again, because the press is mainly composed of more liberal thinkers that have vilified Dick Cheney and portrayed him as this secretive, evil, plotter out to crush the world, they talked of the "cover-up" that occurred after Mr. Cheney accidentally shot his friend in the face. Can you imagine that you were hunting, shot your friend on accident, and saw him fall? Psychologically, that is scarring to a person. That is a hard thing to cope with, and extremely difficult to get over. Now add to that the knowledge that when the information does get out, the family of the victim is going to be harassed by the media hounds, that it is going to be portrayed as a cold calculated act, that late-night shows are going to make jokes for weeks about what possibly was the most traumatic experience of your eager would you be to go to the media? I don't recall the amount of time that passed before the victim's sister talked with Mr. Cheney about releasing the news to the media...whether it was the next day or two days later, but Mr. Cheney, after coming to more to grips with what he had done, and knowing that his friend probably wouldn't have serious lasting effect, felt it was the right thing to do as well. Of course, when she told the media, the initial reports were that Mr. Cheney had shot his friend in the face with a high-powered rifle as opposed to a small-bored shotgun with light pellets designed to kill doves, but not damage the meat excessively...the media just almost always gets it wrong in their attempt to glamorize or sensationalize stories.

I have to get home to the kids so I will go now...

Oh, one more show my bi-partisan nature, I also felt it was ridiculous how the Republicans sensationalized the Clinton impeachment trials, etc. etc. etc.

Too bad we are the "entertain-me" generation...if we didn't require being "entertained" to get our attention, maybe the news would be more balanced....more boring, but more balanced...Then we could get the truth.

Up late with sick kids...

If anyone is curious as to why I am posting blogs at 2:30 in the morning, it is because my toddler is sick with a cough, slight fever, and possible earache. Too much fun...I missed work on Monday to stay with her, my teenagers have taken turns staying home on Tuesday and Wednesday (they were somewhat sick too), and now I think I will have to miss work tomorrow. We have saved $100 in babysitting costs, but if I miss out on another full day of work, we will lose out on about $200 in salary. I hate not having benefits right now...oh for the days when I was a valued employee that had sick time and vacation time and paid holidays. Now I am but a lowly intern... :(

Ebay Store Logos

Here are some examples of some of the EBay Store Logos I have sold on Ebay. If you are in the market for a store logo, click the link below and buy one. I will design one to your specifications for only $6.95.