Thursday, August 24, 2006

How Hot IS It?

Well, in Arkansas, it's so hot that our normally nice and polite Little Rock Zoo chimpanzees, in an obvious attempt to call even more media attention to the problem of Global Warming, are resorting to "gorilla tactics (HAR! HAR, HAR! Get it? Guerilla? GORILLA? Come onnnnn!) and knocking out documentary filmmakers with large rocks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Extra, Extra, Read all about it...

If any of you have been wondering how I have been doing the past few days, well,... so-so. I have been a bit down lately, and the pdoc has me on new meds so who knows, any day now I may be back on top.

Anyway, I just wanted you all to know that I have been keeping up with the world and especially the local news even though I have been feeling down.

Now, just because we live in Arkansas and in a rural area does not mean we don't have hard-hitting journalism. Why, I ran across this little gem, just the other day in the in the local paper.

Click image to Enlarge

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Enter at your own risk.

If anyone has come to my site via my wife's, then they may have a little insight into me and my illness. My mental illness. Ooooh, the cliche already stirs images, doesn't it? I have bipolar disorder (more images) and by now being managed through more numerous medications than I care to go into, it is for the most part beaten into submission. I am not sure submission is the correct word here, for it is always lying just below the surface, and if you ever let up on it for a moment--just a moment--your life will change. Maybe in just a small way like not saying "Hi" to everyone at work, to having a complete out of order yelling exchange with your spouse for......well, anything.

Bipolar disorder is a hideous Beast. That is the term by which I shall now refer to it in this post. It is a low-down insidious Beast with no care for the lives it touches and the destruction it leaves in its wake. It has many faces and is arguably one of the toughest mental illnesses to diagnose. The statistic, I believe, is that it takes nearly 8 to 10 years from first symptom to 'achieve a definitive' diagnosis. If there is such a thing. My diagnosis took approximately 25 years. Why? Incompetent doctors? Uncaring doctors? I believe it was mostly the old cliche of only going to see the doctor when I was at the bottom end of a cycle, the depressive mode. You get massive scripts for anti-depressants, which anyone in the know can tell you only worsens the condition by eliminating the lows and bringing you back to the (oh-so-glorious??) mania. But, oh, I have seen my share of quacks. I mean pure, pill-pushing, not-giving-a-shit-but-to-collect-their -insurance quacks. Some, more than one in my opinion, were in worse shape than I when I walked in their tiny litte exam rooms and listened to their hurried hushed tones, barely audible above the ambient noise machine used in a lot of offices to "make your conversations more private."

Now, depending upon the severity of the Beast, there are at least irrational behaviors that may and sometimes do appear as the disease progresses, and there are disgusting and sometimes unforgivable behaviors, let's say scars, which the Beast leaves upon our lives and upon the people in our lives. I have plenty of these. Some great, some small. Some which people will never know about. Some which I am greatly proud to have overcome, and some I wish and pray to God that never happened, because their scars are so deep in my soul as to never be erased. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Then, thank you Beast. Thank you Beast? Never.

I wasn't the complete "as seen on 'Cops'" bipolar patient. Oh, I did have my run-ins with local law enforcement. I did as the vast majority of bipolar patients do in their manic phases: try to self-medicate. Oh, at the time these were considered the 'good times.' The good times. How utterly ironic. And you know what? A lot of them were. At those times the Beast had me believing they really were. Looking back, that was so sad, but true. I had been hospitalized a few times, and I did get a couple of DWI's. Then the good times got worse at an alarmingly fast rate. I drank even more, my spending was out of control, I was unkind to the opposite sex, and used a variety drugs to help extend these periods of mania. I mean, who wouldn't want to feel on top of the world? At least for fifteen minutes?

God watched over me at these times. I know he did. Many times I could have been arrested. But, with "luck," I wasn't.

I finally found a program that helped me with the drug and alcohol problems that had decided to hitch a ride on this adventure that was my life with the Beast. This last time has been the the one that really opened my eyes, and I have been clean and sober for 28 months. Truthfully, I think my proper diagnosis and treatment of the Beast has been what has kept me sober. It was my desire for maintaining mania that led to my drug use. I really believe that, but will never test that theory. I occasionally think I could handle a drink. But, I won't have one. I've been through too much.

Nutshell, to today...bipolar disorder sucks! It STOLE 25 years of my life! I served a prison term of unrealized goals, failed relationships, lost friends, and there are things I can never, ever get back. I have an IQ of 141, yet I will never finish my college degree because of this damn BEAST. I have accumulated nearly 160 hours of credits that add up to nothing. Nothing. That is one thing that haunts me till this day. I know there are programs that might help me with this goal. But, it will probably never happen.

I have the most intelligent, beautiful woman I have ever met for a wife. I have the most beautiful daughter in the whole world. I am sorry all you other readers, but I do. I was an adopted child so she is the only blood relative I have on this Earth and I ADORE her. No father could love his child more. Sorry again all you parent readers. Good Lord, she looks just like me.Daddy'sGirl3I have to believe that is God in his infinite wisdom showing me that I do get a second chance. with her, and with MY life.

There are things that still hurt me and hurt every struggling person with this Beast. One of the worst is dealing with your family, friends, and just generally people who are ignorant of the Beast. Properly medicated we are just as normal and healthy as anyone else on this Earth. These innocently ignorant people see the properly medicated bipolar, and think "See, they can do it if they would only just try!" They say the most hurtful things imaginable:. "You are only doing this because you can get away with it." God, that hurts. Or, "It's only a matter of will-power." It is very true that some allowances will have to be made for a bipolar person. Sometimes, we just can't cope. This will create strife and we can't help it, even in a healthy bipolar. There are times of year that are just "bad."

Would you blame a severe diabetic for needing insulin or an epileptic for requiring anti-convulsants for seizures? Would you get just too tired of helping your brother out of the house if he had a heart disease and became too bothersome?

Give those of us who deal with the Beast the credit we deserve. We fight battles that many of you will never know. The rest of you will never know the pain it causes us when we do something that hurts you. And please never, ever discount us because of a disease.

That's all I have.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

And now.....the 'Tater

Painted in my beloved Arkansas Razorback red.

Six feet of spud-'splodin splendor!

This baby was customized with several deluxe features, like a beveled barrel for coring the spuds as they are loaded; creating a much better seal between the cored potato and the gun. More bang and distance. Which, by the way was calculated over numerous shots to be approximately 1,000 to 1,300 feet.

For consistency in the firing mechanism, I used a small stun gun. I had tried a gas-grill ignition lighter but it was very inconsistent. Then--a stroke of genius--the stun gun. Fires every time. Prides itself on that fact, even. This provided the perfect ignitor.

I will be adding a new handle to compliment the position of the stun gun to create greater aiming capability. If I had only purchased one of the RIFLED PVC GUN BARRELLS I saw for sale online for a 50 % increase in accuracy and distance could be increased dramatically.

bipolar planet
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