I have a confession: I'm kind of afraid of flying. Not all aspects of it, straight and level and gentle turns is fine, but I'm not interested in extreme maneuvers or aerobatics. So it was a mental gamble when I accepted the kind offer of a flight with the Frasier Blues.
The Frasier Blues are an all civilian demonstration flying team. They fly at airshows all throughout the US. At the time I met them, they had four members and flew Navions. The lead pilot's Navion was in the shop so he was flying his Mooney. I was volunteering at the airshow, so one fine morning I was offered a ride with them during their practice session. With a mix of trepidation and excitement, I accepted the offer, electing to fly with Lead in his Mooney.
It was really something, flying in a four plane formation with the other planes seemingly inches away! Their movements were so perfect, so exact. Lead was a retired airline pilot with tens of thousands of hours under his belt and you could tell. When he spoke to his teammates, his voice was calm, quiet, almost soft. It was actually rather soothing. "Diamond formation, now," he'd say, and the planes would all snap into a perfect diamond. "Right turn, now." He reminded me of a NASA pilot. Then, "Break Right, Now..."
And suddenly the horizon snapped to vertical. The first time it happened, I squeaked and closed my eyes. The second time, I just kept my eyes closed. The third time, I kept them open! We spent a while flying very low across a field, once even popping up over a line of trees. We were not near any houses and I noticed the pilots picked a good, safe spot for it. It normally doesn't feel like you are going very fast in the air, this time it did! I had a lot of fun and learned a few things, too.
The Frasier Blues thoroughly impressed me with their precision, professionalism, and friendliness to lowly air show volunteers. They are a good group of guys.View Thread
Turning in an airplane is interesting. On the ground, when you are taxiing, you steer with the pedals, not with the wheel. You have two big fixed main tires and a little steerable nose wheel. You push with the main part of your foot to keep the plane centered on the yellow line, and if you need a bigger correction, you poitn your toes to use the brakes. One foot works the brake on the right main tire, one works the left, so if you need to stop straight ahead, you'd better use both feet! Moving the yoke or wheel gets you nothing but a laugh from the instructer.
I was lucky not to have driven a car much. I didn't have the reflexes to override, always wanting to use a steering wheel. That didn't mean I was instantly good at taxiing, of course, it still took practice. But eventually I was trundling merrily down the yellow line on the way to and from the runway.
Turning in the air is even odder. Then you get to use the control yoke, using the ailerons to tilt the plane to the right or the left. It's just like leaning on a bicycle if you are going around a turn really fast. You get to use your feet too if it's a really steep turn, because now the pedals control the rudder instead of the nose wheel and the brakes. It can be fun, watching the horizon tilt to a fifteen, thirty, forty-five, or even sixty degree angle!View Thread
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A member called me and said "My doctor authorized me to get three pills a day. WHy am I only being sent two pills a day?"
I asked for the prescription number. It dated back to 2010.
"It must be an old bottle," she said. "But why am I only getting two a day? My prescription says three a day."
I asked her when the last time was that she got medicine from us.
"I'm expecting it any day now," she said. "You're supposed to be sending it. I have the prescription right here."
"Have you sent it in yet?"
"No. But it says three a day."
Okay, let me get this straight. The last bottle this person has from us dates from four years ago. We have to have the prescription, of course, before we can send medicine. She isn't asking me why we haven't sent the medicine yet, she's asking me why her bottle, now, says two a day. So she's asking me in effect why her prescription, that she is holding in her hand and hasn't sent in, doesn't change the bottle that she got four years ago to read "three a day."
I politely told her she had to send in her prescription and we would be happy to send her three a day.
"Oh," she said. She was not elderly. She was a working professional. Who apparently thinks I have a time machine.View Thread
If you are a representative artist, observation is the key to everything. If you take pictures, look at your subject from all possible angles. See things others might miss. If you draw or paint, pay attention to where the light falls, where the shadows lie, how the colors change in your subject depending on when you look at it.
Try different ways of looking, too. Blur your vision and look at the masses, the major areas of color or form. Look at a tiny area of it. Try tracing just the outline of an object, to help you look at the negative space around it. Maybe even pull out a magnifying glass.
How you see is as important as what you see!
More and more, truth is treated as relative. Each person is thought of as having their own truth. While this may be useful for emotional response or philosophy, it can cause real problems when speaking about matters where there really is one truth.
For example, I see people all the time who believe what they want, even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, because they were taught that truth is relative. If a scientist is presented with facts, then they must adapt to those facts rather than ignore them in the face of their own agenda. If rainfall is higher than previous years in a given area, for example, then it would be insane to claim that it is dryer! Or if the actual temperatures of each day of the winter have been five degrees cooler, then it doesn't make sense to say the winter has been warmer.
People, both scientists and professors and laymen, often believe things despite evidence to the contrary. Truth is not relative, it is absolute. Perception is the only thing that is different. What are some examples you can think of?View Thread
I spoke to a very charming and gracous woman who, over the course of our call, revealed that she had been playing piano and organ for many years. This was ever since she played for her first wedding, 64 years ago. While I completed her order, we talked about music... I confided that I'd always wanted to learn an instrument and she said "you sound young, you always can." I suppose I am. At 35 I don't feel young anymore. But she ought to know... we spoke of bagpipes and their beauty, and how we'd both wanted to learn them at one point. As I closed the call I thought about what she said. The book isn't closed.
You are still young.
You still can.
What skill have you always wanted to learn?
I work the phones. Sometimes I get frustrated but many times I love my customers dearly.
I spoke to a World War II vet a few months ago. That population is dwindling and it was a real treat to talk to him. He was quite sharp and had traveled, we got to talking. He'd been some places I'd been, and though I didn't hear any war stories we connected quickly and parted friends.
Another day, there was a really nice lady who had lived in my town several decades ago. I was able to tell her what had changed, and what was different, and that some of the things she had loved so well about the area were still true.
And then there was the sweet-voiced Irish grandma who said "I want to talk to you next time," and when I told her that it was random whom she'd get and we didn't have extensions, hoped to talk to me anyway. A month later, I heard her again on the other line... she said "I wanted to get you, and I did." It's never happened before or since.
Many times I get calls from people expecting sto talk to omeone who is bored with their job, who doesn't want to hear their stories, who doesn't want to connect with them as people, who just wants to get it over with.
This is a re-post, but relevant to more than just weight loss. I did not write this, but I don't know who did either so I can't give proper credit.
Setting Realistic Personal Goals for Weight Loss
Personal goals are simple to make, but can have a tremendous influence on your outlook. By completing the incremental goals you set for yourself, you can closely follow the little improvements you're making on your way to your ultimate goal. Because the scale's reading is a relatively poor indicator of how your health is progressing each week, these smaller goals can help you see that, even when the scale is frustrating, weight loss surgery is doing you a world of good. To start bolstering your success with personal goals, make them SMART:
Specific. The more details you plan out on how you'll accomplish a goal, the easier it will be to reach it. Think about the when, what, where and how. Do you need anything to get started? On what days and at what times will you be working towards your goal? For example, don't say you plan on working out more this week—say you plan on walking in your neighborhood for 30 minutes four times this week and make sure you have everything you need to do so.
Measurable. You won't know when you've reached your goal unless you have some way to measure your progress. Make sure you have quantifiable criteria and a way to record them each day, like a journal, spreadsheet or smartphone app. For example, you can measure how many times you go for a walk, how many miles you walk, how many minutes you walk and, if you really want to get detailed, the calories burned and heart rate reached on each walk.
Attainable. There's no point in striving to reach a goal you will never realistically achieve. Though it's important to challenge yourself, your goals should always be within the realm of possibility. If your goals aren't attainable, they will frustrate you (which defeats the purpose).
Relevant. Your goals should be related to your weight loss progress in some way, but remember that this doesn't mean they should be focused on the pounds you're losing. Instead, think of other aspects of your health and lifestyle and why you want to improve them. Do you want to cook more because you enjoy learning new ways to make healthy meals? Do you want to exercise more because you love the way it helps you relieve stress?
Time-bound. You'll need set start and end dates for your goals to keep you motivated to reach them. A week works well for many minor goals and you should make sure you don't give any one goal too much time. Remember that you can give yourself an extension if necessary.
Inspiring words from PinkIsNancy in the dieting club, in response to a long discussion regarding bariatric surgery. There is some good advice here.
"As of today, it has now been officially 2 weeks since my surgery, and a total of 25 lbs lost. the aches and pains are subsiding finally, I am able to sleep in my bed instead of the recliner, the incision looks amazing for what it is, and I can have scrambled egg, cottage cheese (small curd), yogurts, and a variety of pureed items. so ... Yes, I am doing very well. I am now back to work (part time) until the doctor clears me for more hours. I still can not lift anything over 5 lbs, bend over, reach over head, and dance the samba... but then again, I couldn't dance the samba before surgery LOL! My mood is brighter than it has been in a long time. I am off all my medications except my insulin... but even that is 2/3 less than what I was taking. The doctor was baffled as was I, when my sugars spiked to 300 in the hospital. then we realized I was one of those 1% odd balls with my sugars... I burn my meds through my system very fast, instead of the norm which do the exact opposite. So for the time being, I am only using 25 units of Lantus instead of 75. and we'll 'wean' me off them slowly. Other than that... I'm doing very well. I remembered others saying they had 'hair loss' after surgery, But I realized that was because they didn't start their 'bariatric vitamins' right after surgery, as I have. so no hair loss. Also, I want to say thank you to all of you. Your ongoing support and encouragement has helped me so much! It would be difficult if there wasn't anyone that understood the frustrations and heartache of being morbidly obese. I so very much appreciate all of you beautiful souls! Pink"View Thread
This is in response to the Boston Marathon bombing. These words were spoken by Fred Rogers when he was talking to children about 9/11, but they are just as true today. He said:
""When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world." "
As we recover from difficult events and renew our vigilance and awareness of our surroundings, I hope that we can retain our awareness of the good in humanity as well as the bad. Our focus truly does determine our reality.View Thread
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A very important part of health and emotional wellness is getting the right food. Food is the foundation of life, along with water and air, and it affects everything you do. It's important that you understand what you need to keep yourself healthy.
I'll give an example, though of course everyone is different.
LIfelong I had subscribed to the idea that a healthy diet consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. I'd tried and tried to follow this plan but had been derailed by massive sugar cravings, my perennial downfall.
I discovered recently that grains were my downfall. Not just wheat, not just gluten, but rice and corn and many other things. Even if I didn't have blood sugar spikes, I'd have digestion problems. So one day I had a brain wave and... stopped. My spouse is on the same plan and has quit smoking with almost no problems, despite having tried and failed 12 times before.
Long story short, I feel awesome. I'm finally losing weight in a healthy way. I have lots of energy. I sleep better. My skin cleared up. All because I swore off rice, grain, bread, pasta, all that. I eat lean meat, fish and fowl, vegetables, fruits, lots of nuts. No sugar cravings anymore either.
My point with all of this is you may never know what your food issues are, and it's a good thing if you find out what your specific needs are. People vary widely. You may be surprised!View Thread
Sorry it's taken so long for me to respond, but you might want to think about my cheap phototherapy solution... looking at fields of color on your computer screen. Light boxes are expensive but full spectrum bulbs are less so. Try getting a few full spectrum bulbs, maybe an extra lamp or too, and go outside if you can.
Or do what I did and move to Arizona... just kidding about that last. I used to live in Washington State so I know how it is. Good luck!View Thread
Most people have heard of light boxes, I'm sure, and most people have heard of color therapy. I've found a simple, quick way to do this by just using a computer with monitor when I need a spirit-lift.
I start by going into a graphics program such as Microsoft Paint, something simple. You won't be drawing anything, just picking one color. Open a new file, and use the color fill tool to fill the entire screen with a bright color such as yellow. Orange works, so does red (for me at least) or any other bright color. I like warm colors for mood control.
Then, just gaze at the color for a while. Let it fill your vision. Imagine breathing in the color. Meditate, if you feel like it. You may be amazed by the results. I've found that the combination of light and color can really make a difference.View Thread
Music is another thing that can jolt you out of the doldrums. A happy song with a good beat, or a powerful piece of music can have amazing and immediate effects. Whether it's pop, jazz, heavy metal or worldbeat, there's something for everyone. I've found that it helps to have a CD or thumb drive or file of music that lifts your mood, so you can pop it in when you need a quick boost. Don't listen to those songs too often or you'll need to find new ones after a while.
Overly happy songs can have the reverse effect, it's good to find something that motivates or inspires you along with being happy.View Thread
I use this as a metaphor for that sense of 'spark' in your life. That feeling of a bright spot amongst the doldrums. When it's gone, the whole world seems gray and uninteresting and it's difficult to get motivated to do anything. How do we regain that spark? How do we remind ourselves that it's there?
Some find that mindfullness does it. Some are helped by being with loved ones. Some are 'sparked' by creativity, a pet, a favorite book, music. We can discuss this here, remind each other of ideas, and also be able to read the ideas later when we need a lift.
Quotes, meditations, ideas, jokes, bits of philosophy, and personal experiences are all welcome here.View Thread
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