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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Small Survey Finds Driving Seniors' Cellphone Use to Be Nearly as Bad as Younger People's │ Water Fluoridation Still in the News │ Some Blood Pressure Talk

I neglected to mention in yesterday's post that while my younger brother Mark was home doing some yard work in the afternoon, my eldest step-son Tho ─ who had stayed the previous night with his girlfriend somewhere ─ arrived home, and Mark must have committed the lad into mowing the lawn.

So awhile after Mark left for the day, Tho got at it.

And then not long after he had finished, his girlfriend pulled up in her car on the street outside, and Tho headed on out to join her ─ apparently to spend yet a second consecutive night away from home with her.

He must have been so pleased to have come home when he did, getting enlisted by Mark to perform that mowing job.

I was home alone last evening, so I decided to check out something different on the Android TV Box. I rather enjoy watching The Voice ─ sometimes it is rousing, and other times quite hilarious. However, there are those other times when it affects me deeply in an adverse way and makes me feel like I have done nothing but waste my entire life.

It has evoked the emotion that I associate with an urge to suicide.

But this isn't what I meant to delve into ─ I want to speak of the "something different" that I tried out last evening.

I had previously noticed that other versions of The Voice are listed in the Android TV Box, so last evening I decided to check out one of them. I opted for the current season of the U.K. version of The Voice, selecting the first episode.

Initially I couldn't understand why ─ as the judges were being introduced one-by-one ─ reference kept being made to Australia. And then I finally realized that there had been a filing screw-up, and it was the first episode of the current season of Australia's version of The Voice that I had found myself with.

But that was fine ─ I had only selected the U.K. version because it was the first in the list of foreign versions of the series.

As for those four judges, I of course know of Boy George very well; and Seal is someone whose name and face are very familiar to me, but I know nothing of his music.

The two women judges were virtual unknowns to me, although I think I may have the remotest vague familiarity with the name Kelly Rowland, but I am not entirely positive. Destiny's Child had always just been a girl band name to me ─ I know nothing of their music.

Delta (Goodrem) was entirely unknown to me. She's sure a looker though! But Kelly grabbed lots of my notice because of the extremely short, tight skirt she wore ─ her long legs looked magnificently formed as she frequently pranced about, or just put on a display in her chair.

I enjoyed the show immensely, and even tuned in the second episode of the season. I plan to watch the remainder of the episodes in the next few weeks.

I was struck by a couple of differences the show has over the American version.

Whenever contestants come out on stage to perform, the place is utterly silent, and their footsteps are even audible ─ heck, even their occasional sighs are loudly hard at the microphone once they are pulling themselves together to start their song before the music kicks in.

It is very quiet in the theatre during their debut, right from when they make their entrance to walk on stage. It's as if the audience is breathless.

And meantime, we can clearly hear what the judges may be saying to one another as they speculate about what they are about to hear. With the U.S. version, this sort of conversation is not as apparent. The Australian version must have microphones right there with the judges for that purpose, siphoning away the sound of their conversation for just the T.V. viewing audience to hear ─ the performers and theatre audience apparently hear nothing being said by those judges during this period of theatrical silence.

A third difference between the Australian and the American versions might be how the judges entreat a performer in order to have the singer select them for coaching. Beautiful Delta actually went right up to a fairly muscular and good-looking ex-rugby player after he had done his song, and it seemed to me that she may have mouth-kissed him.

And she lingered long at his side on the stage, imploring him to choose her.

Leggy Kelly did much the same thing with another performer ─ not the kiss, but there is definitely a whole lot more interaction between judges and guests going on than happens on the U.S. show.

I like it! It's actually very titillating.

Anyway, after I was done with T.V. for the evening, I delayed getting to bed because I was insecure about making the house go dark when there were no cars in the open dual carport nor the driveway ─ I tend to feel concern that someone might perceive the house as a target for intrusion.

I finally just left the kitchen light on, and went to bed barely ahead of 11:00 p.m. without use of my earplugs.

But I had a very broken night of sleep. In fact, at one point before 2:00 a.m. I was awake sufficiently that I just decided to rise and use the bathroom on the chance that it would negate any need to do so later into my night.

Around 4:00 a.m., though, I must have been into a very superficial state of sleep, for I was awakened by noise my youngest step-son Poté was making downstairs, perhaps in the kitchen ─ my impression was that he had just gotten home.

So I used the bathroom a second time just because I was awake and wanted to be as comfortable as possible to encourage further sleep. Unfortunately by then, though, I was experiencing a migrating nasal passageway blockage ─ depending on the positioning of my head, it would slowly move from the uppermost nasal passageway to the lowermost.

Since I was entirely reduced to breathing with just one nostril, sleep was difficult to achieve.

Finally, at 5:49 a.m., I struggled so hard to appease my oxygen-starved lungs that I just decided to call it a night, tired as I definitely was. I am convinced that having a nasal passageway closed up as I experienced must be as hazardous to one's health as is sleep apnea.

I was soon at work putting more content into the edit I am working on of an old post at my Siam-Longings website. I was going to have today's allotted work on it done by mid-morning; the plan then was to ready and get out to do some local grocery shopping.

Alas, by the time I finished, I had grown too groggy. It was not in me to confront the public ─ my mental state had turned inward, and I was feeling reclusive.

The day is expected to be primarily sunny, so I plan on spending time sitting in the backyard benefiting from those solar rays. However, I must first nap ─ it is 10:18 a.m. as I type this statement. I am going to have a brunch, and then get myself back to bed.

Mark came home about 15 minutes ago from his girlfriend Bev's residence where he had spent the night.

*****

Well, I had a decent nap ─ deep enough, at least. I was down for over an hour. Unfortunately, even at 12:46 p.m. as it is right this moment, there are too many huge clouds out there for me to bear sitting in the backyard in a pair of cut-offs ─ it's too darned cool.

This weather frankly sucks, and I detest being financially housebound and forced to live out my life under the conditions that I must endure.

And with that declared, I will now post a few more photos taken last Fall when my wife Jack charged up the cost of a trip back to Thailand to see her mother for the first time since early March 2013.

The family home is in the very large village of Nong Soong, which is about a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani.

I am fairly sure that the photos that follow were taken on November 18, 2016. I would expect that the country images were taken somewhere in Nong Soong, unless Jack was visiting somewhere else nearby the village.

I think she had been in Udon Thani not 90 minutes earlier. As a result, I am unsure just where the two images of baking fish were taken ─ the set-up looks too elaborate and professional to be something a family would have. I suppose it's possible Nong Soong has a business providing fish cooked like this, but I really don't know:



The next few photos are of my wife Jack enjoying the countryside:




I sure wish I had countryside to be out in and enjoy.

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The following was published exactly a week ago at JacksDailyDose.com...but it has since been pulled, apparently, for I cannot find a trace of it there now:

A "kid" problem is turning into a senior crisis
A couple of weeks ago, I was out on the road when I found myself behind a driver changing speeds and weaving like a drunk.

He wasn't drunk.

This kid was messing with his phone!

Eventually, the road opened up to two lanes. As I passed this clown, I paused alongside him to deliver THE GLARE... but the kid was so engrossed in his phone that he never looked up.

Then I noticed that this "kid" had silver hair and wrinkles.

I always figured us older folks were too smart to be messing around with our phones when we drive. That's something dopey young drivers do.

But a new study shows the silver-haired "kid" I saw was hardly the only one -- because SIXTY PERCENT of seniors admit to using their cellphones while driving.

Some are talking. Some are texting. Some are talking AND texting.

Of the 60 percent, more than a quarter were driving around their grandkids, engaging in distracted driving while entrusted with some pretty precious cargo.

And those are just the ones who admit to it! Who knows that the real numbers are?

But clearly, this epidemic isn't restricted to age groups anymore.

I get it. "Distracted driving" is something we HATE when we see other people doing it... but we all think we can do it ourselves.

The new study even finds that 75 percent of seniors think they can safely handle using a phone while driving, especially the hands-free ones.

But none of us are sharp as we think we are. Multitasking is tough enough just doing something simple, like making dinner -- but at least in those cases, most accidents just leave a mess in your kitchen.

Out in the streets, you could ruin someone's life... or end it... and that someone's life could be your own.

I'm not going to let the Daily Dose turn into the Daily Lecture, so I'm just going to let the numbers speak for themselves: A senior's killed in an auto wreck about every 90 minutes, and one's injured in a car crash every two and a half minutes.

I don't know how many of those involve cellphones, but the things cause 1.6 MILLION car accidents every year so you can be darn sure they're playing a big role here.

And you can bet that in every single one of those accidents, there was a driver who was absolutely sure he could handle a phone and the wheel at the same time.

He was wrong. Don't let yourself be wrong on this one. Do what you can to make sure you're not part of these numbers.
I located a report about that study at a University of California San Diego website ─ its School of Medicine was responsible for the anonymous survey:

Health.UCSD.edu

But what happened to the article I quoted in full? Did it fall prey to some oversight, and it will shortly reappear at the website? Or was its criticism directed initially at young drivers too overboard, and political caution has led to the article being removed?

êêêêêêê

The water fluoridation controversies just won't end. The following two reports highlight the strife (just how much family vacation money did Rose Marie Waldrom blow in paying to have five billboards erected in Seattle?):

KHQ.com

HSIonline.com

I very much appreciate that second report, but I am unsure of the accuracy of this statement concerning the Cochrane Collaboration fluoride review:
...They only found a total of three studies done since 1975 that were comprehensive and reliable enough to include in their research.
I do not have the time to sit and study the full review, but I did find this:
We had concerns about the methods used, or the reporting of the results, in the vast majority (97%) of the studies.
Might HSIonline.com have been more accurate to have said that only 3% of the studies ─ and not exactly three studies ─ were in any fashion comprehensive?

I bet a lot of people who looked at the Cochrane results saw no farther than this:

Key results
Our review found that water fluoridation is effective at reducing levels of tooth decay among children. The introduction of water fluoridation resulted in children having 35% fewer decayed, missing and filled baby teeth and 26% fewer decayed, missing and filled permanent teeth. We also found that fluoridation led to a 15% increase in children with no decay in their baby teeth and a 14% increase in children with no decay in their permanent teeth. These results are based predominantly on old studies and may not be applicable today.

Within the ‘before and after’ studies we were looking for, we did not find any on the benefits of fluoridated water for adults.

We found insufficient information about the effects of stopping water fluoridation.

We found insufficient information to determine whether fluoridation reduces differences in tooth decay levels between children from poorer and more affluent backgrounds.

Overall, the results of the studies reviewed suggest that, where the fluoride level in water is 0.7 ppm, there is a chance of around 12% of people having dental fluorosis that may cause concern about how their teeth look.
So water fluoridation is effective a reducing children's levels of tooth decay; and there is no evidence concerning any effects ─ good or bad ─ in stopping water fluoridation.

However, those were merely the results of data that were derived from ALL of the studies ─ including the 97% of the studies that the Cochrane people were concerned over because of both questionable methods and questionable results-reporting that had been employed in those shaky studies.


My impression is that what the Cochrane review really proved was that there is none of the solid evidence for the effectiveness and harmlessness of fluoridation that the backers of fluoridation keep harping exists in all kinds of studies.

Those "all kinds of studies" were primarily questionable in integrity. And the few quality studies ─ the 3% ─ failed to demonstrate that fluoridation actually works as proclaimed.

êêêêêêê

I am no big believer in blood pressure monitoring ─ few people actually require it.

However, I am very disappointed in the following article reporting on why a study ─ one that found a blood pressure systolic level of 120 would save many, many lives ─ was actually manipulated to bring out that conclusion:

JacksDailyDose.com

I have complained before in my blog that JacksDailyDose.com needs to provide references for its claims ─ it never does. Thus, when I include it as my own reference, I hunt up substantiating sources.

This time, though, I could find nothing, and I am fed up with searching.

Jack Harrison needs to understand that he is not an authority held in highest esteem who can make such claims without any backup. I don't really doubt that it exists, but I want to see it. I should not have to struggle as I did today and come up empty-handed.

Prove what you present as medical fact, and save those of us who very much appreciate substantiation the work of searching for it ourselves.

Otherwise, your journalism just comes across as shoddy.

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The afternoon sky did clear up, so at 3:26 p.m. I commenced just over 40 minutes sitting out in the backyard, and wearing cut-offs and an open sleeveless top. 

There was a very annoying chilly breeze that sprang up rather strongly at times, once eliciting some cursing from me. But otherwise, the Sun remained unobstructed throughout the entire session.

I had some exercise in the tool shed thereafter.

One other thing I want to mention (before closing with a journal entry from 41 years ago) concerns the fermenting cabbage mix I have been incubating, and have been eating away at since setting it up on Monday almost two weeks ago.

The past few helpings seemed to leave me with some indigestion. The juice is so powerfully sour now that I imagine its acid content is very high. Before going to bed tonight, I will put what remains of the batch into the fridge ─ it has been sitting all this while here in the room where I keep my computer.  

Okay, 41 years ago I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster. I was renting in a house located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

The journal entry for this date marked the third day in which I seemed to have found myself employed full-time for S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends), a New Westminster charitable organization.

I had worked for them before, but it was through an employment initiatives or incentives programme and a government grant that they had. My tenure had been one day per week, serving as a swamper on their blue pick-up truck.

Once that grant expired, they had no choice but to release me, saying that they hoped that they might be able to hire me full-time at some point in the near future.

I seem to have been hired on what may have been a three- or four-month contract, but I was not working as a swamper ─ I was stuck inside the shop itself with absolutely no defined duties, and the time was eating me alive with boredom. I was something of a 'fitness nut,' and now I was forced to be idle throughout my day. By the time I was back at my room at day's end, my vitality was sapped. 

It was far worse than that, though, for I was feeling absolutely trapped and intrinsically worthless.

I wished that I had never responded to the invitation from them to be hired.

This third day was supposed to see me meet with my social worker, Russ Jeffs, the elderly Englishman who figured into this hiring programme.

So let's see what the day held ─ I have not read ahead in my journal to find out, and I no longer have any memory of ever working for S.A.N.E. full-time. By the way, today S.A.N.E. is known as Fraserside Community Services Society.
FRIDAY, May 7, 1976

I had a WD involving the mere kissing of 1 of 2 girl children I was prone with; what a revolting idea to wake up to! And to think I know them!

I finally awoke about 6:45 a.m.

I wonder if last night's tears (before seeing Bill) were necessary? True it is, though, my physique will suffer if I remain long at this job.

I'm coming in about 9:45 a.m. today, as Mike & I agreed there is no need to arrive at 9:00 a.m. to spend the day doing nothing.

This day passed the easiest yet, but still it was no joy.

I met with David at the Sasha Club, and he proved a welcome break this very sunny day. He, Tom, and I had some drink together in the Towers (I bought me 2 beers). Later, Tom & I had 2 beers apiece in the Mr. Sport.

Anyway, at day's end, cause Bill didn't work today, he came for me as I was washing up at home. I phoned Cathy from his place and learned her divorce fell thru, but she asked Bill & I over with some beer.

We bought a case each and took 1 in. We remained till short after 11:00 p.m.; all I ate there was a scant hamburger 'twixt 2 bread slices.

Next we hit Norm's, who happened to be the sole one up and looking out the window. 

We 3 ended up leaving a note for Mark to meet us in the Queen's after work, which he did. 

At closing we went home with him, but left after seeing Cathy & father had both retired.

My lungs are half collapsed from Norman's rotten weed. Getting him back we killed our last 9 beer out in the bush around his place.

When Bill & I came home, it was only to go to the Venus for a large beef, onion, & mushroom that we ate at his place; I contributed only $2.

I suppose it was around 5:00 a.m. that I retired.
I am relieved that I said nothing more concerning that disturbing dream. 

My old friend William Alan Gill was renting a bachelor suite that may have been little more than about four blocks from my room ─ I had visited him the evening before after some tears at my room while feeling especially sorry for myself.

I don't mention Mr. Russ Jeffs, but he had set up the Sasha Club (or however it was spelled) as a hangout for socially isolated young people. Perhaps that was where we ─ my co-worker Tom and I ─ were to have met with him.

Philip David Prince was another old friend of mine who had a room somewhere in New Westminster. After bumping into him at the Sasha Club, we three decided to go have a couple of drinks at the Royal Towers Hotel beer parlour or pub located at the corner of Sixth Street & Royal Avenue.

The building is still there, but it is now some sort of apartment complex and not a hotel. I have no idea if the pub still exists.

As for the Mr. Sport Hotel, its beer parlour or pub was where just Tom and I next went ─ it occupied Carnarvon Street between the tiny side streets of Begbie Street and Alexander Street. Locals used to know the hotel as the Russell Hotel before it became the Mr. Sport. It was later to be called the College Place Hotel. However, that building, too, is no longer a hotel, and seems to have some sort of subsidized housing happening as this old BCCEC.wordpress.com article on the hotel's pub/stripper bar indicates: Mugs and Jugs Closed Forever

Upon my odd workday coming to an end, Bill drove over to my room and brought me back to his own suite where I used his phone to call my younger brother Mark's rented home that he shared with his girlfriend, Catherine Jeanette Gunther, in Whalley. Jeanette had long been looking forward to finally being officially divorced, and not just separated.

Perhaps that was why her father had come out from the family home in Saskatchewan ─ to be there to witness and share in the event.

I don't ever remember meeting the man, but I apparently must have.

Responding to Jeanette's invitation, Bill and I came by with a case of beer, leaving a second case in his car. My brother Mark was working an afternoon/evening shift in a mill over in Queensborough.

Bill and I must have drank beer with Jeanette and her father until just after 11:00 p.m., and then Bill and I left to try and visit my old friend Norman Richard Dearing who lived a few miles deeper into Surrey than we already were.

Bill and I were spared the predicament of wondering if we should knock on the family door that late in the evening ─ Norman just happened to be gazing out the window when we pulled up. He was probably bored and wishing that he had something fun to do.

So off the three of us went in Bill's car to Queensborough to leave a note on Mark's truck, telling him where to hook up with us ─ the Queen's Motor Hotel. Mark would have to pass by it as he made his way home back to Whalley in Surrey.

I have no idea if this hotel is still in business, either. 

I guess the four of us stayed till the beer parlour closed, and then Bill, Norman, and I followed Mark back to his home. However, with the place in darkness, we decided against coming in to drink any further.

And so Bill and I drove Norman home. At some point three bottles of the beer from the case had been drank, so we enjoyed the night outdoors around Norman's family home while the three of us finished off the other nine beers.

Then back to New Westminster came Bill and I, procuring a large pizza at Venus Pizza. By our estimation back then, they made the best pizza any of us had ever eaten. And "beef, onion, & mushroom" were our usual basic pizza toppings choices.  

Bill and I ate the pizza at his place, probably watching some T.V. And then I probably hoofed it the few blocks back to my room, getting to bed around 5:00 a.m.

What a long and rather eventful day! I have nothing like that anymore.
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