Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Picnic Report

Summer Picnic wildly successful, man claims
It was a beautiful Saturday to sit in the sun, relax, drink beer and chat about catastrophic illness. I mean, who wants to talk about falls, tremors, discrimination and rapidly advancing decay when the weather is dismal? OK, I do, but besides me, who would do such a thing?

We traded war stories, threatened to show each other nasty bruises and slugged down Chaga tea brewed by Travlin' Dominique Collette. The tea was made from fungus he harvested from a birch snag in my back yard. It was, he told us, loaded with antioxidants. It tasted surprisingly good, sort of how you would expect a birch tree to taste. Thanks to everyone who came, and especially Bob and Carolyn Rinehart for leading the effort to organize this year's picnic, and for bringing some Texas-Style smoked ribs.

Dominique ever-so-gently pounds the crap out of Chaga freshly harvested with dull knives from our backyard. Amazingly, nobody was injured.

Enjoying sun and coversaton at the rustic Singing Fiddle Ranch.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

'We Use Only 10% of Our Brains.' is 100% B.S.

I've long been skeptical of the idea that humans use only 10% of their brain capacity. It's like arguing we waste our capacity for limb use by only walking on our legs. The Atlantic's Sam McDougle makes mincemeat of this myth here. The article has some nice reporting about where we got this hare-brained notion in the first place, and a little reflection on the present state of neuroscience.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Early Warning: Sept. 20th meeting to be a Lulu! UPDATED JULY 11

You will want to mark your calendars for the September 20th meeting. We plan to  have Dr. Ryder Gwinn from Swedish Hospital in Seattle giving us the latest on Deep Brain Stimulation surgery as they practice it at their now well-established program. This is your chance to ask questions of someone audacious enough to run electrical wires inside the heads of people he barely knows. Reporting from the age of miracle and wonder,  your faithful correspondent, Pete

UPDATE:
Hi all, Whoops! Minutes after posting above about the September meeting with the Seattle neurosurgeon, I got a note from the organizer of the trip alerting me to the likelihood that the date of the meeting  will change. Watch this space for breaking updates as they occur.
Your dubious oracle,

Peter

UPDATE UPDATED
PS~ Whatever else happens, September  meeting will STILL be a Lulu.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Parkinson's Events in July around the Anchorage Area

Here is what I know about what is coming up in July ...
MONDAY, JULY 14th Another riveting and interactive teleconference! You are invited to attend the Parkinson’s Education TeleHealth Presentation Monday, July 14, 2014, 1:00 p.m. The topic: Practicing good Nutrition is important for everyone. A practical and useful approach Speakers: Sabrina Gondor, CHHC, AADP, CCWS Certified Holistic Health Coach Danelle Crabtree, CMA-C, Corporate Health Alliance Representative. This seminar gives you basic, practical and useful information about nutrition with a focus about what antioxidants are; why they are important; and how using antioxidants can increase your overall wellness. For more information contact : center@spokaneparkinsons.org

Meetings are free of cost. To find the Anchorage meeting, proceed with all deliberate speed to  Providence Hospital oncology wing on Piper St. (Go to the second floor, walk down the lonnnnnnnng hall that stretches South from the cafe and look for room 2401 pretty much at the end of the hall on your right.) The Parkinson's TeleHealth Program broadcasts live, interactive educational talks to a network of rural communities in the Northwest. On the SECOND Monday of each month, a guest speaker presents a topic eared toward the interests of Parkinson's families. The information is designed to help participants to improve their knowledge of Parkinson's disease and in turn their quality of life.

The regular meeting of the Anchorage Parkinson's Disease Support Group will be held on Saturday, the 19th of July, at 3:30. It's time for our annual picnic potluck. To make this the most festive occasion possible, we will hold the meeting at my house, 9601 Elmore Road. To find the house go to the intersection of Elmore and Abbott Roads, just below Service High School. We are South of Abbott about a quarter mile on Elmore. Our driveway is marked by a green mailbox on your left, halfway up a small hill. Our house has a green metal roof and cedar siding The event is a potluck, so bring something that people will enjoy sharing. We'll see you then!
Peter

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Penny For Your Thought Experiment

There is a body of thought that holds that people with Parkinson's (Hitler aside) tend to be, let's not mince words here, GoodyTwo-Shoes. Our parkie on the streets performs an exhaustive investigation and comes up with  an explanation. Being evil is too damn much work.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Anvils, A Collaboration With John Straley

Way back in the last century, the early 1990s, I think, I spent an enjoyable evening in Juneau with Sitka novelist, poet and criminal investigator John Straley. It was the final night of the legislative session and the usual intrigue was ripping like the Taku Winds through the Alaska Capitol Building . The two houses of the legislature were tussling with each other and the Hickel administration. Deals were being concocted and demands were being made. It was a wild ride as usual, and we had a fine time watching it all fall together, or apart. After the session ended, John generously sent me a copy of his book "The Woman Who Married a Bear". Then we lost touch.

Half a year ago, I ran across John on Twitter, followed him, and we struck up an electronic acquaintanceship. In the course of our tweets John learned that I have Parkinson's Disease, which also afflicts his wife.

A couple months ago he was in Anchorage on a book tour for "Cold Storage, Alaska" (which is a terrific read.) I went to his presentation, and we had a nice chat. John suggested we do some sort of collaboration. I said "Sure". These spur-of-the-moment ideas usually fizzle when the time to do the actual work arrives. So I was a bit surprised that John called my bluff with a poem, "Anvils", which appears below for your reading and viewing . I believe as you read it you will come to understand that it's not about anvils.



Monday, June 2, 2014

June Doings for People in Southcentral Alaska With an Interest in Parkinson's Disease

Turns out that when I sent out the initial version of this post,  I didn't know squat about what to expect this month. Well, that may be going a bit far. The telehealth conference will take place as I said, on the 9th of June, at 1:00. Alaska time. The topic  will be elder  law. Here is the lowdown:

Presentation Titled: Elder Law, Steps to Estate Planning and Long Term Care for everyone
and any health status. Speaker: Dick Sayre, Attorney at Law is a principal in the law firm Sayre and Sayre, PS in Spokane, Washington with a focus on Elder Law
Topic: Elder Law, Steps to Estate Planning and Long Term Care for everyone and any health status. Introduction to Durable Power of Attorney’s, Living Wills and much more. Please prepare for an 1 long presentation with a question and answer period (Specific legal questions will need to be addressed with your attorney or with Mr. Sayre at different time.)

For more information contact : center@spokaneparkinsons.org  Meetings are free of cost and are also received in several communities over TeleHealth. The Parkinson's TeleHealth Program broadcasts live, interactive educational talks to a network of rural communities in the Northwest. On the SECOND Monday of each month, a guest speaker presents a topic geared toward the interests of Parkinson's families. The information is designed to help participants to improve their knowledge of Parkinson's disease and in turn their quality of life.
To attend the Alaska meeting, proceed with all deliberate speed to the Providence Hospital oncology wing on Piper St. ( Go to the second floor, walk down the lonnnnnnnng hall that stretches South from the cafe and look for room 2401 pretty much at the end of the hall on your right. )
So I did know squat about that. But the Parkinson's Support Group picnic has been moved to July. This means the meeting for the 21st June will be of the normal, everyday variety. Except I will be away because the band in which I play has a gig up in Gakona. There is no reason you should not meet without me. In fact I believe there is still much to be done in effecting my ouster as leader of the group. This will make a fine opportunity to fine-tune finishing touches on any plots for a coup d'etat. Or you could talk about the picnic, which is now set for the 19th  of July.
This year the picnic will be spearheaded by Bob and Carolyn Reinhart. (No relation to Django) You'll want to be there as Bob plans make Texas Style barbequed ribs! The place will be at my house, 9601 Elmore road (Directions to follow.) time will be 3:30. It's a potluck, we hope you will bring a salad, side dish or dessert. Bob and Carolyn would appreciate an RSVP to their phone, 345-3961 or by email to ccrinehart@gci.net Please rsvp by July 17th. Big thanks to the two of them for shouldering this task.
Enjoy the Summer,
Pete