Category Archives: Media

Decades

One of the worst things about being sick is the lack of energy.  For me, this translates into watching more tv than usual, which is difficult for me because at any given minute, I can’t find anything worth my time.  I detest reality tv – all of it.  I also don’t like shows in which competitors are thrown off (which is all the dancing shows, lots of the cooking shows and the grand-daddy of them all: Survivor.  I don’t like most cop shows – too dark and intense.  Ixnay on most situation comedies and sports doesn’t do it for me either.

If you tally this up, about the only tv left is nostalgia tv… those couple of stations that are re-running shows from “the good ole days”.   Perry Mason, Barney Miller, Andy Griffth, even MacGyver – I’ll watch these any time instead of American Ninja Warrior or Judge Judy.

In addition to the couple of already existing channels, there’s another one that has shown up the last couple of months. They caught my eye last week with the made-for-tv Perry Mason movies and a lot of old Dick Cavett shows from the 80s.  I ended up watching Perry Mason ALL weekend.  They also run Laugh-in, Wonder Woman, Gunsmoke and even Kung Fu, which I haven’t seen for decades.

So why am I willing to watch all these old shows again? Do I yearn for my youth? Am I too old-fashioned for today’s tv trends?

Double Dog Dare

I was amazed to read today that teenagers across the country have started taking part in an online challenge to eat laundry pods. I didn’t want to encourage anyone by clicking on any of the videos out there, but news reports say they are filled with teens foaming at the mouth, vomiting and some even passing out.

The last online challenge I remember was the ice bucket although I never understood it. I had thought it started as a “if you don’t donate money then you have to dump this bucket of ice water on yourself” and ended up as a “I’m donating money and for some reason dumping a bucket of ice water on myself”.

Both of these remind me of Flick in Christmas Story who caves to the “triple dog dare you” on the playground and ends up having the fire department detach him from a frozen flag pole. Or Marty McFly in Back to the Future who responds with fury to “you chicken?” I’ve never understood the “double dog dare”; it doesn’t make sense that you should do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do just because someone dares you.  And it makes even less sense to do something that is clearly not just unpleasant but potentially very dangerous to your health.

Have you ever done anything on a dare?

Poetic Lament

There are many sad things going on these days. Unfortunately as icons fall, some of their good works fall with them.  I have read Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac on a daily basis for years.  Almost all of the poetry I read is inspired by the Almanac – either more poems by the featured poet or work of others mentioned in the “on this day” section.

When I heard the news about Garrison in November, the first thing I did was to search online to see if the archives were still around, hoping the APM (American Public Media) would publish them on their own. I’ve checked every week since then.  Nothing.  I even talked to Dale to see if he knew whether Garrison was going to continue on another platform.  Probably not.

So now I’m officially in mourning. I love poetry and I’m struggling to figure out where to get my poetry fix these days. I’m know there’s lots of poetry out there but the Almanac was such a perfect setting for me that I’m thinking that my world from here on in will just be a little sadder for the loss of it.

Two questions today:
Is there a product you’ve had to learn to live without?
Where do you recommend I go for my poetry fix?”

So, What Now?

I have mulled over this topic  for the past couple of weeks,  as one man (and  few women) after another has lost his job, credibility, and respect with accusations and admissions of sexual harassment and assault.  My first thought through all this has been “They are really lucky I am not their mother!!!!”

My husband used to assess low and moderate risk convicted sex offenders, usually those who had committed crimes against children,  for their suitability for treatment. We know from research that the sooner those folks are integrated back in the community and have jobs and stability,  along with ongoing therapy and careful monitoring by their probation officers, the less likely they are to re-offend.

What do we do now with the Al Frankens, Roy Moores,  and John Conyers  of this country?  How do we heal, and promote inclusivity for all our citizens? I wonder if the model of Truth and Reconciliation, used in South Africa after the end of Apartheid has relevance here.  I believe that in that circumstance people admitted their wrong doing, faced their victims, and engaged in meaningful acknowledgement of the damage their actions had caused. Then they ceased engaging in the behavior that was so harmful and wrong.  People could move ahead.

So, what do you think we should do now?

Whispering

Today’s post comes from Ben.

The final project in the English class I’m taking, “Critical Reading and writing 1” is to create a research paper on a topic of our choosing. We’ve written three other papers based on material we’ve read in class. The entire class to this point was mostly learning how to properly use commas, quote marks, how to attribute a quote, how to add citations to a paper, all that stuff you need to get a college level research paper done right.

I felt like I had a pretty good handle on things going in. What I’ve learned is just because I can do it doesn’t mean I know the rules and knowing the rules is harder!  English is hard! I only whined about that once or twice to the teacher. She’s been great. I knew her before the class and knew I would like her as a teacher so that’s all been good.

For my research paper, I choose to write about whispering. This came up because our daughter speaks really loud. I mean it makes my ears ring sometimes.

But it’s not that simple. I talked with an ENT doctor from Mayo. I spoke with a professional opera singer and I interviewed a speech pathologist.  The fact we can speak at all is pretty amazing! There’s a lot going on in making a “voice”. But loudness has to do with how much air you’re moving (and that comes from your “Pelvic Floor”) and it has to do with intonation and resonance and it all gives your voice a tone or pitch.

AND THEN, the speech pathologist said he didn’t think our daughter spoke that loud. Huh! So now ‘Loud’ is relative. Loud compared to what? I looked up that the average speaker is about 60dBA’s. A quiet room is about 40dBA. A lawn mower is about 85-90dBA. (And those are all rather subjective too). And using an iPhone app, she does speak about 60dBA. But the rest of us in the house don’t talk that loud. So I guess she’s only loud “in comparison”. And it’s loud when you’re in a quiet restaurant and the lunch rush is over.

I’ve learned a lot and it’s been interesting. It’s just not that simple. And I guess really, I just need to be grateful she can communicate at all.

Got anything to say about your voice?

Phishing

The deadline for renewing our State psychology licenses looms large this week. Husband and I sent in all our papers and fees for renewal a couple of weeks ago.  Imagine Husband’s surprise yesterday when he received two  notifications from “Google ” telling him that he had better renew his license immediately, along with a link to do so.

I am happy to report that Husband didn’t fall for this apparent phishing attempt.  He had already received confirmation from  our Psychology Board office that everything was in order, and that any communication from the Board was directly from the Board, not from Google.  I contacted the Board office to report this scam attempt.

It amazes me how clever scammers are. It also surprises me how easy it is to fool people. Our State Government IT office sends State employees fake emails at work to try to teach us to spot suspicious communications, and a special button to click to report an email as either fake or suspicious.  It is pretty easy to spot them, I think.  Our agency IT guy told me, though, that 50% of the fake emails are actually opened by staff who don’t suspect a thing or are too trusting.  That is a big concern given how devastating it would be to have our system, with all our clients’ confidential information hacked or compromised.

I hope none of my fellow psychologists are duped by these phishers.  It is an anxious time around the renewal period, and anxiety makes it hard to be wise sometimes.

What are your experiences with scammers or hackers?  How do you keep yourself safe?