Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Called PDoc

After reading everyone's comments about my Sunday night "nightmare" I finally decided to call the Pdoc. He told me I should have called immediately that night. I guess I wasn't clear enough with him, there is NO WAY I was in any kind of condition to talk to ANYONE. I was way over the top. But that doesn't matter, he suspects the Depakote caused an adverse reaction, and told me to stop taking it.

Hopefully I won't experience that again.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Good Day

After probably the worst night I've ever experienced, I had a pretty good day. I've been long thinking about finding a new job, and last week I sent out a few resumes. Today I got a response, and set up an interview for Wednesday. It's been years since I've interviewed, but I'm looking forward to this one.

Also, I had another part-time opportunity come verbally together today that I'm VERY excited about. I hope to have details to post in the next day or two.

I'm not a big believer in Karma, but if I was being punished last night, it was WAY over the edge, and Karma felt I was owed a little bit after that. All in all, it has been a memorable 24 hours. And probably fitting for someone with bipolar disorder.

Last Night's Events

Something happened last night that has never happened to me before. I can't explain it other than to call it an attack of some sort. Anxiety, mania, a combination?

Yesterday wasn't a terrible day, although my truck didn't start. Because I worked I had to ask one of my kids to buy and install a battery for me. This also meant I had to depend on my wife to drive me to and from work. Upon getting home, the house was a disaster. If there is one thing that sets me off it's a trashy house. And this is funny, as I can put off maintenance forever. But show me papers on furniture, an unswept floor, or any number of things and I go ballistic. In our case, we have so much junk our house can't hold it all. And it moves from one room to another. I can walk into the spare bedroom and not even be able to open the door because it's stacked with so much junk. With Karen's Mom coming to live with us (she comes today, by the way), the spare bedroom is clean, but the junk is distributed all over the house. I can't walk through the basement any more, and our downstairs door is unusable due to junk being piled up. Some people, when they close their eyes and think relaxing thoughts might think about beaches, sunshine, or similar. I fantasize about a dumpster in the driveway and walking out with armloads of stuff.

I got home from my part-time job last night, and I hurt all over. I was physically exhausted, as well as mentally. I watched some TV (can't miss Gray's Anatomy), and sat down at the computer to try and write. I ended up just leaning back in the chair, too exhausted to do anything. About 10:30 I got up to go to bed. I hadn't taken my Depakote yet. I got into bed, and my mind took off. It was what I would imagine a bad acid trip to be like. I was completely overwhelmed by various things. First it was excrement, then sludge, then random shapes. I was laying in it, and it kept coming in. Coming at me from everywhere. Totally overwhelming. It was undoubtably brought about by my irritation with the shape of the house right now. My wife is snoring, and my rage was overwhelming. I made her leave the room. She was scared to death. I would sit up and open my eyes and the images would go away, but the rage continued. I considered slamming my head against the bookshelf next to the bed to make it stop. But the physical warmth and comfort of my bed kept calling me back, and I didn't want to get up. So I'd climb back into bed, and it would start again. I finally found some peace, by imagining a bullet to the back of my head. It was amazing - that thought entered my mind, and the peace just rolled in. I was still irritated, but at least the images, voices, and hallucinations were gone. I finally managed to drift off to sleep.

Today I'm a pinch depressed, I think mostly due to guilt over what I experienced last night. It wasn't last night's dose of Depakote that brought it on, I didn't dose until this started. I got up to make it stop, and took my dose.

My wife told me she feared hearing a gunshot from the room, and debated calling 911. I told her there was no way I would have gone with them, it would have taken the police and a taser to subdue me. And I really can't predict what I would have done, but it wouldn't have been pretty, and it wouldn't have been easy. Things would have taken an even nastier turn.

Whatever it was, I never want to experience it again.

My wife wants me to contact my Pdoc, but I'm not going to. If it happens again, maybe. But she did have a good point in that we should have a plan in place in case it happens again. I don't know what that plan would be, I was in no frame of mind to listen to her, or anyone else for that matter.

I can't help but think this was caused by my meds. If this is something I'm going to face regularly, screw that. I'm done with meds. I'll face life head on without them. But if it's something I would have experienced anyway, I'm better off with the meds. I just don't know, and may never know. But if it happens again, I'm done with them. If I make it through that night.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Typical Friday Odds and Ends

First, I am adding a daily entry to Living Bipolar journaling my new Depakote use. That makes more sense than doing it here. There’s not much there yet, but give it a chance.


Karen’s mom had a stroke a few weeks ago. She will be released from the hospital on Monday, and will be living with us. I really don’t mind this, I’ve been expecting it from the time we married. She will be a nice addition to our household. When you have as many people in the family as we do, what’s one or two more? Karen is really stressed about it, and all of a sudden I see this as being more than just an additional person under our roof. I tried to talk to Karen about this today, and she refused to discuss it. Whenever it’s a difficult topic, she’s “sick to her stomach”, or it’s “too late, and she won’t be able to sleep”, or something. Now I’m one to talk, there are things I just can’t talk about, and have left her high and dry on many things like this. But I have this sudden fear that I’ll be losing my wife as I know her today. And I’m not willing to do that. I don’t mean my wife will leave, but if she’s constantly worried about caring for her mother, or if she’s not able to relax, or if we’re not able to go out, then our relationship changes. I admit to being selfish about this, but I REALLY don’t want to lose our relationship the way it is today.


And from the “This is just wrong” file…
Our local symphony orchestra is doing a show called “The Music of Led Zeppelin”.


Our now 11 year old daughter has a birthday today. After watching her oldest brother struggle to pay for college, she asked for a college savings plan for her birthday. I so dearly love that girl!


Kyle, our 21 year old bipolar son, appears poised for a free-fall. He got a job, and is making money now, which means he’s not coming home. This is not a good sign. Yesterday he called his girlfriend and asked her to pick him up from work. She talked her father into loaning her his truck, which is no small feat, as they hate Kyle. She gets there, waits a while, and discovers Kyle snuck out and left with a co-worker. That’s SO like him, he’ll do anything to avoid confrontation with her. Also, his frame of mind is questionable. We heard him the night before at 3:00 in the morning, screaming profanities at someone, saying “I fucking hate you”. His girlfriend says it was not her.


C’mon Depakote, kick in! My nervous tics are back, and I hate this!


Back to work…

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Conversation

Hey hon, I had a P-doc appointment today.

How did it go?

It was OK - he prescribed Depakote.

Depakote? Really?

Yeah - do you know anything about it?

Kyle was on it for a while. He didn't like it, but he doesn't like any meds.

Uh-oh. Listen to this: Transient hair loss. Trembling hands. Weight gain.

Oh no - you're reading the disclosure literature, aren't you?

Liver damage! Jaundice!

Put that away!

Check this out: It's associated with an increased incidence of tumors in rats. Tumors!


Well, they say the doses were 5 to 10 times higher than usual doses...

Now stop that! Do you think if I had read that stuff I'd have ever taken birth control pills?

We have 5 kids - a lot of good it did you.

Now stop that. Would you have changed a single thing?

Will you still love me if I lose my hair? And turn yellow?

(And the discussion continues...)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

P-Doc Follow Up

Back from the Pdoc. On my last visit he gave me a mood chart. It was a ratty, faded, off kilter thing due to being copied dozens of times. I couldn't stand to look at it, let alone use it. So I created a new one, using Excel. Excel "excels" at making business forms, you can lay things out with great precision. Even with that, I only got about 3 weeks charted. He asked me to be more diligent about using it, and I know I should. I burned him off a copy of the new form on CD, and he said I was "the man". Of course, not enough to get a discount on my session... If there's any interest in that form, let me know and I'll post it for download.

We went over the usual things, alcohol use, which was minimal. Drug use - I don't understand why he thinks I'm going to start using drugs, maybe I'm high risk for that. I told him my main concern was irritability and anxiety. I asked if maybe I was on too low a dose of Lamictal, I'm at a minimal therapeutic level of 100 mg. He said Lamictal was more for depression, and since it seemed to be doing an acceptable job of controlling that, we should keep the level where it is. I don't mind that, although I think awareness of my moods is doing more to keep depression away than the Lamictal. But I have to admit it is working. I read Bipolar Guy's blog on psych visits, and how much of a red flag an elevated mood is. It made sense, and I wanted to avoid that if possible. But the doc said the best way to control the irritation and anxiety would be with a small dose of Depakote. Of course, from the first time I walked into his office I knew he'd be prescribing that. I'm concerned that it might bring down the highs, and I don't want to lose those. We'll see what happens. He started me on 250 mg for 2 weeks, then 500 mg after that, to be taken just before bed.

I told him the spikes I experience during a full moon, and he said that is not uncommon among his patients. While it doesn't happen to everyone, he said some parents regularly see it in their kids. This is pretty obviously an indication that there is something there, as if I needed to be convinced of it.

Not much else was covered, and no significant insites gained. Just a "touch base how are you doing" visit.

I'll be writing about the effects of the Depakote in upcoming posts.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Little History

I'm a bona fide product of the seventies, so if I've blogged about this before, I apologize.

I was just thinking about my kids growing up. We owned, believe it or now, a bait shop. We had other things, fishing equipment, archery equipment, other outdoors gear, but we were primarily a bait shop. Through my boy's most formative years they spent much of their time at the shop. It's how it had to be. On Friday afternoons when other kids were excited to get out of school, my boys dreaded it. They knew there were 20,000 nightcrawlers waiting to be bedded and packed. That's right, 20,000 huge worms, counted one by one into containers of a dozen. We did a hell of a business at that shop, but there was still never quite enough to cover expenses...

You can imagine the customer traffic we had to sell 20,000 worms a week - it was crazy at times. Our shop was on the edge of a rough part of town, and our clientele reflected that. We had some interesting experiences, I could tell stories all day. We had 2 customers over the years that were shot and killed by police. They were black at the wrong time and place. We had customers who committed cold blooded murder. One is serving life, the other died before the police could put evidence together to convict him. When people got out of jail, we were one of their first stops. As one who was recently released told me "bottle, babe, bait". We had as regular customers priests, policemen, lawyers, musicians, dancers, pushers, gang bangers, gays, straights, old, young, male, female, black, white, yellow, red, brown - we had them all.

My kids grew up in this environment. My boys could count change before they were 10. My daughters lay in baby carriers on the counter, from the time they were literally only days old. The lower a customer's economic status, the friendlier and more accepting they were of my kids. The successful customers thought my kids were a nuisance, while those struggling to find a dollar and a half for some minnows treated my kids like they were something special. And they were. The old grandmas were the most memorable. They would see my newborn daughter there on the counter, swoop down and scoop her up like you know they had done thousands and thousands of times before. They would exclaim to their friends "aint this the prettiest white baby you ever did see?!" They were very special people to us, and to my kids.

My youngest boy was known as "little man". "Hey Little Man, hook me up with some of them minnows". And he'd jump to it, eager to please the customers who treated him like an equal. My older boys didn't enjoy it as much as "Little Man", but they had advantages also. We had an archery range in the store, and the boys were competing in regional archery tournaments when they were young teens. They were making good money working for us, and they had all they ever wanted for outdoors equipment. We hunted together, fished together, and the kids were part of a group that made the most of the outdoors. They were equals in the eyes of all that hung with us. As teenagers they were shooting and dressing deer, catching and cleaning fish, helping me run bass fishing tournaments and run weigh-ins, and living a life many kids could only dream about. It wasn't always easy for them, but they did have many advantages.

Looking back, I see now that my bipolar was both a help and a hindrance in that time. Back then, I had never heard of bipolar disorder. But I'd work 7 days a week, 16 to 18 or more hours a day. 6 AM till 10, or midnight, or maybe 2 AM. Then back at 6 to do it again. If I wasn't bipolar I'd NEVER be able to handle those hours. When it got to be too much, I'd have the wife watch the store, or I'd lock the door and go fishing or hunting. When I was down, I'd snap at the customers. This happened way too often, and I developed a reputation for being "moody". I suppose that's one way of putting it...

Enough for tonight.

Self Destructive Behaviors

Anyone else suffer from self-destructive behaviors? I don’t mean cutting or suicide attempts or anything like that. I mean just behavior that undermines or sabotages your best interests.

My whole life it’s been this way. I was on a fast track to huge success, and pissed it away. Did a few stupid things, and got sidetracked by other interests. It’s like when things get rolling, and success is imminent, I do something stupid and things fall apart. It’s been this way my entire life, and seems to be the same way with my son Kyle. If things start going too well, he just walks away. He’s done this on several jobs, he just leaves. I don’t do that, but I have done some stupid things.

This is why I’m trying SO HARD not to be sidetracked by other interests and activities. But I’m really nervous right now. I don’t know why, I haven’t done anything TOO stupid lately, and I don’t have any plans, but things just don’t feel right. I have this feeling like I just want to bust loose. It’s not a hypomanic type of feeling, in fact I’ve been kind of down the last few days. But something inside is pushing me, and it’s scaring me. I can’t afford a screw-up right now.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Conservative Christian, Right Wing, Republican, Straight, White, American Males

Song lyrics as written and recorded by Todd Snider, from the album East Nashville Skyline

Todd Snider is a "folk singer", and I use the term loosely. He is well known and well respected in that genre, and while you may have never heard of him, he has written songs that you probably have heard. One of his most common is called "Beer Run". "B double E double R U N, Beer Run". Todd is hilarious - he's like a standup comedian in his commentary between songs, and his songs can be extremely funny, or very biting, or sometimes emotional. I heard this song today, thought it was hilarious, and thought I'd share it.

Conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American male.
Gay bashin’, black fearin’, poor fightin’, tree killin’, regional leaders of the South
Frat housin’, keg tappin’, shirt tuckin’, back slappin’ haters of hippies like me.
Tree huggin’, peace lovin’, pot smokin’, porn watchin’ lazyass hippies like me.
Tree huggin’, love makin’, pro choicen, gay weddin’, widespread diggin’ hippies like me.
Skin color-blinded, conspiracy-minded, protestors of corporate greed,
We who have nothing and most likely will ‘till we all wind up locked up in jails
By conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American males,.

Diamonds and dogs, boys and girls, living together in two separate worlds
Following leaders of mountains of shame, looking for someone to blame.

Diamonds and dogs, boys and girls, living together in two separate worlds
Following leaders of mountains of shame, looking for someone to blame.
I know who I like to blame:

Conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American males,
Soul savin’, flag wavin’, Rush lovin’, land pavin’ personal friends to the Quayles
Quite diligently workin’ so hard to keep the free reins of this Democracy
From tree huggin’, peace lovin’, pot smokin’, barefootin’ folk-singin’ hippies like me.
Tree huggin’, peace lovin’, pot smokin’, porn watchin’ lazyass hippies like me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines day, and happy full moon! There's going to be some carousing tonight, I tell you what. The full moon brings out the crazy energy in us. Many may not realize it, but most of the people reading this blog are in tune to their moods and cycles, and I'd be surprised if most don't notice the effect the moon has on us. And not just because it's the moon, it encompasses the earth's cycles. As any outdoorsperson will tell you, it affects animals, their feeding and breeding patterns. And while it's effects on us are not as great as they were in prehistoric times, they are still there.

Anyway, back to Valentines day.

I was leaving the house this morning, and as always, gave the wife a hug. She slipped into my pocket a teeny, tiny, skimpy, black, sheer nylon thong. She told me to be prepared. Damn. I'm prepared all right. Prepared to the point of not being able to concentrate. That's my wife.

Now I know at least one and maybe all of my kids have discovered this blog, and this may scar them for life. That serves them right for reading it. But my wife is incredible. Any time, any place, anything, she's ready to go. And as you bipolars out there know, when we're on, we're on. And she loves it. I cannot imagine being married to someone inhibited, who would turn me down when I wanted a little sump'n sump'n. (Although I sometimes turn her down - it's all about me, you know.) And for all this, it NEVER gets routine. EVER. I don't think a particular scenario has ever been repeated in the 25 years we've been married. And I'm not talking about role playing stuff, or games, or anything like that. Just full out physical enjoyment. Run out of gas, then go searching for your clothes type of enjoyment.

Thanks for indulging me on this. Happy Valentines Day to all!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Brokeback Mountain Shopping List

Before I'm accused of being a raging homophobe, I got this from a gay relative. You can tell it's a full moon, huh?


Weekly grocery lists for Ennis and Jack, Summer 1963:




Coffee (espresso grind)
2 tubes K-Y

Fresh Fava beans
Basmati rice
Prosciutto, approx. 8 ounces, thinly sliced
Medallions of veal
Porcini mushrooms
1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 Cub Scout uniform, size 42 long
5-6 bottles good Chardonnay
1 large bottle Astro-glide

Yukon Gold potatoes
Heavy whipping cream
Asparagus (very thin)
Aged Gruyere cheese
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
6 yards white silk organdy
6 yards pale ivory taffeta
Case of Chardonnay
Large tin Crisco

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cheney Shoots Hunting Partner

Cheney accidentally shoots fellow hunter

Everybody's heard this by now. VP Dick Cheney was hunting quail with friends in Texas. Cheney committed the cardinal sin of hunting, did not ensure he had a clear target and wounded a member of his hunting party. I've hunted my whole life and NEVER came close to shooting a fellow hunter or dog. What a bonehead move.

Now if the injuries to the victim were life threatening, I wouldn't be so irreverant. But this can't be passed up.

I heard that Cheney really meant to shoot the dog. You know, the "War on Terrior" and all...

The victim will make it, but would have been a lot better off if Cheney hadn't tried to field dress him.

Good thing they weren't turkey hunting. It would have been the veep that was shot.

And people say he can't hit squat...

Rumor has it that somebody in the hunting party yelled "Quayle"!

Cheney's been keeping such a low profile lately, he thought it was time he gave his detractors some ammunition.

Oh, so much material. I could go on forever...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Kyle's Job

I posted this the other day on Bipolar Support, but we're so happy about it, I'm reposting it here.

Kyle has a job again, and the change in him is remarkable. This happens whenever he gets a job, his confidence returns, he gets more productive in his day to day life, and he is just a different person.

This shows me that disability is most likely a huge mistake for him. In fact, I can see how disability could be a huge mistake for most people in his situation.

Please don’t misunderstand this. Disability is ABSOLUTELY necessary in many scenarios, and I am in no way supporting any curtailing of any program designed to help those with bipolar or mental challenges. I am saying that collecting disability can cause a spiral of dependency. The lack of self worth causes more issues, potentially leading to the substance abuse that is so prevalent among those of us with this condition. It’s an insidious trap – the job gives the self confidence necessary for a normal life, yet they can’t hold a job due to their condition. Go on disability, and they can’t take a job as their assistance will terminate or cut back to nothing. So their confidence and self-worth will never be what it could, and they will never become contributing members of society. This leads to…

It’s the song that never ends.

I did have a comment on the other post that disability helped increase confidence by allowing her to contribute financially to her household. I understand this also, but it's not that way for Kyle.

But back to the positive. Kyle is happy, cheerful, and doing things around the house. He did his own laundry yesterday. He’s a joy to be around.

Now if we can talk him into getting on a program of meds he stands a fighting chance of keeping the job. But he feels so confident and good about himself right now he’ll never consent to start meds.

It’s the song that never ends.

In other news, I finally decided to sacrifice 4 hours a week at my part time job and take another class at a local college. So I'm taking a Visual Basic.Net class. I am fairly proficient in VB6, and other technologies. I've worked with VB.NET, but never had a class. I read an article the other day about how dot net developers are in very high demand, so thought I'd get on it while the getting's good. I'll post from time to time on how it's going. I'll get an A, when I decide to do something, nothing else would be remotely acceptable. And I'm so damned competitive, I'll make sure I'm at the top of my class. That's something I don't like about myself, how I can't look at someone in that kind of environment without trying to out-do them. I rarely come away from something like that with friends, of course I have very few friends anyway. I know a million people (almost), and am known and mostly respected by many, but have very few friends. With my personality, it just doesn't work.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Name Those Lyrics - Part 1

On a message board I frequent we do this from time to time.

Try to name the song, and the artist. In some cases the song has been recorded multiple times - any artist is acceptable.

No prizes to give away, just the unwavering admiration of your peers.

In many cases, lyrics are ****'d out. This is to avoid giving away the answer.

Look for clues - one will lead you to the next.

1. Hear the lonesome whipperwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I'm so ******** * ***** ***

2. (This one is pretty obscure, but the artist is an excellent songwriter.)
Sometimes somebody just doesn't wake up one day
Sometimes it's a heart attack, sometimes they just don't say
They pulled poor old Hank Wlliams out of a Cadillac CoupeDeVille
He ended up on ******* and ****s.

3. My baby bring me champagne when I'm thirsty
That little girl give me good reefer when I wanna get high

4. Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
’scuse me while I kiss the sky

5. To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal
If you want to kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel

6. (The last word gives it away)
U don't have 2 be rich
2 be my girl
U don't have 2 be cool
2 rule my world
Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your...

7. You show us everything you've got
Baby, baby that's quite a lot
And you drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy

8. (An older rhythm and blues classic. Obscure in today's world.)
We gonna pitch a **** **** ****** all night long
All night long, All night long, All night long

9. (The last line gives it away)
She come to town; she be foolin' around
a puttin' me down as a rock-and-roll clown
It's all right
**** **** ***** ********

10. I don't wanna know your name
Cause you don't look the same
The way you did before
OK you think you got a pretty face
But the rest of you is out of place
You looked all right before

Monday, February 06, 2006

Things Get More Difficult All The Time

Life is not getting easier, the last few years it's getting more difficult. We're right back to the 'meds helping or hurting' question.

Is my bipolar making life more difficult? I've heard that it gets worse as time goes along. Does anyone have any knowledge or information on this? I can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that things are absolutely more difficult mentally and emotionally for me than they were 3, 4, or 5 years ago. In fact, it dates to the time I began meds. Things have been a rollercoaster since then. Even when I'm emotionally stable, as I am now, things are still more difficult than they used to be. My memory is fading very quickly, and anxiety levels are rising quickly. I blow up less often than I did, but when I blew up it was only a hour and I was back to normal. Now I don't know what normal is.

I'm not even sure I'm bipolar. Did I merely tell the PDoc what he wanted to hear? What I wanted to tell him? This may be some form of 'sympathy search' for my son's condition. It may be some form of desire to medicate. It may be a pre-emptive coping mechanism to cover an impending fall or failure. All I know is life shouldn't be this difficult. I should be able to spend more time living, and less time analyzing it. It's gotten to be an obsession. This blog, the new Living Bipolar web site, my discussions with my wife, in everything I do this condition is dominating my life. I'd like to go back a few years to when I didn't even know this condition existed. I got by in my ignorance, had a vague understanding of my moods and cycles, and didn't have to worry about it. I lived mostly in the moment, and truly enjoyed life. I'm not so sure I can say that today.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

How Bad Was That?

I thought Paul McCartney was an embarassment in last year's Super Bowl, but The Stones put on the worst halftime show I've EVER seen. That absolutely SUCKED. To be fair, it took a few minutes to get the mix down, the sound guy should be castrated for that one. But those dinosaurs should be extinct. My 18 year old son came in and commented how terrible they were. He said he likes the Rolling Stones, but this was like old guys trying to cover The Stones on American Idol.

Simon would tear them a new one.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Odds and Ends

First, on my part time job I work with a lot of kids, mostly college students. Some really great kids. I have run into this before, but it still sticks with me. I overheard the guys talking, and heard a new kid went to the same high school as my kids. I told him my kids also went there, and gave my last name. The kid starts to laugh. I knew immediately it was Kyle he knew. I said that Kyle was somewhat wild, he said, 'yes he was...' as he walked away still laughing. It's likely I'll never know the half of it, nor would I want to.

Kyle got a job! We really hope it will last, but as painful as it is for him to get ready, we wonder. He stresses SO much about the littlest things. He washes dishes and busses tables at a restaurant, but he has to be PERFECT before he leaves the house. He ends up 'freaking out' and running out at the last second because he couldn't find the deodorant, or the Q-tips, or... I feel for him, I really do. This is his life. It's been like this since he's been a little kid. Every day for school Karen put up with this. Every day. I couldn't handle it, we butted heads. But Karen understood him, what he was going through, and had the strength and patience to bring him through it. Kyle works with his younger brother who is a very hard worker and very responsible. We hope that with his brother's good example Kyle will make this job last.

Next, after much aggravation, a step was taken I had hoped never to take. The use of those awful spam busting letters for comments. You know the ones, 'Type the characters you see in the picture above'. Yuck. I mean no offense to those that use them, I have just hit the spam threshold you all have likely hit long ago.

The news spread quickly today. We live in a fairly large town for our part of the country, but even in a community this size things can happen to bring the city together. A few months ago a junior high school girl disappeared. Vanished after being seen getting off a school bus in her neighborhood. This event brought our community together as we watched the news daily, saw flyers being posted and distributed, and so forth. Well today, outside a town close to ours, a dog brought back what was thought to be a human foot. The entire region held it's collective breath, all thinking it was the missing girl. The word came back: A bear paw. Not to trivialize the plight of the missing girl, but a bear paw? That's perhaps more weird than finding a human foot. We live in an area where there probably haven't been bears for hundreds of years, if even then. When Lewis and Clark came through our area, they didn't report bears. How did a bear paw get there? If it was a hunter, it's a LONG ways until you find any bear hunting from here. And if you shot a bear, you would bone it out and remove the hide before you came home. So you wouldn't dispose of a bear skeleton around here. Thats just plain weird.

Lastly, the web site is coming along. I spent a week on message board forums, trying to find one that integrated with my site. I found one that was perfect, but way too basic, and very few features. I found one that was great, but the integration with the site was way too buggy and problematic. I finally gave up and went with the industry standard for forums, but is not integrated at all with the main site. I still do not have really any content to speak of yet. I have my 2 blogs in a feed, and one news service in a feed. I will be looking for more blog feeds shortly, and if you're interested in having your blog included in a feed on the new site I'll post instructions on how to do this shortly. If you want a 'sneak peak' it's at http://livingbipolar.com. I'm not happy yet with the design, and there is still a lot of 'default' or junk content, but I have an 'outline' to build on now. The forum is usable, and I'm looking for ideas on categories you'd like to see. I don't want too many categories, but want enough to keep things organized.

Thanks for all your comments recently. I don't always get to immediately respond, but I read them all and appreciate the thoughts and input.