Showing posts from June, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: Our dented rust bucket (it's not all that rusty just dirty) made it all the way to New Hampshire. Ethan has two wobbly teeth! My baby is growing up (sniff sniff). The kids love playing with their Alabama cousins. Everybody went to bed without too much fuss last night (getting the kids to sleep when we travel is always a challenge). Clear cold mountain lakes with a bit of golden sparkle in the water (I think it was fool's gold ) on a hot hot summer day. Rain! What are you thankful for?

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: Progress! I was reading over all of the paperwork we've collected for the boys the over the past few years. They have both come a long way since their initial diagnoses. Isaiah came back. He decided to go for a walk the other day while I was out, by himself. He came back soaking wet, covered in those velcro like little green seeds, happy as all get out just as I had sent hubby in to call the police. Hubby thinks he climbed out of the living room window. I've thought for a while now that autism ought to be renamed MacGyver Syndrome. Sophia has a friend. They really really really like each other. A sample of their conversation yesterday, Friend: I have to use the potty! Sophia: I'll go with you! Hearing Sophia try to talk hubby out of changing her diaper (she had a diaper rash at the time). Hilarious! Isaiah has been imitating his teachers and classroom routines at home. We still can't understand anything he says while he does this. But his

Michael Moore on NPR

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs . I've never seen a Michael Moore production. This interview doesn't make me any more inclined to see one than I was before. Michael Moore's 'Sicko' Flogs U.S. Health Care . The following line at the end of the story made me chuckle though: "This is the typical NPR: afraid of being accused of having liberal bias — so, let's make sure we attack him enough in this piece," Moore said. The reporter asks the listener after Moore makes this claim, "Did we?"

Autism Blogs

(Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs .) I've added a few new blogs to my blogroll in case anyone is interested. They all deal with autism in one fashion or another. Commentary on current autism research, current autism controversies, living with autism, and raising children with autism is just some of what you will find on these blogs. In the past I have avoided the online autism community like the plague. In part because of the prevalence of those who believe that vaccines somehow cause autism. Their near religious fervor in their belief and willingness to attack anyone who disagreed with them was always off putting. I also avoided the online autism community because it was very clear to me that there was an autism industry out there that was ready to prey on vulnerable parents searching for a way to help their much loved autistic children. There were, and still are, any number of websites offering miraculous "cure", and "recovery" for autistic children.

Wild Weather

Summer weather isn't nearly as interesting as the winter weather in these parts (unless you're a farmer or a gardener, then the weather is always interesting) but it has its moments. We could definitely use the precipitation around here. We could do without the hail though. Today: Variable clouds with scattered strong thunderstorms. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds. High near 90F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Tonight: Thunderstorms this evening followed by a few showers overnight. A few storms may be severe early. Low 61F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Update: Well it's rained a little bit and the temperature has dropped nearly 20 degrees into the 70s. The worst of the leading band seems to have missed us but there is a second band coming behind it.

Supurfluous God Talk

Despite being a Christian I realised recently that I don't hang around with a lot of Christians. Outside of church on Sunday mornings and a weekly Bible study group most of the people I associate with on a regular basis are either clearly not Christians or mostly appear not be Christians. When I found myself at a support group for parents of children with developmental disabilities run by a church in my area I was surprised by the God talk that I heard. It seemed to me that God was thrown into the conversation the way people throw the words "like" or "you know" into their conversations. I guess I'm not used to people saying in everyday communication that God told them to do this or that or led them into this or that. It felt much too flippant to me. I wonder if this is part of what is meant when the Bible admonishes us not to use the Lord's name in vain? I have all kinds of ideas floating around in my head. Some of them I act on and try to bring to frui

The "Well Sibling" Syndrome

This is what I get for crawling into bed at 5:00 PM. I spent most of the day trying to deny the fact that I'm sick so the kids could go to the beach. When I got home I went straight to bed as remaining up right was increasingly difficult. Now I'm wide awake and need something to occupy me. I'm not quite well enough to tackle any housework so I'm blogging. I've been meaning to comment a bit further on this post about siblings of children with mental illnesses. Shortly after I blogged about the story I told some friends, other moms with autistic children, about it. Their overwhelming response was that things did not have to turn out badly for the typical child(ren). A week or two later (I forget now how much time passed) one of the elders at my church commented to me about his experiences with his sibling who was mentally retarded. His message was much the same as that of the moms I mentioned the story to. The "well sibling" syndrome does not have to be on

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: I've got a plot in the community garden. Now I can really indulge my gardening obsession. There are lots of free plants in my very overgrown community garden plot. I may never want for garlic again. Pulling weeds burns excess calories! We went to Ethan's kindergarten graduation this morning. He stayed put and went through the motions right along with his classmates. He even read a few sentences that he had written in a classroom assignment out loud. Hubby sometimes proof reads the blog and sometimes tells me about the mistakes I make. What are you thankful for?

Vaccine/autism trial news on NPR

Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs . NPR is a pharma-shill! Who knew? The accusation is made about 22 minutes into this interview regarding the on going vaccine/autism trial. Pharma-shill is what people who don't believe that vaccines cause autism get called by those who do. You see we've all been paid off by pharmaceutical companies and/or the government to say that vaccines don't cause autism. How are vaccines supposed to cause autism? By what mechanism does the offending vaccine component bring about the varied changes in brain function seen in autistic individuals? What exactly is the offending component of the vaccine that causes autism? These are the kinds of questions that should be addressed by any researcher who is seriously looking for a link between autism and vaccines. I haven't seen any of those questions asked much less answered. Autism Diva listened to this interview as well and posted some thoughts of her own .

Autism goes to court: Part 2

(Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs .) Let me lay this all out on the table right now. People who insist on claiming that vaccines cause autism make me so mad I could cuss. Without fail they manage to be irritating, irrational, and emotionally manipulative. I do not like people who resort to emotional manipulation. I find them particularly despicable when they are manipulating people who are already under a lot of emotional stress, in this case parents caring for their autistic children. The Cedillo v HSS case is nothing but one big guilt trip. I don't do guilt trips. My favourite blogger to read when it comes to autism, Orac of Respectful Insolence , sums up this case very well, The Autism Omnibus: When you don't have scientific evidence, tug on the heartstrings! The Autism Omnibus is now officially under way, having begun with the first test case, that of Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services . The Omnibus proceeding is the culmination of the legal cases b

Autism goes to court

(Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs .) No matter how this turns out I have the feeling that it won't be a good out come for those living with autism. Court to Focus on Link Between Autism and Vaccine In excruciating detail, an Arizona mother on Monday described severe autism and devastating health problems that plague her 12-year-old daughter and asked a court to find common childhood vaccines were the cause. The test case is being closely watched by nearly 5,000 families of autistic children who have lodged similar claims for compensation from a federal fund. The case of Michelle Cedillo, of Yuma, Ariz., is the first alleging a vaccine-autism link to be heard in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. It and eight other test cases are important because they will guide the handling of the other pending claims. Most contend that a mercury-rich preservative called thimerosal is to blame for the impaired social interaction typical of the disorder. Should they prevail, the families w

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that: We found Ethan rather quickly after he wandered off at the school carnival. He was waiting in line for the fun house. The school carnival volunteers were very efficient at searching for Ethan. It wasn't Isaiah that wandered off. I didn't cry and/or yell at hubby while Ethan was missing. I did pace for a bit though. Hubby (reading to Ethan) : Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye; four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. Sophia (from across the room) : Pie?! (accompanied by an appropriately bright eyed look of anticipation) It took a bit of the edge off of Ethan's wandering off. Someone took our lawn mower. I can't see how this is a good thing at the moment but as the song says, "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!" (That's the KJV of Philippians 4:4 .) What are you thankful for?

Shameful Global Warming Politics

People are seriously hyperventilating over NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's comment about global warming. Their chances of convincing me of anything they believe about global warming pretty much hits bottom when they freak out like this over someone not agreeing whole heartedly with them. These reactions aren't about science. They're about politics and they're personal. Scientists Surprised by NASA Chief's Climate Comments NASA's Griffin on Global Warming: Don't Worry, Be Happy NASA Administrator Not Sure Global Warming A Problem NASA Chief Questions Whether Global Warming Is a Problem NASA Administrator Griffin “not sure” global warming is a problem or long-term concern Hansen shoots back on NASA head Griffin’s “incredibly ignorant and arrogant statement” NASA Administrator: Global Warming Is Not A ‘Problem’ NASA Chief Sparks Global Warming Fury Scientists Denounce NASA's Michael Griffin For Saying Earth's Warming May Not Be A Concern In the end

Destination Dissertation Defense

This is intended to be an encouragement for hubby who started on his PhD in philosophy in the fall of 1997. I decided last spring/summer that he would finish writing and successfully defend his dissertation by the end of this summer. He got some work done last summer ending with a total of 103 pages. Unfortunately almost all work ground to a screeching halt with the beginning of the fall semester and teaching and grading duties. Hubby only managed to bump the page total up to 117. Now that teaching and grading responsibilities for the semester are pretty much over with it is dissertation crunch time! I've cooked up a schedule for him to make sure that he puts in some hours every day on his writing. Check back daily/weekly (I haven't decided yet how often to tally up the page total) to see how things are going.

"Cold Cash" Jefferson Indicted

It's about time. Rep. Jefferson Indicted on Fraud, Bribery Counts Nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was indicted Monday on 16 federal counts of bribery, racketeering, fraud and money laundering. The indictment includes charges that he paid off a Nigerian official. Almost two years ago, investigators found $90,000 in cash in Jefferson's freezer. Chances are he wasn't alone and I hope his partners in crime go down with him.

Global warming: The new Golden Idol*

(Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs .) There's a new "controversy" brewing over NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's comments about global warming in an interview on NRP yesterday. NASA Chief Questions Urgency of Global Warming . I listened to this interview yesterday and again today. The exchange about global warming was only a part of the interview aired but this is the only text up on the NPR website. You can still click on the listen link to hear the whole broadcast of the interview. Here's a part of the NPR text: Do you have any doubt that this is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with? I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't c