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Archive for the 'This ‘n that' Category

The cost of two drinks

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

moneyHere’s some enlightening information from Bankrate, a leading aggregator of financial information online.

If you consume an average of two drinks a day, it’ll cost you anywhere from $3,000 and $4,400 a year. Adding further insult to those of us who wish we’d pulled back earlier – and have kids facing college – they say “if you were to put your bar tab into a tax-free 529 college savings plan earning 7% for your newborn, by the time she’s ready for college you would have accumulated $99,277 (beer drinker) or $148,916 (call drinks), before taxes.”


I’d suppose I’d rather look forward than back. I’m thinking about all the money I’m saving now. And that I’ll soon be dedicating to those college funds.

Details from the MSN Money article are here.

Does Alcoholics Anonymous do more harm than good?

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

Alcoholics Anonymous debateHere’s an interesting, lively and intelligent debate between two individuals with strong opinions about the matter. Excerpts:PRO:  I’ve observed people, who although are unable or unwilling to qualify themselves under AA’s “description of the alcoholic”, still for some unknown reason wish to share in one of AA’s OTHER features separately from its Program: The Fellowship of AA.

Here they find friends, camaraderie and support for whatever ails them, even if not alcoholism, often classic problems of living, even if only heavy, problematic drinking, or abusive use of alcohol.

CON: Vaillant’s long term follow up study of treated and non-treated alcoholics published as *The Natural History of Alcoholism* failed to demonstrate higher rates of abstinence among those treated than among those who were not treated.

Moreover, Hester and Miller’s *Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches: Effective Alternatives* finds that nearly all alternative approaches to addiction treatment are more effective than 12 step approaches, which are found to have no proven efficacy at all.

What say you?

Why One “Moderate Drinker” Gave it Up…

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

According to Molly Hurley Moran, professor of writing at the University of  Georgia, “Giving up alcohol was not a sacrifice; it was an act of imagination.” Loved this piece. You’ll find it here.

“Makes staying sober cool!”

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

That from a retired NY police offer about the new $79 fully functionial alcohol breathalyzer accessory for the iPod. Sounds a little nuts, but hey, if it’ll keep drunk drivers off the road, who can complain?

Info here:



It’s kinda like being drunk without the hangover

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

Hypno eyes

It’s been a while since I’ve played around with optical illusions, but this one is fun and sorta reminded me of how the world looked in the old days. But this is safe fun, I promise. Okay, ready….set….GO! (Fun or creepy? You decide.)

Are your bookmarks a mile long?

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

If so, it’s time for you to get a news reader and start subscribing.

It’s been pretty confusing, I have to admit, impossibly so for many of us without a computer science degree to figure it all out. We see those little buttons on our favorite sites and simply ignore them.

But times have changed. Subscribing to a blog or website you now visit regularly has become nearly effortless, particularly with the advent of web-based “news readers” or “aggregators”. If this is new to you, don’t be intimidated, I promise it’s easier than you think. One of the best tutorials I’ve seen (for Bloglines, the free product I recommend) is here, and includes pictures to walk you right through it.

Why would you even want to engage in such geeky behavior? Again, rather than try and reinvent a stellar overview, I point you to this tutorial from a fella who claims his news aggregator changed his life.

In a nutshell, here’s why you’ll come to love your news reader: it makes gathering information of interest to you on the Internet extremely easy and completely automatic. Delivered to your door, just like the newspaper, but you don’t have to throw your robe on to retrieve it.

And no more scrolling through those endless bookmarks.

Let’s say, for instance, you’re interested in following updates on my blog (or anyone else’s.) Right now, you’re probably doing so manually. You come here via a bookmark, or enter the URL manually, or click a link that gets you here. Then it’s hit and miss once you arrive; you don’t know until then if I’ve made any updates, or if they’re even of interest to you.

And let’s say you regularly visit some news sites: ABC, NPR, or BBC, for example. Maybe you frequent sites associated with one of your hobbies or other interests. With Bloglines, or any other news reader, you can “subscribe” to those sites (as long as they’ve incorporated the feature, which is becoming fairly ubiquitous).

Again, I recommend Bloglines because it’s so user friendly. In fact, you’ll probably feel much like a technological genius when you’re done setting up your account and subscribing to a few feeds. It’s powerful technology but easy to do.

Here’s how, if you’re ready to jump in:

1) Read the tutorial above, then the Blogline article.

2) Sign up for a free Blogline account.

3) Come back to this site and select the “Blogline” button under “Syndicate” on the right.

Viola! You are now officially the recipient of an RSS-based news aggregation feed. In other words, stuff comes to you automatically. And you can read it whenever you feel like it.

On many sites (news and blogs) you’ll see Blogline’s little button, because it’s becoming one of the hottest news readers around. If you have a Blogline account, simply click that icon and you’ll be automatically subscribed.

You’ll usually see other news aggregator buttons, too–I’ve tried to include the most popular on this blog, and you may wish to use them instead. If you have a Yahoo, AOL, or MSN account, they actually come embedded with a news reader, so you’re only a click away. Some sites use “XML” or “RSS” or have a small orange icon in place of news reader links. That’s fine, it just takes an extra step. Right-click the button if you’re using a PC or “control click” on a Mac. Select “Copy link”. Then go back to your news reader, and add it. (Don’t click on the button; you’ll only get a bunch of goobledegook of no use to you.)

Give it a go and see what you think. I don’t know if it’ll change your life, but I’ll bet you anything it will make your online experience a lot more interesting and fun!

Fulfillment center’s flying!

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

Just a quick update for those who’ve been patiently waiting: our kudzu finally arrived from China and the team has been packaging up and shipping product like mad. Again, sincere apologies to those who’s orders have been held up. They are on their way, promise!

Speaking of kudzu: my 17 year old daughter got really sick a couple days ago, had been coughing like mad and it continued to get worse. She hates cold medicine and refuses to take it. But this morning she could hardly breathe–it sorta scared me. She didn’t want to go to the doc, didn’t want to move from bed. I knew kudzu has been used in Tradition Chinese Medicine for treating colds and flu, so I did some research and talked with her doctor, who had me try and assess whether it was bacterial or viral. We decided to treat with mega dose of kudzu (6,000 mg spread throughout the day), tons of Vitamin C, echinacea tea non-stop and Sumbocol (an Eldeberry extract that, like kudzu, fights inflammation, lowers fever and helps respiration. I have it in my bird flu kit, but that’s another blog.) I am amazed at the change in my kiddo over the past few hours. Don’t know if it’s one of the therapies or the combination of all, but man, it is really something!

Welcome MWO Members!

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

Today’s the day I announce the blog to my MWO members. They’re the first to see it. Feels like a housewarming or something and for some reason I’m strangely nervous. I hope they like my new digs…

On the nightstand

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

I’ve been able to uncharacteristically blast through a number of books recently–really good ones, too. They are:

The Wizard of Kew Gardens by Temma Ehrenfeld, available at Written by the Newsweek journalist who first reported MWO in the national media, I adored this book about “Morgan Reich”, a reluctant New York psychic who predicts Princess Di’s death on late night radio and is catapulted into national fame. I’ve grown close enough to Temma over the past couple of years to learn just how much of this story is actually true, which made for incredulous reading. I rarely invest in fiction, to be honest. But the key psychic events she describes are biographical, I learned afterwards. What irony, given my long distant friend’s steadfast rejection of Things Not Provable. Absolutely loved it. 

The Heart of Addiction, a New Approach to Understanding and Managing Alcoholism and Other Addictive Behaviors, by Lance Dodes, MD. Interesting approach theorizing that addiction is driven fundamentally by feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. The act of, say, simply *deciding * to take that drink creates the sense of control–and the drink itself is not terribly rewarding. To be honest, I didn’t finish the book, but plan to revisit it, because I think it’s pretty good. I’m curious about the techniques he’ll recommend based on this theory. But I realized as I got into it that: 1) Even though he’s treated hundreds of patients, like most addiction specialists, he’s never suffered an addiction and I sometimes think it’s impossible to “get it” if you don’t; and 2) I’m just not in the mood to read another addiction book right now.

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. One of the best books I’ve read in ages, an absolutely absorbing national bestseller that brings Chicago 1890’s to life. Intertwines the true tale of the brilliant architect behind the World’s Fair and a cunning serial killer who uses it as his backdrop. Incredibly well documented and beautifully written, builds momentum in every chapter. I couldn’t put this book down.

The Better Brain Book by David Perlmutter, M.D and Carol Colman. Recommended to me by a long time successful MWO’er, this book reinforces everything Linda Garcia stresses about good nutrition for improved health. Perlmutter’s easy writing style provides a quick read in figuring out how to get a jump start in protecting your brain long-term from the ravages of toxins, meds and poor food choices. Also has me thinking about driving my kids even crazier with more organics and also supplementing DHA in everyone’s diet around here. Really good stuff.

Edgar Cayce, An American Prophet by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. I used to love to read about Cayce decades ago and was reminded of him with recent posts on the board about Lenair. I’ve only started what appears to be a rich and detailed biography and so far am really enjoying it.

On the way from Amazon: Vibrational Medicine, the #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies by Richard Gerber, M.D. (Follows the work of an excellent book I read about 20 years ago called “The Body Electric“)

It’s interesting that the theme of energy healing, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), acupuncture, psychic healing, etc. have all come up on the board in the past few weeks. They are all topics of great interest to me and always have been. I really do believe those who say energy medicine is the future of all medicine. In fact, I’m starting to put more effort into promoting those elements into MWO for those who are comfortable adopting the techniques because many of them can be done at home, inexpensively, with excellent results.

Should make for lots more interesting nightstand reading.

At Borders Books this weekend…

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

I couldn’t help myself. They won’t stock my book; neither will Barnes and Noble. And I get it, I know shelf space is priceless (and political) although I’ve worked tirelessly to get my text on those damn shelves. I’ve also talked to a ton of customers who are really frustrated that they can’t walk out of their local bookstore with it–I mean, it’s the kind of book people want now. I even designed the cover so that readers wouldn’t feel sheepish about purchasing it. It doesn’t “scream” the problem, if you know what I mean. It’s a picture of a chick toting a pair of shoes, after all.

But it’s funny, whenever I’m on the road, I’ll ask the bookstore clerk if they have it in stock, assuming it’ll trigger some sort of ‘interest counter’ in their database. However, the name, the design, the subtle tan-on-brown sub-title seems lost on everyone, as was born out last time I was at Barnes and Noble when I whispered to the girl behind the counter “Do you have a book called ‘My Way Out?'”

With the enthusiasm of a gaming geek, she attacked her keyboard, looked up only seconds later and shouted out at me–and the 14 others in line–“DO YOU MEAN ROBERTA JEWELL’S MY WAY OUT, ONE WOMAN’S REMARKABLE JOURNEY IN OVERCOMING HER DRINKING PROBLEM AND HOW HER INNOVATIVE PROGRAM CAN HELP YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE??????”

I shrank. “Uh, no, I must have it confused with something else.” Gawd, I couldn’t believe it–I was embarrassed to buy my own book.

So this weekend, while on the road, a new tactic at Borders. Very stealth, very sleuth. At every red station, I looked up my book. It came up, I knew it would. It’s in Ingram’s database, they’re the wholesaler that Border’s, Barnes and Noble, and every other retailer orders from. And sales have never been better. I know this because I get a report (and a check) from my Ingram distributor every month. So I request the book at the Border’s red station to find out where it is in the store, but dang–it’s not available, I’ll have to order it, and it’ll take seven days. That’s okay. I leave it up on the screen.

So I go to the next red monolith and do the same. And the next and the next. On the fourth one, I actually print out an order form and leave it somewhere conspicuous.

I know, this is really stupid, ineffectual and petty.

But in some small way I feel vindicated from losing out on that shelf space among the other recovery books I happen to know aren’t selling nearly as well as mine.