Riot this

Most of you are aware of the riots going on in Baltimore right now. Supposedly it is because of that poor fellow who died in police custody.  That shouldn’t have gone down the way it did. But what is going on now- this is not about that man who died in custody. It shouldn’t have happened… But this is nothing more than cruddy people taking advantage of a situation to try to get away with shit behavior and get free shit. They figure if everyone is doing it, they have safety in numbers.  Really, how are your free Slim Jims and stolen pharmacy drugs going to get “justice for Freddie Gray?”  The basis of this riot in supposedly seated in race inequality, the media and the deliberately ignorant happily perpetuating the hate by shamelessly race baiting with inflammatory headlines and ignorant memes.  I’m not saying race inequality does not exist, but that’s not what all this chaos is about.

Not that long ago, there was a big riot in KY (mostly white people, guys), after of all things, a fucking (sports) game! Obviously, in regards to the Baltimore riot and the death of Mr. Gray, race is being thrown around (again) a lot by all sides.  But to me, the Kentucky riot is just further support for the fact that when it comes to behavior like this, race is not the issue.  Watch some of the videos circulating.  There were  peaceful protesters initially, but what you see in common in both the KY and MD incidents has nothing to do with race.  It’s nothing but a mob of opportunistic scavengers.

And to those people I say:

U MAD, BRO?

U MAD, BRO?

You either get it or you don’t.  That’s it.  I’m out.

SDiT Laws

A sort piece I wrote for BUFNews on service dog laws…

blessingsunleashednews

Did you know that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does NOT cover service dogs in training (SDiT)?  Trainers of service dogs must look to their individual state’s legislation to see if it bridges the gap between ADA coverage for a service dog and a SDiT. Here’s a helpful resource I found that details laws by state and highlights “SDiT friendly” states.  This is pretty important, as if your SDiT is not allowed the same access to public spaces as a fully graduated service dog, it will take that much longer to properly socialize and desensitize him to all of the situations and places he will need to become a dog capable of passing a Canine Good Citizen test.

And since Blessings Unleashed is based in Kentucky, here is a link to the state laws governing service animals in Kentucky.

Be informed of your rights!

-Kelly- ABCDT

View original post

I am a pitiful excuse for a blogger…

…At least lately.  Deepest apologies to my regular readers/followers.  As some of you may know, I have been without internet since we moved to our new place in August.  In short, I am too poor for it right now.  It’s played hell with my posting frequency.

But it’s been good in other ways.  I have enjoyed the peace and quiet of having extricated myself from most Facebook drama and all the bad news on the internet. While neglecting my writing, I have had more time for my art.

And I have reached Paragon levels on Diablo III.  (Quite an achievement, I know. Haha)

But maybe best of all, recently, I spoke to the director of the local animal shelter and have set up an arrangement with her whereby I will begin to offer free 15-20 minute consultations to people who adopt dogs from the shelter, and then I can give them my business card if they are interested in additional training or advice.  It’s a win-win situation, I think.

But take heart, gentle readers. I have not disappeared forever (as much as some people may wish I would 😀 )

Maybe after tax time or when I am getting steady income from my new business….

AFK

My friends and loyal readers:

So sorry to have been AFK (away from Keyboard) for so long, but as of now the only time I can get online is at other people’s homes, as we have no interwebZ.  But I haven’t been completely useless.  I have some finished art to upload when I can, and will try to check in again soon.   MWAH!

-ARQ

Insomnia: The Middle of the Night

Believe it or not, my fellow insomniacs, there is actually an established form of insomnia specifically where you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t return to sleep (as opposed to those that have trouble initially falling asleep.)  It even has it’s own acronym; MOTN.  And that’s kind of what I’ve been dealing with for the past few weeks.  I have written before about my sleep troubles, but it seems as if they’ve morphed a bit from sleep latency issues, to this troublesome middle-of-the-night shit.  This problem is made even more difficult due to my family’s current sleeping arrangements–

Hubby has back issues and has been finding the bed increasingly uncomfortable, so he sleeps on the couch most night.  Three and a half year old J has been taking to invading my bed at least half of every night.  Even if she falls asleep in her bed, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she calls for me, and I am too tired to argue when she climbs in my bed.  I often spend half the night nudging her back to “her” side as she encroaches on my space with an elbow or tries to steal my pillow.  When I do wake too early, I hesitate to just get up and go out in the living room because hubby is asleep out there, so I just toss and turn in bed until I either fall back asleep, or get pissed and take a hot bath.

But I can’t blame it all on the family. No, not at all.  I have sinus problems; spend a lot of time forcefully blowing my nose.  I have IC (what I half-jokingly refer to as “hamster bladder,” although it’s not really that funny.)  I have OCD and anxiety issues.  Often now, when I wake up, if I am awake too long I become hungry.  If I eat, the next time I wake up I am ravenous.  Basically my sleep is shit, and I have developed some pretty questionable methods for trying to capture the elusive dragon’s tail of sleep– Namely drugging myself with anti-histamines (I tell myself it’s for my allergies and sinus issues) and the occasion Ambien prescription (which sometimes ends poorly.)

Lately, I decided to give melatonin another go, and I can almost believe the dissolvable kind I got helps me fall asleep a little faster.  But at least three nights a week I am still waking in the middle of the night, sometimes for as long as two or three hours.

So 5 am this morning, I finally just got up and asked hubby to relocate, and I did some yoga and dicked around on the computer, which brings me to now.  I looked up a bit about MOTN insomnia and read up on few ideas to try and help myself out.  Now I share them with you, faithful reader, in the hopes that you may benefit from them as well.

Some science shows that cognitive behavioral therapy may help with sleep issues.

Some of the main tenants of CBT for insomnia involve such things as:

1) Sleep Restriction–  In my case, this may involve not going to bed so early, but can also include cutting any daytime naps (which I am no longer ever lucky enough to get anyhow.)

2) Stimulus Control– This encompasses things like not staying in bed to toss and turn when you can’t sleep, since this can build unpleasant and sleep-hindering associations with your bedroom.  Basically, you want to restrict your bedroom activities to only relaxing thing.  Avoid watching TV or working in the bedroom, and use your bed for only sleep and sex.

3) Sleep Hygiene— You may have heard this term and not really understood what it means.  Basically, it means just establishing good habits in relation to sleep, to promote better sleep.  This includes things like restricting caffeine and alcohol consumption before bed.  (Although alcohol may seem to help you fall asleep, it has been shown to disrupt the sleep cycle.)  Also, avoiding clock-watching and sleeping in a cool, dark room can help.

(source)

Lastly, I thought it might still be helpful to figure out some techniques to help people like myself relax enough to sleep, as anxiety or an overactive brain is often a big portion of my problem.

There are two main reasons why relaxation techniques are useful for inducing sleep. First, a relaxed body is prepared for sleep; and second, when you focus your attention inward on a specific routine, you are less likely to think about outside stimuli or thoughts that would hinder the sleeping process. (source)

One such technique is called Progressive relaxation, and involves following a series of steps encouraging active body awareness and relaxation (which you can pretape and then play back to yourself, if so desired.)  *see detailed example

A second, simpler technique involves simply alternately tensing and relaxing your toes, allowing them to draw tension from your body.

A few other tips for promoting a better night’s sleep are as follows:

1) Keep a regular sleep schedule– set a regular bedtime and wake up the same time every day.

2) Increase your light exposure during the day, especially natural sunlight, or a light therapy box, if necessary.

3) Likewise, boost your melatonin production at night by avoiding bright light sources, even such as a computer or backlit device like an Ipod, too close to bedtime.

4) Create a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself.

5) Eat right and get regular exercise

(source)

 

Well, that’s it for today, folks.  Follow the source links for more detailed info and additional ideas, and also feel free to comment telling us your techniques and experiences.

I would tell you all that I hope you sleep like a baby, but babies often toss and turn and cry and pee themselves, so…

I hope you sleep like a cat.

CAT1s (5) CAT2 CAT3 cat4(5) cat5 sleep06

 

Happy Birthday, Peter Steele (January 4, 1962 – April 14, 2010)

Happy Birthday, Peter Steele. We miss your voice!

 

 

alienredqueen

The unique voice of the Goth Metal band Type O Negative, may have looked intimidating, but people who knew him would likely describe him as a gentle giant.  His imposing height (reported as anywhere from 6’6″ to 6’8″,) his deep voice, and vampiric style may have seemed scary to some, and in keeping with the style of band, but he was also just a regular guy.  He loved reading, science, and cats.  He lifted weights and worked on cars. He questioned his religion and suffered from almost crippling bouts of stage fright.

image2

Pete solemn

Today, on his birthday, I just want to take a moment to remember Peter, celebrate his music, and mourn his untimely death.

sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Steele

see also:  http://enterthegoatlady.com/2010/04/20/pete-steele-is-dead-again-but-sadly-its-for-good-this-time/

edit (addition):  http://loudwire.com/type-o-negative-peter-steele-dies-anniversary/

View original post

Dog Eat Dog Trainer

(photo by Battle Buddy)

(photo by Battle Buddy)

I absolutely love this photo! This embodies everything I eventually want my career to be— training good dogs to help good people!  And this weekend I started the next step in the journey.  Not all that long ago, my sister told me she was in school online to become a dog trainer.  When I realized how easy it was (not necessarily the studying part, but the enrollment and access to materials, etc,), I talked it over with hubby and decided to go for it, taking the first concrete step toward a career goal that I’ve taken since graduating college (and having abysmal luck getting a job in my fields of study.)

Recently, I finished all of my academic coursework and on Saturday I had the first training session of my externship.

I had spoken with my trainer on the phone for a while a week or two before so we could work out a schedule and she could tell me what I should bring.  She had a short list of her preferable tools–  three different sized quick-clip martingale collars, a leather leash, and different types of treats for different “grade” rewards.  The collars I ordered arrived within two days of being ordered, but I was disturbed to discover how expensive the leather leashes are, (and my loyal readers know I’m pretty damn poor, and not just ramen noodle college poor.   I decided to take a regular nylon leash in the meantime, while I scouted around online for a decent priced leash to fit my needs.  The first dog we worked with showed me the reason why I will be paying good money for a good, wide leather leash.  Harold was a large (although not overly large) black and white dog with an interesting double dew-claw.  He was sweet, and easy to food lure into basic “sit” and “down” positions–  a great first dog for me to learn and practice on…   But he was also a bit excited, and deceptively strong.  I wasn’t expecting it, and when I first pulled him out of his kennel, he practically zipped the skin off my palms with that stupid nylon leash!  My trainer and I actually ended up double leashing him for added control.

Anyway, my trainer was also really cool.  Not only was she nice and easy to work with, but she also encouraged me to ask her questions and bring up any ways that my coursework teachings might differ from her methods (which is often the case, as although many of the main tenets are the same, every trainer has their own style.)  What’s even cooler is that in addition to her dog training business and her affiliation with ABC, she is part of an organization that trains service dogs for autistic children!

Despite the chilly day and unforgiving wind, I ended up having a great time and look forward to my next lesson.

As an added bonus, I received an email from my trainer saying that she also enjoyed our session and that it was “nice to have a student who has natural ability.”  Color me tickled!

Hopefully, as the next few months progress, I will have some interesting stories about my experiences for you guys!  In fact, I’m almost sure I will!

Senile Stalker Has Left the Building

Well, it seems as if this is truly the end of the Senile Stalker Saga.  Those of you who have followed my tales of his many exploits from the beginning are on the edge of your seats , I know.

To begin with, I’ll say I got a long period of peace after my husband finally lost his patience with the Old Man and told him off.  He didn’t talk to me.  He didn’t even look in my direction when he walked by.   Alas, as you may have guessed, eventually he got braver again.  First it was talking to me in the guise of concern for my neighbor *Marie, who had to have emergency surgery a few months ago and was in the hospital.  And then he started sitting outside in his little wooden chair, on his front lawn, no shirt, looking like a candle that’s been left out in the sun all day.  And then a new family moved into the complex (the man and his ex-wife in separate apartments.  The kids are here somewhere too,) and the Old Man and this middle aged guy would sit outside for hours at a time and just bullshit.  And every once in a while he would mosey over and talk to my kid, for my benefit, I guess.  And I’d shoo her away, toward our front door, if I had to.

Not lovely lady lumps...

Not lovely lady lumps…

The other day, my neighbor saw some people moving appliances out of his apartment.  I hadn’t seen him in a few days, but I didn’t figure I was lucky enough that he was moving.

We surmised maybe they were replacing some of his appliances (they only do that here when something finally breaks down and they have to.)

But today, I got the low down along the “apartment complex grapevine…”   My Senile Stalker is gone for good.  (He’s not dead…although another time when I didn’t see him for a few days, I began to wonder.)  But apparently he did harass one female tenant too many and management finally kicked his wrinkled old ass out!

At least Master Roshi is useful...

At least Master Roshi is useful…