How to Make Your Dog Vomit

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This article is not as sadistic as the title implies.  Knowing how to make your dog vomit could save his or her life.

Dogs are natural scavengers.  Unfortunately this may mean that will scavenge for food in your kitchen or garbage which could lead to deadly consequences.  There are many foods which are safe for humans that are highly toxic to dogs.  If your dog eats these items, it will be imperative that you are able to induce vomiting in a timely manner in order to avoid poisoning or harm.

Foods to avoid (below is a partial list of foods that are poisonous or harmful if ingested by your dog):

  • Grapes / Raisins (contain a toxin that can lead to kidney failure)
  • Onions (a large amount consumed at one time or over several days can lead to anemia as well as gastrointestinal problems)
  • Corn Cobs (can cause intestinal blockage)
  • Fruit Pits (can cause intestinal blockage)
  • Uncooked bread dough (the years can continue to rise in the dog’s intestine causing blockage or rupture)
  • Xylitol (in many gums and candies and can cause liver damage with extended or large quantity ingestion)
  • Macadamia Nuts (can cause locomotion difficulties)
  • Avocado (contain Persin which can cause vomiting, diarrhea or heart congestion)
  • Salmon / Trout (can contain parasites that are harmful to dogs)
  • Chicken Bones (can cause intestinal blockage)
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medicines (most medicines are harmful to your dog)
  • Chocolate (contains Theobromine which can cause seizures, irregular hearbeats, and difficulty breathing)
  • Coffee / Caffeine (similar in chemical make-up to Theobromine, can cause seizures, irregular heartbeats, difficulty breathing)

If your dogs ingests one of these items, you should induce vomiting.  Time is of the essence, so it is important that you induce vomiting immediately after consumption of the dangerous item.

Ways to induce vomiting in your dog (you should do this outside or in a tub for easier clean-up):

Hydrogen Peroxide: this inexpensive solution is available at most pharmacies and grocery stores.  A bottle can cost between 50 cents and a dollar.  To induce vomiting, pour 2-3 Tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide into your dog’s mouth, coaxing him or her to swallow it.  After about 5 minutes, your dog will begin to vomit and will continue to vomit until his or her stomach is empty.  Depending on the size of your dog, this can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

Salt: 1 Tablespoon of salt can also make your dog vomit.  This is a little messier than hydrogen peroxide as it is sometimes more difficult to force your dog to swallow a tablespoon of dry salt.  You can try mixing it with 2 Tablespoons of water in order to pour it more easily into your dog’s mouth. Vomiting will occur within about 5 minutes and will last 5 to 15 minutes.

Syrup of Ipecac: This was previously a common household item for people with small children, but new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics are no longer recommending every household keep a stock of Ipecac.  Regardless, this remedy works for dogs.  Syrup of Ipecac can be purchased from most drug stores and is slightly more expensive than Hydrogen Peroxide (about $3 for a bottle).  Follow the directions on the bottle for dosages.  Pour the syrup into your dog’s mouth to induce vomiting.  Wait several minutes for it to take effect.  Your dog will vomit the contents of his or her stomach in a span of 5 to 15 minutes.

Of course, NEVER induce vomiting if your dog has ingested a caustic substance, seek immediate medical help from your veterinarian.

If your dog is showing signs of poisoning such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stool or vomit, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, difficulty urinating, lack of thirst or hunger, etc. seek IMMEDIATE medical treatment from your veterinarian.

Keep a stock of Hydrogen Peroxide, Salt, and/or Syrup of Ipecac on hand for emergencies should they arise and always contact your veterinarian with any health questions.

You can also check out this video here.

53% of the Way to My Livestrong Challenge Philadelphia 2009 Goal

livestrong-challenge1Way back in January I signed up for the Livestrong Challenge Philadelphia 2009 100 mile bike ride. My goal is to reach $1,000 in donations on my behalf before the ride, ideally exceeding it. Training has been going really well, pounding out miles with friends after work and on weekends and I’m happy to say that $533 has been raised so far, just over half of my intial goal.

With roughly six weeks left before the ride, I still want to meet the goal. I’m not at all nervous about spending 6+ hours in a saddle or the 4,300 or so verical feet of climbing. I am nervous about not meeting my goal, as cancer has affected so many people I care about and I will be letting myself down knowing there was more I could have done.

Roughly 300 of you subscribe to the RSS feed here at Randomn3ss, thank you. If each one of you donated only $5, that would put at more than double my initial goal of $1,000. Additionally, about 500 people a day visit the site, if each of you donated just $5, the goal would be crushed. Furthermore, 401 people follow me on twitter, 256 friends on Facebook and 1,883 friends on MySpace, if everyone donated just $5 the money raised would be astronomical.

Whether you know me personally or not, I’m sure you know someone that’s been affected by Cancer. I’m not asking for hand-outs on my behalf, I’m asking you to donate a tax deductible five bucks on behalf of cancer research to help fight and find a cure for the millions of people who have died, suffered and are suffering from Cancer, and their family and friends who suffer along side.

Make the donation using a credit card here: http://philly09.livestrong.org/mikepanic

I’ve been training for months to do this ride, all I’m asking for is your support, well wishes and as little as $5. I would also really appreciate it if you could forward this article along to friends and family, post it on your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or whatever other social media sites you use, all the icons to do so are at the bottom.

Learn more about cancer here. Wikipedia on cancer. Wikipedia on Lance Armstrong. Official Livestrong site.

Stop to smell the roses, damnit

I admit right here in front of thousands (possibly billions) of people that I am in fact crazy. There, I said it. My mom has told me. My friends have told me. Hell, I’ve had exes tell me.

Growing up I was primed for a degree. I was taught how to make pleats in my plaid Catholic school girl skirt, how to pray to God and that abstinence was the best practice. At 25, the only thing I remember is how to make those pleats stick.  I think I’m supposed to be a doctor or something like that by now. But, I am not. I haven’t stepped foot in a college classroom in a couple of years and in reality, I don’t plan to for awhile. I moved 838.5 miles away from my family and friends. I have eleven tattoos, facial piercings, dyed my hair ridiculous colors. And you know what? I’ve done drugs.

Sure, that’s to be expected at some point in any individuals life but I am not on a straight path. I should have been done with college three years ago. I probably should be in a stable loving relationship for a few years by now. I shouldn’t be working two jobs to survive and my whole body should not be covered in tattoos.

I pictured my twentysomethings different than this. More settled, I’d say. Grounded and less like my head is in the clouds. A lot less like a soap opera composed of one unfortunate event after another. I shouldn’t complain, really, I have my life and a roof over my head. I have a handful of trusted and funny (for the worse of times) friends. I still have my mom telling me she loves me. And my brain, mostly, is intact.

Why such disdain for my life? Ok, I confess, life is good. In fact the past several weeks of my life have been incredible.

However, these high expectations were instilled in me a very long time ago. The only one to blame is me, the battle royale between myself has been bloody throughout the years. They say your worse critic is yourself and believe me, it has been.

In the next few months I am going to be mapping out my five year plan. Goals that are geared towards what makes me happy. Desires that allow me to travel, finish school, produce art, hang around kids, get more tattoos, see my family, witness great music, explore and learn more at a feasible rate. Nonetheless, goals that are vital to my survival. This doesn’t mean I will be aiming to become a doctor because that is something I do not want to become. But it means that my ass is getting into gear. Instead of being indecisive about my future, it’s time to put an anchor on me.

So far I have planned near future goals. Get a new tattoo. Attend Sasquatch. Visit home. Photograph only using film. Run at least three times a week. Decide where I will be living in September.

Not really much but I’ve been discovering that it truly is the small things that count. I haven’t been taking the time to enjoy those small moments. Like when you stop to watch the rainfall. Or witness a child smiling. Those are the things I’ve been missing out on.

Take it or leave it but I say to you, stop to smell the roses and you will find your raison d’être.

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The road to happiness

As I cuddled up with my blankets for about the sixth movie of the weekend, I let out a sigh of relief. One because I was eating Slow Churned Cookie Dough ice cream. Two and most importantly, because I didn’t have to share it with anyone. While I was still getting used to the idea of not sharing a bed with someone, I was content. Most dire to me, I was not panicking.

Don’t get me wrong. I was by no means a raging addict. I did not belong in a Sex or Alcohol Anonymous Program.  (My alcohol intake was quite a bit but not to the extent that it was damaging my life. My liver, however, would beg to differ.)

What has been unnerving me the most this past week is my “dependency” in seeking the opposite sex’s attraction not in my other vices. The most baffling to me is that I have not been in a solid relationship for a long time and I have lived on my own for several months. There was no question that I could in fact survive on my own. I have entertained myself with myself for days on end. So, why the current need to have a warm body next to me? Is it because it’s winter? Is it because it’s close to Valentine’s Day?
I thought about the answer all week and what it comes down to really is the acquisition of my self esteem. Rather my lack of tenacity in seeking it recently. How did I let myself become a part of someone else? Their identity? Their praise?  Sure, at one point or another we all identify with our significant other. It’s the point where the lines blur and we start to share similar traits and interests.
I have become a different person in my own body. I have the same legs, eyes, hair, everything but I am a stranger to myself.

How did this all begin?

Media? Childhood? Relationships? It is all of them. I started to really channel myself into what happened in the past and how I am pushed towards a certain concept of what I should be like. My own perception has become limiting. Somehow all of the bad things in my relationships: platonic & romantic, have collected in my brain and now I have embodied all of those negative things.

Grieving is to feel grief for or because of or to cause great stress to. They say there are x number of steps to grief. If I am ready to bury my old self I must follow these steps in order to get over it. There are five: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But how does oneself grieve oneself?

Maybe it’s because I am going through a quarter life crisis (shake your heads, you thirty plus year olds, you) that I decided it was time to do much more than just party. Maybe it’s time for me to start acting like all of my friends with degrees act. Maybe it’s not. I can’t say for certain just yet but each day is a step closer to discovering what my happiness is. Sure, the road to happiness is long, winding with twists and turns, steep climbs and huge falls to piss your pants. Some could say it’s treacherous. And although I am only two weeks deep into my re-self discovery, I know that I’ll be learning more about myself in the forthcoming weeks. I am genuinely looking forward to what lies ahead.

96th Hour of Sobriety

I thought I’d make my comeback with an extravagant entrance. Picture a ticker tape parade with floats composed of people wearing burlap sacks and holding Zimas. Visualize a nun pontificating about abstinence and the benefits. Imagine a cop confiscating an 8th of weed and the criminal being delighted. This has been encompassing me for the past few days. Although 96 hours isn’t much in the grand scheme of things it is for a person who partakes in vices.

After a month of just turning 25 I believe it’s time to clear my head. Best described to a friend, “I don’t want to let any of those things cloud me, myself and I plus this means I’ll have more money.” Of course, he did not take me seriously and retorted, “That is very true, hookers can be quite expensive.” Despite what others think, I’m dead serious. I’m about to embark on a 3 month journey of no sex, smoking, alcohol or drugs. My goal is ultimately to extend this beyond 3 months but I’m not making any promises.  In 2009 this is probably the most difficult task to grasp. By now you’re probably baffled as to why I would even choose this escapade.

Well, after a long bout of ominous dating, four months of non-stop late nights, strong drinks and a haze of THC, I’m burnt out. Although I have a strong head screwed on my shoulders. I need some clarity.
I whole heartedly believe that sex is the bane for most woes. In excess alcohol and drugs have the same effect.

Iam preparing myself for a lot of nights of, well, boringness according to popular belief. I have stocked up on a ton of books, music, movies and a few friends who support me. Perhaps my expectations are high but I’m thinking I will experience a lot of epiphanies.

My first one I’ve discovered is respect. I certainly know the definition of respect but do not know it in the context of myself. While I hold respect for a lot of people I have not respected myself recently. I have let people disrespect me time and time again. From disappearing on me for a week to emotional abuse to letting someone back into my life. The list, unfortunately, goes on. In the past I’ve known that in order for others to respect you it begins within yourself. I am now starting to remember this.  While most people will not understand what or why I’m doing this to me this is a challenge I’m willing to take in order to gain the insight I’m looking for.

The days of me acting like I’m 18 are over for awhile. I suppose this means I’m grown up or mature as they call it.

Insurance Companies Keeping Us In Check

A ew years ago I had some horrible experiences with insurcance companies, here’s a few of them.

I spent the better part of yesterday back and forth between my insurance company and the doctors office absolutely bewildered at the state of healthcare in America. My foot propped up on a pillow; I remembered why I had put off calling the doctor for three weeks, because I was already overwhelmed with what lay ahead. The inefficiencies of our nations insurance companies are mind-boggling. Some might think that they fail at their goal; they don’t provide what they offer. But this is untrue; the insurance company achieves its ultimate goal. This is because its goal is to fail. Its not supposed to provide health coverage to its members. Instead the corporations essentially offer false hope and as a result disillusionment that leaves more Americans in their current social and economic state.

I called Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and was immediately greeted by an automated service. The computerized voice offered me a few options that were none of the options that I was searching for. After about five options I pressed zero thinking I knew the little secret that many others didn’t, the golden number to a live operator. I’ve always been quite proud when I would tell others about my secret, the way that I would skip the line and get right to a live person by pressing the golden “0”. Alas apparently I have told to many people because this was no longer an option. Instead Max Headrome returned and went through the aforementioned options. I pressed “1” and then had to choose between English and Spanish which would be the easiest part of my journey. Of course once I selected a language I had to wait for a few minutes listening to horrible elevator music although I was actually in an elevator. I cursed myself for not finding a landline to make the call thinking about how sprint had to be in on this too as my daytime minutes slipped away.
Finally I heard a pause in the music. My heart raced as I sat silent for a second only to realize it was my connection that was suspect, the elevator music resumed. But alas after a few more moments, while watching Oprah belittle some author I was greeted with a friendly voice.

Thank you for calling Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, how many I help you?

Hi, I don’t know if you are the right person to call, but um, um, I am looking for the out of state, away from home care, do you need my membership number first

That would be great

Why didn’t she ask me this to begin with? It would seem like the logical thing to do considering at one point or another she would need this information. We spent the next few minutes discussing the different intonations of “M” versus “N’ and “V” versus “B” or “C”. For some reason I never think of easy words to offer such as “B as in Benjamin”. Instead I always think of curse words or nothing at all, “B as in bitch” and I giggle to myself in my head. Finally we confirm that I am indeed me, which I always find is a relief. Infact I urge any of us who are having any type of identity problems to immediately call their insurance company. They will certainly give you confirmation and you can go about your existence again. After all this she finally says,

So how may I help you?

I need to find doctors in Philadelphia.

Any type of doctors?

Oh wow, I didn’t think of that, well yea a foot doctor, a podiatrist, I injured myself playing basketball (She didn’t give much attention to this information) But you should know I’m out of state, my coverage is in Connecticut.

I see

The dreaded I see. Its arguably one of the worst expressions one can hear. Right up there with Sorry hunny, I’ve been cheating on you with Hitler or your best friend and, Hi, this is Tina, that girl from the bar last month, you know McFaddens, yea well I’m pregnant. Blasted McFadden’s!

Well sure ill have to connect you with the out of state operator, she will take care of you.

Oh, okay then, thank you.

Why didn’t she do this in the beginning! Why did I spend the last five daytime minutes on the phone with someone who could not help me? It makes no sense, its almost as if she was just teasing me. Like youre 17 in the back of your car with the prom queen, you feel like a million bucks. But then she gets out of the car after two minutes of kissing right when you were beginning to maneuver your hand up her shirt! God Damnit! Stifled again! I feel like a blue-balled teenager.

More time goes by and finally I’m in the right place. This voice sounds much like the previous one and makes me think that I’m the butt of a big joke. Like the guys from Crank Yankers are on the other end having a big laugh. And the first question she asks,

Hello sir, may I please have your membership identification number?

Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? Now I know I’m the target of some vast conspiracy. Didn’t I just give this information to the last operator? Shouldn’t you already have this information? Now I feel like a foreigner speaking to someone in French. (I chose the French here because they are the only people who have as much disdain for me as insurance customer service operators). You know those times when you just repeat the same thing over and over again as if they will all of a sudden learn English through repetitive listening.
I give up my information all the time praying that she wont ask why I’m out of state, in Philadelphia considering I have a few doctors visits in the area and none in my “home state”. I will refrain from giving up any more information for fear of the obvious, they are watching. After five more minutes she has found three doctors in my network. Hallelujah. My blood rushes, my heart pounds. I see light at the end of the tunnel until I ask the next question.

So do I have to do anything else? Once I make the appointment do I have to do anything else?

I don’t know sir, I only am a locator. You will have to call membership services.

Oh ok, can you please connect me to them.

I’m sorry, I don’t have the directory here so you’ll just have to call the customer service line, it should be on the back of your card.

No shit, I used it to call you. I hang up. I look at the clock and see that I have twenty minutes to Around the Horn on Espn and would like to have all this finished up so I can hear five people’s ramblings on the significance of Kobe Bryant dropping 81 in an NBA game. Upon occasion I marvel at the fact that people are paid to just give their opinions and report events. It seems like such an easy job, I should be paid to do that. I do it ever day, That hot ass chick just bought a chicken parm sandwich, damn she is hot, I should get her number. Seems easy enough. I take a deep breath and call back. Brimming with confidence knowing that it didn’t take me too long last time to find an operator. At least after a few miscues. But this time takes much longer. For some reason all the options that were available the last time I called seem different. I can never remember what option I chose in my Choose Your Adventure story.

You might ask why don’t I just make the appointment? Well rewind a few years when I had a knee injury and was attending college in Washington DC. After finding a doctor in the network I made an appointment and went in for knee rehabilitation. Confident that I was completely covered I went a few times. The doctor’s office never gave notice that anything was wrong. After 9 visits totaling at $900 I find that the insurance company won’t cover it because I never alerted them for authorization. I thought I had considering I talked to an operator. But alas this was not enough and I was stuck with a $900 tab. Insurance companies are the devil.

So this day I growing increasingly frustrated. I had just hung up for the third time, not finding my pot of gold through the winding automated maze. I decided to give it one more go before giving up on the day. Somehow, through divine intervention I found the person I need to talk to. Three daytime phone calls and 20 minutes to find one person to offer me this after I gave her my membership number again,

Yes sir, call and make an appointment then call us again here at the out of state care to alert us to the doctor, date, time and address so we can put through an authorization code for that day.

Once I had to reschedule an appointment after putting the authorization call in. I forgot to call in a second time to alert the change in date and was denied coverage once again. I figure they would be smart enough to know that it was the same patient and doctor. Apparently it was I who was not smart enough. So I ask this lovely lady for some information as well,

May I have your name and extension so I can just call you back?

Yes my name is Monique and I don’t have an extension, but you can just ask for me. Also make sure you ask the doctor if they are still in the network.

That’s essentially the same thing as the how about I take your number instead? Then you walk yourself home late at night telling yourself she will indeed call. After a few days you start looking her up on Yahoo, Google, Friendster, MySpace to no available and convince yourself that she must have lost your number because why would she have asked for your number in the first place if she didn’t want to call you. Wait did she really ask for my number? Hmmm.

I Google the three doctors whose names I received through the locator operator who has nothing to do with the out of state operator. Only one of them has any information online and two of the others have names that sound like id meet them in the back of a dark alley in Bangkok during monsoon season. I call the listed doctor and leave a message on a shotty old school sounding answering machine.  Two days later I get a call back and make an appointment. I ask the secretary if they are still in the network.

I don’t know, how would I know? If they listed us we must be. That’s all on the insurance company, that has nothing to do with us. How about this, you just come in and if they approve it they approve it. If they don’t then you can deal with it later.

Exhausted, mentally and emotionally I say whatever and hang up. I now get ready to call back Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Ill skip past the Choose Your Adventure phase this time but be assured that it definitely occurred. I find an operator and ask to speak to Monique only to find that Monique doesn’t exist. She was like a dream, or a nightmare. Eventually I am reconnected to out of state coverage. This woman was nothing like Monique. Not that Monique was a saint but she was helpful in her role. This woman though was immediately suspect of my out of state care and the reasons behind me not being in Connecticut. After much convincing she accepts my lame duck story and puts through the authorization. I wet my pants in excitement and down a shot of Jamesons by myself. I ask her for her name before I hang up,

My name is Monique sir, anything else I can help you with?

A rope and a high chair?

She doesn’t get it.

I have yet to visit the doctor. They didn’t have an opening for ten days so I have to sit here with my injured foot awaiting news that I already know.  You should rest it for a while, a few weeks, maybe we should take some x rays. At which point I’ll have to get the insurance company to cover the X-ray somehow. Which means ill have to go through the whole process again.

I sit here now completely jaded by the whole bureaucracy. I think to myself that there is such an easier way. That the system does not make any sense. Its not efficient and it doesn’t do what its designed to do. But infact it does. Insurance companies aren’t designed to provide affordable quality healthcare to their members. They are designed to earn money and its what they do best. That’s how the companies are constructed.

And all this money goes to one place, the higher ups, the bourgeoisie. The money goes right into the pocket of the ceo’s who are making deals with the prescription drug companies and to lobbyists who then pad the pockets of our civic representatives. It’s designed to keep the current social caste system. A system where the upper and lower class are being even further separated as the middle class disappears. There’s no mistake that every operator is named Monique (reference page 179 of Freakanomics, by Steven D Levitt Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name smell as Sweet). They find people from lower income brackets who they can train and offer full health benefits. To this individual it’s a great deal. They get a steady job; benefits and they can support their families. Meanwhile the corporation dangles the cheese in front of them, consistently creating a falsehood while promising these low-income workers opportunities to move up through the corporate ladder. It will never happen. Although the women’s movement has created more jobs for women there is still a large discrepancy when it comes to women in positions of corporate power. Even more so for African-American women who have lived hanging on the bottom rung since Americas inception. All Monique can do is follow protocol and report problems to her manager who is probably someone named Jim and earns just a little more then her and reports to someone who reports to someone who reports to someone who reports to someone who reports to someone who reports to someone who reports to the board of directors at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The Insurance companies also keep each division separated. They don’t want their employees developing relations with their peers. Its not encouraged. Hence the reason we have to keep giving them our membership number over and over again. If each division were in constant contact with one another then it would promote discussion and debate. They would eventually find that Monique in the out of state office earns more then Monique at the locator office and would also discover that the another Monique has been working in membership services and hasn’t been given a raise or promotion in the 23 years she has been working with the company. Monique will never move up the ranks because those positions are reserved for those upper class individuals who attended the nations greatest private schools and universities.
Upon graduation, without any field experience these ivy leaguers who will most likely be white will be employed by the insurance companies assuring their spots in the corporate hierarchy. As a result Monique will never be given a fair opportunity to rise up the corporate ladder, bring money into her community, or worry about her social responsibility. In effect her children will grow up without a mother who has to work constantly to pay the bills. The children will have no guidance and have to attend lower income public schools with no money for books, computers, or sexual education. There’s a good chance that one of Monique’s children will get into drugs, another will parent a child at a very young age and neither of them will ever have the opportunity to attend college. As a result little George W. Bush, having just graduated from Yale (where he never had the intelligence/grades to attend in the first place but most certainly the money and lack of pigment) will have his place secured in the hierarchy. Monique and her children will have their places secured as well.

The company hopes that after being misled through automated services and constantly redirected the member will just give up. Instead of going through all the hassle they will just pay it themselves and stay in debt. As a result they will never be able to move from the lower class to the ever-dwindling middle class and one day upon the high perches of the 1% that actually control everything. For a good example watch the movie The Rainmaker starring Matt Damon and Danny Devito, or read the book of the same title by author John Grisham.

It’s easy to break a persons back who is already on their knees. These individuals who seek healthcare through the insurance companies are already bewildered, are already ill. Why should a sick person have to put up with any of this? The last thing they want to do is worry about why their insurance company isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, hence the reason they usually give up. It’s a small price to pay for the insurance companies when some members actually follow up on their services and claims. Unfortunately for us the person at both ends of the line happens to be Monique. We are the same person attempting to figure out the same problem and finding no answers.

The higher ups are sitting back with their feet up sipping on champagne in their private jets flying off to their private islands. They marvel at how we don’t get it, they spit on us and look down upon our broken backs, dirty hand and sniffling noses. But if history proves anything its that things move in cycles and if Karl Marx is right, there’s a revolution coming, hopefully sooner rather then later.

Book review: It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong

While reading through Heft on Wheels a few weeks back I made some mental notes, mainly of the the authors remarks about how he read in Lance Armstrong‘s book, It’s Not About the Bike and was inspired to climb Beech Mountain in North Carolina.  Mike did it to prove something to himself, but I was curious why it had inspired him, so I ordered a copy of the book and read it over about a weeks time.

Wow.  That’s about all I have to say.  The book is as the title suggests, it’s a story about a cocky kid who was dealt a few bad cards in life and rides his bike to get away from the troubles he has.  Only, it’s not about the bike or riding at all.  Sure this book has a few paragraphs in a chapter here and there about the technical aspects of riding and why Lance rides and all that stuff, but it’s much deeper than that.

Having known little about Lance Armstrong prior to reading this book, other than he’s won the Tour de France 7 times and a slew of other races, has had one nut cut off, used to date a few celebrities and started the Livestrong movement making it fashionable to wear a yellow rubber wristband, I knew very little about who he really was.  His book reads more like a confession, about riding too hard and too fast, racing one day and literally having surgery to remove cancer the next day and his intense physical pains while going through chemotherapy treatments.  Lance also goes into great detail about the emotional bonds between his friends, being stabbed in the back by some sponsors and still fully embraced by others.

It’s an inspiration to say the least and makes it easy to identify what it must be like to live with cancer, from both a first person point of view and through the eyes of his family.  Nothing is left untouched, even the conception of Armstrong’s first child had details most would never dream of sharing.

For cycling fans, there are some really good passages about how Lance gets spanked early on in his riding career, then post-cancer training through Europe and how he prepared himself for winning his first Tour.  While all this is going on, he confesses his emotional sins about not wanting to race, to drink beer and play golf and work whatever crap job he can just to feed those habits.

Cycling fan or not, this is a book worth reading, if nothing more than to see the struggle that Armstrong has survived through and now thrives from.  Having read this, I feel a bit more proud to support his cause in the 2009 Philadelphia Livestrong Challenge.

As a side note, Amazon has this book used for as little as $4 shipped, click here to order one.

Livestrong Challenge Philadelphia 2009

With the bulk of my weight loss behind me and the success of the National MS Society City to Shore Ride I trained for, raised $825 for and completed last fall coupled with the happiness I feel inside due to meeting several more goals, I started to look for another charity ride to take part in this year.  After searching around I was beyond happy to find out that a Livestrong Challenge was taking place in Philadelphia on August 23, 2009.  This year, i will be more than doubling the miles in comparison to the MS ride, taking on the longest ride the Challenge has to offer, 100 miles.

The Livestrong Challenge is a series in several cities spearheaded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  This charity specifically appealed to me because I’ve seen too many of my close friends lose their parents to cancer, and while a few have survived, they all should have.  Beyond the physical pain they feel, it rips an emotional pain through their families and friends that lasts a lifetime.  A cure needs to be found.

My goal for this ride is to raise $1,000, I need your help to do this.  Please make a tax deductible donation on my behalf at: http://philly09.livestrong.org/mikepanic, even $5 will help, so skip Starbucks for a day and donate to an amazing charity and help me raise more than my goal.  If this money means it will help find a cure for cancer, I’ll ride 100 miles a day, every day.

This ride will be dedicated to:

  • The Kastelnik Family
  • The Pail Family
  • The Landis Family
  • The Cieri Family
  • The Torpe Family

And all those who have suffered from, lost, loved or known someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.

As with last years event, I will be making progress posts on how my training is going along, since the longest ride I’ve done to date is 55 miles, I’ve got a lot of work ahead.  I honestly hope to smash the $1,000 goal in donations too, so that information will be updated on a regular basis too.

Learn more about cancer here.  Wikipedia on cancer. Wikipedia on Lance Armstrong. Official Livestrong site.

To make a tax deductible donation on my behalf: http://philly09.livestrong.org/mikepanic

Please use the social bookmark / network / email options below to share this article on your Facebook / Myspace / Twitter / and email to friends and family.  The more people that are made aware, the better.

Durex Get It On

This is and isn’t work safe, it’s funny and it’s not.  It’s a video poking fun at a very serious subject, yet done so very well.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/2826264[/vimeo]

Movie Credits:
Client    Durex
Title    Get It On
Director    Superfad
Duration    :30
Agency    Fitzgerald+CO

See the outtakes on Superfad.

Cooking Brings Peace Tonight

I have not spent a lot of time cooking lately, so today I decided to make soup from a recipe recommended by Mike here at Randomn3ss.

My work day was spent mostly sitting, and mostly designing (graphic design), so it was refreshing to stand for about two hours rinsing, boiling, dicing, chopping, measuring, stirring, smelling and being quiet. Silent, actually. My workplace is a fairly loud place at times, with lots of interruptions, lots of laughter, lots of activity going by my desk all day, and so making my brain concentrate amid all that takes a lot of work. While cooking tonight, I didn’t even turn on any music. I just took in the quiet, enjoying the sound and feeling of the knife cutting the herbs and vegetables, hearing my boyfriend working on a bicycle upstairs, and actually hearing the quiet of my own mind, which I quite honestly have not heard lately.

The concentration cooking required of me tonight was perfect. It stopped my racing mind, put all the true concerns and true nonsense on a shelf somewhere, nowhere to be found, thankfully, due to focusing on the tasks at hand. That kind of peace, the peace of being in the moment, was easy to attain for me tonight, which reminds me that I need to create this for myself daily. Cooking is a natural way to get into the peace zone, though it’s not always possible or doesn’t always happen. Cooking is also a perfect way to talk about the day, be silly, laugh and enjoy the comfort of relationship, which is another type of inner quieting needed (even if it’s not quiet outwardly), a lovely peace inside from connection.

Cooking tonight brought me the reminder that I must have peace like this regularly, and to use cooking as the means more often. My whole self, all my senses are telling me this, and for once, I’m quiet and peaceful enough to hear it and take it in, as I eat the wonderful results of peace-filled cooking.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Moroccan-Chickpea-Soup-104356