Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday News

Contents of This Week:

Def'n: DIY - Do It Yourself

Do It Yourself From Wikipedia,
      the free encyclopedia

Girl decorating a gingerbread house
Do it yourself (DIY) is the method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the aid of experts or professionals. Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where "individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and component parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g., landscaping)". DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness)

The term "do-it-yourself" has been associated with consumers since at least 1912 primarily in the domain of home improvement and maintenance activities. The phrase "do it yourself" had come into common usage (in standard English) by the 1950s, in reference to the emergence of a trend of people undertaking home improvement and various other small craft and construction projects as both a creative-recreational and cost-saving activity.

Video: DIY - Tadpole (Recumbent 'cycle)


1. Warrior Trike/Plans from Atomic Zombie
2. Tadpole Recumbent from Josh From The Bronx
3. Fossil Tr1k from the UK
Many other plans DIY available on YouTube - try YouTube "DIY tadpole recumbent bicycle"...

1. Warrior Trike/Plans from Atomic Zombie

DIY Recumbent Warrior Trike

Published on Aug 9, 2012

The first ride of my Atomic Zombie Warrior trike. This is before paint and some other additions.

The plans

Build log at

Standard YouTube License @ Spinner Guy

Saturday Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2014/04/06

"Would you two try and get along with each other....!"
Scott Adams - 2014/04/06

"Our ads are overtly misleading and vague racist."

Charles Schulz - 2014/04/06

"I'm going to pretend that it never happened !!" 

Garry Trudeau - 2014/04/06

"Such a great idea -- hashtag altar selfies !!"

** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and
Note: Now SSTattler are running cartoons starting on the previous Sunday.

Eclectic Stuff

Definition: Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Flexible and Measurable DIY Plan

Peter G. Levine
Stronger After Stroke
Monday, December 24, 2012

Everyone needs a plan. At work we have schedules and care plans and goals. During our education we have schedules and syllabi and tests. Athletes, with the aid of coaches, have a plan for every practice, and benchmarks are built into every practice.

Most stroke survivors don't have a plan. Sure, therapists set a plan with goals during therapy. But once discharged, survivors tend to drift, hoping not to lose what has been recovered.  Instead, the most recovery is achieved when the focus is on further gains.

Upon discharge from traditional therapy, survivors enter a new chapter in recovery. Their recovery plan is essential in optimizing their recovery. This is true for the short-term, and for the rest of their lives.

There are three aspects to every successful recovery plan.

Measurable benchmarks. Gains made during the chronic period after stroke are hard to see because they tend to be modest. Specific goals should be stated and strived for. If the patient says, "I will walk 500 yards by September," then a 500-yard route should be mapped out. The total goal should be chunked in a way that the survivor sees incremental gains toward the entire goal (i.e., 50, then 100, then 200 yards and so on).

Focus on what YOU can do. For recovery to continue beyond the traditional therapy period, the survivor has to drive his own therapy. This dovetails well with the concept that for the brain to rewire, neuroplastcially, the patient has to drive his own nervous system. The recovery plan should emphasize self-reliance. Not only should survivors be able to do most of the therapy themselves, but they should also understand how to progress their efforts.

Make the plan flexible. Stroke recovery research is galloping along. What comes of this research? New treatment options. All these new treatments dictates that the survivor be flexible enough to incorporate new ideas into their plan. But there's something else that requires flexibility: the survivor changes. One thing that every researcher agrees about: Intensity rules. So if the survivor changes and intensity rules, the focus must change while the level of intensity increases.

Otherwise you're just spinning your wheels.

See the original article:

Testing Bicycle Riding As Stroke Rehabilitation

Dean Reinke
Deans' Stroke Musing
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When I came back from Winnipeg I stopped at a friends cabin. There was a bicycle leaning against a car in the paved parking lot. I stared at it and decided it was time to see if I could still ride. I pried my left hand onto the handlebar. I tried about 6 times standing on my left leg to swing my right leg over the seat. Finally just put my right hand against the car.

Luckily the left pedal was at the bottom of the arc., so I didn't have to counteract the spasticity to get it situated. I successfully did three loops around the parking lot. So now I have to get my bike out of the basement, pump up the two flat tires, lower the bike seat and add toe clips. Maybe I can finally have a sport that I can have the wind blowing through my sparse hairs again. Don't worry I'll be wearing a helmet.

Read my post on my epic failure before you even think about doing this - Epic Failure at Bike Stroke Therapy.

See the original article:

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Recumbent Bikes

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Sunday, April 6, 2014

With the weather getting nicer, I've been thinking of alternative modes of transportation. A motorcycle is out, even though I have a totally restored 1950 Indian Chief Black Hawk sitting in my garage. It's destined for my #2 grandson in a couple of years. I haven't been able to ride it in a decade but it's in top shape.

I bought it and restored it back in the early 70s. It is cherry! Oh the fun I used to have riding it. Imagine being teenager or twenty-something and tooling down the road on it. But we all age.

The plan for golf carts sort of fizzled when I put our property up for sale and my husband entered hospice, home based services. We have to do something to get our upside down finances right side up. *Sigh* Tough decisions.

But still with the weather being nicer and gasoline being close to $4.00 a gallon, I want to be getting out in the fresh air more. The exercise is an added perk. With continuous pressure sores on my AFO clad foot being a constant worry, walking is out of the question. A bicycle seemed a logical choice.

The Humor Mechanism (DIY)

Pamela Hsieh
Rehab Revolution
28 May 2010

Sidenote: I just found out it is Stroke Awareness Month. Let's spread the word on the revolution here, as awareness is pretty much all we're about here! Thank you!!

It occurred to me that perhaps I haven't much integrated an element of comedy in this blog -- after all, why would I? Disability acquisition is a heavy topic. Healing is hard. The experience can be very dark and very isolating.

But an invaluable tool to coping with that difficult stuff is humor. It's absolutely essential to be able to laugh at the inevitably funny scenarios you'll find yourself in. It's not necessarily making light of a dire situation or disrespecting the fact, even if it may seem that way. It's a mechanism for reminding yourself (and others) that things are really not so bad, and not to feel too sorry for yourself.

It's also a sense of humor that keeps a lot of oldies alive for so long, so keep that in mind!

So I'm going to start posting occasional anecdotes involving my own silly, sitcom-worthy moments. Feel free to laugh, and relate! If you've got any funny stories to share, please e-mail me or leave a comment below.

To start, I'll tell you about this morning. I recently took on a new project; after deciding it'd be a fine idea to start an herb garden and spending absurd amounts of time at Home Depot this week learning about soil, compost, and how to build a planter box, I had a big planter box custom-built yesterday out of cedar.


Barb Polan
Barb's Recovery
11th January 2010

Today I got a lovely letter via U.S. mail from a rower I don't know. She praised my blog as an inspiration and said that it's a good reminder that "healing is never an impossible goal." It's a little like fan mail and I don't quite know what to do with it other than let it buoy me when I'm wondering what to write about each day - I know why I'm writing the blog and I know that it's important to me to tell my story, but some days I cast about for hours wondering bout the topic of the day - not that much happens on the recovery front some days, but that's probably good for others to note: Moving my fingers slightly yesterday really only means that I can move them slightly today (and even that took additional effort today), not that I can now make a fist or type.

I used my activcycle today, with first my legs and then my arms propelling it for 7 minutes at a time - it tired my thighs the most. The activcycle is a stationary device that acts like a bicycle, with pedals and slightly self-propelling motor. You can set it on a slow speed and your feet/hands on the pedals are moved along; you can push with either/both sides, expending as much energy/effort as you want. When I told my PT that my husband had bought me one because I had used something similar at Spaulding, she was pleased and suggested that I use it daily with both my feet and hands, starting at 5 minutes each and building up to 20 minutes each. Today was my second day using it, so I was up to 7 minutes, which was hard for my legs and easy for my arms, although I think I quit the arm segment early (yes, it is just as boring as a stationary bike).

See the original article:

Problems with Goals

Marcelle Greene
Up Stroke
Sunday, June 2, 2013

SSTattler: Previously Problems with Goals published on August 31, 2013.

In January I set three goals to be finished by the end of June. I'm not going to achieve any of them.

The first goal was something I thought I should do but realized I didn't want to do. I crossed it off my list. The stroke has taught me not to waste time on things I don't want to do.

I put the second goal on hold because another project came along that is equally important, but more time sensitive. Pre-stroke my solution to having multiple projects was to try harder and work longer. Post-stroke I don't have the stamina. Deadlines are now guidelines; stuff comes up, priorities shift.

My third goal was to re-learn how to ride a bicycle in preparation for an upcoming trip. I added training wheels to my bike and practiced pedaling at the gym. I improved, but I'm not ready. I now realize there is nothing I could have done to get the result I wanted in the timeframe allotted.

Expecting to regain a particular function within a particular period of time goes against my experience of stroke recovery. Muscles heal only so fast. Nerves grow only so fast. It's important to have goals. They get me out of bed and into action. But I need to be smart about the goals I set. When my goal is specific, I need to avoid deadlines. When there is a deadline, I need to frame the goal broadly, allowing for a variety of solutions.

The better goal for me is: By the end of June, figure out how to join my fellow travelers as they cycle through the French countryside.

Oh yeah — and, some day, learn to ride a bike … if I really want to.

See the original article:

Imagination Rehab

Grace Carpenter
My Happy Stroke
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The are many things I can't do since the stroke. For instance, I know that riding a bicycle is out of the question. At least for now. My lack of proprioception, sensation, balance issues,  and general right-side weakness are a few of the reasons. And it doesn't help that we live on a very hilly neighborhood. I haven't even had the desire to try.

About two months ago, we were driving on level ground, on a road with a bike lane. There was a bicyclist a few yards ahead of us, and from the car window, I had a great view of the bicyclist pedaling. The traffic was moving slowly. I watched him biking for several minutes. Suddenly, I remembered what it felt like to be on a bicycle: the wind, the noise of cars going by, the pedaling, the gliding, my own breath and the pumping of my heart. I had forgotten.

Sometimes I feel the stroke robbed me -- temporarily -- of parts of my imagination. Until something jogs my memory, my body can't conceive of some of things I used to do. And how I did them.

But little by little, my imagination is coming back.

See the original article:

Ice Recumbent Trike - Cycle to the South Pole

Published on Dec 11, 2013

Learn more about ICE recumbent trikes at

Over Christmas 2013 a British woman will attempt to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole. Racing over 400 miles from the edge of the Antarctic continent Maria Lijerstam hopes to beat two other male contenders to claim the world record.  Maria, aged 35, will face savage conditions with temperatures as low as -35°C and wind speeds up to 50 miles per hour. She will have to overcome dangerous obstacles such as crevasses, shifting ice shelves, glaciers and snowstorms.

This audacious challenge has been attempted before by riders on standard winter bikes known as Fat Bikes, but none have yet succeeded. After two years research Maria has taken a radical new approach that could help win her the title and re-define the future of polar expeditions.
"Fat Bikes fail because they get blown over in the high winds, or can't ride fast enough through the snow to stay upright. I knew I needed something that would overcome these limitations." said Maria, who runs Multisports Wales.
Maria will ride an extraordinary polar cycle designed specifically for the challenge by the aptly named ICE Trikes, based in Falmouth, UK. The custom-made machine is a recumbent trike, which is stable and aerodynamic. Riding in the recumbent position Maria can focus her energy on progressing through the gale-force winds and hazardous terrain.
"The trike is amazing. It's completely stable, even in extreme winds and I can take on long steep hills that I'd never be able to climb on a bike" said Maria.
The design is based on a standard ICE Sprint recumbent trike, with modifications to ensure it can tackle the rigorous challenge ahead. The frame is made from an aircraft grade steel selected for it's strength and fatigue resistance. It is fitted with 4.5 inch wide snow tyres for unsurpassed traction and float over snow and ice. The gears are effectively twice as easy as a standard mountain bike, which will allow Maria to climb 1-in-3 gradients.
"This is a beast of a trike. It's very special and there's nothing else like it in the world. Our standard trikes are highly sophisticated and they retail from £2000. Maria's trike would cost in the region of £20,000" said Chris Parker, director of ICE Trikes and designer of Maria's polar trike.
Maria's preparation has included training and equipment testing in Siberia, Norway and Iceland. To replicate the severe cold of Antarctica she has endured a day cycling in an industrial freezer -- much to the surprise of factory workers who continued to stack shelves with frozen food.

Maria has identified a route to the South Pole virtually untested by polar explorers. She will start her bid for the world record by climbing the Leverett Glacier before heading due south for the South Pole some 400 miles ahead. The route she will take is used by American scientists based at the McMurdo Research Station on the Ross Ice Shelf to transport fuel to the South Pole.

The radical approach of using a recumbent trike on a new route could re-define the future of polar expeditions. Maria predicts that extreme tourism companies will offer trike expeditions in the near future.
"In a few years' time companies who now run polar ski tours will also offer polar trike tours" said Maria.
As manager of a company that organises adventure races and training, Maria knows the industry well. She is accustomed to extreme sports and in 2012 came second in the Black Ice Race -- a 400 mile winter cycle along the entire length of Lake Baikal in Siberia.  Maria is now well and truly prepared to take on the challenge ahead.
"I have met Maria, seen the polar cycle and spent time with her on her training trip in Iceland. I am convinced she has a very good chance of making it" said Emil Grimmsson, CEO of Arctic Trucks who will support Maria during her world record attempt.
ITV will be broadcasting Maria's story in a documentary in January 2014 but in meantime you can watch the drama unfold live on her website

Visit the ICE Trikes channel for more great videos:

Standard YouTube License @ ICE Trikes

Empathy and Sympathy: There's a Difference, aka Nosey Paid Off

Joyce Hoffman
The Tales of a Stroke Patient
Apr 4, 2014

I have a confession to make. I'm nosey, probably because I used to be a reporter. I listen in on everything—a cell phone call, restaurant chatter, a conversation between folks sitting on a bench. Then my imagination takes over and I think I'm a reporter again, creating all sorts of scenarios for why the talk happened in the first place. That process keeps my mind sharp, or as sharp as it can be for someone with a brain injury from my stroke.

One time, I was listening in a restaurant to two college students having coffee in the next booth, discussing the project that they were tasked to accomplish: the difference between empathy and sympathy.

“I need an “A” on this project,” the one girl said, “in order to appease my parents. They said if a get all "A's," they would buy me a car.”

“I should get an 'A,' too, in order to pass this course,” the other one said.

#Stroke Alone…Have You Felt Alone? Are Stroke Charities Doing Enough?

Kate Allatt
A Rocky Stroke Recovery
April 4, 2014

No one should have to go through stroke alone. It made me think of my own emotionally turbulent 2.5 years after the bomb exploded in my own brain in 2010.

  • Claire wrote: ‘I don’t feel alone with family, but with regards to friends, yes I feel alone.’
  • Me: ‘Me too/ It’s why I needed social media so much x.’
  • Adrian: ‘I tend to keep my daily struggle to myself quite often since my seizure in November. Before that in the 18 months post stroke I was more open.’
  • Simon: ‘I feel alone with my wife. I have tried talking to her but she doesn’t want to know. Friends and siblings also don’t seem as interested but my daughter is like a rock. She is only 8 years old. Our relationship is strong and it is unbreakable now.’

Only the Love of the Family

April 9th, 2014

I just had a very personal experience with a family member who was having a great deal of difficulty coping with living.  He was depressed.  What once was a young vibrant individual was now lost, confused and seemingly unable to accomplish basic everyday tasks; tasks that took some problem solving, time management and proactive thinking.  Even basic goals were non-existent.  Therefore this individual had no concrete plans for the future; it was dark; he could see, but had no vision.  My hero Helen Keller said that one who could see but had no vision was worse than one who could not see but had a vision.

My wife and I went to the aide of this family member and flew across the ocean to evaluate his way of being and personal circumstances.

Upon arrival we found a few of his friends who were helpful, but they had just about given up on him.  They had been prodding and prodding him for weeks, to no avail.  They were at the point of disassociating themselves from him.  For 14 days we visited and spent 24/7 together and found that everything his friends had said about him were true.  He didn't want to do anything but sit, and smoke cigarettes.  He did not care to speak very much, and did not want to be questioned.  Although we met with great resistance, the kind that would make anyone give up, his mother persisted, and got him to the doctors, social workers, job and housing counsellors in the UK.  By the end of the trip housing was provided by the UK health care system, group therapy appointments made, and a plan to get him the attention necessary.  He had not been able to obtain these services by himself nor with the help of friends.  In fact his friends became discouraged and refused further interactions.

Why is it that family, are usually the ones who stand by an individual no matter what, and never give up?  Why is it they have a drive within them that often does whatever it takes?

We read of parents and spouses who have gone way beyond what is humanly possible in order to help a loved one in times of need.  When we love someone we are often willing to pay any cost and make any sacrifice.

That is the kind of dedication and commitment it takes to also succeed in obtaining and providing speech and language stimulation at home for the child who does not speak or the adult who has lost the ability to talk.  Many loved ones and caregivers believe there is no way they can learn and stimulate speech and language at home.  Like many new skills, they just require attention, concentration and sincere desire.

Find out how you can learn to stimulate speech and language at home by reading our book "The Teaching of Talking" which you can find on our website at  Mentoring services are also available by contacting us through our website or by e mailing me at


Mark A. Ittleman, M.S., CCC/SLP
Author, Speech Language Pathologist

A Scary Couple of Days...

The Pink House On The Corner
Saturday, April 5, 2014

...with the cat. Ten days into the antibiotic treatment, Zenith developed diarrhea, then began vomiting copious amounts. Then she stopped eating... And me -- worried sick.

Yesterday, the vet arrived again and gave her two shots. One to stop the vomiting. The other: an antibiotic shot, as I had to take her off the oral antibiotic which was causing her to have diarrhea/vomiting/nausea.

Two days without eating. Then finally, today, I coaxed her into eating a bit of tuna with some probiotic powder in it.

So add these worries on top of the usual stuff, plus add the fact that one of Bob's doctors wanted to admit him into a hospital (more on that later!) my plate has been fuller than normal.

Good news is Zenith is using the litter box again.

So fingers crossed....

See the original article:

Random Thoughts

Amy Shissler
My Cerebellar  Stroke Recovery
Apr 7, 2014

When this happened to me, I could’ve been like….well what the f***?  Why me?  Why did this happen and why did I survive?   This is bullshit.  Wait, I did think that.  A LOT.  A lot a lot a lot.  A lot.  I think most people in my situation would’ve checked out.  But I didn’t and I have no idea why.  But now……see I’ve become pretty spiritual recently.  This does not mean religious.  BIG difference.  Spiritual ≠ religious.  Now that I’m 3 years out, have made a pretty good recovery and kind of have a normal life again, I kind of think of it differently.  Now I think, well what was the universe trying to tell me by having this happen?  Obviously something.   If I can change my thinking about this, believe me so can you because when this happened and for the first couple of years afterward, I wanted to be DEAD.  Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.  Now I don’t want that.

Another random thought…..when I got sick I was living with an a-hole that went on this golf trip with his buddies every summer.  The summer after my stroke I heard him say on the phone, without him trying to shield me from hearing it he said, “I can’t wait for this trip, I need a f’ing break.”   What a jackass.  I never got a break from this even for a second.  The only sort of break I got was when I was asleep and sometimes not even then.  Be careful what you say around us.

Random thought #3…..The internet is a magical place.  The internet is where I get all my Grumpy Cat pictures, where I check my e-mail, where Facebook lives.  The internet is where I found Kundalini Yoga.  I found it, ME.  Doctors didn’t tell me I should do this, brilliant neurologists don’t even know what it is.  I found it through MY research and now I’m telling other people about it, anyone see a problem with that??????  And……the internet is where I started a blog and met all of you people.  So I’d like to say in the style of Jimmy Fallon’s thank you notes…..Thank you, world wide web, for existing and allowing me to make all these friends.

See the original article:

Having the Hard Discussions

Jeff Porter
Stroke of Faith
Thursday, April 03, 2014

Photo from the U.S. Department 
of Veterans Affairs
We all want to recover completely - the alternatives are unpleasant, and we're tempted to shy away from even thinking about these alternatives.

But the truth is, stroke is the most common cause of disability in the United States, and it's the fourth leading cause of death. Of course, the medical community needs to continue its efforts to find better ways to prevent and treat strokes to improve these numbers.

It's sometimes hard to talk about the type of care that some stroke patients need. And I'm not 100 percent in agreement with the tone and implication of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association statement that "the majority" stroke patients need palliative care - that is, care with the emphasis on comfort rather than dealing with the underlying problem.

Still, the ASA did come up with some potential discussion points between stroke survivors, caregivers and health professionals:
  • As a stroke survivor or family member, you should expect your healthcare provider to:
  • Talk about your preferences, needs and values as a guide to medical decisions.
  • Discuss what aspects of recovery are most important to you.
  • Have effective, sensitive discussions about your prognosis, how to deal with physical or mental losses from a stroke, and if necessary, of dying, among  other serious topics.
  • Guide you through choices about life-sustaining treatment options. Providers should address pros and cons of CPR, ventilators, feeding tubes, surgery, do-not-resuscitate orders (DNR), do-not-intubate (DNI) orders and natural feeding.
  • Know the best treatment options for common post-stroke symptoms, including pain, other physical symptoms and psychological problems like depression and anxiety.
  • Engage a palliative care specialist if complex issues arise.
  • Help preserve dignity and maximize comfort throughout the course of a stroke, including during the dying process and when nearing death.
Understandably, these might be very hard conversations. But avoiding these conversations might cause increased and needless suffering.

See the original article:

Do You Get Excited When You Find a New Tool?

Gary Gray
PEI Stroke Recovery
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My relationship with StrokeLink has run hot and cold since we have first met. Over the past few years we have exchanged emails and discussions about why their first app was only available on Apple and geared more toward health care professionals rather than persons who have been affected by stroke.

My hope is that this latest app offering by StrokeLink has been directed a little more toward the many, many stroke warriors who are faced with the long road to recovery after stroke. Survivors, family members, caregivers, friends and health care professionals. Why not give it a try and let me know what you think.

I get excited every time I find a new tool that may offer help with the challenges of long term stroke recovery.

I hope you get excited too and I would love it if you would share your finds with us by posting a comment (and/or a link) to this blog... Thanks!


My Stroke Passport: The Journey Starts here.

Introducing our Newest App for Stroke Survivors & their Circle of Care

My Stroke Passport is a mobile toolkit of comprehensive resources for stroke survivors and their caregivers throughout the care journey. Gain a better understanding of your care team, prevent a secondary stroke and learn coping strategies to living with the effects of stroke. This is the stroke survivors passport to recovery!

My Stroke Passport contains:
  • 434 essential, high quality resources and links
  • 100% aphasia-friendly and audio-enabled

Available for download now on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch!
Android Coming Soon.

See the original article:

Verbal Versus Procedural Knowledge

Rebecca Dutton
Home After a Stroke
April 4, 2014

Stroke survivors with aphasia are frustrated.  Aphasia is the inability to understand the spoken word and/or to express oneself verbally.  Yet aphasic clients may retain another kind of knowledge called procedural knowledge.  This is the ability to learn, remember, and execute the steps of a task that often requires visual information.  We do not talk ourselves through the steps of tying shoelaces or cutting up a whole chicken.  We remember what the steps look like and what our hand is supposed to do.  Fortunately visual information is stored in a different location than language so it may be spared after a stroke produces aphasia.  
While STs help stroke survivors work on improving their verbal skills other therapists need to communicate immediately.  It is easy for PTs to communicate because everything they do is aimed at helping a stroke survivor walk.  PTs explain this goal without saying a word.  I went to PT and exercised, walked, and rested.  When I came down after lunch I exercised, walked, and rested.  This routine repeated every day I was in the rehab hospital so I did not need to ask why my PT had me slide a towel on the floor with my hemiplegic (paralyzed) foot.

Grins and Snickers

Jackie Poff
Stroke Survivors Tattler
I was in the six item express lane at the store quietly fuming.

Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. 

Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward looked into the cart and asked sweetly, "So which six items would you like to buy?"

TED, The Musical & Bill and Melinda Gates

The Music

Published on Apr 1, 2014

Do you have a TED Talk inside, just bursting to come out? Take this tongue-in-cheek musical journey to "Give Your Talk." A musical love letter to our speakers -- written, directed and performed by the TED staff.

Standard YouTube License @ TED

Why Giving Away Our Wealth Has Been the Most Satisfying Thing We've Done...

Published on Apr 2, 2014

In 1993, Bill and Melinda Gates—then engaged—took a walk on a beach in Zanzibar, and made a bold decision on how they would make sure that their wealth from Microsoft went back into society. In a conversation with Chris Anderson, the couple talks about their work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as about their marriage, their children, their failures and the satisfaction of giving most of their wealth away.

Standard YouTube License @ TED

RMR: Rick and Spread the Net 2014

Published on Apr 2, 2014

Rick visits Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill, ON and two-time post-secondary school Spread the Net Student Challenge winner Algonquin College in Ottawa, ON -- two of this year's winning schools in the Spread the Net Student Challenge.

Standard YouTube License @ Rick Mercer Report

---- End of This Saturday News ---

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday News

Contents of This Week:

Def'n: Bonsai

Bonsai From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bonsai at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum
at the United States National Arboretum
Bonsai (盆栽, lit. plantings in tray, from bon, a tray or low-sided pot and sai, a planting or plantings) is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and has its own aesthetics and terminology.

"Bonsai" is a Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term penzai. A "bon" is a tray-like pot typically used in bonsai culture. The word bonsai is often used in English as an umbrella term for all miniature trees in containers or pots. This article focuses on bonsai as defined in the Japanese tradition.

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food, for medicine, or for creating yard-size or park-size gardens or landscapes. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

Video: Bonsai


Bonsai Society of Edmonton 
Meeting schedule: The 3rd Thursday of every month from 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

This YouTubes is for a bonsai beginner ...

History of Bonsai

Uploaded on May 3, 2006

Learn about the history of the ancient Chinese art of growing the bonsai tree, in this free video.

Expert: Mike Hansen

Bio: Mike Hansen, owner of Midwest Bonsai, has been growing, caring, selling, and instructing others in bonsai care for years. Mike is an expert bonsai master.

Standard YouTube License @ expert village

Saturday Comics

For Better and For Worse
Lynn Johnston - 2014/03/30

"Hmm,... mom was right !!"
Scott Adams - 2014/03/30

"My gut sends me messages in morse code..."

Charles Schulz - 2014/03/30

"Okay Lucy, where you on that fly ball ??" 

Garry Trudeau - 2014/03/30

"You've reached MyFACTS supporting your reality..."

** I tried to get low or free price at the people for the images for the cartoons. It was too high for Stroke Survivors Tattler i.e. we are not a regular newspaper and our budget is very low. Fortunately, you will have to do only 1-click more to see the cartoon image, it is legit and it is free using and
Note: Now SSTattler are running cartoons starting on the previous Sunday.

Eclectic Stuff

Definition: Eclectic(noun) a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ Bonsai - Banzai!

Jo Murphey
The Murphey Saga
Sunday, March 30, 2014

When I first scrolled this topic to write about I immediately made the correlation between Bonsai and Banzai. Being half Japanese, I knew that Bonsai was the art of creating little trees that live for decades even centuries. The art of design teaches mind/eye coordination, imagery, patience, and even relaxation and  meditation states.

Yes, I know I should be talking about these little trees, but I'm not. So there! :oP I'll leave that to others.

Now this is where my mind gets quirky. No, it isn't because of the stroke. I was like this before as an author. The little nuances of twists and turns possible with a couple letters changed in a word and slight variation of the meanings. With this revelation, I found I may not have lost all my language skills also. Or not totally.

My mind immediately leaped to the Japanese word "Banzai!" You may remember hearing it in oldWWII movies before an pilot dove his little fighter plane into an American ship. A bold move of harakiri, or Kamakazi, or suicide bomber. Ooh! Two Japanese words! Seeing how this is the first language I spoke, there's hope for my mind yet. I even remembered how to spell them right too!

You probably thought the word meant "Here we go" or something like that. But it doesn't mean any such thing. It's became a battle cry but it could also be a toast at a wedding or christening too. Know what it means? If not you'll have to wait a minute while I shift to the third thought that jumped into my mind.

The third thought that popped into my mind was a movie. Can you guess it?

The movie was based on a comic book series. Buckaroo Banzai. Having it showing on my television didn't hurt either. Awe, the pictures gave it away, right?

Bet you are dying to figure out how I tie these three together.

Bonsai are long lived trees given immense care and attention.

Banzai means Long Life. So it could be used as a battle cry, wedding or christening toast.

Buckaroo Banazai, well that was just a movie, but the hero can't die so he should have a long life.

The moral of all this... Even after a stroke we can have long lives. It may not be what we thought or planned our lives to be, but we can still enjoy it.

As a side note, my maternal grandfather was an engineer that helped bring the Mitsubishi A6M into reality. Otherwise known as the Zero fighter plane. I happen to be very proud of that fact. And, you thought Mitsubishi only made cars. Geez! I also have a Toyota sewing machine circa 1935 that's still working. So much for the "Made in Japan" post war stickers.

Nothing is impossible with determination.

See the original article: