I can’t believe I’m actually asking this question: Which gym should I join? It seems so trivial

Doesn’t it seem so trivial to be asking such a question when people are starving, the world is poverty-stricken, we are dealing with serious issues such as police violence and opiates…why should I even toil myself with such an issue of where to work out? Why should I even bother my readers with this?

Those that run the gyms are making money off of us poor suckers and probably do care about how they stack up against each other. And if you are considering opening a local business maybe you want to think about the factors that consumers think about when choosing which to patronize. What factors do YOU consider when choosing a local business?

LOCATION! Location is primary even to folks who have cars! If you are opening a business, don’t open it in the middle of nowhere! Don’t open it in a place where people can’t park! Don’t open it in a place where the buses don’t go, because you’re shutting out a fair portion of the population. You may want to be a snob, but a lot of people who want to leave their cars behind and “commute” are going to go to the other guy if you situate yourself in some tiny ‘burb off the bus line. Nor open “conveniently” near a dark, abandoned warehouse. I don’t think that will appeal to many people. A great location might be right next to a supermarket. In my opinion, though other people might say, “Right next to a bar.”

Showers. Decent showers and well-planned out locker rooms, that is, locker rooms that are actually separate from the rest of the gym. Lockers that function. Showers that are actually hot. Shower curtains that function and aren’t slimy. Towels for those that forgot theirs, for minimal fee (I don’t think $10 is minimal!). One thing I encountered in one gym was a godawful beeping noise in the ladies’ locker room that NEVER STOPPED. I actually quit the gym due to the nonstop beeping that drove me nuts. I believe this was a CO detector or perhaps some other sort of alarm that needed a change of batteries. Apparently the battery change had never happened in years, according to other patrons.  A few others were as driven crazy as I was.  That I know of, only some people can actually hear that high frequency. Many lose their hearing ability as they age, and in many ways, I wish I did.

Price. I have found you have to ask. Many of them don’t post their real prices. Many are deceptive and I would avoid the deceptive ones, unless they’re a really small gym that doesn’t have a website. I joined a really nice tiny gym that was so small they didn’t need a website nor did they have those membership cards. They just knew who was a member. The gym was impeccably clean and really a good deal. I don’t live near there anymore otherwise I’d still be a member. However, in general, if they’re not upfront, stay away. Calculate the difference between month-to-month and yearly or partial year. You may find that six months or nine months is a better deal than yearly or several years. Gyms can be odd like that and they assume you can’t do math.

Try it out. Most gyms offer trying it out for free or for under $10. You could probably make the rounds all around town for free, then, make the rounds again and again, all for free, just say, “I’m trying out the gym…” just wear a different outfit and maybe different glasses.  Or go when someone else is working.

If you are a senior, join the senior center gym. I’m about to try it out, maybe tomorrow. I wonder if they’ll believe me when I say I’m 60. They might even “card” me. I’m embarrassed to say I do not look my age.

Equipment – some people care about the condition of the equipment or want particular types of equipment, or, they care about the availability or not having to wait for certain machines, or want space to stretch out, or care that there’s a filtered water machine, or care about certain types of classes such as Zumba, spinning, etc. Or some want day care, a pool or sauna. You are paying big money if you want the extras. Some gyms offer massage. Personal training will cost a fortune…usually, but they tease you with a free session.

I figure I’m using up very little at the gym, just the treadmill and the shower. They make out on me. I’m headed over to one of the local ones where i’ve been paying by the day since I’m too cheap to join. Actually I plan to join the senior one since it’s much cheaper.  But I’m not telling the expensive one that.  Maybe today they’ll just let me in on contingency that “I’m planning on joining.” I’ve already paid them plenty. Well you know….

See you later.






I knew it wouldn’t be long

I am overwhelmed with the calls and scheduled interviews. Honestly it wasn’t like this before when I was looking, when no one called me, ever. I guess I wasn’t looking for the right type of job. Or maybe the right job hadn’t found me. Yet.

I had to cancel two interviews. I told both of them I’d found a job. This wasn’t quite the case but I found out both were scams. One of them had the nerve to ask me who had hired me. I said, “Oh, a company in town.” They asked!

So tomorrow I have yet one more interview. This company is in the World’s Worst Location. The pay is good, though. Still, I dread even going to the interview. The commute will be 2-1/2 hours each way. The location is surrounded by a bunch of warehouses on a highway. So you can imagine taking the bus there, then, going up a steep hill where there’s no sidewalk, getting splashed by passing trucks, and then, crossing a crap parking lot past these old worn-out warehouses (probably haunted) to get to work. Since the hill itself isn’t even safe I’d have to take an Uber. Given the great pay I might even be able to afford one.

But I am canceling the interview. I accepted another job just a bit ago. This is a tech job, and that is all I am saying about it. I am thrilled to have the “looking” part over with and also, happy I won’t be dealing with “bully supervisor” or that horrible walking on eggshells feeling I had at my prior workplace. No more monitoring and recording, though I know I will have to be accountable to my company. There’s a training period and standards, etc. I’ve already done some “shadowing” as part of the interview process.

Today I am thankful that my dad was a techie. I’m thankful for the day he told me to learn how to use a computer. I’m thankful for the day Mom handed me a touch-typing textbook and told me that typing was an important skill to learn. I’m proud that my mom typed 9o words per minute and was the first and only mom in the neighborhood to own an ELECTRIC typewriter. She gave me her old Royal manual typewriter which got me through college, that is, college in the 1970’s.

I’m proud that my mom was “different,” that she was a dancer and that she allowed me, too, to be as different as I wanted to be. She said I should be myself and that I didn’t have to be like the other kids. God bless you, Mom and Dad.

Job interview offered, but it’s a scam

It was hard to tell, but finally I figured it out. This IS a real scam. I will not say the name of the company but I’ve seen these poor suckers.

One day I was in Walmart headed toward the Pickup booth. I had to walk through SHOES and through TV. As I walked through TV some guy asked me what I use for TV cable. I told him, “No thanks, I do not own a TV nor do I have any desire to do so anytime soon. Bye!” The poor guy was frustrated and waved me on.

This was NOT a even a Walmart employee, but an employee of Scam Co that gets customers to switch to Direct TV or other scam services, right in Walmart. So this is the “job.” And that’s “marketing.” Harassing Walmart customers! Yikes, no thanks! Worse than telemarketing! And they do not tell you this at the interview. It’s a “major media company.” Oh yeah. Reviews say “pyramid scheme.” And the company writes back even, very unprofessional-looking responses. You can see the “happy employee” reviews, too, “One big family, can’t believe how great this job is…” Really?

Shall I schedule an interview or pass this one up?

how many now?

I don’t know how many job applications I have put in. I have lost count! I believe over this weekend alone, maybe 40, but most weren’t applications, just one-click inquiries. Still, they got a chunk of my info (please don’t let this scare anyone, i.e. “sharing,” as it’s all public information, such as where I graduated, etc).

I dislike the character assessments they do on you. What are they looking for, sheeples? Guessing by the nature of the employers, YES. I tried to feed them what they want to hear. I’m actually figuring out that is a good idea in this fake world. I tried to make myself look like the kind of employee they’d want. That varies from application to application. You want to emphasize whatever they are looking for, and that depends on the job tasks they are demanding.

All this takes creativity. I’m finding I can RE-STORY my work history to emphasize the skills they want. You can do this, too. Did you do an internship in college? What about a school project you can refer to as one?

Volunteer jobs count, too, as often, they don’t ask “salary” when they want your work history. The last application I filled out, I left out dates of work history and the application didn’t give me error messages. I also leave out degree dates.  They are really looking not for a shining history, but know that you have the skills or can easily pick up what you need to know.

Another thing is I research the company prior to the interview. This is really important as doing so impresses them. Tell them you are so impressed with the integrity of their company, and love their product and are recommending it to your buddies. And what they have, tell them, is just what you have been seeking. Don’t let them know you’ll grab at anything. Act like you’ve been picky and choosy and have turned down other job offers, too. Tell them they’ve got just the type of company culture you’ve been looking for. Then, later when you find out that’s bullshit, you can quit or stick around till you are “found out” for not quite thinking they’re gods.

Ah, it’s a game, isn’t it? All of life is a stage anyway.

Commentary on another “advice” article


I think you guys know how I feel about “sleeping with dog.” Or at least for me, I honestly sleep much better with Puzzle around.

As for earplugs, NOTHING so badly keeps me awake. They hurt and distract me! They also do not allow the ear canal to breathe. Would you plug up your dog’s ears? NO! That would  cause an ear infection! So don’t do it to your own. Ear plugs do not work anyway. I wish they were effective  but they are not. I hear if you get those noise canceling headphones used by construction workers and hunters, these are about the only thing that will end the noise. I wish I had a pair, but I don’t need them now that I do not have neighbors. Do you guys remember when I lived next to that LOUD TV all day back in Watertown? Wow I cannot believe I lived through that and didn’t go off my rocker.


Here is an article I beg to differ with:


An occasional charlie horse in a weird part of the body may not be much to worry about, but if it keeps happening…

You are dehydrated, or

You have an electrolyte imbalance, or


If you get charlie horse type cramping of voluntary muscles frequently and you exercise, this DOES NOT necessarily mean you are overdoing it. Geez. It means when you do exercise, you need to compensate for sweating. This is especially true if it’s hot out or in dry climates.

If this cramping occurs independent of exercise, you still could be dehydrated, or, possibly you are not properly eliminating minerals (or eliminating too much of something). When I had bad cramping I complained about it and finally found out, the hard way. I was in kidney failure.

The first time in my life I ever got a foot cramp was on the way home from my “treatment” at Walden in February 2012. They had deprived me of water and when I went home on the bus, my foot cramped up right while I was sitting there. This had never quite occurred like that before and I knew right away that they had put me in a position of forced dehydration. At home, as soon as I got on the phone to make arrangements to get Puzzle back, my nose started bleeding very badly, another sign that I had not been given enough water. I had to recover from Walden by drinking a lot of liquids to make up for the loss.

The article states that magnesium supplements are ineffective. This is not true. The #1 cure for foot cramping, for me, has been supplementation with magnesium. Some people who get these cramps during the night keep magnesium by their bedsides to fend off a painful cramp. And these are very very painful, no doubt about that.

I have also discovered that due to Diabetes Insipidus, which is a lithium-induced kidney condition, I flush out potassium too easily, so I periodically supplement with potassium, but ONLY a half tablet of that. I do not eat sodium-containing foods. Or pretty much try not to. No potato chips for me. The only exception is the occasional Gatorade-type drink. These have both potassium and sodium, and some also contain other electrolytes. Sugar (if you can have it) is also helpful for dehydration, in very small amounts. The last time I drank a bottle of Gatorade the entire quart went down in about 15 seconds total. I would not recommend guzzling as it’s not good for you…oh, unless you have DI. We really need all the fluids we can get.

Another form of muscle cramping is hiccupping. This CAN come from eating too fast, but when I get spontaneous hiccups out of the blue I know it’s low potassium. For this, to stop them right away, I take a spoonful of blackstrap molasses. Straight up. And if that doesn’t work, the second spoonful will.

One of my fears is that this muscle cramping, that is, inability of a muscle to relax, while in itself isn’t a health risk, it’s a sign that something is very very wrong. Do not ignore these. I don’t think it’s easy to do so as they are PAINFUL.

This is why I am careful and avoid sodium. My body cannot process it. I listen to my body and if I cramp up, something is not right, and I am well aware that electrolyte imbalance is nothing to shrug at. Because I pay attention to this I have not had any horror story happen such as a heart attack or death. I am very careful. When  you do not metabolize or eliminate your electrolytes properly, you bet that heart attack is right around the corner.



What I did NOT say

What I did not say in the last post was “Everyone should return to usual life after getting off the drugs.” No way. Some can, but many cannot.

Overemphasis on getting off drugs misses the point. Marginalization involves much more than drugging. For one thing, MP’s need to get out of poverty. MP’s need to end the dependency cycle and learn to do things for themselves. Getting off drugs alone will not solve this.

The System brainwashes people, and each of us has a task to undo the brainwashing. Brainwashing is done with or without the use of drugs. Yes, you can be brainwashed without drugs as the main components do not involve drugs. See my paper on religious cults for more on how this happens.

For one thing, we need to undo that just being an MD means you know better. People are brainwashed into believing that MH professionals are a higher class of people. This is untrue.

It is not true that just because a DOCTOR says so, it’s the word of God. MP’s need to undo the belief that a doc is always right or “knows better.” An MP needs to learn not to go running to the doc every time something goes wrong. People on or off drugs STILL exhibit this behavior. You have to undo it.

You have to undo the expectation that the government will take care of you, or somehow pick up the slack if you screw up. This is not true. You need to pick up the slack yourself.

Yes I know I sound hard-nosed.  But this is the way to undo the bullshit they feed us, which is far more than pills.

What I object to about the Drug Withdrawal Community

Overall these communities are a good idea for mutual support. What I object to is the withdrawification of everyday life. This amounts to excuse-making. I say that in the Szaszian sense of the word.

I have seen horrible effects that some folks have from drugs. I have seen very bad cases of TD, or organ damage and I have seen people die.

What I object to is blaming normal life experiences on withdrawal just as a way to claim or prolong disability.

I have seen and heard people blaming drug withdrawal on what is really the result of poverty or bad living circumstances. These need to be addressed and if you shift the blame to “withdrawal” you’ll be in an endless cycle of confusion.

I have seen people blaming “drug withdrawal” when they need to blame the drugs themselves (or the partaking thereof). An example is weight gain from a drug such as Zyprexa. While you’re on it you will gain like crazy and sadly, the stuff is habit-forming for many people.

I am tired of hearing “it must be withdrawal” over every little thing. No, you didn’t run a stop sign due to withdrawal.  While it’s possible you did, most people who fail to stop at stop signs are simply in a hurry or not paying attention. What I object to is the automatic shifting of responsibility that some people do upon drug withdrawal when really people need to admit to their own shortcomings. I have seen posts over stuff like sneezing (maybe some dust in the air, no?).

I think some people use “withdrawal” as an excuse not to live their lives and also an excuse from human adult responsibility. While many are thrown into a tizzy by drug withdrawal, many get through it okay. Some of these folks are not even vocal about their MP pasts. They quietly live among us. The scare tactics are not always helpful, and I believe, to some extent, exaggerated.


Bonnie Burstow on the radio (in Canada and on the Web) Feb 5

If anyone is in Canada, the station is CIUT 89.5 FM. You can tune in and hear Bonnie Burstow speak about her novel at 4:30 Toronto time on February 5.

Apparently this show will also be on the Web for those of you who don’t happen to be near Toronto.


I always enjoy hearing Bonnie speak and I am sure you will, too!

Tune in!