Sasquatch Cribbage Board Game!

Today was the inaugural game on our new Sasquatch cribbage board. It’s a very handsome item, made of walnut by the maker, David Sprouse, in Ferndale, Washington. His website is 3MoonsMakerSpace and he markets the boards on Etsy. It was delivered only a couple of weeks ago. It came with pegs and deck of cards. It has a hole in the back for hanging on a wall, if you want.

We played the game to 61 just for the sake of brevity since the point was to show off the board itself.

I don’t know really what to make of Bigfoot stories. Many claim to have spotted the creature way out in places like Washington state and elsewhere. There are reports of a few sightings even in Iowa.

I wonder why you never find corpses or even fossils of Sasquatch? Probably because extraterrestrials beam them up too quickly in order to harvest the fur for throw rugs for their space ships. The usual problem, of course, is getting the smell of beef jerky out of them.

Stanley Museum of Art in Iowa City

We visited the Stanley Museum of Art, which opened in August. One piece impressed us even before we entered the museum. One of our favorites is “Two Lines Oblique” by George Rickey. It’s a huge mobile outside the entrance.

The mural “Surroundings” by Odila Donald Odita is striking. Odita says it’s his answer to “Mural” by Jackson Pollock. I don’t even know the question posed by Pollock’s huge work. I guess some see a dancer in motion.

Sena’s favorites were the mobile and the painting “Spring Embraces Yellow” by Alma Thomas. I initially missed the point of “Heeler III” which Sena got immediately. It’s one of those platform high heel shoes, dang! I guess the platform is back in style, according to a few recent fashion web articles. I guess I’ll wait on putting in my order.

Some pieces of art might be a little hard to say we “like” per se, because they convey a sense of violence or tragedy. I think “Red April” by Sam Gilliam is one of those, because it originated from the grief and horror after Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April of 1963.

The photos of downtown Iowa City are a kind of walk down memory lane for us. It’s been years since we’ve visited the place. In some ways, it hasn’t changed much. On the other hand, the “Writers in a Café” monument with the quote by Marvin Bell in the ped mall was new to us.

The Iowa Avenue Literary Walk has been around for ages, but Kurt Vonnegut’s quote about “What we pretend to be” was unfamiliar. It seemed like a fresh insight into human nature, but one which we probably already knew.

We don’t pretend to be art critics, but I think we can say we’re art enthusiasts. We’re not pretending that.

What About Social Media?

I read this article about social media last night, written by Rachel Young, PhD, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Studies.

It made me think about my WordPress blog and my YouTube accounts. I ask myself what I’m doing with them.

I like to think I’m doing the right things with them. I use a sense of humor and try to use common sense. I never drone on about politics because I feel bad about what’s happening with it most of the time. I don’t want to spread that around.

I stopped accepting comments on YouTube years ago because all I seemed to get were spammers. Frankly, I get a lot of that on my blog as well. But I also have commenters whose opinions I respect.

I used to have accounts with Twitter, Facebook (I guess that’s called something else now?), and LinkedIn. I dropped all of them a few years ago, mainly because all I did mostly was copy my blog posts to them. I found a web article, the title of which indicated there are more than 133 social media platforms.

Why?

Blogging is a part of social media. I don’t get much traffic. I don’t mind that so much when I realize how much of the traffic is negative and empty.

I blog because I really like to write; I always have. I kept one blog going for about 7 years and dropped it because I was unhappy with how personal information was being collected and what it might be used for.

I also didn’t think the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) didn’t treat hobby bloggers (like me) fairly. That was the main reason I dropped my first blog. I don’t collect anyone’s personal data. Hey, let’s be clear. Social media does that. I’m not trying to sell anything here. I’m just trying to have fun and share that with anyone who’s interested.

I wasn’t going to write this much about social media. I guess that means I’m ambivalent about it. I think that’s normal.

What do you think?

University of Iowa Psychiatry Residents Get Shout Outs

Recently, University of Iowa psychiatry residents worked hard enough to get shout outs. One of them was exemplary performance on the consultation and emergency room service. The service was following over two dozen inpatients and received 15 consultation requests in a day. This is a staggering number and the resident on the service did the job without complaints. In addition, the resident was the only trainee on the service at the time. Other residents were working very hard as well.

This high level of performance is outstanding and raises questions about health care system level approaches to supporting it.

I read the abstract of a recently published study about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) compared to medication in treating anxiety in adults (Hoge EA, Bui E, Mete M, Dutton MA, Baker AW, Simon NM. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Escitalopram for the Treatment of Adults With Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online November 09, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.3679).

On the day I read the abstract, I saw comments which were cringeworthy. The commenter is an outpatient psychiatrist in private practice who had some criticisms of the study. He thought the report of results at 8 weeks was inadequate because symptoms can recur soon after resolution.

Another problem he mentioned is worth quoting, “A course of treatment that requires as much time as the MBSR course described in the study would be out of the question for most of my patients, most of whom are overworked health care professionals who don’t have enough time to eat or sleep. Telling people who are that overworked they should spend 45 minutes a day meditating is the “Let them eat cake” of psychotherapy.”

That reminded me of a quote:

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day—unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”

Zen Proverb

I know, I know; I should talk—I’m retired. Actually, I took part in an MBSR course about 8 years ago when I noticed that burnout was probably influencing my job performance on the psychiatry consultation service. I thought it was helpful and I still practice it. I was lucky enough to participate in the course after work hours. The hospital supported the course.

The residents who are being recognized for their hard work on extremely busy clinical services may or may not be at high risk for burnout. They are no doubt extra resilient and dedicated.

And the University of Iowa health care system may also be offering a high level of system support for them. I don’t see that University of Iowa Health Care is on the list of the American Medical Association (AMA) Joy in MedicineTM Health System Recognition System, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing the kinds of things which would merit formal recognition.

Anyway, they all get my shout out.

Big Mo Blues Show KCCK Iowa City

This song is by Iowa’s own Kevin Burt. I heard it on the KCCK Big Mo Blues Show. I don’t know anything about music, but “Smack Dab in the Middle strikes me as being about dichotomies, which can be reduced to the old saying, being between a rock and a hard place or being neither fish nor fowl.

But it can be about not wanting to make a choice, or feeling like both sides of a person or issue are important.

I think the lyric “went down to the crossroads” in the lyrics might be an allusion to Robert Johnson, who went to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his guitar playing gift.

Rounding@Iowa Presentation on Covid-19 Bivalent Vaccine Boosters

Give a listen to the Rounding@Iowa presentation “Update on Covid-19 Bivalent Vaccine Boosters. While these presentations are mainly directed to health care providers, they are very helpful for members of the community at large.

A Day Without Glitches in the Matrix

Yesterday was the one of those days where everything seemed to happen for a reason. If we had arrived at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area a few minutes too early or too late, we would not have seen the mesmerizing rise and fall of the shore birds on Sand Lake.

I thought of the word “murmuration,” which refers to starlings flying in tight, swirling patterns. I checked the dictionary and discovered that the word “murmuration” refers to the murmuring sound similar to low-pitched noises starlings make as they fly in flocks, swirling this way and that, presumably to avoid predatory birds.

This led to my wondering if starlings were the only birds that form a murmuration.

I wonder of shore birds also do it because we saw them flying in a sort of swirling pattern when there were no visible predators.

We might have missed the light shining just right on a majestic American Sycamore in all its glory, festooned like a Christmas tree with its seed balls hanging from almost every limb. In fact, some people do make Christmas tree ornaments out of them.

We might also have missed the squirrel munching on his lunch in a tree. It was not eating American Sycamore seed balls, probably only because it was not sitting in an American Sycamore tree.

We have walked the Terry Trueblood trail often, in every season, including autumn. We’ve never seen the seed balls before.

And we might have also missed the Subaru Outback with Wisconsin license plates in the parking lot. It was covered with decals. And later I discovered that the word “decal” is short for “decalcomania,” which is exactly how I would describe how the car came to be so heavily decorated—from an episode of decal-co-mania.

A lot happened yesterday which seemed somehow just right. Some people see so-called “glitches in the matrix,” which are events that seem out of place and ill-timed, leading to the idea we’re living in a poorly run computer simulation.

What about the times we see and feel everything occurring so smoothly that we’re surprised by the flow? Maybe we don’t call attention to it so as to avoid interrupting the miracle.

Total Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon This Freezing Morning!

I took my very first selfie ever with my smartphone, which I’ve had for about 7 years. The occasion is the 2nd total lunar eclipse blood moon I’ve ever seen, which started at about 2:00 AM this morning.

It was so cold outside I had to wear a sweater and my winter coat with hat and gloves. I could see my breath for crying out loud. Temperatures were in the mid-30s out there but the wind made it feel even colder, close to freezing.

I hope my photos turn out. If they don’t, I’m going to be very disappointed.

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