Mobi-Snaps: Bang Pa-In – Buildings and trees.
Yes, I know I’ve been a bit on the quiet side of late, what with my missing week, and then last week, just my Mobi-Moscars and no Mobi-Babble.
There’s not a whole heap to report on the home front. I’ve just been plugging away; trying to keep cheerful in spite of some quite black days, trying to do my daily exercise, in spite of all manner of physical hindrances, and trying to finish the editing of my novel, which seems to be proving ever more difficult.
It’s all sort of mid- level ‘doom and gloom’, so if you wish to skip the next part of my babble on the grounds that it may lead you to cut your throat, then be my guest.
Black days – yes they are coming back thick and fast and I am trying very hard to fend them off.
My bad moods seem to have increased alarmingly, and along with them the lethargy and a lack of motivation that characterises my depression. I am seriously wondering whether I should revert to taking anti-depressant medication. I am reluctant to take that step and will soldier on for a while and see if I can’t turn things around.
It seems remarkable that it was only a few weeks ago that wrote about my recent revelation that I have probably been suffering from depression for most of my life.This is not just something that has happened to me in recent times, when my life really started to fall apart, and I even became suicidal for a while.
(It is laughable that I have in denial for so many years, when even as a teenager I was sent to a psychiatrist due to my depressive tendencies…)
Up until recently, I had always regarded my strange, moody, and often very lethargic behaviour as a character flaw which was exacerbated by excessive drinking.
I think I now understand that my depressive state probably led me to alcohol, in a desperate but hopeless attempt to make me feel better about myself and my life.
Are there any particular factors which are contributing to this recent downward spiral?
It seems that every time I try to get my body into better physical shape and increase my daily excessive, something comes along to stymie me. Last year I had a whole series of annoying medical problems – chest infections, bowel infections etc. – that severely curtailed my exercise regimes, and it seems that these problems are continuing unabated in 2013.
I recently switched to taking my daily walks in the early mornings and this was fine for a couple of weeks or so, but my early morning bowel movements have become so unpredictable and erratic that I have had to call a halt, and revert back to evening walks.
Time after time, even though I emptied my bowels as soon as I got up, I was still taken short in the middle of my walks, which led to some quite distressing situations. Indeed on one occasion, despite the fact that I actually ran the last few yards back home, I failed to make it in time, which was very upsetting.
Even worse, the brief run caused me to have severe breathing problems for the next hour – more worries. This was the second recent occasion when, after overdoing it a bit during my walk, I had great difficulty in breathing for an hour or so afterwards.
A few days ago, I came down with a mild cold, but it immediately went on my chest and once more, the congestion has been causing me considerable discomfort. The bronchitis is nowhere near as bad as it was during my previous outbreaks last years, but bad enough to cause me severe breathing problems for a couple of days.
Until these recent bronchial problems, I have never experienced breathing problems like this in my life before and is quite worrying.
So to cut a long story short, yesterday I had an appointment with my cardiologist, and although all my blood tests are good and my blood pressure is more or less behaving itself, the breathing problem is a concern and he ordered a stress test to check if there were any problems with my heart.
The news was good and bad. I did a good work out on the machine (just under 10 minutes) and showed a good level of fitness but had to stop due to breathing problems before I reached the optimum heart speed.
Nevertheless, the doc was able to discern that there was nothing wrong with my heart and that my lungs are almost certainly the cause of the problem.
So I am booked to see a chest specialist next week and we’ll see what he says, but I fear the worst. This has been going on too long now for it to be something minor. It is quite possible that I laid the foundations for this problem during the 20 odd years I was a 4-5 pack a day chain smoker. I haven’t smoked 30 years and I thought I’d got away with it – maybe not. We’ll see.
On the novel front – I had truly hoped to see that back of it by the end of February, but it just wasn’t to be. I haven’t done much this past week, maybe 2 or 3 chapters. I am now over half way through, but there is still a long way to go.
Almost every paragraph requires either some major re-wording or maybe some fine tuning, but either way, it is not only time consuming but also mentally draining. I find that I can only usually put in about 2- 3 hours a day of this editing work and then I simply run out of brain power. I will soldier on, but I’m afraid that it’s going to take as long as it takes.
Noo has gone off for a couple of days to a Girl Scout camp! Can you believe it?
I can’t recall if I have written about it before, but at the grand age of 32, Noo has returned to school for one day a week (Sundays) to study for her graduation which she failed to complete as a teenager. Like so many kids from poor families, she was obliged to leave school at the age of 12 to go out and work for a living.
I have been encouraging her in this pursuit – particularly as I love to see pretty young Thai ladies in school uniforms! She is really enjoying it.
As with all secondary schools in Thailand, they also have extracurricular activities – including Girl Scout camps. (No… this is an all-girls school, so no Boy Scouts….).
I dropped her off at the school early yesterday morning and there wasn’t a man in sight –and I tell you what, I wouldn’t have minded stowing away in the back of the Girl Scouts’ bus….
Apocalypse Obama, or is it Barack O’Nero?
What spending problem?
There isn’t a spending problem!
It’s a revenue problem!
Or is it?
According to Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department, the total public debt of the USA is currently 16.687 trillion Dollars.
When Obama took office in 2008, the debt was just over 10.626 trillion dollars, so he has increased the debt by more than 6 trillion dollars since he took office, as compared to an increase of 5 trillion trillion dollars during George Bush’s 8 years at the Whitehouse.
Obama has been in office during one of the greatest and most far reaching recessions the world, and continues to deny there is a spending problem.Y et his administration has managed to increase US public spending by a massive 9.9% during 4 plus years he has been in office.
By way of comparison, the UK actually CUT – yes – ACTUALLY CUT – its public spending in 2011 by 1.58%.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one moment trying to claim that The UK has got right – its far more complex than that – but it does help to put in perspective just how crazy this spending addiction is in the USA.
Obama and his liberal elite seem obsessed with the idea that nothing is wrong and they can continue to print and spend untold trillions forever more and that somewhere along the line, the wealthy elite will dig deep into their pockets and pay for it all. It really is madness.
Then, instead of rolling his sleeves up and trying to work out how to sensibly manage the cuts that are being forced on the nation under the sequester, he goes out on the stump, and predicts an apocalyptic future, in which the entire nation will collapse around him. He seems intent on political point scoring and is benignly unconcerned with the welfare of the people he has sworn to serve and protect.
Then we had the insane sight of Maxine Waters, ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, (that means she is an expert on these matters), stating that the sequester could result in over 170 million jobs being lost.
When you consider that there are only 134 million people working in the USA, that’s a pretty incredible number, Ms Waters…..
Obama doesn’t tell the people that sequestration was his idea in the first place. He doesn’t tell them that he always secretly hoped that he would be able to sign it into law, as he has now done. With the help of the liberal media, he believes it will be another nail in the coffin of the Republican Party.
Don’t be so sure, Mr Obama – there may be a backlash. We are seeing signs of it already.
The famed (Watergate) columnist Bob Woodward blames President Barack Obama and White House chief of staff Jack Lew for the implementation of the sequester.
Woodward also blatantly accuses Lew of being “not accurate” in his testimony to become the next Treasury Secretary when he said that the sequester “was not something that the administration was pushing at that moment.”
In his piece, Woodward asserts that when Obama claims he always wanted new revenues in a deal to avert the sequester, instead of just spending cuts, he is “moving the goal posts.”
“In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for re-election. So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts… That was not the deal he made.”
The Whitehouse was not amused.
Gene Sperling, President Obama’s top economic adviser sent a threatening email to Woodward in which he said:
“…I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying . . . that Obama asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
Woodward said the word ‘regret’ made him feel “very uncomfortable.”
But Woodward aside, maybe the real crunch will come when ‘they’ the people realise that all these doom laden predictions won’t happen, and just maybe some of ‘they’ the people will wake up to the fact that Obama is one of the most partisan presidents the country has ever had, and will stop at nothing to destroy his opponents.
Just what are we really talking about here…with this so-called sequester?
The sequester would reduce the growth of federal spending by a paltry $85 billion, from an expected budget of $3.55 trillion.
This is less than a 2.4 per cent reduction.
The federal government borrows $85 billion every 28 days, and in the month of December, 2012 alone, The US paid 95 billion dollars in interest on their borrowings.
There is not a shadow of doubt in most right thinking people’s minds – including those in power in the Democrat elite – that the 85 billion and a lot more besides, can be easily found by cutting some of the massive waste, abuse and fraud in Federal government programmes. This sort of cost cutting deal could have easily been negotiated with the Republicans and the crude budget cuts could have been avoided, but Obama didn’t want to.
Makes you wonder what the Fuck it’s all about doesn’t it?
I’ll tell you what it’s all about – it’s about politics – pure and simple and the country can go to hell.
One of my valued readers, Mark, commented on a piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago that American politics is no worse that British politics.
I beg to differ my friend. Quite apart from the fact that all the major UK political parties are, believe it or not, not that far apart on all the major issues of the day, including the economy, for the most part they conduct their business and political campaigns in a civilised and respectful manner.
Last week, we had a crucial bi-election in England following the death of a member of parliament. The results of this election were an important indicator of the current state of each party and their likely fortunes in the forthcoming general election, so much was at stake. It was a bit like a mini US ‘mid-term’.
When the results were declared, each of the candidates commenced their victory / concession speech by thanking their opponents and acknowledging the courteous manner in which their opponent’s campaigns was conducted. It was a joy to behold.
Sure we have our joshing in Parliament and elsewhere, but a vast majority of it is carried out in good spirit and not a little humour. There is very little – if any – political assassination tactics that seems to be part and parcel of American politics today.
After non-stop watching and reading of the endless, vicious, slanging matches between American politicians that are so nasty and polarised that it makes me shudder, I can’t tell you what a welcome change it was to listen to these polite winners, losers and broadcast media behaving in such a civilised way.
But I still love you guys across the pond… I just wish you could get your act together and tell your politicians from all shades of the political spectrum to stop being so fucking partisan or butt the fuck out.
There are many who have predicted the demise of America in a similar manner that brought about the collapse of the Roman Empire.
I don’t buy that particular prophesy, yet there is little doubt that your leaders are slowly destroying your wonderful land by putting self-interest and political rhetoric above the interests of their nation. They know this and they just don’t care.
Neither did crazy Nero….
Amazing Thailand (1)
The other day, a Thai news item caught my attention that commented on the recent tragic death of two round the world British cyclists on the dangerous roads of Thailand.
Imagine, these two gallant cyclists had already cycled through through Europe, the Middle East, the wilds of Central Asia and China, but just few days on Thai roads was sufficient to seal their fate at the hands of a careless pick-up truck driver who was probably pissed at the time.
Here is an extract from Thai, English language news story:
It is time for all foreign tourists to be informed frankly about how to travel safely in Thailand, an expert on accident analysis urged yesterday.
‘They should know that travelling in Thailand is often different from their countries,’ he said.
“A handbook should be distributed to guide each of them. We have to warn them of the improper or risky driving behaviour of Thai motorists, risky areas on roads and how rescue workers and medical officials assist with injuries.
“Doing this could not be considered damaging to the country’s image. You have to compare the effect from warning visitors about the facts before accidents occur, and when relatives of dead tourists begin digging up details about Thailand’s traffic problems and bringing them before the foreign media. Which one would cause the worst impact?” he said.
He said his team found many foreigners injured in traffic accidents thought all Thai motorists must stop at a red light, but when they did that they had a collision. English communication problems by medical officials and rescue workers also led to misunderstanding among tourists. “So, they need to be informed in regard to accidents,” he said.
Note that the whole tenure of the article is to protect Thailand’s image and to ensure no harm is done to the country’s tourist industry – rather than warning future tourists to stay away from Thailand’s roads.
They are right to be concerned. If any of the dastardly relatives of dead tourists did start digging of details about Thailand’s traffic problems, they would be shocked to discover that according to WHO, (World Health Organisation), in 2010, Thailand’s accident death rate per 100,000 of population was a staggering 38.1, which equates to well over 20,000 deaths per year.
To put Thailand’s high rate of 38.1 into perspective,
The UK has a rate of 3.7,
Yes, I guess if I was trying to boost Thailand’s tourism industry I would be putting more emphasis on telling tourists that a red traffic light doesn’t always mean ‘stop’, rather than warning them that their roads are amongst the most dangerous in the world.
Amazing Thailand (2)
How about this?
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, responding to recent security cam footage of three police officers “requesting” money from an Indian tailor shop owner, claimed that said behavior was acceptable during the Chinese New Year as it constituted religious tradition and was not merely an act of bribery.
While the Deputy PM admitted that it was not appropriate for police officers to make this type of request of an Indian (who presumably was not celebrating the holiday), he did not foresee a need to change existing regulations on the issue.
Mr Chalerm said that it is common for Bangkok’s finest to ask for tae-ear, (traditional Chinese red envelope containing money), during the New Year period.
“I’m not protecting the police because this is a part of society, of tradition,” Chalerm, a former police captain.
There is absolutely nothing I, Mobi, can think of to add to these words of explanation and wisdom…
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