Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Learning to Fly

I realize this post will be far off the beaten path but I hope you'll humor me. I came across the most wonderful comic today when exploring Russell Stutler's website. It is called "A Strange Wind Blowing" He captured that wonderful nostalgic feeling I used to get on a blustery day. Remember how it felt to have the wind give you the feeling you could fly when you were a child? We were so light a strong wind could move us. Dreams of flying were natural. When I was a young boy I didn't just wish to fly when the wind was particularly gusty. I actively tried to fly. Even long past when I knew that I couldn't fly I would let the wind flap my clothes and I would imagine flying.

Sometime in my life I forgot about flying, even in my dreams. Instead, I dreamed of falling and being chased1. When I was awake this morning at 5am I wasn't thinking about flying then, either. A cold front had moved in overnight and the wind was howling and beating at my windows. I went outside to secure our backyard paraphernalia and pensively wondered if it was tornado weather. It never occurred to me to stand out in the middle of the yard in my jammies and just let the wind lift me up and take me away. I was all grown up now. Instead, I went back inside, responsibly went back to bed, and didn't even dream.

Reading "A Strange Wind Blowing" reminded me of what I'd forgotten this morning. For me disability has nailed my feet down, but there's debt, and bills, and obligations, and all the other pressures of the adult world I share with my fellow man that keeps me grounded as well. Maybe it's time to dream of flying again. Who knows? I might even get lucky this time.

Coping Strategies:
1) Go fly a kite.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

ADHD: Upsides to Thrill Seeking

The number six symptom in Hallowell and Ratey's Diagnostic Criteria for Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults is a need for high stimulation.
6. A frequent search for high stimulation.
The Adult with ADD is always on the lookout for something novel, something engaging, something in the outside world that can catch up with the whirlwind that's rushing inside.
My mother tells of a story where my late brother, Ryan, created a new sport one day. It involved BMX bikes and trampolines. Now, one thing you have to understand about Utah is that a family is not a real family unless there is a trampoline in their backyard. It is that important. When a neighbor moved away and left their trampoline behind, my children could finally hold their heads up high in school even though the trampoline wasn't large enough to bounce two hyperactive chinchillas on. You would think with access to a full olympic sized trampoline my brother and his friend would have been content. But Ryan had ADHD and why be content with jumping on a trampoline when you can ride your bike off the roof holding onto a rope and swing onto the trampoline instead?
I have my own escapades involving roofs to recall. I especially liked the challenge of climbing out my bedroom window and walking along the apex to the chimney. At one point I contemplated rigging ropes from the chimney into the canopy of trees around my house. All I had was my Mum's clothesline and even I knew that wouldn't hold me. Oh, what I could have done with some real rope. I eventually did get into those trees. I had lots of fun moving from tree to tree 25 feet above the ground for an afternoon, then I forgot about it and moved on to something new: playing in traffic. Behind the wheel, of course.
The fact is that many people with AD/HD have this need to fill their mind by pursuing something exhilarating but risky. There's an abhorrence of boredom that drives their impulses. Gambling, drugs, sex, extreme sports, creative banking, foolhardy activities, and unhealthy relationships litter the lives of so many ADHD adults. Common sense flies out the window and normally intelligent and bright people get caught up doing something dumb for the thrill of it - the challenge - all for those few precious moments of intense clarity hyperfocus can bring.
Instead of belaboring the negatives of this behavior, however, I wanted to contemplate upsides to it. Are there any benefits to needing high stimulation? I asked my mother-in-law what she thought and she started laughing out loud. Eventually, I had to hang up. For all I know, she's still laughing.
I contacted an editor friend of mine and asked her what benefits she could think of. She felt that the need for more intense experiences often produced "more experiences, period, since people with that sort of wiring tend to try to cram as much into life as they possibly can. This results in more to think about, more to write about, which makes them very interesting people to be around." I always knew I liked that girl. Too bad she wasn't talking about me.
One byproduct of seeking out the new thrills continually is increased creativity. Old ideas are abandoned for exciting, brand new ones. If tapped, that can be a valuable resource for the person with AD/HD. In addition, an unquenchable thirst for new information makes one well suited for the tech industry which is in a state of constant flux and development. I've heard it said as well that these types of individuals excel at sales - people who love the thrill of closing the deal. Personally, I'd rather continue my exciting life as a beta tester for the pharmaceutical industry. Oh, boy. Thrills galore.
High stimulation can certainly lead to negative behavior, but the upside for us is a very varied existance. We don't so much think outside of the box as live there. While that makes fitting in difficult, when we harness our skills we can stand out from the crowd in beneficial ways. Sometimes that's lucrative, sometimes it simply adds spice to life. It's not all dangerous. Here I ply my creativity with words and communication, challenging myself to improve with each column. Over there I explore fractals, illustrate critters, master technologies, and channel the need for thrills through the acquisition of knowledge. Recently I discovered my wildly ecclectic music collection, refined by over 25 years of seeking out new and exciting forms of music to fight off boredom, has had interesting side benefits. My iTunes library has made me youthful and hip to my kids. I hadn't planned on that happening, but my 30gb collection of meta tagged MP3s has been a treasure trove for my 13 and 11 year olds who have bonded with me because of it. Or maybe they just love my collection of Euro Vocal Trance.
Adult ADD is an asset when we minimize the downsides and nourish the upsides. Analysts would have you see only the negative aspects of AD/HD because that's how they're defined in their books, but we benefit from the need for high stimulation all the time. Keep it safe. Keep it legal, but keep getting bored. You're bound to discover something new and exciting again any minute.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less by Milo O. Frank

Tired of putting your employees to sleep when you need them attentive? Have your family meetings been running on and on pointlessly? Do people dread your phone calls because they don't have an hour to waste? If so, you may be interested in this book by Milo O. Frank. It's not new. In fact, it's been in publication for twenty years. However, the lack of modern jargon and references to archaic business apparatuses don't take away from the salient points Frank has to make about communication.

Terribly thin at 120 pages, you could almost polish it off during lunch break. The book is padded with anecdotal stories to prove Frank's points. I found the interjection of anecdotal stories interruptive, but without them "30 Seconds" would have been more of a pamphlet than a book. I should warn you that the book is very sales and business centric, but the principals covered can be applied to other arenas in life. Some points may seem self-evident, but then again if you are having a hard time getting your point across in any time less than a few hours you desperately need to read what is inside.

What I found most valuable was the way Frank helped me rethink how I approached conversations. Normally, I would pick up the phone and let things fly. With my AD/HD mind sparking in multiple directions whatever point I had hoped to make would be lost and forgotten by the time I hung up. Nowadays, I use a lot more premeditative preparation before picking up the phone. Family meetings are planned out before I gather the family into the music room. Business meetings have an agenda jotted down. "30 Seconds" will take you through the whole process from start to finish and provide tips on how to streamline the process.

Why you should read this book: If you need help honing your communication skills so that you speak more effectively at meetings, write more concise emails and memos, and get your point across quickly when making phone calls, then this book is filled with pearls of wisdom.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You think rambling on and on and on is cute.

Obviously, the anecdotal stories stacked the deck in Frank's favor. Each miraculous story was meant to prove how wonderful the "30 Seconds" approach was. I'm afraid my cynicism kicked in fairly quickly. Nobody is that lucky. And most of us are not equipped with prescience to anticipate what the ONE amazing hook/punchline/topic will be to open the doors to success. That being said, I have adapted some of these principals to my method of communicating (See my column on the subject: ADHD: Getting Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or What Were We Talking About Again?). My family meetings are less arduous than they've been in the past. My business meetings are crisper and more focused. My phone calls are more productive. I recommend reading this book if only to spell out the obvious that you may be missing.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

ADHD: Getting Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or What Were We Talking About Again?

Before launching into this week's column I wanted to follow up a bit on last week's column where I faced my fears of incapacitation and took a ride in an MRI. Well, the results are in and it doesn't look good. The doctor says that my brain is normal. I'm not sure how to feel about that. On one hand, I went through all that for nothing and we're still not any closer to understanding my disability. On the other hand, I'm normal which means I'm trading the book club for a golf club and buying a SUV. I'd almost rather go into the machine again.

While I wrangle with my newfound normalness, I thought I'd explore an AD/HD problem near and dear to my heart: The ADHDer's inability to get to the point when speaking.

Of all the adorable eccentricities born of my AD/HD brain, I believe the one trait that is guaranteed to cause seething hatred in my fellow man is my inability to get to the point. Oh, I start out towards the point, but somehow the point becomes accented with various anecdotal but insightful comments, garnished with unrelated topics I must bring up before I forget, and sprinkled with a heavy dose of absentmindedness. If my listener is lucky I might resummarize for them a few times just to keep me on track, at which point they get itchy for one of my new golf clubs.

All it takes is a few phone calls and I can make enemies for life. Forgiving and laid back people usually just gently remind me what the point is or beg me to get there sometime before the cows come home. The Unforgiving ones, however, decide I must be deliberately trying to torture them so they set out to get even. Tired of all the hitmen sent after me, I decided to make some drastic changes.

A few years ago I was looking up How to Make Friends with 90 Bucks or Less and came across How to Get your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less. Sounded perfect at first, but it's sales centric approach seemed ill fitted for my needs. One problem with 30 Seconds was that it relied too much on insider information. Somehow I was supposed to find out that the random HR guy interviewing me dug country music, liked braggarts, and was way into Furbies. Then I needed to figure out a pithy way to work that into the conversation.
"Hello. My name is Douglas Cootey. Nice to meet you. I'm the art director you've been dreaming of. Yes. I'm that good. I have more talent in my left boot than you can shake a Furbie at, and I'm a whole heckuvva lot cuter too. Yeehaw! Now, where's my desk?"

With a little adaptation, however, I developed a system that has helped me cut down on attempts on my life. People even like it when I call now. I boiled the book down into three basic points I keep in mind before making a call or start a meeting.

• Decide what your point is before making your point.

I know, really radical advise here. But how often have you hung up after a twenty minute phone call and realized you forgot to discuss the main reason for calling? I don't sweat this much when calling friends, but for business I always jot down the main points I want to make on paper or PDA. Otherwise, I can plan on disaster.

• Know your audience

Not everybody is forgiving of absentmindedness. And some people are downright selfish. You know the types - nobody's time is more important than their own? I try not to do business with people like that, but when I can't avoid it I try to be especially terse. People who like me may enjoy the odd ramblings of my mind, but not these guys. They don't have the patience for it and will hold and use my ramblings and verbal flubs against me. Besides, it's only considerate to utilize an economy of words. Ramble with friends; keep it basic for business.

• Don't Forget to Get to the Point

Long before your audience's eyes begin to glaze over, you need to remember the main points of the discussion. Make your points, ask for what you need, listen to the feedback, and then you're done. Following this method felt awkward for me at first, leaving me with the feeling that there was something left unsaid, but I soon realized that was just the AD/HD misfiring.

Call me silly, but having the ability to talk for an hour about everything but what I meant to discuss isn't a very useful attribute to me. It irritates most people, in fact. Over the years I've known some people to avoid my calls because they didn't like talking on the phone as much as I did. You'll just have to forgive me if I see that as a bad thing. However, all is not gloomy. Although keeping these points in mind has not repaired past relationships with the Unforgiving ones, it has helped me not repeat past mistakes. Considering how many assassins were employed over the years to take me out, this is a vast improvement.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

Lord Peter Wimsey finds love in a courtroom when he determines to prove the falsely accused mystery author, Harriet Vane, innocent. Unfortunately, her boyfriend, the demised, was poisoned in a manner which coincidentally was the subject of her latest book. When absolutely everybody, including Harriet's defense, is convinced of her guilt how will Lord Peter Wimsey prove otherwise?

Why would I read this book when I was so unimpressed with the first Dorothy L. Sayers book, "Whose Body?"? Mostly because I wanted to see how much she had improved. "Strong Poison" was written a decade later and is a vast improvement over Sayers first offering. I'm still not a big fan of detective novels. I especially didn't like fractured narrative where we're introduced to a secretary who becomes the main character for a short while 3/4th through the story. However, I really liked Peter Wimsey this time around. Sayers didn't feel compelled to write him as an eccentric. His quirky character felt more natural and believable comparitively. If you can make it through the first four chapters with the windy judge and his non-stop stream of exposition you may find yourself mildly entertained.

Why you should read this book: Written in the realistic British style, no detail is left undescribed. Non mystery fans may find this style of writing a tad tedious, but mystery fans will no doubt feel differently. If you are a fan of Sayers character Harriet Vane and her odd dispassionate romance with Lord Peter Wimsey this is the book that threw them together. I also found the "bohemian" section of the artworld very interesting and not dissimilar to the artworld of the sixties, or of today.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Lots of exposition chokes the narrative, especially during the courtroom scenes. In addition, this is a mystery about stuffy British socialites acting proper or indignant around each other. Some of you may rather have a root canal than read about the British elite in the late 1920's.

Perhaps murder mysteries are not my cup of tea. I can't say I'm inspired to learn more about Lord Peter Wimsey nor am I interested in reading anything else Dorothy L. Sayers may have to say about murder.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Depression and Fear: Tastes Great but Less Filling

While using a beta of Flock, this column was deleted along with all of its comments. I was managing blog entries when Flock did weird and interesting things. The next morning a reader informed me that this column was gone. How fun. I won't be using Flock like THAT for a while. I have recreated the entry using Google cache (Thanks, Sandra) and gmail. Thanks for your patience.

See my trip at Flickr. Leave comments and notes

The new year is under way and I feel like it's dragging me along underneath. Nothing can set one back quite like a succession of illnesses. The deep bags under my eyes are like rolls of cloth. The flab around my waist is gaining character. Energy is a faint memory as if I had it once in a former life.  Back then I was on this earth as a wind turbine but now I've come back as a wind sock. If I'm not careful I could develop a full blown depression, but what better way shake off depression than to contemplate my upcoming MRI?

Before I get into that I should mention what I've been up to last month instead of writing my column.  There's been wringing of hands over goals.  I rediscovered donuts.  And I've been helping my daughter with her American Idol blog. It's virtually a part time job with no insurance benefits but plenty of quality time spent in front of the TV.  She's trying to win a $250 prize, and did win it in fact, but may be disqualified because we faked her ID to keep her personal data secret.  I've also been busy with my other daughters' Irish step dancing, being Mr. Bus, etc.  No time for blogs, especially when I spend so much of my time being sick.

I did manage to see a neurologist, however. He told me my type of tic disorder was rare, and that I'd probably need to see a specialist.  Silly me.  I thought he WAS the specialist. Now I have to see somebody even more special. The interesting thing about being told you have a rare condition is that on one hand you feel relief because you now understand why nobody ever knew what the heck was wrong with you, but on the other hand you have that bittersweet feeling of isolation because nobody will ever really know what the heck is wrong with you. I could join a support group to fight off the loneliness, I suppose, if I didn't mind being the only attendee.

Somebody asked me recently how I fight off depression.  Well, as the tagline says, I use attitude and humor to stave off the Moody Beast, even if the humor is as black as the beast's heart.  Here is a perfect example.  I'm only slightly anxious about being shoved head first into a hi-tech coffin tomorrow with a brace over my face for 30 minutes.  Just slightly.  But by making wry jokes about it I can lessen its effects on me.

Here's another example where I chose to laugh instead of despairing. When the hospital called on Friday to verify my appointment, the young lady recommended I get a prescription for a muscle relaxant so my ticking wouldn't affect the readings.  I replied that I'd be driving myself there so a muscle relaxant wasn't an option. Our conversation then went somewhat like this:


Me: How much can I move in the tube?
Her: You can't move.
Me: No, I mean if I wanted to move, how much could I move?
Her: You can't move. We need you to be still. 
Me: Look, I'm just trying to find out if I can move should I wish to.  It will make all the difference in the world versus not being able to move at all. 
Her: We can't have you moving, Mr. Cootey. 
Me: I understand I'm NOT SUPPOSED to move, but if I know I CAN move I'll be a lot more comfortable choosing NOT to move than if I am UNABLE to move which might be a bit awkward for me.  (At which point I sound like a crazy person no matter how much sarcasm and wit I use.)
Her: Oh, well, how much do you weigh? 
Me: 225. 
Her: OK, and how tall are you?
Me: 5'10". 
Her: Oh. (There was a bit of silence...) It'll be a little snug. 

Snug. Great. Not only am I being entombed in a Las Vegas coffin for half an hour, but I'll be shoved in there face first with a tight squeeze. I can just see the orderlies pushing my carcass into the infernal machine like a scene out of the Three Stooges. Nothing to get worried about at all.

I'm not actually claustrophobic. I can handle elevators just fine - even small cars and mall movie theaters. In fact, I don't have a problem with enclosed spaces at all. I have a problem with not being able to move. Instant panic. Comes from sleep paralysis. Even a little bit of panic might induce ticking. It's a valid concern.

I could give in to the fear and stay home. I could avoid it altogether. Perhaps the ticking will take the choice away from me, but I want to go and face this irrational fear. I want to KNOW more than I want to be safe. I want to understand why pain counteracts the ticking, why sometimes I can't talk or walk, and why my life feels like a wreck.  The MRI may not have all those answers, but it may give me clues I didn't have before  - any clue at all that will help me succeed in life and realize my dreams and goals. That's worth a little fear, don't you think?


See my trip at Flickr. Please leave comments and notes. ;)


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Comments restored from backup...

slΓΆ - good luck

Sylvana - You definitely have the right attitude. I have quite a few friends that let their fear run their lives to the point of crippling them. It makes me sad and drives me crazy!

Hope your test went well and that you get more info on getting better.

Lucio - Good Luck and I hope ur test goes well

Douglas Cootey - Thanks. I won't know the results until Wed. or Thu. I'll be sure to update here if it's relevant.

BTW, I put up a record of my excursion over at Flickr. You can leave comments as usual, but I've also enabled notes. I'm interested to see what creative things you folks can hilight. ;)

Finnish Girl - Hey Douglas. Good luck with the test. I have been actually in the "tube" once. I have proof that there's this thing called brains inside my head, pictures and all! =) The reason why I was tested was to find out the reason for my massive headaches. But the test didn't give out any answers, found the answer later.

Anyways, I had to be there for 20 minutes, not moving or making any sounds. And the machine itself makes the most annoying sound... I started to listen to it and strangely, was able to calm myself. I don't know if this information is helpfull to you. I didn't feel claustrofobic there and I was happy about that. There's actually a lot of space inside of the "tube" and there's supposed to be a button that you are allowed to press in case of an emergency.

Good luck! I am sure you will be ok!

nessie - Good luck and best wishes.

Douglas Cootey - Thanks finnish girl and nessie. Definitely a very loud machine. They had me wear earplugs. There was no emergency button, but I could communicate via an open intercom with the tech through the whole experience. The worst thing about the experience was holding my head still for over 20 minutes. After 15 I was extremely anxious to get out and move around mostly because I was bored but also because there was a crick in my neck. LOL Any fear I had passed after the first 5 minutes.

Suzanne - Nngh. Better you than me, man. I *do* have a touch of claustrophobia. (When I was a kid, my brothers and cousin once got me to crawl into a small cardboard box and then merrily proceeded to dogpile on top of it, causing the whole thing to collapse--let's just say that even now, being enclosed in a space from which I cannot escape brings on shrieking PRIMAL FEAR.)

Glad to hear it's over, and I hope you and the docs find helpful information from the experience.

ScarletSphinx - Doughnuts aren't evil. (that had to be said)

I'm sending you good thoughts (this inlcudes the hope that your head isn't shoved into any kind of tube again).

Good thoughts for your girl, too.

Melissa - hmmmmmm... childbirth backwards? ouch! Glad to know you survived the tourture tube... and reallllllyyyyyyy glad to see a new post! Welcome back.

Anonymous - glad you made it out of the tube also :)

i was in the tube once for kidney stones- maybe they should have scanned the ol' brainola and done a 2 for 1 deal on my time in the machine?

anyway, i've visited your scrapbook papers page..very nice! I'm interested in how you design them (computer application?)


Douglas Cootey:
suzanne - Hopefully I will hear back from him today. Hopefully he'll be more pleasant than House when he reports to me. LOL Did you see this week's episode? The main patient had a motion disorder. I sorta flail about like that. I thought she captured the "What on earth is my body doing?" look pretty well even if her tics weren't always convincing...

scarletsphinx - Hear! Hear! A most noble thing to declare. My waist thanks you.

melissa - Thank you, Melissa. I've felt terrible about missing my regular column. It feels good to be back.

anon - I don't think doctors like to do Two-fers... All those golf clubs to buy, you know?

My scrapbook papers start out with a splash of watercolor on a piece of paper. Then I scan them, color correct them, and then Photoshop the living fibers out of them. I probably won't be doing any more. The work was time consuming and I didn't feel respected for my contributions. Glad you liked them. :) I'm Mr. Popular around here. My wife and daughters love them and use them all the time for their projects.

Heidi the Hick - That conversation with the receptionist was hilarious! I TOTALLY relate. Your reasoning made perfect sense to me. Whatever that says about me, eh!

Douglas Cootey - Elisa - I'm sorry. I haven't heard of the Discovery Academy. I wish I could help.

sylvana - I can definitely relate with that Princess. LOL I can't think of any fabrics that bug me specifically, but there is the sensation of my tongue on wooden popsicle sticks that sends rolling waves of shivers up and down my spine. It doesn't make me gag, but I am paralyzed by the sensation - so strong is it. I don't know why but your post made me think of it! LOL I got shivers just typing about it. :p

nessie - Welcome to the family. It's a gangly, unsightly group that doesn't sit still very long for family pictures, but it's a warm family nonetheless. :) I'm glad you're enjoying my columns. Part of my need to feel "normal" is to connect with people like you who can relate with what I'm experiencing and laugh about it along with me.

Douglas Cootey :
Heidi the Hick - :) I'm glad you liked it. Maybe having this blog helps me get through conversations like that now that I find myself thinking "Oooh! This conversation is going to badly it's perfect for my blog!!"

I had a similar conversation with my Dad later that day but I found myself getting angry with him because he stated the misunderstanding was my fault if he and that girl reacted the same way. In hindsight, I don't think it was anyone's fault in particular. OK, that's a lie. It's all their fault! LOL The problem hinged around the meaning of the work "can".

I'd ask "Can I move?" and they'd reply "No, you can't" but they really meant "No, you shouldn't. You'll ruin the imaging process". They were interpreting my "can" as a request for permission to wiggle when I should be very still. I was speaking globally. I wanted to know whether I would have room to wiggle or not.

At any rate, in the end I had room to wiggle, but it was uncomfortable. My shoulders to my elbows were pressed in by the bed I laid on. I couldn't stretch or move my head freely because of the cage. The need to hold myself still was the hardest part of the process, however. I developed a cramp in my neck and couldn't do anything to relieve it. When I came out of the tube to get the injection of gadolinium the tech panicked whenever I suggested I get out of the stupid cage and walk around a bit before going in again. It took all my will power to focus and try to relax. Fortunately, I had asked the tech before we began to give me a running countdown of how long each test would run and how much time we had left. I don't really think I would have done as well otherwise.

I asked the tech how I rate on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being cool as can be and 10 being hysterical. She said I rated a 3 or 4. But if you saw my photos over at Flickr you'll know she was just being kind. :)

Anonymous - Very interesting entry! I'm glad the test went well (though it does sound really uncomfortable) and hope the results give you something useful. :-) I thought the conversation sounded like something out of Abbott and Costello and absolutely loved the Superman-esque pose by the MRI machine. LOL Hope I'd have that sort of good humor and chutzpah if I had to go inside one of those machines. ;-)


Anonymous - I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate you on a very high quality Blog. I have personally added your Blog to the www.nubbit.com Blog directory as I feel it meets our high acceptance standards providing our site visitors the quality Blog content they are in search of.

Nubbit is a relatively new Blog directory still in its early stages of launch but traffic is already starting to increase ten fold. The nice thing about this site is that the number of Blogs is limited and all Blogs must meet an acceptable level of quality, such as yours.

Do to the fact that the majority of the Blogs currently listed in our directory were researched and added by the founders of nubbit.com rather than through the submission tool most sites are not aware of there listing other than the recent increases in traffic.

That said, as we grow and initiate many of the marketing programs over the coming months, we would love to also see an increase in links to our site.

We would like to invite you to place a link on your Blog. In doing so we will add you to the featured Blog rotation on the main page of the site as well as give your site proper notice in the Nubbit.com Blog.

Once again, congratulations, and feel free to drop us an email if you decide to add a link or just to say hi. Link options are endless however, a few options are available at the following website: http://www.nubbit.com/submit.htm

Congratulations and thanks in advance,
Branden Moskwa, co-founder

Poetwoman - Hi Doug,
Glad you MI is over. You didn't post the results yet though. I just had one too (for my neck) and had to go in the head cage. I had to shut my eyes to keep from getting claustraphobic, it freaked me out a bit (the cage did). I also got a painful crick in my neck as my neck doesn't like to be held straight, particularly for 20 minutes! Whcih daughter is taking Irish Step Dance? I thought you only had one, and I know you have daughter with CP, like I have. The thought of her taking Step Dancing was both cool, and funny to me. I had a friend with CP who took Ballet. I would've loved to have seen that recital! She was much stiffer moving than me!

Sol - Doug ~ I have claustrophobia.

Sometimes in small spaces my fear is not being able to breathe.

Strangely, my higher than average lung capacity makes this *in theory* somewhat possible.

The not moving bit affects me most on airplanes or whenever I need to sit really still.

I think its easier to sit still on the floor than on a chair? Tell me what you make of this..and tell us how it went!!

btw, you take really good pics ;)

Douglas Cootey:
Poetwoman ~ I don't have the results yet. In fact, I'm on hold this very second. :/ They're playing Spanish guitar music. I'm trying to appreciate it for its craftsmanship, but I'm failing...

Yeah, the cage wasn't my favorite thing, either. Sorry you had to go through that, but hopefully they'll find what they need to help you.

I have four daughters. My 13 year old is an aspiring country music singer who performs around town, has a podcast (which I cannot reveal since we're protecting her identity at this point), and takes voice lessons. My 11 year old has my black sense of humor and I can only rarely tease her, unlike my 13 year old. I do an occasional podcast with her based on a very popular children's book. Lots of fun and I wish I could point you to it, but I am protecting her identity as well. My 11 year old takes Irish Step Dancing lessons, as well as my 7 year old. The 7 year old is a red headed spitfire. She most likely has AD/HD. I love her to pieces, and hope I can figure out a lot of this stuff so I can help her not bumble about life like I have been doing. My four year old has CP. She's a different challenge altogether. We are contemplating signing her up for dance this Fall. Her CP is mild - mostly she's clumsy - and the dance classes may be beneficial to her. Besides, she's already imitating her sisters. Her CP affects her most through delayed learning. Toilet training her is proving to be a torturous task...as well as trying to teach her how to talk better. There's a wall there we haven't been able to breach...

Sol ~ :) I think the knowledge that we can't move plays havoc with our minds. For some it triggers panic. If we know we can move we seem to have an easier time choosing to stay still. The absence of choice is probably key. I'm still on hold. The guitar music is getting to me...


Douglas Cootey:
Heather ~ Well, as you know I'm a bit of a goofball. :) I forgot to mention I was taking photos for my blog so the nurse must have thought I was completely insane. Especially since I had expressed so much concern prior to diving into the hole.

Branden ~ Thank you for the invite. My blog is indeed listed on your site so perhaps this isn't the splog entry I first thought it to be. I'm afraid I haven't seen any spikes in traffic from your site, so I'll hold off on that reciprocal link until I have time to check out nubbit a bit more. I'm pretty stingy with my links, mostly because I'm so busy...

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