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27 February, 2008

The Mean Green

Have you ever tried listening to this song while you balance your cheque check book? It's very liberating.

26 February, 2008

Bad news for Prozac

An interesting article today on BBC news. Turns out that antidepressant medication isn't actually doing you a whole lot of good. Well, it may be helping but not due to any substance within the drug but instead because of the placebo effect.

The researchers found that the drugs did have a positive impact on people with mild depression - but the effect was no bigger than that achieved by giving patients a sugar-coated "dummy" pill."

Unsurprisingly the makers of Prozac and GlaxoSmithKline disagree and state that they helping in reducing depression.

I think the most important aspect of this article is that it emphasizes the need for talking therapies. Whilst there are much harder to evaluate than say drug studies they are effective and can be individually designed for a specific person. I would say that depression is often caused by a number of environmental factors in a persons life and that taking medication might relieve some of the symptoms but actually getting those things off your chest, discussing some solutions and learning how to carry out the solutions has got to be a better option. In England 3,600 new therapists will be trained to increase patient access to talking therapies. Seems like a low number but at least it's a start.

Mental Health America found that West Virginia ranks 50 (out of 51 including DC) on depression making it the second most depressed state in the country. One of the factors they highlight is access to treatment and so I hope these findings can have some kind of effect locally.

19 February, 2008

Simple things...

I really hope no-one was seriously hurt in this very serious accident. But I couldn't help but smile a little when I read the headline of this local news story.


I like talking about the mundane sometimes. But this is a kind of weird topic for me. I went to the mall the other day and obtained a great pair of "sneakers" aka "tennis shoes" aka trainers. Trainees as they up north. I hadn't been planning on it really. I still have a fully functional pair of "trainees" on my feet. Shoes really aren't my thing. I have been known in the past to wear shoes until they have a hole in them and then just keep going until my feet get too wet. I mean they still serve the purpose they are designed for. Yes, they inevitable end up looking pretty crappy, but these are the items that we wrap our feet in for walking on the ground, right? So having a clean pair is kind futile to me. They will just get dirty tomorrow. That's not to say that I don't keep the bottom of the clean but that's a heck of a lot easier.

Do you remember the film "The Shawshank Redemption"? Morgan Freeman "Red" says " I mean, how often do you look at a guys shoes?". That kinda sticks with me. I never look at anybody's shoes and if I do I rarely take note of them. My experience is that other people DO look at people's shoes. And they make opinions about them from the shoes. Strange but true. Well I'm still wearing my old shoes at the moment, I wouldn't want to get my nice clean ones dirty yet ;-) but they are clean (thanks to prompts and advice from Ms. Allclick) and I have brand spanking new (and very white) laces. If you are blinded walking around Huntington it's probably just from my feet.

18 February, 2008

Tudors Biscuit World

Well what can I say about Tudors? I'll start off by saying that it is now one of my all-time favourite places to eat. A Tudor's breakfast is a treat for me and a great way to start the day. Once upon a time I used to eat Mcdonald's Egg McMuffin for breakfast. As a treat of course. I'd been insane to eat that everyday. It was nice, greasy though, and left me feeling bloated rather than full. Then one sunny, early morning in 2006 I sat upon the steps in Marshall Stadium and tasted my first Tudors. I think it was Dottie..but i'm probably wrong. From then on I didn't need much persuasion to indulge in a "biscuit" (nothing like a digestive) from Tudors or any other place for that matter. I've been to several now across the state and my only complaints are that sometimes they use the messy cheese (It's a) messy and b) a little salty for my liking), and sometimes it looks like they assembled the biscuit in the dark. Apart from that I can't complain and I snap up all the coupons they send to me. The one in Hurricane is a good one, and does have light and fluffy biscuits. I have to say that the one I stopped at just outside Winfield was even better though. Almost a work of art and tasty to boot. My favourite biscuit from Tudor's you ask? Well, anything with cheese, potato and egg gets my vote. Is that the Ron? Answers on a postcard please.

13 February, 2008

More Wal-Mart news...(not pictured)

After mentioning the new Hurricane Wal-mart it seemed apt to go up there and take a look at the progress. I was very tempted to take a few piccies but decided I would look incredibly uncool. Plus there were a bunch of trainees up I guess. Looks like the main building is complete now and there are actually signs of a few items inside. I saw the banner today that said "Food center opening soon" so am not sure what that means. Anyway, the parking lot looked nice. Nearby, there is a row of empty shops at the moment. A Dollar Tree will be moving in up there to one of the bigger spaces but the rest look pretty vacant. I have my fingers crossed for a decent restaurant around there somewhere. You'd think that a Longhorn, Outback, or any other steak house would do great business just off the interstate and in one of the most affleunt areas of this part of the state. Mind you, I'd settle for a Wendys right there too. You gotta love that chilli.

A fine line

Well I guess I've been away for a bit. Not from a lack of insights I assure you but simply too busy to blurt my mind out onto a computer screen. I thought I'd make a effort to address Valentines day tomorrow. After asking a few colleagues, friends, and family it seems like everyone has almost discarded the day. Written it off as just one of those "commercial invented days to scam me out of money". Well, yes it is getting very commercial. But it always has been in my experience. I'm most amused at the offer that Hallmark is running at the moment in which you must buy three cards. Three valentines?? How many sweethearts can have one at one time? Anyway, the response of doing nothing seems to be a little drastic. I say that you can either plunge head deep into the commercialism and buy the chocolates, cards, flowers, balloons and toys or express your love in whatever way suits you best. Either way it's a nice excuse to spoil and be spoilt even if you don't spend a dime. So, wear a little red and enjoy the day!

06 February, 2008

The Invasion - Movie Review

Thanks to all those who offered their views on which movie to see last weekend. I was impressed that some even managed to work the phrase "turd-shaped monkey balls" into their response. In fact I didn't end up going to the cinema in the end. But I appreciated the input all the same! Instead, Ms. AllClick and I rented "The Invasion" starring Nicole Kidman as a Psychiatrist who discovers that an alien virus is sweeping across the globe more or less taking over people's minds and bodies. It's a remake of Invasion of the Body snatchers but from what I can I gather has a different approach. The original movies tended to be more of a horror flick. Creepy and suspenseful. This movie is more of a sci-fi/thriller flick so don't be surprised if it lacks the scares and cheap jumps. It is much more about the fundamentals of human nature. I thought it was pretty decent. Better than I was expecting but not amazing. Worth a rental on a saturday night if you have nothing better to do.

If I lived on a tropical island...

If I lived on a tropical island...sounds a bit like an essay title from when I was 7. But I've been thinking this over for a while. I guess election fever is beginning to have an effect on me. I'm somewhat bemused by it all, especially the solid divide between Democrats and Republicans. Politics has never been my forte though so perhaps I'm missing something. I'm not really sure which group I would fall into but maybe someone can tell me when I reveal what I'd want if I lived on a tropical island.

I think I would love to live on an island as part of a tribe. Just think about it for a second. You could choose the piece of land you wanted to live on and build your own house. It would be yours. Education and medicine although basic would be free or perhaps an offering of some fruit. You could get organic food and water. Lots of fresh air. No doubt a leader would be chosen. If you didn't like them, just move to another part of the island. You would keep physically fit and no doubt speak to your neighbors and family for most of the day. Sounds pretty sweet, although a little...homogeneous. And the Hut Tax would probably coconut and banana me to death.

04 February, 2008

When is that new Wal-mart ready?

Well, Wal-mart is finally coming to Hurricane. March 8th I think. It looks almost finished from the interstate. I have mixed feelings about it. It will be great that I'll have a store to pop into on the way home without going too far out of the way. It will be nice to have a cheaper alternative to the other supermarkets and hopefully it will encourage the growth of other stores around the area and restaurants in which we need. Having watched 20 mins of a Wal-mart documentary over the weekend (Wal-mart: The high cost of low price) though i'm a little concerned. Especially about the impact it has on smaller stores i.e. putting them out of business.
I think the best part will be having an alternative to the Kroger store in Teays Valley. Despite having a bunch of cool British products it is frequently out of stock on the sale items, or has a poor selection of items I have coupons for. It's usually way more expensive than Wal-mart. Despite this, I went shopping there over the weekend. I was mildly excited to have a coupon for $3 off a sheet cake. Excellent. A sheet cake will go nicely with some Super Bowl super snacks. We picked out a sheet cake, which was Super Bowl themed, and had a few cupcakes around it. When Ms. Allclick and I arrived at the register we were informed that "This isn't a sheet cake. It's a ..small cake with cupcakes around it." I looked down at the label which clearly said "sheet cake" and looked back up at the manager. "If you want to get another cake you can". Err no thanks. I'll get one at Wal-mart next time. The cupcakes were pretty squished anyway.