Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Humor and MS - a Free Online Lecture

On Sept 27th, GeneFo, a free medical community platform, will be holding a free online lecture titled :The Medical Benefits of using Humor to Manage MS". The speaker will be Ms Yvonne deSousa (author of MS Madness). 

Please take a look at the following links. 

Link to register:

Facebook Post:



GeneFo is a free  medical crowd sourcing platform that allows people affected by chronic conditions like MS  to track their condition management and also get access to free tools like clinical trial matching, comparative tools (so people can see what others like them are doing) and  educational resources. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

American Horror Story

Interesting new season of "American Horror Story" (so far). The American horror in this case is the election of Donald Trump Seriously. God bless free speech. Of course, it goes deeper than that. When is fear reasonable, and when a matter of personal issues? Which threats are real, and which imaginary? At what point does fear itself become one's greatest fear? What is really unravelling - the world or one's own psyche?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Gut Feeling

An interesting article on the latest culprit in the cause of  MS. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ah, The Arrogance

I was just reading a copy of The Bali Advertizer - well, as far as possible, anyway before the pervasive stench of the paper begins to make your eyes water. Of course, there is the always interesting column by Richard Laidlaw, a friend of mine, a long time resident of Bali, originally from Australia, but other than that ... nada. But the thing that really caught my eye was a small ad about learning bahasa Indonesia, featuring the happy news that one might even learn to talk to "staff". I'm sorry, but this just struck me as hilarious. I couldn't stop giggling for the the longest time! Talk to your staff That which had previously been a flowerpot or a broom has now become a real person!


As far as it is possible, I prefer for everything to proceed in the exact same way every day. I'd like to say that this is because I'm just naturally a creature of habit, or because familiarity is naturally comforting to me, but the fact is, it's because my brain doesn't function properly. If the unexpected is encountered, it's as if I have suddenly slipped into an alternate universe. What happened? Where am I? What do I do now?

I always take the same exact route everywhere I... go. Nearly every day, I go to the Starbucks at Plaza Renon. I take the same route and I park in the outdoors lot.

As I pulled into the lot this evening, however, I was told by the parking attendant that the lot is full.

"Jadi, harus ke mana?"

"Harus ke bawah."

"Oh. Di mana itu?"

"Um ... di bawah."


But I had never been to the underground parking lot. Where exactly was it? Pasti, underground, but where is the entry. And how do you get out again? Hmm. I could just go home, but ... No, by God, I'm goin' in!

So I found the entry, took my ticket from the machine (though parking is free anyway - it says so on the machine - go figure), and down I went.

I parked my bike, rushed up the escalator (asyik!), entered Starbucks, bought my latte, cozied down at my table ... But damn, I'd forgotten my cigarettes in the bike compartment.

Back to the parking lot. Should just take a couple secs ... but hold on ... where the hell is my bike?
After I had toured the fairly small lot for a while, the guard asked whether he could help with something.

"Ya, uh, ha ha, I can't find my bike."

"Ok. I help you. What is license number?"

Damn! I should know this. I do know this. Except, at the moment, I don't.

"Ok. Nggak apa-apa. What color?"


Whew. I feel like a Jeopardy contestant. What is white!

So we tour the place together, eventually unravel the mystery. The bike happens to be where I parked it maybe 10 minutes ago.

As I walk back to the escalator, I note the point of entry. Enter here. Turn left. Easy.

My coffee has gone cold, but at least I have my cigarettes.

Resy comes over and we talk a while, then Iadi comes over and we talk a while too, and then I read a chapter from the book I brought.

Upon descending ke bawah lagi, I exit the door, turn left, and ... Well, how about that, my bike has disappeared once again.

So I begin the search for the second time this evening, and I begin to vaguely worry that someone will report up above that there's a suspicious looking white dude lurking aimlessly around the parking lot below.

4655! Bingo! That's the number! I feel like finding the parking attendant from earlier to let him know I've remembered the number - but, of course, that doesn't really make sense at this point. I'm not crazy. Just stupid.

Ah, there it is, praise God, my bike!

And now one final question, Alex. How long do you reckon it takes for me to find the exit?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Last Star

"Penderitaan itu perlu. Penderitaan adalah kehidupan. Tanpa penderitaan, takkan ada kegembiraan."

A while back, I ordered book two of this three book series by Rick Yancey, but, not surprisingly, it never arrived. So I kind of brushed up on the plot through an internet review and forged on to book three, The Last Star.

I found it, like book one, tightly plotted and consistently entertaining and inventive. The development of the central characters was carried nicely through to the end.

When an advanced alien race invades the earth and carries out, through a 5-wave plan, the erasure of millions and the collapse of civilized structure, the final results are not bound to be pretty--and Yancey cuts no corners in this regard. What he shows the reader, ultimately, and what the aliens also discover, is that love itself cannot be defeated. It continually rises from the ruins, gaining strength through every defeat--a strength that cannot be matched or overcome by technology or scheming. Thus the quote above: Suffering is necessary. Suffering is life. Without suffering, gladness has no meaning.

Many are sacrificed, many are martyred, and yet their deaths continually give birth to new life, ever fortifying the relentless will to survive and prevail. This is what the aliens did not know, could not comprehend, and could not have foreseen. It was, ironically, their own doom from the beginning.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Sunset Express

Stumbled upon a very fine movie this evening called "The Sunset Express", from a play by Cormac McCarthy (author of a number of well known novels, including All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing). The play features two actors only, Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. It is a sharply intelligent dialog of opposites: faith and disbelief, love and hatred, intellect and spirit, hope and despair, life and death. From a contemporary master of English prose, this extremely well acted play is well worth one's time.