Monday, August 23, 2010

Dragon Tattoo - Book Review

I usually like to talk about Multiple Sclerosis in this blog. Well my reading schedule is part of myself prescribed treatment. I am a firm believer in reading books over articles and online, the cognitive exercise of having to remember where you left off the day before has just gotta be good. Today I am not here to recommend a book I am going to tell you which one not to read.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

I will summarize below, but first I have to say this is one of the better books I have read this year. This book has all the elements – Mystery, Deep Character construction, exotic locale etc. If the publisher had not made me so damn mad I would highly recommend this book. Here is where it all went wrong-About ¾ of the way through I realized that advertising made its way into my book. This is not an ad like you see on TV or read in a magazine, this is an insidious product placement ad. The author instead of saying laptop computer refers to an ibook (Apple product). Well you say the author was just being thorough and trying to paint a more robust scene. I thought so too until the end of the book, when they refer to a computer that had been hacked of course it was a windows machine. That is when it dawned on me that specifically naming these computers was not germane to the story but was in fact a product placement ad. I am a business man and am certainly not opposed to advertising. When I watch TV for free I expect to see ads that is my payment for this form of entertainment. However, when I buy a book there is no expectation of advertisement. My one bad review is certainly not going to hurt the author or publisher but I will never again by a book written by Steig Larsson or published by Alfred A Knopf.

Summary- Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. --Dave Callanan

Buy a Shirt,Help an Artist,Find a Cure.
Artists that have Multiple Sclerosis have contributed their time to createto t-shirts like the one below
go to MS T-Shirts and help find the cure

Multiple sclerosis T-shirt
Jenn Shelton

Some notes from the Jenn Shelton -

My artwork became very important to me after I became diagnosed with MS in 2007. I used to have a career path in Finance, but now concentrate on making abstracts using acrylics as my medium. This painting was done on an oval canvas shortly after my diagnosis. It expresses the various sensory symptoms and what we sometimes have to deal with. The orange represents the desire to find a cure and is used by the NMSS.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Numb by Linkin Park - New Meaning to some of us

This one really struck a chord (no pun intended) What a great job and the words in this song mean something different now. I cannot take credit for this one it was posted to YouTube by this courageous person - Haley (click to read a little more)

Friday, July 16, 2010

MS don't have me.

This came from one of our friends in PA. I don't know about all of you but I can identify

I have MS,
MS don't have me.
They told me I have MS today,
I just wanted to cry I had nothing to say.
Now I know why I am tired all day long,
this is why I have to stay strong.
My life as I know it has changed,
now everything in life I do I have to re-arrange.
Everyday I have my ups and downs,
but my MS I wear as a crown.
dont be afraid to go out,
let everyone know what MS is all about.

Come visit us at our MS T-Shirt site

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beating the Heat in Spite of Multiple Sclerosis

Can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen? Doesn't really help when everything you want is in the kitchen. That is my pun-metaphor-cliche referring to this darn weather keeping me from going outside. It was particularly difficult to explain to the kids why daddy couldn't come to the soccer game. That is not a problem anymore since the kids are older and not in youth soccer any longer. However I still would like to go outside during the summer. Thankfully I have quite the collection of heat beating gadgets. My favorite and least expensive is the Misty Mate (pictured above) This inexpensive device has saved the day many times for me. It works best in high heat and lower humidity as it depends on evaporation for the cooling to work. At under $30 it is well worth it.

Cooling Vests


There are a staggering amount of choices in the marketplace now, the picture on the left I can vouch for as I used it in Lake Mead a few years ago. It did a great job for several hours in 90 degree heat. I bought the one with replaceable cooling packs(I kept them in a cooler), which was handy for the extra trip to the Grand Canyon that day. The picture on the right is made by Artic Online, I have not used it, but my Facebook friends speak very highly about it. It looks very well made and I was impressed with documentation on the site.

CoolMax Polo

Not only do I embroider these quite often, I wear them too. They really work! As with many of the cooling products they do not work as well in high humidity. Manufacturer description - CoolMax , a Great Way to Keep Your CoolLook and feel comfortable in CoolMax. Our newest polo lets you dress for dinner without sacrificing vacation relaxation. Made of the comfortable, moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant CoolMax knit

Since skiing is not an option anymore for me and it is cold here in NY. I spend way too much time inside during the winter I refuse to spend all summer inside too. If anyone has any suggestions for their favorite product please leave it in the comments below

Saturday, April 24, 2010

MS Hug - Not the good kind

I woke up one day last week with my now patented "tin-man" walk and was also greeted with an old symptom referred to by many as the MS Hug. By the way this is not the friendly hug you would get from an old friend, it is more like a boa constrictor is going to have you for breakfast. I have never been able to find a great deal of information about this symptom, nor have a seen a treatment for it. For those not blessed with this symptom it is a tightening of the Chest/Abdomen area and for some people it can be quite painful. Now the good news for me at least was that this was not a signal for a full relapse, it was a reminder that I worked a little too hard yesterday . So with a little rest I am feeling much better today, not good enough to try out for the Yankees, but that will have to wait for another day. My old neuro(boy I miss him) called it the "girdle", since I am not a cross dresser I could really do without this symptom. Not every MS'er has this symptom and I have run across many who have never heard of it. I went on an Internet hunt to try and dig up some more info. Here are a few helpful articles I found.

Tips for Managing the MS Hug - This one was chock full of good tips I have not seen collected in one article. Great stuff for avoiding and not getting the Hug in the first place.

Multiple Sclerosis Hug or Girdle This person gets it. And it was the only place I was able to find a why. Yes I am a little like Curious George I need to know why. Exert -

"There are tiny muscles between each rib, called intercostal muscles which basically hold the ribs together, but also give the ribcage some flexibility; it's when these muscles go into spasm that we get the MS hug, a friendly description of an extremely uncomfortable and often painful symptom."

MS Hug by Dr. Stachowiak - Great Overview I forgot to include in my first version

If any of you out there have found another tip please post it in the comment section

And now is time for my shameless self promotion but with a cause

***Listing now includes 2 stickers for $3.75****This is a 4' x 6" Bumper Sticker that we sell in the store, and it has become my favorite since it conveys my attitude about multiple sclerosis(No I am not mad at Mississippi) You can purchase one of these stickers by clicking the image below or by clicking the "Buy Now" button below that. We make monthly donations to many chapters and the National MS Society

Multiple Sclerosis T-Shirts

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ok with having Multiple Sclerosis in 2010

Well I'm not really happy about this disease(full disclosure time) and I would not wish it upon even my enemies. I am glad about the progress of treatments and support that is available in 2010. My DX came just about 10 years ago now(my saga), at that time there was just 3 main drugs available. Here Todd choose A,B or C (Avonex, BetaSeron or Copaxone). Betaseron seemed to work for about 5 years and now I am on a daily injection of Copaxone. There also was little in the way of a support system in place. There were some small groups that only met once a month at my local chapter, but I felt there should be more.

Fast forward to 2010 and I am happy to report that there is a lot more options and between what is available through the MS Society and online resources I don't feel so alone anymore.

Want to talk to MS'ers?

MS Society-

I really was quite shy after my initial DX, I just couldn't seem to bring myself to talking about this disease and how it affected me and my family. What I came to realize was I couldn't talk to anyone about it because I was still in a state of denial. I give credit to my local MS Society for reaching out to me and inviting me to a men's group meeting. I really enjoy meeting and talking to others now. I think since I have been able to talk about it, I deal with it better. I highly recommend getting involved with your local chapter.

Facebook -

There is a very large community available here. If you are wheelchair bound this is a great way to interact with other MS'ers. Get started by going to, sign up and just do a search for multiple sclerosis. You will be presented with a very large choice of people and groups. Take your time it can be a little overwhelming, but it is worth the time to learn your way around. I really appreciate all the facebookers who lift me on a daily basis.

This is MS -

I have been to a lot of forums, generally I found that you had to go along to get along. I found this forum to be very refreshing in that there are a lot of actual conversations going on. A sharing of ideas and that occasional pick me up you get from a kind word.

This is by no means a finite list, just the first 3 that I like. If you prefer more reading than interacting I love 2 sites in particular - Stu's Views and The MS bloggers over at the Buzz.

Have a site that you love to visit? Please post in the comments below. Also please visit our t-shirt site to benefit MS

Have a Great Day