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Sunday, 17 August 2014


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We took our small, elite school of junior high students officially classified as "Severely Emotionally Disturbed & Socially Maladjusted" to the Bronx Zoo once. We were escorted out by security well within an hour...

Hang in there, Mike. I don't remember where, but I read this bit of drivel the other day, "Regret won't change the past and anxiety won't change the future". It's a circular sort of nonsense, but I find it oddly comforting.

Back in the 70's a friend of mine taught what I think are called ADD kids today; many were taking Ritalin. Not thinking things through I agreed to be a chaperone for a trip to Magic Mountain. A day of petty theft and general mischief was topped off by one of the boys developing a case of appendicitis.

That was my first and my last role as a volunteer chaperone.

"I do need to write the story of Zander's birth someday.." That's a real teaser Mike. Been wanting to know more of your life and family (Zander and your dogs too). Have followed your writings for a while now. It started with the UK publication of Black & White Photography (I think that's what it was called). Really enjoyed your monthly column.

Wish I could write this way when I'm under stress or strain.

Been enjoying my morning coffee all this week. Thanks, Mike!

Stress, negative state usually induced by external factors (I like to call them other people). Example du jour......Sanguinololu board with faulty Y-step connection. Under stress I would never have found the root cause of the trouble. So I took the bastard home. Waited till I had time enough and went methodically through all the possible causes of the problem, from new Polulo motor driver via a new processor until I grabbed the Fluke meter and isolated the problem. Then yea old wirebridge and problem solved (until the next one rears it's ugly head). Of course I had to educate the customer first......to give me some slack.

Lesson, do not rush yourself of be rushed, no deadline is important enough to mess up a project (pardon my French, oh I didn't use French).

We should all learn from the Jamaican's man, seriously easy livin' in conjuction with the fastest man alive.

Greets, Ed.

The engineering terminology of stress and strain commonly get mixed up by non-engineers too.

Mechanical strain - stress
Mechanical stress - stressor
Different people have widely different reactions (level of stress) to the same stressor.

As a big J.J. Cale fan and a fisherman, I really love that song.

I would suggest that reading an intellectual, research data driven book about stress is quite unlikely to help you cope with stress. It's certainly important and interesting, but, it's another kind of head game and you don't need any more head games now. If you are interested in using stress reduction techniques that have a huge amount of research behind them then I would suggest: 1. Adopting some form of mindfulness practice. The Buddha figured this one out 2,500 years ago--and, no, you don't have to become a Buddhist to use it; and 2. Exercise in any kind and any amount. If you want a book to read I would suggest those by Jon Kabat-Zinn who was a major pioneer of using mindfulness practice to help with stews, trauma, and disease such as "Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness"

There are pharmaceuticals out there that are able to control the uptake of neural transmitters. Chronic stress and anxiety often lead to depression. Too bad it's still taboo in our society to casually discuss mental health the way it's okay to talk about ulcers and type 1 diabetes. As for the brain sciences, this is a golden age of discovery. Pets, particularly dogs, are great for helping those suffering from anxiety. My psychiatrist says, "Adopt two dogs and call me next month." He loves dogs, as do I.

Cats do a good job at it to.....and pigs, much brighter then dogs and easy to get them houseclean due to there natural latrine habits.

Greets, Ed.

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