March 6, 2008

Winter Storm Warning #3: Will they get it right this time?

Below is the Winter Storm Warning we received this afternoon. So far, our other warnings, predicting between 4 to 10 inches of snow, have each produced a dusting and snow up to 2 inches. I'm beginning to remember the story about the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Time will tell.

LIGHT SNOW LATE THIS MORNING WAS SPREADING OVER MUCH OF EASTERN OKLAHOMA AND NORTHWEST ARKANSAS. MOST OF THE PRECIPITATION INDICATED BY RADAR WAS ALOFT WITH ONLY ISOLATED SURFACE REPORTS OF VERY LIGHT RAIN AND SNOW. PRECIPITATION WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY DURING THE AFTERNOON. SNOW MAY BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES...ESPECIALLY THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT...AS THE UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM APPROACHES FROM THE WEST.

SNOWFALL TOTALS OF 5 TO 8 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN THE WARNING AREA...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS APPROACHING 10 INCHES IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN AREAS OF NORTHWEST ARKANSAS AND BENEATH CONVECTIVE BANDS THAT ARE EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA LATER TODAY ISOLATED THUNDER WITH SNOW IS POSSIBLE LATE THIS AFTERNOON IN SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA.

PRECIPITATION WILL LIKELY REMAIN RAIN OR A MIXTURE OF RAIN AND SNOW IN FAR SOUTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA THIS AFTERNOON... WITH A GRADUAL CHANGE TO ALL SNOW TONIGHT. SNOWFALL TOTALS OF 4 TO 6 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS...ARE POSSIBLE FOR THIS PORTION OF THE WARNING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

ROAD CONDITIONS WILL WORSEN LATE TODAY AND ESPECIALLY TONIGHT. ADDITIONALLY... THE EXPECTED SNOWFALL RATES WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO BELOW ONE HALF MILE AT TIMES...WHICH WILL FURTHER WORSEN DRIVING CONDITIONS. TRAVEL BY TONIGHT ACROSS THE WARNING AREA WILL BE DISCOURAGED.

THIS WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT WINTER WEATHER IS EXPECTED. GUSTY WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

March 3, 2008

March 3-9 is National Sleep Awareness Week

The National Sleep Foundation, whose goal is make the public aware of the life and death importance of sleep, has designated this week as National Sleep Awareness Week.

If you have trouble sleeping and are often exhausted for "no reason," I urge you to go to their Web site and educate yourself about the importance of sleep in your daily life. Sleep, or lack thereof, greatly affects your health, mood, driving ability and job performance. It is important to know the difference between being normally tired and having a sleeping disorder.

Sleep disorders often go undiagnosed for years. I've heard, "It's normal to be tired; you work and have kids." "How late do you stay up at night?" "You're no different from anyone else," and here's the best one, "You're a middle-age woman getting ready to go through menopause. It's normal to gain weight and be tired."

EXCUSE ME????!!! It is NOT normal to fall asleep in your car while sitting at a red light, or to fall asleep standing up, only to be jolted awake by buckling knees. It is NOT normal to think you are awake in a meeting or classroom because you can hear someone talking in a faroff voice, yet when a sudden word or noise jolts you back to consciousness, you realize you were really sleeping and didn't absorb anything that was said. It is NOT normal to converse with your spouse at night (and THINK you are being attentive), only to have him say, "Let's go to bed. You're eyes are rolling up into the back of your head."

I've had doctors prescribe "get more exercise"; walk a mile a day before work to jump-start my energy. I stayed with early morning two mile walks for three months. The results of that walking put me to sleep at my desk FASTER and earlier than before the exercise. I gained more weight because I was eating sweets and candy to keep me awake during the day. The sugar-rush would last less than 30 minutes and my brain would shutdown again; it didn't want sugar - which my body stored - it wanted sleep.

Getting doctors to prescribe sleep studies can be frustrating and insurance companies balk at the expense , but sleep studies are necessary tools in identifying sleeping disorders.

So, check out the NSF's Great American Sleep Challenge: Take the quizes, read the FAQs, and educate yourself about the topic of sleep. It's important.

February 18, 2008

February 15, 2008

FEMA gives Tornado Victims HOPE (trailers.)

The Associated Press yesterday reported that FEMA is planning on distributing its trailers stored at the Hope Arkansas airport to the survivors of the Feb. 5 tornadoes that tore through Arkansas and Tennessee, despite the CDC's warning earlier that day that some trailers had levels of formaldehyde nearly 40 times the ususal exposure levels.

If the tornadoes didn't get them, FEMA will.

There is something really wrong with this picture.

February 11, 2008

Roy Scheider, One of My Favorite Actors, Dies




The AP reports that Roy Scheider died yesterday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock. Although the hospital didn't release a cause of death, " a hospital spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said Scheider had been treated for multiple myeloma at the hospital's Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy for the past two years."

The news release highlights Scheider's roles in "The French Connection" (1971) and "All That Jazz," (1979), but says he is best known for his roll as the police chief in the 1975 blockbuster, "Jaws."

I, however, will always remember Roy Scheider as the police helicopter pilot whose mind was teetering on the edge of insanity in the 1983 film "Blue Thunder." I loved that movie!!! Scheider's character was sharp and ingenious as he battled his nemesis, his former commander from his Vietnam War days, in a twisted plot of cat and mouse in helicopters high above the streets of Los Angeles. Scheider's helicopter, however, wasn't just a typical whirly-bird; his copter was "Blue Thunder," a fully armored chopper that had more firepower, turbine boost and bells and whistles than anything manufactured before it. While being showcased as a chopper designed for assignments such as the 1984 Olympics crowd control, Blue Thunder in reality turned out to be a Weapon of Mass Destruction, WMD!!!!! How's that for Big Brother!!?! Of course, my FAVORITE part of the movie was when Scheider did the impossible with Blue Thunder, a 360 vertical loop. Blue Thunder was a helicopter that could do it all, but Scheider knew that, in the wrong hands, it was deadly. In the end, Scheider used his insane genious to destroy evil's choice of WMD.

I think Blue Thunder is truly one of the most underrated movies of all time and Scheider was brilliant in it. A must see for cop and action movie lovers.

Lastly, it surprises me, yet it doesn't surprise me, that Scheider chose to treat his illness in Arkansas. UAMS has an excellent reputation, but I didn't know it was renowned. That says A LOT about the excellence in medical research and treatment being practiced in my own backyard.

February 6, 2008

January 23, 2008

What Else Will Break Around Here?

A strange phenomenon started happening recently at our house - it seems that whenever my hubby is away on business, something breaks.

First it was the tv set. When my husband and I put our fake Christmas tree away this year, we decided to rearrange our living room in order to make it look bigger. During that process we needed to move the television set and the entertainment center, and because we are not on the “cutting edge” of technology (in fact, we aren’t on the cutting-edge of anything except going to the poorhouse) our tv is old, big and weighs a ton; meaning we had to take it out of the entertainment center in order to move that piece of furniture. In doing so, the wire that attaches the tv to our satellite dish came out of the back of the tv. It seems that a piece of solder on an internal attachment broke, thereby rendering the tv useless.

Great, I thought sarcastically, who has money for a new tv after Christmas????

Luckily, we remembered that we have a new television in “The Black Pearl” (our newly purchased used 5th-wheel that is a whole ‘nother story in itself.) So, hubby & I temporarily used the tv from the rv until he resoldered the wire attachment on the broken tv and then all was well.

Not quite. Hubby went out of town a few weeks ago and I, in an effort to get the best view of the tv so I could enjoy “Without A Trace”, angled the "fixed" tv toward my chair and POW! - the satellite wire dropped out of the back of the tv, leaving me staring at the black screen of death. Needless to say, that tv hit the skids and we were (and still are) back to watching the smaller one from The Black Pearl.

Last week, when hubby was again out of town for a night, our dryer broke. I had a load of laundry whirling around in the dryer when suddenly there was an ear-splitting, grinding noise coming from the laundry room. What the????!!!!!!!! It seems that the $5 plastic parts inside the dryer that keep the drum spinning, broke. GREAT. Who has money for a new dryer when they don’t even have money for a tv?????

Luckily, my hubby, aside from being handsome and tolerant, is also a jack-of-all-trades. He spent all of last Saturday moving the dryer to the garage (because our laundry room is too tiny to work in), taking it apart, replacing the parts, putting it back together and then moving the dryer back into the house to the laundry room.

“I’m sick and tired of things breaking around here,” hubby said. “All I do is spend my time fixing things.”

That said, you can imagine my anxiety when he was out-of-town Monday night. I spent all Monday chasing my toddler grandson around the house, making sure his inquisitive little mind didn’t get him into anything that he could break. I was aghast when he set his sights on our replacement tv - he was enthralled with pushing the tv’s buttons, turning it off and on at a rapid pace and then changing channels, which resulted in a blue or black blank screen. Hubby would have a stroke if he came home to find our second tv broken! (Not to mention the lecturing and outrage I’d have to withstand.) The quick fix, much to the dismay of our grandson, was that I moved the tv to the top of the entertainment center. HA! I was so proud of myself because I knew my hubby would come home and be able to relax - nothing broke and needed fixing.

Wrong! I spoke too soon. As I walked between our living room and front hallway, the last two toes on my left foot never made it around the corner with the rest of my foot. Suddenly, there was a loud snapping sound and intense pain shot across the ball of my foot. As I doubled-over and nearly fell onto the floor, I think I heard an impulsive “expletive deleted” come from my mouth, along with some moaning and whimpering. Because I have a high threshold for pain, I didn’t cry (although I sure felt like crying.) I did, however, get some sympathy crying from my stunned grandson. He couldn’t understand why grandma was suddenly bent over, hopping and flopping around in the hallway - not paying any attention to him.

So, when hubby arrived home last night, he was met at the door by a limping but smiling wife who told him that while he was away, nothing broke that he needed to (or could) fix!