Monday, June 09, 2008

Musings, the general, and when did November creep up on us...?

That's what I would like to know!
It's June 9, and it's probably a bit less than 10's cold, rainy and windy. Don't get me wrong, I love this province, but holy hell..considering that Vancouver has the....third (?) highest cost of living in probably North America, you would at least think that we could get a bit of sun. =P
That' thing that's been bothering me for a while now. Cost of living.
I realize that one must incure expenses. Such is adult life. You pay your rent, your bills, food, any debt you might have (credit cards, lines of credit, student loans, etc.) and whatever form of entertainment strikes your fancy. But now, especially with the 2010 Olympics on the way, I'm really starting to wonder - who exactly is benefitting from this again? Certainly not the working-class poor, the single mothers, those who work several minimum wage jobs to survive. In fact, I wonder if the only people who are doing this with a smile on their faces are the very wealthy, any investors, and the government.
I'm sure the Olypmics are going to be great, but at what cost? What cost, Gordie? You've literally fucked everyone who isn't bringing in over $35,000 a year! Oh, sorry, what does that comprise? Probably around 60% of the goddamn workforce!!
My workplace is situated in the very edge of the worst part of town. I have had to shoo crack addits out of my front door a few times, and we see and hear police whiz by several times a week. These people are sick. If not physcially, then mentally. I feel no pity for those who are there by choice; just to feed their filthy habit, but I weep for the mentally ill, the elderly, the disabled. They've all been ushed out onto the streets because all of their safehousing, mental health homes/clinics and retirement centers have all been closed down all from the lack of funding.
Goverment funding.
I hope you're happy there, Gordie! I hope you choke on a dirty needle when you take your first bite into that delicious 2010 Olympic games hot dog from your VIP seats. Useless bueracratic tit.
I'm not saying I could do a better job, but after being either working class poor or a student for almost all of my adult life, I can relate. I know what it's like not to be able to afford to feed yourself. It's not fun.
Honestly, I'm hoping for a housing market crash, a tuition freeze, and maybe a bit of an economic slip. Personally, I'm really not in the mood for another rent increase before the year is up.

Also, before I head off, another quick note:
We all recieved this email from a Fit Brains customer about a day and a half after our official literally brought tears to my eyes.

Hi there Michael,
I just wanted to take the opportunity to commend you on the wonderful site. Two years ago, at the age of 25, a cavernoma hemorrhaged to 2 cm in my left temporal lobe. According to the MRI, my brain looked like I was in a coma, though I was still awake and talking. The doctors could not explain it, but it was apparent that my right side had taken over the language function and was keeping me in a semi conscious state. Their only explanation was that I was one of the 'lucky' few. A short time later a craniotomy was performed to remove the bleeding. I woke up with minimal side effects, again to the surprise of the neurological staff. (I was not expected to speak and/or comprehend.) Since then I have been searching for an explanation for my recovery, other than luck.
Several months ago I came across the research of Dr. Yaakov Stern regarding cognitive reserve. I was very intrigued, as it seemed like the explanation I'd been searching for. I contacted Dr. Stern, but was disappointed to find his research focuses on post mortem testing. Simply proving the existence of cognitive reserve, instead of ways to improve or retrieve the knowledge.
As a child I read through virtually the entire children/young adult section of the local library. With a very high IQ, I absorbed information like a sponge. It seems now that I was able to build quite a strong reserve, which I believe I am still 'working from' today. I have lost the higher level of vocabulary, but still manage to function on an above average level. Unfortunately that makes rehabilitation a bit tricky. I excel on the tests given to other patients, but to me that does not matter. I feel that I should be able to rehabilitate to the highest level that I can achieve, not what the average is. I am confident that my brain can relearn what I have lost, and constantly strive to learn more.
I have been very impressed with the setup of the Fit Brains site, and your focus in the area of cognitive reserve. I have not come across another site with such in depth personalized reports and focus on each of the cognitive skills. The fact that it's free is even better.
There are so many brain injury survivors do not have a steady income to afford even a small monthly payment. When the free beta site went up, I forwarded it on to my team of specialists at GF Strong. They were equally impressed, and have begun to recommend the site to other patients as a tool for rehabilitation.
I have not yet had the opportunity to look at the new platform, but I look forward to exploring the latest developments.

Keep up the great work!!
Audra M.

(I removed the last name just for privacy and politeness.)

I am so happy that our work is changing lives like this. Sure, our games can't contest to a good Halo deathmatch, but this is what makes it all worth it. ^_^ All the best, Audrea...our thoughts and support are with you.

Keep it real, all.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly! The links here are a bit one-removed, but let me explain. Firstly, i'm into technology, but not games much so sorry for not sharing that intertest, probably too old! (I'm 49, my kids are in their teens..)My interest is in marketing technology, I'd like to call myself a marketing technologist, but am probably not there yet. However, I do have a funky website which me and a colleague run, so judge for yourself where I'm BUT, this is not the reason for writing (I told you it was going to be a long story, didn't I?!)
My interest was the mention you have made about your link to Audra. You see my daughter, Rhiain, aged 13, was diagnosed with a Cavernoma, of the same type as Audra, in February this year. She is due to have an operation in August this year. I just pray she will come out of it as well as she/he did! The reason I am aware of this at all is that I have been searching the web through blogs for information relating to 'Cavernoma's, and you have popped up! (Very little info comes up) and that's the point really. I really like your 'musings' article and agree with so much of what you say. My angle is how can we all use the technology we have out there to better inform, manage, care for, look after, what each of us have as well as each other? Hence you rang my bell with your related stories and, well I guess, your personality. If nothing else comes out of this further musing, then perhaps at least two people will be happy to share their experiences about cavernoma s so that others can gain confidence at a scary time in their lives? I am thinking of twittering about the process just to test and demonstrate the power of social communication and stregthen the social graph we all experiencing. Just thought you might like to know, and thanks for your musings..Nigel

Kelly said...

ha ha...well! I'm really happy I could help!
I'm flattered you like my article...really, it's just me complaining about it being cold. ^_^;
Actually, that email came to me through my bosses; I work in a very small (9 full-timers) company, so being an 'art peon', I don't have access to customer/player feedback.
I'm so happy that I could assist you, if even a bit, in easing your fears. Maybe your daughter can give Fit Brains a try? If anything, it's a fun and inexpensive way to kill some time. =)
My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I wish you and your daughter all the best.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kelly, I hope your bosses know what you are doing to spread the word! Had a quick play last night on Fit Brain, really good, I'll certainly get Rhiain to use it before/after her op. Take care...Nigel