Saturday, July 31, 2004

Southern San Andreas Earthquake Prediction?

On the one hand I hope the guy is wrong, but I think I might just make sure that our emergency supplies are replenished. I haven't checked batteries and water for a while. I was alerted to this from a mailing from Senator Barbara Boxer, who seems to be taking it seriously.
Duck and cover? The art of earthquake prediction, By Mark Wheeler / Hi-Desert Star

I also wrote a blog post about it at Corner of Babble: San Andreas Earthquake Prediction

Friday, July 30, 2004

Attitude

People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them. ~Epictetus

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. ~William James

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them, for they're always there. ~Norman Vincent Peale

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Never underestimate trust, praise and confidence as motivators

My internship supervisor at the agency is very trusting of my abilities in my newly chosen field. He has solicited my input on some client issues, acknowledged my presence to the clients as associate, not intern, sent me on a few client meetings by myself and today sent me to the home of a client family who only speak Spanish- knowing full well that I can't, but also confident that I would find a way to communicate. I am confident in my own abilities with clients up to a point, but a lot of the specifics are very new to me. In the final analysis, working with clients and families is something that one only learns by doing and no two situations are ever exactly the same. Speaking Spanish is something else entirely. Living in Southern California, I know I should have been trying much harder to learn more all these years.

I speak a very halting form of pidgin Spanish. When I am not too self-conscious, the accent is Angeleno-Mexican-American. If I were to classify my speaking ability, I would say that I am about as proficient as a confused two year old, and really even that might be a stretch. I do understand much more than I speak, but there are huge gaps, and a lot of intuitive guessing. This ability to intuit what I am hearing is not only from the little Spanish I know and remember (I did take a class about twenty plus years ago), but also a lifelong ability to 'hear' real meaning by the 93% that isn't in words. But I really do need to learn more Spanish. It might be difficult to accomplish right now, as I am also trying to learn ASL, but both of these would/will be very valuable in my current/future line of work.

The solo visit to the client's home today was only a brief check of status- and an unusual situation, for which I mostly needed my eyes and intuition to be able to report my impressions. I also dropped off some supplies to create a picture communication system that will hopefully, slowly begin to help improve the client's quality of life. I managed the Spanish enough to introduce myself, apologize, explaining that I understood a little bit, but didn't really speak Spanish. When I reached the part where I asked if the person spoke English, the conversation went much smoother- in English. However, I am quite in awe (and very grateful- it is a huge boost to self-esteem) of my boss's trust. His trust, confidence in me and praise are powerful motivators and keep me focused on my reasons for doing this- helping the clients, in whatever way I can.

But I would like to be able to speak Spanish at least as well as a four or five year old. ;-)
Does anyone have a recommendation for a computer program/tapes/book- a company- anything- that you may have used to learn a different language- something not too horribly expensive?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Watching the Dem convention

I try to post the political at Corner for the most part (and I had more to say over there), but this man impressed me as someone to watch. His speech was wonderful, extremely well delivered with perfect timing- brings to mind all sorts of great leaders for both content and delivery. I don't know that much about him just yet, but if you didn't see it, at least go read the speech. There are realplayer files out there to listen to if you want to look at Corner and get his blog page. This man sounds like a true "uniter, not a divider".
My son thinks he ought to run for President.

A snippet: "That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will he counted — or at least, most of the time."

Barack Obama, candidate for U.S. Senate for the State of Illinois
Text of Obama's Address at Convention

Monday, July 26, 2004

May 2004 archives missing

I was saving blog archives to my hard drive and discovered that May 2004 postings give a 'page not found' message. I can access individual posts from May from the Dashboard, but not the full month's archives from the link on the sidebar. I checked the settings (already set to archive monthly- and saved that setting just in case it hadn't been applied to May for some reason), then republished the whole blog, but it is still giving the same error message. Weird.

I have no clue how to fix this. Anyone have any ideas- about why or how to fix or if this is a temporary glitch?

oh, and I checked- Corner is fine and I don't see that anyone else is having this problem.

edited: Fixed apparently now. I did write to blogger, but I still have no idea what the problem was.

Monday Question #26

Monday Question
#26. What did you do just for fun or just for your own enjoyment today?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 77
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Sleep:: lack of
  2. Stats:: what every good journal article has; what many news stories quote with only parts of the needed information to interpret properly; what everyone seems to manipulate to their advantage
  3. Portfolio:: examples of work; collection of assets
  4. Lipton:: tea- not my favorite brand or flavor of black tea, but it used to be the most common one available in the U.S.. I do like having their dried chicken noodle soup on hand for emergencies.
  5. Telly:: 'vision
  6. Immigrate:: ;-)  wish..
  7. Viable:: possible; capable of growth, of fruition, of being brought forth to full
  8. Serene:: calm, placid, peaceful, untroubled, unworried
  9. Mountain:: here before me, here after me; my favorite place to be especially if there is also water
  10. Natalie:: Woods
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, July 24, 2004

"The Riddle of Desire" and a new find

I was wandering, taking a break from studying. I found myself at "I Speak of Dreams", clicked on a few links then back to find this post which I read the other day, but didn't have time to check the article referenced.

Dharma 101 is a good read- the anger article of course, but also all of them. "Meditate because you are angry, not to eliminate it. Thich Nhat Hanh says we must learn how to hold anger like a baby: we need to learn how to be angry, not how to express or repress it. Whenever we take any emotion and make it into an It (as in "I can't stand it any longer" or "I have to get it out of my system"), we are in trouble."

From there I decided to wander around the Tricycle site. I like it by the way. Just the pieces I was reading were stimulating thought of all kinds, in the areas of - desire/emotion.. the quest for balance.. more thought on nourishing soul..   Thanks Liz.

This was where I wound up:

From The Devil In Our DNA: "In other words, as long as the Buddha was still in his body, he was still subject to the "residue" of his previous karmic conditioning. Only when he died, and entered parinirvana [the complete cessation of personality and sensory experience] was his freedom no longer restrained by residual karma. This suggests that as long as one is living in a body, in the sensory world, one is still tied in some way to the forces of greed, hatred, and delusion—even if one is a Buddha. Otherwise, how do you make sense of the numerous passages in ..."

This article, The Riddle of Desire links long parts of the others below; all of this unfortunately incomplete, but still interesting reading.

From Working with Desire: "The desire for food when one is hungry, the aspiration to work for peace in the world, the thirst for knowledge, the wish to share one’s life with dear ones, or the yearning for freedom from suffering: all of these can contribute to lasting happiness as long as they are not tainted by craving and grasping. Like the other emotions, desire can be experienced either in a constructive or in an afflictive way. It can be the catalyst for a meaningful life—or the maelstrom that wrecks it."

This brings to mind Fromm's distinction between having and being.. "Being" as an active mode, an experiencing mode for a start, but not limited to those; having as trying to possess, own, hoard, keep, accumulate.. In some respects like the differences between feeling loved, loving, giving love -and- having love, keeping love, owning, possessing, etc....

From Making Room For Desire "As I practiced experiencing these feelings without judging them, I could begin to explore them further. What lay at the core of this desire? What was I really longing for?"

The Merry-Go-Round of Desire: An Interview with Mark Epstein (who I think I have read on Edge from time to time) on the same topic. "The same thing happens in meditation: having that first bit of bliss, then it’s gone. You want the perfection back. But you’re chasing something you’ve already lost. If you stay with that widening dissatisfaction and think, "Oh, yeah, of course," then insight can begin to happen. In that gap.

The whole Tricycle site is worth perusing. I found many thoughtful articles there. I quit subscribing to almost all magazines years ago, but I am thinking about subscribing to this one.

"Whatever you can do or dream"

"Until you make a clear commitment there is a hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all creative action, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

The moment you definitely commit yourself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help you that would never have otherwise occurred.

A whole stream of things takes place, such as unforeseen happenings or meeting certain people or being provided material assistance which you never dreamt would come your way.
I have learned a great respect for Goethe's couplets. "

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."


~~W. H. Murray in the Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951

Still catching up and clearning out my in-box- this via "Coaching Secrets E-newsletter" from MentorCoach

Friday, July 23, 2004

Volunteers Needed, Including Virtual Volunteers

I was asked to do a little research today- to locate some volunteer possibilities for our clients. One of the recommended sites to check was Volunteer Match. For folks in the US, enter your zip code and search.

I noticed that they have virtual volunteer opportunities too. You can volunteer from anywhere using your computer. I thought that was pretty cool and worth passing along.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

From the In Box- Food for Thought

More catching up on email newsletters (I am so far behind)- some quotes that caught my eye, most likely because of some of the things on my mind:

From Belief net:

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."-- William Shedd

"We probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do."-- Olin Miller

From Quotes of the Day:

"Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less."-- Rabbi Julius Gordon

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Wildfire season

This is a pretty good links page for various information about current Southern California wildfires:
Special Sites: Southern California Wildfire Information and Links including maps and satellite information, specific areas, forestry service, news and other links.

Google news rounds up the latest news on our fires

Our tiny little foothill community has smog, haze, but not too much of the smoke at this point from the Angeles Forest Fires. The Foothill fire is a fair distance to the west. But all the mountains are way too dry.

The Geomac map is here. Unfortunately there will likely be more posts on this. I am concerned about our little corner of wilderness.

Edited to add: All kinds of useful info - not limited to the fires: Angeles National Forest

Portrait by Illustration Maker


Sort of me? Ah, well, maybe my idealized image of me. It was the best I could do with what was available. Honest, I checked off the box with face and eye wrinkles. My son (with a wry sort of smile) says it does look like me. I don't know if that's good or that's bad.

Make your own at Illustration Maker

Edited: There are other images, icons to create at the main english entry to the site: Abi-Station.com

This is now on my list of things to do instead of studying. ;-) Next projects? People I know. ;-)

Thanks to Ntexas at Brain Crayons for the link.

I had another post I was working on, but this was more fun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Pull and Let Go

Catching up on my email subscriptions tonight:
 
"The marksman hitteth the mark partly by pulling, partly by letting go."
-  Egyptian proverb
 
from the July 19, 2004 Belief net newsletter
 
Strange how things work. Something akin to this thought (without any of the clarity or brevity) was scribbled down in the notes I hastily made this afternoon while my mind was jumping from tangent to tangent.  

Monday, July 19, 2004

Monday Question #25

#25. What do you consider the priorities in your life- what things or people are the most important? Does the way you live your life really reflect those priorities?

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I should be studying....

I should be studying, working on projects (one part of one due tomorrow- transcribing a tape of a conversation is very hard work), working on an assignment from Tierra (should have finished at the latest on Saturday), working, working, working (my head is ready to explode and I can't settle down to one thing). So you would think I would have my head down and not look up until I am finished.... but no instead I am playing...
PopCap Games - Insaniquarium

Thanks for the find go to Butterfly Teeth

Unconscious Mutterings Week 76

Week 76
I say ... and you think ... ?


  1. Nostalgia:: I seldom feel truly nostalgic
  2. Irreplaceable:: There is only one you...
  3. Odd:: other than usual
  4. James Spader:: Dr. Daniel Jackson, Stargate, the movie
  5. Flamboyant:: way beyond being an extrovert- the grand gesture, the excessive pose
  6. Intense:: emotions; sound; focus; concentration
  7. Simple:: life- the one I wish for.. uncomplicated, supportive and nurturing,  full of love given and received
  8. Septic:: toxic
  9. Ton:: 2000 pounds; heavy
  10. Turkey:: wild ones really can fly

Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Tinywords Haiku

wading upstream
looking for
the waters' past

-John Sandbach

tinywords.com

Friday, July 16, 2004

last entry for the night- maybe

"Weep for the lives your wishes never led." W.H. Auden

Quotations & Quotes: Daily Quotation Server - Literature, Poetry, Science & Philosophy

Still wandering tangent to tangent to tangent... maybe because I am avoiding thinking about a specific something or looking for escape instead of clarity? Then again, maybe it is just because I can't sleep.

Geocaching- This looks like fun

An article at Footprints (lower on the page) led me to :

Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site

I think I found Footprints via a couple of hops from A Field Guide to the San Gabriel Mountains

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Keep forgetting this is available

On a search for something else, I located some fairly good images and topo maps, though most were at least ten years old. I had this saved in favorites in the old computer, but totally forgot it existed until tonight. Now where is the equivalent for the rest of the world or at least Europe?? TerraServer 6.0 Homepage

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Red Wine Compound May Extend Life

Health News Article | Reuters.com: "The compound that makes red wine a healthful drink may also hold the secret to a longer life, scientists reported on Wednesday.
They found that resveratrol acted on fruit flies and worms in the same way as a method known to extend the life of animals including monkeys -- sharply restricting how much they eat.
The finding opens the possibility that people could take a pill to achieve the same benefits as strict dieting to live longer, healthier lives, said David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the study. "


This is interesting, if it indeed slows down the effects of aging.

""If you give these compounds to these animals they are healthier and longer-lived, and just as active. They can eat as much as they like and they live considerably longer," said Sinclair."

A "pill" that makes up for mistreating one's youthful body and some neglectful years in my late thirties, would be nice too while they were looking around for these things.

Long week racing by

Two tests this week and two long days on campus instead of the regularly scheduled one, plus internship hours and while I am only in the middle of the week, I am already tired (More on that later). The first test in Cognitive Linguistic Development went ok, the sample test in class for the ASL test on Thursday didn't go too badly (only missed a couple of signs/sentences), but I need to practice, practice, practice before the actual test. I tend to forget a lot of signs in between class. I need to be attempting to use all of them regularly- better would be communicating with folks outside of class in that manner. I have begun practicing at stop lights and odd moments, and have gotten a few stares from other drivers!

Last night was an orientation for the graduate program. There were some eye raising things, some useful information, (such as being entitled to a private locked room in the library- Yippie- my own room on campus!!), and a few confusing things- such as filling out a set program with only the 'absolute must take minimums' (because it is a huge hassle with admin if one changes one's mind), but not understanding exactly how they are going to show/credit the courses already taken (something only two of us have to be concerned about, but amounts to a third or so of the required courses). There was the slightly worrisome suggestion that everyone only take two classes per quarter! This was an echo of something a former student in the same program had said to me. I know him to be fairly intelligent, so it did give me pause for concern about the way I intended to pursue this degree. I did find out there is a new requirement (national) for seventy hours (new ones) in a community based agency- rather than a government one. Another Yippie- I was specifically told that Tierra was the perfect fit.

More later as I can, about sleep and this phase of life.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Monday Question #24

#24:: What messages (self-talk) did you give yourself today? Were they on balance more positive or negative?

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Delay the Election in Case of Attack?

Does this give cause for concern to anyone else?

U.S. Mulling How to Delay Nov. Vote in Case of Attack


I can see extending the time limit to vote if there were an attack, but delaying the election raises the hairs on my neck.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 75

Week 75
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Crippling:: emotion (been there, felt a few of those)
  2. Tough:: schedule (time to weed out the unnecessary to make sure there is time for the essential soul filling things)
  3. Slinky:: dress.. a slim little classic black number- not too modest, but not too extreme- worn with minimal jewelry, 2 inch strappy heels, and lacy things under, perhaps? ;-)
  4. Slogan:: catchy phrase
  5. Stuffed:: potatoes- baked, cut in half, carefully scooped out of the skin (don't break the skin and do leave a tiny layer of potato inside) mashed, then add whatever goodies you like to top or mix in: a little bit of cooked fish/seafood (shrimp is nice) coated with fresh garlic/basil/olive oil and briefly heated; a little chopped chives and sour cream/cottage cheese or yogurt and/or a little shredded cheese and bacon perhaps; or tofu squares sautéed briefly in olive oil with whatever herbs and spices you like; or jack cheese and fresh salsa- whatever one chooses to mix or top with - all put back into the shell and served warm.
  6. Instructions:: I love the ones written in English by someone who doesn't really speak or understand it- delightfully amusing look into another way of thinking
  7. Expletive:: what I say on occasion to drivers who startle me with some of their actions
  8. Cartoon:: hmmmm I actually have a few favorites.. (by the way did anyone watch Witchblade turned into a television series and what happened to that? I liked that actress.)
  9. Toddler:: human with fresh eyes to see the world as a wondrous place- we could learn a lot from toddlers.
  10. Insinuation:: I don't recall ever thinking of any as positive - are there any positive insinuations or are they all malicious? .. something to think about..

Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Space and Status (also Polymaths)

File this in the something to observe and think about file: Ming the Mechanic: Space and Status: "Ah, it is coming back to me. We used to do acting exercises based exactly on how status and space relates. A high status person (or rather, somebody who perceives themselves to be high status) will try to fill the space and own the space, and will try to put others in as small a space as possible. " This is only a tiny clip- you really might want to read the rest.

While you are there- this about Polymaths might also be interesting. Honestly, it was a word I hadn't heard previously until recently and now seems to be popping up everywhere.. or perhaps selective attention only makes it appear that way.

Selective Vision, Complex Situations

A snippet from an article at Future Hi about selective vision: "The number I've learned is that we can pay conscious attention to at the most 5-7 different items at the same time, and even that is a stretch. If we're exposed to more items, we'll start dropping some of them from our awareness. Naturally, if we've been asked to pay attention to a certain set of items, it is the other ones that we're likely to drop."

The whole article is worth reading, as is the one that he quotes from at The Telegraph.

Future Hi goes on to say "If a certain problem space involves more than a handful of simultaneous inter-connected factors, we're in trouble. Chances are that a majority of people will refer to some simplified political or religious ideology or belief system, containing less than a handful of key points, rather than dealing with the actual complexity in front of them."

Ah.. yes, I can think of tangents upon tangents that follow this line of thought.

A blog to note who apparently linked to the original story at The Telegraph is Puzzlepieces. I think this is one I will go back and wander through a while.

Friday, July 09, 2004

I want to share life with someone I can feel like this about

Beautiful love note from a lucky woman to her husband:Chez Miscarriage: Hippy Pappy Bthuthdth Thuthda Bthuthdy

found via I Speak of Dreams

Vinyl to CD's

I wondered if this was possible from home. The software they are suggesting looks a little pricey to me, but it might be worth it at some point later or if it does enough other things. I wanted to note it here in order to find it again. Maybe someone else would find it useful.How to turn vinyl LPs into CDs: MP3.com

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Perception is always subjective

Words swirling around various blogs made me think of this quote I like by Anais Nin:

"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."

I have more to say about this, and about the various subjects on other blogs, but in writing my thoughts I decided to search for something to link to about Anais Nin (tangents, always!). I found several websites including this one: Anais Nin Web Site

More quotes:
"There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person."

"Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage."

More about Anais Nin at Women's History- About.com

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

quotes for a Tuesday

Erica Jong quotes and quotations :

"I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as part of life specifically fear of change and fear of the unknown;and I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says, turn back, turn back,you'll die if you venture too far." (In an essay in The Writer on Her Work, ch. 13. 1980)

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark place where it leads." ("The Artist as Housewife," The First Ms. Reader, ed. Francine Kragbrun. 1972)

"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more." (U.S. author. Hans, in "Intuition, extuition ...," How to Save Your Own Life. 1977)

Other Jong quotes:Poem Hunter

Monday, July 05, 2004

Monday Question #23

Monday Question #23:: How do you feel about celebrations (yours, others, secular, religious- holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc)? What do you do, how do you feel? Why?

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Way cool, gadget to save for...

Sony LIBRIe - The first ever E-Ink e-Book Reader : Handhelds : MobileMag
I especially liked the thought of "The storage capacity is only 10MB and can hold around 500 downloaded books, if that is not enough you can add a maximum of 512MB with memory stick PRO." Right now the material I might want to take with me to read or refer to when away from home isn't downloadable (well, most of it isn't), but I can see all sorts of future possibilities with this!!! Textbooks, reference books, the current books one is reading, newspapers, magazines and so on are some of the things that come to mind. Think about how much easier it would be in a classroom!! Plus there is the added benefit of being able to enlarge the type as needed- something I think about frequently.

I don't think it would replace the feel of a book in one's hands or sometimes the memory jog that occurs when looking for information and being able to see the distinctive title, color, cover of a book that holds the keys. Being semi-nerdy, I derive some pleasure from simply seeing some of the old friends and aquaintences on the shelves. But from where I sit, at a little over 6.7 ounces (I think I figured that correctly- 190 grams), this lightweight device has a lot of potential.

found via link at Minding the Planet

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to everyone in the U.S.

Some links for quick history lessons:

This timeline from the Timepage.org gives contemporaries and cohorts of the various players and a listing of the events: The Revolutionary War Cycle of US History. I haven't seen this information previously compiled, so this one will probably get a future visit. The main website might be worth a look or two as well.

From US Gen net, the American Local History Network's Timeline of the American Revolutionary War. There is also more information if you backtrack the url.

Timeline: United States of America (BBC News; Country Profiles)

For the surface once over: History of the Fourth of July

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 74
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Resignation:: quit, given up, head down, deciding something is not worth the effort
  2. Coupling:: part found in the hardware; hmmm... connecting two things into one whole
  3. Grounded:: connected to ground as in one side of electrical wires and some people
  4. Habit:: repeated enough to not notice how or think about why
  5. Chainsaw:: terribly noisy powered thing for cutting wood
  6. Rental:: cabin for a week or two (or four) in the mountains with enough food for two? Sound good to you?
  7. Deleted:: gone, vanished, consigned to the ether
  8. Online personals:: dating places maybe
  9. Penguin:: cute black and white birds; one of Batman's villains
  10. Offend:: stray over the boundaries of someone's sensibilities; often pretended and loudly voiced by politicians

Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Mr. Picassohead

Mr. Picassohead. I haven't finished any I am willing to save, but it is fun to play around with.. one of those things to save for midterm and final exam time. :-)

found via Brain Crayons

additional info about a previous post

This is the website of the consultant who triggered my thoughts about measuring quality of life: Universal LifeStiles.
I didn't read them all, but there are some articles and poems about issues affecting people with disabilities.

Friday, July 02, 2004

a Friday quote

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

From a Belief Net newsletter

Thursday, July 01, 2004

I attended an in service meeting for staff this afternoon with a consultant who led a discussion about quality of life issues for the clients.

Paraphrasing one of the introductory comments, "You can get an indication of the quality of a person's life by counting/measuring two things. One is the number of valued relationships in a person's life (beyond paid relationships) and the other is the number of valued "things" in a person's life."

It struck me that those two things are components of measuring anyone's quality of life. For valued relationships, he was not talking specifically about friendships or the understood meaning of significant others. What he was talking about were in general- the number of acquaintances that we interact with and would miss if they were not present. The more limited these are, the less interaction with the world at large we have. "Things" referred to anything valued- employment, hobbies, collections, sports, treasured items or activities. The fewer of these things in our lives, the lower the quality of our lives. For persons with disabilities, in particular developmental, cognitive or mental health disabilities, these things are too often missing entirely.

Another statement that seemed important was the notion that so many of the clients don't participate in their own life. I wondered how much that applied to people beyond those with disabilities? How many folks are not engaged, not present, not fully functioning and participating in their own lives- merely going through the motions that were dictated or set up long ago?