Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things That Make My Life Easier: Gold Violin

So, I stumbled across the web site Gold Violin recently. Once I got past the fact that most of the pictures for their living aid devices involve old white people, I found a lot of useful stuff.

As with all reviews, unless otherwise stated I bought the items in review myself. As a guard against being unduly biases – I will always let you know if I receive an item at a discount or free to review!

Agenda Pill Box – This is on sale for $8 from $40 – I think part of that is that the calendar inside is old. That did not bother me, I do not need another calendar, and I bought a small flat notebook to slide into that section in case I do need to write something down while I am taking my pills and do not have anything else near by. Here is the description from their site:” Closed, it looks like a handsome appointment book.  Opened, it's both your calendar and 7-day pill organizer.  Each daily compartment holds up to 4 doses, keeps your medication secure and slides open easily when it's time to take your pills. 8 x 5 1/2 x 1 1/2.”

I really like this pill carrier. Now I only have to organize my pill dosages once a week instead of every day. I can remember to add the over the counter stuff I need to take daily with ease. The daily containers have four slots, and my only gripe is that in order to make sure the top does not slide off – the opening is restricted to three compartments on one side, and one on the other. This means that I have to open, close and open each one in the process of filling them. Okay, and I wish I could have gotten it in black.

My Meds Ledger: “My Meds Ledger keeps prescription information organized and at hand in case of an emergency, with room for up to 12 medicines. Both fold to the size of a credit card. Magnetic closure. 3¼”Wx2¼”H.” They also make a Login Lockers, with the same format – for keeping track of web sites with log-ins and passwords. Normally $5, as of my writing it is $4 on sale.

I like this item, but care should be taken when storing magnets in your wallet or purse. As with all small record keeping items it may be tough to record your information legibly, but that goes with the territory.

Up next are the Walking Stick Accessories - Corded Wrist Strap.I bought two of these, gold for my clear Lucite cane and black for my black fold up cane. These are also available in red. They are damn useful for when you need your cane hand for getting into your wallet or whatever. I wish they were just a tad longer, though, for when you need to slide it a little further up your wrist, or get it off your wrist faster. After a while, the elastic wrap around the cord stretches out a bit, but for now, mine is still okay. About $7.

I bought two types of sunscreen:  Sun Protection in Spray-on and Insect-Repelling Styles. “Waterproof Topcoat covers the areas most exposed and most often ignore - your scalp. Non-greasy, protein-rich formula is SPF 20+. Sunscreen with Insect Repellent Lotion combines SPF 25 with all natural insect repellent. Safe and effective, it’s enriched with soothing aloe and Vitamin E. Both formulas withstand salt water, swimming pools and sweat up to 80 minutes.” Regular price was $10.00, as of writing these are now sold for $5.99.

I bought both of these, and am very pleased with them. They do not wear or sweat off quickly. Now, you hair looks a little greasy where you use the scalp spray – but that is a hell of a lot better than the painful red peeling you would get with a bare scalp. The bug repellant is effective and the scent is not as people-repellant as most insect sprays/wipes can be. It also seemed to be well-tolerated by my DEET allergic friend.

For my husband, I bought Foot Crème: Heel Rescue. “Thick, luxurious cream penetrates, moisturizes and repairs dry, cracked skin, leaving your heels feeling soft, smooth and revitalized. Contains CoEnzyme Q10 that boosts the body’s natural ability to renew itself. Non-greasy formula. 16 oz. jar with pump dispenser.” The regular price is $9.95; the sale price is $5.99.

I bought the Heel Rescue for my husband, and he appears to be very happy with it. He suffers from bad feet, and has for years – but they seem to be getting better now: more smooth, less calloused, more appealing. I have used it on occasion, it seems to do a decent job.

Delivery was quick, e-mails kept me on top of the status of my orders with little effort on my part. One negative thing is that the web site is not always user friendly. A solid example is this: the site allows you to build a wish list, but finding it later is not intuitive. In general, my experience with Gold Violin has been very positive. I have placed other orders since my first one and remain well pleased.

Monday, July 18, 2011

SmartAss Politics, I Have Them: Fathood

As I was writing about my politics as one piece, I noticed that it grew pretty big very quickly. I am breaking it down into parts, which will hopefully be less irritating, and allow me to explore each piece a little more coherently. I started writing about the politics of fathood a while ago, in response to someone being Wrong on the Internet. The timing of that incident has long past, but my views are still the same. So, come, and share them with me!

Wall of Text version: I am a big liberal, you may want to get used to it. I hold the lofty belief that the world would be a better place if we could all be the people we want to be (without causing harm to another, or hindering their ability to do the same), as determined by our own ideals. I also believe that a representative government has a duty to make sure that we all have the opportunity – an equal opportunity – to do so. While I am talking about my beliefs, I want to include that government should maintain a social safety net for those neglected, ignored, and/or abused by that society.

I believe in the use of the word “fat” as a value-neutral term.That is easy for me to say because I am not considered fat. I have been fat - or at least reacted to in a manner that suggested the other person thought I was fat. I have considered myself fat (hello there, body image issues, how have you been?). I have never been called fat by anyone since I left my parents home. As an adult, I have weighted from 105 to 175 pounds at different points in my life. I am personally uncomfortable using the term fat because I do not believe that the use of it as a value-neutral term is wide-spread enough for me to assume that it is being heard in a value-neutral way. Do you find yourself asking WTF is this “value-neutral?!?”  I say this: fat is a descriptor, like brunette, tall, or tan; rather than a judgment indicating lazy, gluttonous, jolly, etc… And while that is what I mean when I say “fat” I shy away from using the term at all for fear it read as a judgment even though such is not my intent.

Here is an interesting article: New York Time: Body Mass Index Can Be Misleading.

I believe that the BMI can tell you that you are obese, and yet your cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart health may indeed be fine. I mean that you can be heavy and healthy at the same time. I know for a fact that your BMI can be “ideal” and you can be an internal mess – that is where I find myself lately. So my “The BMI does not indicate health” stance does go both ways. Any meaningful use of the BMI must take into consideration the origins and original purpose of it, along with its inherent flaws.

I know I am going to fuck up being a good ally on occasion. I hope it is a rare one. Not only is it the right thing to do, but this issue challenges a lot of people that I care about deeply.

Now, articles agitate folks every so often, and I do not want to get into that one way or the other but I am glad that the discussions happen. I lay clam to being fat accepting, but there are people you should be reading if you want to really get to know what that means.  The Fat Nutritionist is a good start.

First, Do No Harm is a place where people can go to talk about fat-phobia they are subject to from medical professionals. I have seen this in action. I have watched my husband’s knee and back concerns blown off by tying them to his weight (he had bulging disks, and a torn meniscus/missing cartilage in a knee).

Now, of course there are intersections between disability and size-acceptance, and s.e. smith talks about that really well here.I love s.e. smith, as you all will probably figure out sooner or later.

I am sure this topic will come up again in the future, but this looks like a good start.

Do you have a Health at Every Size or fat acceptance link or story? Share it below!