Dogged by the black dog

June 1, 2010

“Can I ask you about the plight of Whaleoil?”  Jim Mora asked me on our discussion on the internet on Critical Mass today.

I’d been mulling over a post about him since reading Cactus Kate’s plea to Save The Whale in response to the Herald on Sunday story in response to this post by Whaleoil and comments from his wife on Gotcha.

I came across Whaleoil on the internet when I first started blogging and treated it with caution. I admired some of the posts, especially those which broke news which influenced the mainstream media. I was moved by the way he was so open about his struggle with depression but found other posts offensive.

Since then I’ve met him a couple of times. The first was at a National Party conference last year and the second, very briefly at another conference last weekend. The next day I read the HOS story and found Cactus’s post about it when I got home late that evening.

Several pennies dropped – clinical depression explains the contrasts between the intelligent and reasoned posts and the vitriolic ones.

Those who know him well have written on this. I don’t know enough to add anything on him, but I do know a bit about depression and other mental illness.

Most of us understand physical illness and have sympathy for those who are unwell.

Mental illness is different.

Those who’ve never experienced or been exposed to it find it difficult to understand and there’s often a feeling that people just need to pull themselves together.

Anyone who has been dogged by the black dog themselves, or had to cope with it in family and friends will tell you it’s not that simple and often that it’s not just the illness which is problematic, the treatment can be too.

Medication can help some people. In others it doesn’t and may cause side effects which can be as difficult to deal with as the problems it was supposed to treat. Working your way through the mental health system can be a nightmare and finding a mental health professional who can make a positive difference is another challenge.

I know stories, which aren’t mine to tell, of people’s battles with depression. From them I have some appreciation of  how difficult it is even for those who have loving and caring family and friends to support them; the frustration which even intelligent, articulate, positive  and assertive professionals who are used to dealing with complex problems in their work face in trying to help family or friends who are depressed  and how the system which ought to help so often doesn’t.

I hope Whaleoil and his family find the help they need and wish them the strength and love to tame the black dog and send it packing.

Related posts:

Keeping Stock on Helping a Fellow Blogger.

Roarprawn on Whales Tale  and Saving the Whale.

Kiwiblog on Cactus on Whale

Stepehn Franks on Whaleoil and Insurance.

Motella on Whale Wars.


Tuesday’s anwers

June 1, 2010

Monday’s questions were:

1. What is an udometer?

2. What do the following coffee shop terms mean:  brevé, granita and lungo?

3. How many monarchs have come from the House of Windsor?

4. Which book won the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book Award?

5. Who said: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”?

As often happens, the answers show the people who erespond know more about the subject of the questions than I do so I’m prepared to accept variations on the coffee theme.

G got a clean sweep and the electronic bouquet.

David got one right, a bonus for reasoning (even though it led to the wrong conclusion) and another for added information ont he quote.

Bearhunter got two and also gets a bonus for more infomration ont he quote.

Ray got 4 and a bonus for honesty.

Paul got 2 2/3 with a bonus for moder technology.

The answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


After the flood

June 1, 2010

The sky is blue, the sun is shining and in spite of last week’s deluge we lost no stock and our fences, pasture and tracks are undamaged.

However, forecasts of a mild winter appear to be more than a little optimistic.

We woke to a hard frost and the sun hasn’t made an impact on the temperature yet.

It’s a five layer of merino day and I’m still inside.


Better blog awards close today

June 1, 2010

Entries for the bloggers’ alternative to the mainstream media awards, the Air New Zealand Best Blog Award close totday.

In a post, which typifies the spirit of the awards, we’re being urged to enter:

2. I sense an overwhelming preciousness from some bloggers about entering anything. I interpret that as you are all afraid of losing so lord knows how any of you are actually successful in life. Well get over it as apart from one winner everyone else will technically be losers. But not as bigger losers as good blogs that do not enter. . . 

. . . Harden up and enter.

It wasn’t fear of losing that was preventing me entering, it was lack of time to trawl through last year’s posts to find the best four.

However, since it was a post by me which inspired the NZ Bloggers Union to initiate the awards I decided that it would be churlish not to enter.

Guided more by haste than careful contemplation these are the four posts I’ve chosen to enter:

https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/announcing-the-mediocres/

https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/last-cab-has-the-mana-and-the-power/

https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/brrrr-3/

Should our greatest also be good?


June 1 in history

June 1, 2010

On June 1:

193 Roman Emperor Didius Julianus was assassinated.

DidiusJulianus.jpg

987 Hugh Capet was elected King of France.

1204  King Philip Augustus of France conquered Rouen.

 

1215  Beijing ruler Emperor Xuanzong of Jin, was captured by the Mongols under Genghis Khan, ending the Battle of Beijing.

YuanEmperorAlbumGenghisPortrait.jpg

1252 Alfonso X was elected King of Castile and León.

 

1495  Friar John Cor recorded the first known batch of scotch whisky.

1533  Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England.

1660 Mary Dyer was hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

 

1679 The Scottish Covenanters defeated John Graham of Claverhouse at the Battle of Drumclog.

 

1779  Benedict Arnold, a general in the Continental Army was court-martialed for malfeasance.

A head and shoulders profile engraving of Arnold.  He is facing left, wearing a uniform with two stars on the shoulder epaulet.  His hair is tied back.

1792  Kentucky was admitted as the 15th state of the United States.

Flag of Kentucky State seal of Kentucky

1794 The battle of the Glorious First of June was fought, the first naval engagement between Britain and France during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Two large ships sail side by side locked in battle as heavy brown seas roll beneath them and clouds of smoke from other vessels in the background drift into frame. In the foregound, dozens of men cling to wreckage in the water or drift in small boats.

1796 Tennessee was admitted as the 16th state of the United States.

Flag of Tennessee State seal of Tennessee

1812  War of 1812: U.S. President James Madison asked the Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom.

1813  James Lawrence, the mortally-wounded commander of the USS Chesapeake, gave his final order: “Don’t give up the ship!”

JamesLawrence.jpg

1815  Napoleon swore fidelity to the Constitution of France.

1831  James Clark Ross discovered the North Magnetic Pole.

1843 Henry Faulds, Scottish fingerprinting pioneer, was born  (d. 1930).

 

Henry Faulds.jpg

1855  American adventurer William Walker conquered Nicaragua.

1857 Charles Baudelaire‘s Fleurs du mal was published.

 

1862  American Civil War, Peninsula Campaign: Battle of Seven Pines (or the Battle of Fair Oaks) ended inconclusively, with both sides claiming victory.

 

1868 Treaty of Bosque Redondo was signed allowing the Navajos to return to their lands in Arizona and New Mexico.

 

1869  Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine.

1878 – John Masefield, English novelist and poet was born (d. 1967).

1879 Napoleon Eugene, the last dynastic Bonaparte, was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War.

 

1886 – The railroads of the Southern United States converted 11,000 miles of track from a five foot rail gauge to standard gauge.

Gauge EN.svg 

1890  The United States Census Bureau began using Herman Hollerith‘s tabulating machine to count census returns.

 

1907 Frank Whittle, English inventor of the jet engine was born (d. 1996).

 

1910  Robert Falcon Scott‘s South Pole expedition left England.

Man with receding hairline, looking left, wearing naval uniform with medals, polished buttons and heavy shoulder decorations

1918  World War I: Battle for Belleau Wood – Allied Forces under John J. Pershing and James Harbord engaged Imperial German Forces under Wilhelm, German Crown Prince.

Scott Belleau Wood.jpg

1920  Adolfo de la Huerta became president of Mexico.

1921 Nelson Riddle, American bandleader and arranger, was born  (d. 1985).

1921  Tulsa Race Riot.

 

1922  The Royal Ulster Constabulary was founded.

  1926 Andy Griffith, American actor  was born.

 

1926 – Marilyn Monroe, American actress, was born  (d. 1962).

 

1928  Bob Monkhouse, English comedian, was born (d. 2003). 

1929  The 1st Conference of the Communist Parties of Latin America was held in Buenos Aires.

1930 Edward Woodward, English actor, was born  (d. 2009).

1934 Pat Boone, American singer, was born.

 

1935  The first driving tests were introduced in the United Kingdom.

1937 Morgan Freeman, American actor, was born.

 

1937 Colleen McCullough, Australian novelist, was born.

 
Thorn Bords bookcover.jpg

1939 Maiden flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (D-OPZE) fighter aeroplane.

 

1940  The Leninist Communist Youth League of the Karelo-Finnish SSR holds its first congress.

 

1940  The Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation went out of business, giving the City of New York full control of the subway system in the city.

1941  World War II: Battle of Crete ended as Crete capitulated to Germany.

1941 – The Farhud, a pogrom of Iraqi Jews in Baghdad.

Judenstern

1942 World War II: the Warsaw paper Liberty Brigade published the first news of the concentration camps.

1943 British Overseas Airways Corporation Flight 777 wasshot down over the Bay of Biscay by German Junkers Ju 88s, killing actor Leslie Howard and leading to speculation the downing was an attempt to kill British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

 

1946 Ion Antonescu, “Conducator” (leader) of Romania during World War 2, was executed.

 

1947 – Ronnie Wood, English guitarist (Rolling Stones), was born.

1950 Wayne Nelson, American musician (Little River Band), was born.

1956  First international flight (to Montreal YUL) from the Atlanta Municipal Airport

1958 Charles de Gaulle cme out of retirement to lead France by decree for six months.

 

1960 New Zealand’s first official television transmission began at 7.30pm.

NZ's first official TV broadcast

1960 Simon Gallup, English bassist (The Cure), was born.

1963  Kenya gained internal self-rule (Madaraka Day).

   

1974  Flixborough disaster: an explosion at a chemical plant killed 28 people.

1974 –The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims was published in the journal Emergency Medicine.

 

1978 The first international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty were filed.

1979 – The first black-led government of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 90 years took power.

1980  Cable News Network (CNN) begins broadcasting.

Cnn.svg

1988  The 4th Congress of the Communist Youth of Greece started.

 

1990  George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev signed a treaty to end chemical weapon production.

1993  Dobrinja mortar attack: 13 were killed and 133 wounded when Serb mortar shells are fired at a soccer game in Dobrinja, west of Sarajevo.

1999  American Airlines Flight 1420 slid and crashed while landing at Little Rock National Airport, killing 11 people.

2000  The Patent Law Treaty was signed.

2001  Nepalese royal massacre : Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal shot and killed several members of his family including his father and mother, King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya.

2001 – Dolphinarium massacre: a Hamas suicide bomber killed 21 at a disco in Tel Aviv.

2003  Filling began of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam.

Three Gorges Dam

2005 The Dutch referendum on the European Constitution resulted in its rejection.

2009 Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil. All 228 passengers and crew were killed.

 

2009 – General Motors filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is the fourth largest United States bankruptcy in history.

General Motors.svg

Sourced from NZ  History Online & Wikipedia


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