Monday, December 12, 2011

The Panda Bear on Her Poor Time Management Skills

The Panda Bear apologizes to her readers for not posting last week.   She has been very busy at her day job.  Mr. Panda may loose his job and The Panda Bear has had to help him prepare to hunt for jobs.  The Panda Bear has also had to keep up with her career coaching sessions with her employer.   Usually, in the US between Thanksgiving and New Years there is a lull in the working world where nothing major gets done or decided at work.   However, this year as in last year the working world seems as busy as ever.

WOMAC(the War On Mice And Clutter) is in full force.    The Panda Bear's next door neighbor had a rat in her unit.  The Panda Bear believes there is one mouse in her unit that is evading capture.   The Panda Bear has decided to get a cat in her fight against this unwelcome wildlife in her apartment.   She has never had a pet before and is very excited about the prospect and is learning all she can about cats.

The days are getting so short.   The Panda Bear comes home and wants to sleep after work.  It gets dark at now at 5:00.   The Panda Bear remembers when it used to be light in the summer until 9:00.   The Panda Bear has not gotten half the amount of work she has wanted to do over the past couple of weeks. 

In addition, the Panda Bear has been drinking too much coffee, eating too much and not getting enough exercises.  The Panda Bear wishes she had some secret for getting everything done that she wants to be alas she is just muddling along.   She is a perplexed and confused Panda Bear. 

Mr. Panda has been instructed to be quiet while the Panda Bear writes this post but he is having a hard keeping quiet.   Even though it is 7:00 the Panda Bear will probably end up going to sleep.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Panda Bear on her Foreign Readers, US Economy and WOMAC Update

The Panda Bear has done some recent posts about her wish the US companies would hire more Americans.   The economy is very bad in the US and many Americans are unemployed.  US job growth is very slow.   The Panda Bear thinks it would help create jobs for Americans if some US overseas operations could be returned to the US.       Americans are among the hardest working people in the world.   Perhaps, some foreign countries should consider moving operations to the US; Americans are good workers.

However, the Panda Bear does not want her foreign readers to think she is an American Chauvinist.   However, she does think the US needs to look after its own interest (all nations need to do this).  The United States can't help anyone if its economy collapses. She thinks US power is in decline and that the US may end up like Great Britain-no longer the dominant world power but still having some influence.  

However, the most of the Panda Bear's attention this past week has been on WOMAC (The War on Mice and Clutter).    She thought the effort to get rid of the mice in her apartment had been a success.  She did not see a mouse for about a month.   However, last week she saw a mouse.   She set out mouse traps and caught six mice over the weekend.  

The Panda Bear lives in an urban area so one really has to kill the mouse-they will just go into someone else's house if it is not killed.  Mice have germs and cause damage to property.   In addition, they very quickly multiply.

The Panda Bear has found the web sites below helpful in dealing with mice:

Sometimes in novels there is a point where several plot lines come together to make one story.  In WOMAC, several themes of the Panda Bear Blog come together.   The Panda Bear has learned through different relaxation techniques that there is no point in going into the panic about the situation.   The feeling of panic will just make things worse.    The Panda Bear needs to be calm, rational and relaxed to implement WOMAC.

The Panda Bear has tried to positively reframe her hatred of housework and home projects.   The Panda Bear has gotten to like the feeling of warm water and soap.   She tells herself these projects are connected to health as they get rid of germs.  WOMAC has been helpful in getting Mr. Panda to get rid of his clutter and extra papers (these give the mice places to hide). The Panda Bear has told Mr. Panda that there is no neutral position in WOMAC.  If he does not actively support her efforts to declutter she will assume the Mr. Panda is pro mouse and the Panda Bear has no toleration for that position.

WOMAC involves time management on the part of the Panda Bear.   The Panda Bear works full-time and finds it hard to find the time to do home projects.   However, the Panda Bear has postponed going to the gym twice a week and tries to exercise at home so she can find time for home projects.   She has learned one can't do everything at once-one has to prioritize.   Alas-even if it means giving up something good and fun for you like exercise.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Panda Bear on Press Bias, Training Americans and Thanksgiving

The Panda Bear said in a previous post that she would discuss these fiction books written about journalism by journalists. These books were   The Imperfectionists by Tom RachmanStieg Larson's Millennium Trilogy.    and Capable of Honor by Allen Drury.   The Panda Bear will have to decline this discussion.  When she read Capable of Honor she did not understand it.  The book was a third novel in a series of political novels by Allen Drury.   The Panda Bear had not read the previous novels in the series and the book did not make sense on its own.  

Instead in a future post, the Panda Bear will discuss Juan Williams book Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate  .  She found in interesting but she think Juan Williams confused several issues.

Because of Occupy Wall Street has been in the news, the Panda Bear wishes to continue her critique of  American industry.  Though she personally knows no one involved in the Occupy movement, she would like to help them better articulate some of their positions.  

In her previous post the Panda Bear said American industry needs to be encouraged/rewarded/pressured  to bring back their operations to the United States.   Many conservatives make fun of the young people in the Occupy movement because they love Steve Jobs and Apple products but these products are now made overseas,   The Panda Bear on their behalf would like to tell these conservative critics of OWS that yes-it is a problem that Apple products are made overseas.   Steve Jobs genius is not benefiting the American economy they way it once might have before everything was made overseas.

Not only does the Panda Bear believe that that American companies should find it worth their effort ti return to the United States and hire Americans, the Panda Bear also boldly asserts that they should be willing to train Americans.   In the thirty years, the Panda Bear has seen a decline in company training.   It used to be that many people with a high school degree could rise in a company through corporate training programs but this has totally stopped.

Instead, people are forced to go colleges and universities to take out expensive degrees.   One theory behind the student revolts of the nineteen sixties was that many people were in college who really did want to be there and students were there to escape the draft.   The Panda Bear thinks some current student protests are coming about because many young people may not want to be in college but they are told that is the only way they can succeed in the world.

There is constant education inflation happening in the US.   The Panda Bear's father remembers when a high school degree was rare.   Now everyone is expected to get a college degree.  As more people get degrees their worth goes down forcing people to get more degrees.

The Panda Bear thinks its unnatural to make people start their lives in debt or be a financial burden to their families for such a long time.   She thinks there should be more paid apprenticeships.   More examination needs to be done about how necessary some degrees really are.    The Panda Bear thinks a high school degree should be sufficient to show basic language and math skills.

Of course companies don't like training workers because it costs money.   However, most people know accept that companies should take precautions to protect the environment even if it costs more.   The Panda Bear thinks that companies should start feeling that way about hiring and training workers of their own countries.   Companies have some social obligations besides making money.

The Panda Bear thinks some of the Occupy movement would like this quote from Balzac from Father Goriot:

Corruption is a great power in the world, and talent is scarce….Do you know how a man makes his way here? By brilliant genius or by skilful corruption. … The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly executed."

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. People are supposed to be remember for what they are thankful. The Panda Bear is thankful that she is does not have to worry about basic needs. However, she is also glad she is not part of the rich, corrupt elite. The Panda Bear is not rich but she is considered to be a decent Panda Bear.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Panda Bear on Hiring Americans, WOMAC update

As readers, of the Panda Bear Blog know, the Panda Bear stated about six weeks ago WOMAC(the War on Mice and Clutter) which is modeled after George Bush's Global War on Terror(GWOT). She is proud to report that she has seen no mice for about a month. However, WOMAC is an ongoing and continuous effort.

The Panda Bear was glad to learn that she was not the only one with mice problems. She saw on NPR that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, threw a fork at a scampering mouse while eating his dinner at his residence. At least, the Panda Bear has never seen a mouse while eating at her dinner table, 

The Panda Bear is digressing from the main object of the post. The Panda Bear believes that in order for the US unemployment situation to be improved US companies need to stop the exporting of their jobs overseas. Recently, the Panda Bear heard a list of richest people in the United States and most of them made their money in information technology. However, the reason the Panda Bear thinks the reason that the "trickle down" theory of wealth is not working to help Americans find employment is that so many of these companies have sent significant parts of their operations overseas.

Computers are manufactured overseas. Americans need more jobs that don't require advanced degrees. Call centers also are located overseas. More and more office workers that the Panda Bear talks to say their work is being shipped to English speaking countries in Asia who are paid less than Americans. She also hears US companies outsourcing a lot of its computer programming and development to foreign countries.

What can be done to stop US companies from shipping jobs overseas when American labot is more expensive? The Panda Bear feels the first step is for the American public to realize that it is not good that the US does not make anything anymore and that there is a hidden cost to the US in "cheap" products that are made abroad. The US is progressing towards a society of cheap goods but no jobs. The Panda Bear thinks the US needs to revert back more its economy of the nineteen fifties and sixties-goods cost more but Americans had jobs.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Panda Bear on the Tyranny of Things, Housing and Economists

As readers of the Panda Blog know, the Panda Bear HATES housework and house projects.   In one previous post, the Panda Bear described her hatred of housework.   In another post, she has asserted that while home ownership has been good for the Panda Bear economically,  it is not a source of "happiness"  to her.  She also has asserted that she feels that economists and the US government push home ownership as a way of dealing with stagnate wages and a way of stimulating the economy.

If the Panda Bear were extremely rich, she would live in a furnished hotel suite with a kitchen(the Panda Bear likes to cook).   No matter how wealthy she was she would devote as little energy as possible to maintaining housing, buying furniture etc.   Martha Stewart would not become rich in a world full of Panda Bears and much of the economy would suffer.   She finds it strange when the very rich want to design their own houses when the Panda Bear would want to use her money to out of as many of the burdens of the housing.

The Panda Bear likes to having her feelings validated.   She found online an essay called The Tyranny of Things  written by an American name Edward Sanford Martin in 1893.  Edward Sanford Martin describes the avoidable stresses people at the time put themselves through for housing. The essay is a for runner of  of the modern voluntary simplicity movement which the Panda Bear has found helpful in dealing with these stressful times.  Why suffer unnecessary stress when just trying to survive can be stressful?  The full text of the essay can be found by clicking on the above link.   However, the Panda Bear wanted to quote from the essay on the overspending people were doing on housing which sounds very modern and the headaches involved in owing property.  She will discuss other aspects of  the essay in a later post.   Below is what Martin said about housing:

A big house is one of the greediest cormorants which can light upon a little income. Backs may go threadbare and stomachs may worry along on indifferent filling, but a house will have things, though its occupants go without. It is rarely complete, and constantly tempts the imagination to flights in brick and dreams in lath and plaster. It develops annual thirsts for paint and wall-paper, at least, if not for marble and wood-carving. The plumbing in it must be kept in order on pain of death. Whatever price is put on coal, it has to be heated in winter; and if it is rural or suburban, the grass about it must be cut even though funerals in the family have to be put off for the mowing. If the tenants are not rich enough to hire people to keep their house clean, they must do it themselves, for there is no excuse that will pass among housekeepers for a dirty house. The master of a house too big for him may expect to spend the leisure which might be made intellectually or spiritually profitable, in acquiring and putting into practice fag ends of the arts of the plumber, the bell-hanger, the locksmith, the gas-fitter, and the carpenter. Presently he will know how to do everything that can be done in the house, except enjoy himself. He will learn about taxes, too, and water-rates, and how such abominations as sewers or new pavements are always liable to accrue at his expense. As for the mistress, she will be a slave to carpets and curtains, wall-paper, painters, and women who come in by the day to clean. She will be lucky if she gets a chance to say her prayers, and thrice and four times happy when she can read a book or visit with her friends. To live in a big house may be a luxury, provided that one has a full set of money and an enthusiastic housekeeper in one’s family; but to scrimp in a big house is a miserable business. Yet such is human folly, that for a man to refuse to live in a house because it is too big for him, is such an exceptional exhibition of sense that it becomes the favorite paragraph of a day in the newspapers.

An ideal of earthly comfort, so common that every reader must have seen it, is to get a house so big that it is burdensome to maintain, and fill it up so full of jimcracks that it is a constant occupation to keep it in order. Then, when the expense of living in it is so great that you can’t afford to go away and rest from the burden of it, the situation is complete and boarding-houses and cemeteries begin to yawn for you. How many Americans, do you suppose, out of the droves that flock annually to Europe, are running away from oppressive houses?

When nature undertakes to provide a house, it fits the occupant. Animals which build by instinct build only what they need, but man’s building instinct, if it gets a chance to spread itself at all, is boundless, just as all his instincts are. For it is man’s peculiarity that nature has filled him with impulses to do things, and left it to his discretion when to stop. She never tells him when he has finished. And perhaps we ought not to be surprised that in so many cases it happens that he doesn’t know, but just goes ahead as long as the materials last.

If another man tries to oppress him, he understands that and is ready to fight to death and sacrifice all he has, rather than submit; but the tyranny of things is so subtle, so gradual in its approach, and comes so masked with seeming benefits, that it has him hopelessly bound before he suspects his fetters. He says from day to day, "I will add thus to my house"; "I will have one or two more horses"; "I will make a little greenhouse in my garden"; "I will allow myself the luxury of another hired man"; and so he goes on having things and imagining that he is richer for them. Presently he begins to realize that it is the things that own him. He has piled them up on his shoulders, and there they sit like Sindbad’s Old Man and drive him; and it becomes a daily question whether he can keep his trembling legs or not.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Panda Bear on Bullying, the "Popular" Kids, and the Hierarchies

The Panda Bear recently ran into a classmate from her elementary school. This classmate asked the Panda Bear whether she friends her entire elementary school class. The Panda Bear said she was not friends with Anne whom she remembers as being mean to her in elementary school. The Panda Bear reconnected with someone else from elementary school on Facebook who also had bad memories of Anne.
Over the past few years, the Panda Bear has told people who knew both her and Anne in both elementary and high school that Anne was mean to her. It wasn't until she was over forty, that the Panda Bear begin to talk to people about who was mean to her in elementary school. The Panda Bear once saw Anne and at their twenty-fifth high school reunion. The Panda Bear was so tempted to go up to Anne and ask her how she was doing. The Panda Bear was with Mr. Panda. Anne in elementary school called the Panda Bear a lesbian and made fun of the Panda Bear when she went to her first dance. However, the Panda Bear lost her nerve. She was not sure if Anne saw her at the reunion.

However, the Panda Bear and Anne have some mutual friends on Facebook and sometimes the Panda Bear has put her blog posts on her personal Facebook page. The Panda Bear wonders whether what she is writing will ever get back to Anne and whether Anne will recognize herself.

The Panda Bear looked up Anne on Facebook and found out that Anne had joined a Facebook group that wanted to end school bullying. The Panda Bear looked up this group and found this article that stated it was the "popular" children/tweens who were the bullies. Bullying is by definition the strong picking on the weak.

The Panda Bear remembers Anne has being one of the "popular" girls. She belonged to a large clique and was wealthy. She acted as though she was the coolest kid ever and wore expensive clothes. The Panda Bear thinks that because Anne was wealthy the teachers were afraid to discipline her.

From her experiences with workplace bullying, the Panda Bear has come to a conclusion that there is a hierarchical nature to bullying. Workplace bullies can't abuse their superiors and keep their jobs. Workplace bullies take out their frustrations on people whom they feel they can get away with it. The Panda Bear feels work place bullies have enough self-control to know how to hide it,   Therefore, she little sympathy for workplace bullies.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Panda Bear on Her Layoff from a Major US Corporation

Due to the Panda Bear taking on some additional projects, the Panda Bear Blog will only be updated once a week.   When she was starting her blog she read somewhere that a blogger should post twice a week but the Panda Bear would rather have one good longer post.

The Panda Bear was having some problems with her Hewlett Packard Netbook tonight.   'She thought she might have to take it to be repaired but it started to work again.   She noticed it was made in China.   Why can't US companies make more in the US?   The Panda Bear realizes that the price of some goods may go up.   However, if there were more well-paying jobs in the US, Americans could pay more for goods.

The Panda Bear wants to extend her sympathy to the currently unemployed.   She wants them to know that she has been among their ranks.   During the years 1992-1993, the Panda Bear got laid off from a major US insurance company and was unemployed for about a year.   For that year she was actively job hunting(though she volunteered to keep busy) and would have accepted about any office job.   She probably she have gone through a short retraining program which could be done while on US unemployment insurance.    The company that Panda Bear had worked for did not use PCs and they were starting to come into widespread use in 1992-1993.   Also the industry that the Panda Bear had be working in(property and casualty insurance) was severely effected in that recession.

Companies and strategies have different ways of laying people off.   Indeed, there are people who make good salaries on instructing companies on how to lay people off.    Sometimes, the Panda Bear finds it interesting to hear about how different organizations lay people off.  One company had the laid off workers train their replacements.   Some organizations discuss layoffs but never actually do it.   Insurance companies and many private companies keep layoff plans very quiet because they want to keep the workforce placid.

The Panda Bear had been very happy working in the insurance company.   When she worked for it, the insurance companies were supposed to be stable places to work.  She had received several promotions but she was still a fairly low level worker.   ( Once someone that came from company headquarters said she had heard all about the Panda Bear and how she was a very smart human Panda and how she had gone to Harvard-actually the Panda Bear had gone to Mount Holyoke College.  The Panda Bear latter got passed over a group of promotions and now sometimes the Panda Bear wonders why they did not promote her if she was supposed to be so smart.   Obviously, something else besides brains was needed to get ahead in this Fortune 500 company).

Anyway, one winter there started to be rumors of lay offs.  Management denied the rumors of layoffs.   Some workers said these rumors are coming from somewhere and that the job of management was to keep things calm.  One day the Panda Bear was told to go into a conference room with a group of other employees.   The Panda Bear and the other workers were told they were laid off and to leave right away the building right away.  The management of the company had lied about not laying people off.   Some people later told Panda Bear that the management had probably known for a few months that they were going have lay offs.   The company told the workers that it was against company policy for the company to give any kind of reference for its former employees besides verifying dates of employment.

It was the end of blind corporate loyalty for the Panda Bear.    The Panda Bear wants her readers to note several things about her layoff.   One is that when the Panda Bear and her coworkers were being laid off because the insurance company was not making a certain profit level, the CEO and heads of the company were making the most money in the history of insurance(the Panda Bear is being slightly sarcastic).

Secondly, layoff were done in order of worker status rather than what was necessarily most useful for the company.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Panda Bear on Self-Improvement Overload and Anxiety

The Panda Bear is right now in self-improvement overload.   She needs to loose ten pounds and cut back on coffee(physicians feel it makes her anxious) which she has not been successful in doing.   She has started to use Seasonal Affective Disorder Lamp.  She has started career coaching at work and has homework to do for this program.   In addition, she may start a new project which she will discuss if actually happens. 

However, what has stressed her out most is her home improvements.  Three weeks ago she announced to Mr. Panda the War on Mice and Clutter(WOMAC) when she saw a mouse in her apartment.   WOMAC is modeled after George Bush's War on Terror.   Mr. Panda likes to keep extra boxes, newspapers and old clothes in the apartment which the Panda Bear thinks are useful for mice to hide.    The Panda Bear told Mr. Panda that he was either for mice or against mice-there was no neutral position on the issue    Under the powers given to her under WOMAC, the Panda Bear threw out alot of stuff of Mr. Panda(and some of her clutter also to be totally honest).

So far there have been five mouse casualties under WOMAC but there have been no new mice caught for about a week and a half.   The Panda Bear thinks it was a mother mouse with her baby mice and they seem to have lived in the heating unit in her apartment.   She has stuffed up the space near the heat pipes which was open.   She has cleaned the house with peppermint soap; she read somewhere that mice did not like the smell of peppermint.   To the Panda Bear and Mr. Panda  the peppermint soap smells nice and if it helps keep out mice so much the better.
The Panda Bear read somewhere that it could be helpful to join a web program to help her fight clutter.   She joined the The Fly Lady.   While, the Panda Bear is sure this services of this website are probably quite useful the Panda Bear has not had time to read the FlyLady's daily updates. The Panda Bear feels like a total failure.   For some reason, home organization and projects are a major source of anxiety and fear for the Panda Bear.   The Panda Bear wonders is there some clinical term for extreme house project fear?   The Panda Bear has never understood why some people want excessively large places;they are more work to maintain.

The Panda Bear decided to table the The Fly Lady for now and take much tinier steps to organizing her place.   However, the Panda Bear wants her that she has found the book Household Hints for Dummies by Janet Sobesky to be quite a helpful.

 The Panda Bear feels that excessively high goals and standards lead to her being inert and not accomplishing anything.   Small minuscule even nano steps are what lead to successful change.   The Panda Bear told a psychologist that she thinks the term "head shrinking" for psychological help is that some people do have "shrink" their expectations and their mindset.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Panda Bear on the Seasonal Affective Disorder and Rich Paying More Taxes

The Panda Bear has noticed the days are getting shorter. Now when she goes to work it is dark and when she leaves work it is dark. The Panda Bear notices she feels more tired. She thinks she may suffer from the Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD).

However, the Panda Bear does not like the term SAD. She prefers calling it sensitivity to shorter days. The Panda Bear thinks that probably at one point in human history it probably was extremely beneficial to want to make the most use of daylight and sleep when it was dark.

Anyway, about a couple of years ago the Panda Bear bought a lightbox that is used for SAD but she never had the time at home to use it.  However, this week she had the brilliant idea to take it to work with her.   She will let her readers know if it helped her with SAD.

On the radio, the Panda Bear has kept on hearing debates on whether the rich should pay more taxes.   The Panda Bear thinks it is the patriotic duty of the rich to pay more taxes.  She thinks all Americans need to pitch in and help with the economy.  She thinks the rich need to prove that the are not laughing at the rest of us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Panda Bear on Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party

Everyone except some politicians know that unemployment is high and that there are many more job seekers than jobs available and that it will take years of steady growth for the US to get back to a reasonable full employment situation.   The Panda Bear thinks it is the high unemployment that is creatiang breeding ground for political activism.   People have time on their hands with no job prospects.

The Panda Bear normally does not consider herself to be a right wing person but she did find herself allied with the right during the bailouts of the big banks and AIG which the Panda Bear opposed.   She thinks these big companies want to pay no taxes and want pure capitalism when they are doing well and they want socialism when they fail.   The people who caused all these financial crises instead of getting fired got a government bailout and got called indispensable to the financial system.  

The Panda Bear also has some sympathy with the Occupy Wall Street movement which is coming from the left.   The Panda Bear heard one commentator say both the Left and the Right are feeling ripped off by big business.   Instead of fighting each other, the Panda Bear feels the Left and Right should join forces to fight their common enemy the big business/government elites.

To the Panda Bear, the US seems to be run by a giant plutocracy where there is a revolving door between business and government.  All the heads of corporations are on each others boards so the Panda Bear thinks they give each other a free reign in terms of compensation and employment conditions.  It seems no matter what happens the heads of industry and government seems to do well while the common person suffers.  The heads of both business and government don't seem to feel the need to follow the same rules as the common person while making the common person suffer from the misdeeds.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Panda Bear on Home Ownership, Fidel Castro and Capitalism

The Panda Bear had a three day weekend. She had to take care of her abscessed tooth, attend a religious event, and do some home projects which have become more urgent under the War On Mice and Clutter (WOMAC).

As readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, the Panda Bear hates home projects. The Panda Bear is fortunate in that she owns a condo as is not underwater on her mortgage. However, the Panda Bear is annoyed at the US government of making home ownership a universal goal for all Americans. She things some people would prefer to rent-not just for monetary reasons but because there is less work involved in renting than in owning a home. The Panda Bear believes that the US government in part is pushing home ownership to distract Americans from the problem that salaries aren't increasing and the government feels the need to do something to make Americans feel that they increasing their incomes.

Anyway when the Panda Bear feels blue about the time she needs to do on home projects, she thinks of a story Walter Cronkite told in his autobiography about a meeting Walter Cronkite had with Fidel Castro. Walter Cronkite asked Fidel Castro why property is so badly taken care in communist countries. At first, Castro gave some high minded reasons (i.e. because they need to build new housing). Finally, Castro admitted that people did not take good care of property if they did not own it. The Panda Bear things that property may be better taken care of when people own it as opposed to renting it. Owners have pride in ownership and there become financial incentives to maintain property. Where one lives becomes a financial asset with ownership.

However, the Panda Bear notes that sometimes it can be simplistic to talk about capitalistic societies like the US to be ownership societies. The Panda Bear things there is some truth that paying something from one's own money "feels" different than having some else pay for it. However, even if the US the Panda Bear thinks that probably most in most jobs people are handling someone else's money at someone else's expense. A lot of money and property managers are managing some else's goods. The Panda Bear's condo is managed by a property management organization and she things it shows they don't own the property they manage and don't care about it as much.   Some people feel professional money managers can do things to benefits themselves at their client’s expense.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Panda Bear on Sick Time, Tooth Abscess, Career Coaching and Hiring Americans

As stated in her previous post, the Panda Bear still is suffering from a dental abscess.   Her mouth is still swollen and she feels tired.  Her dentist started a root canal on Monday which will be finished on Friday.  For other personal reasons, she happened to have today off.   She had planned to do all sorts of wonderful things on her day off.   She planned to relax by going to the library and reading a book.  She also planned to talk to friends, do a post, and take additional steps for WOMAC-War On Mice And Clutter.  ( Incidentally Mr. Panda and the Panda Bear caught one mouse with a clue trap Monday-it took two glue traps next to each other  to catch the mouse.   The Panda Bear thinks the mouse came in by a back screen door-this is where she can tell there has been mouse activity).
However, this morning the Panda Bear had to use the computer to communicate with some people.   The computer is taking the place of the telephone for the Panda Bear.   She talked on the telephone to a friend who was very sick with cancer and was worried about death.   She purchased two books online(note time off for workders can be good for a consumer based economy).   It is 2:45 PM and she is just getting to writing her post.  

When the Panda Bear's mouth began swell up on Monday, she saw a Physician Assistant(PA) in Urgent Care who gave her a prescription for an antibiotic.  He did something even more remarkable and amazing than that-he(without her asking about it) advised her not to go back to work that day and gave her a sick note to take back to work explaining she was advised to take the day off.   Most Medical Doctors(MDs) the Panda Bear has dealt with make it fairly obvious that they don't like writing sick/well notes for employers and don't seem to understand the need for them.    The Panda Bear thinks the PA more understood the need for a sick note because he himself is an employee while many physicians and dentists are self-employed or on a totally different type of employment arrangement from most workers.

One of the main theses behind the Panda Bear Blog is that there is a major disconnect between physicians, employers and employees regarding health matters.  Physicians are poorly acquainted with the rules and stresses of employment and often employment policies work against average people getting the best healthcare.

The Panda's Bear's present employer combines sick and vacation time.   The Panda Bear likes this over having separate sick time.   She thinks today she is in some grey area of being sick and well.   She tends to think that most physicians and dentists would not say she is sick enough to stay home from work yet the Panda Bear does not feel great.   Under some sick policies if she took time off it would be a "vacation" day.   The Panda Bear has found it frustrating (though she is not glad she does not have major illnesses) when she has had separate "sick" time that her health problems weren't considered severe enough to qualify for sick time.

In a previous post the Panda Bear said she was going to see a work career coach through her employer.   Well it took two months but she has an appointment with the counselor on October 13.   To see a career coach, the Panda Bear had to complete an application and get a reference from her manager.  In addition, before the session she needs to complete a questionnaire defining her goals.  

The career coaching is for entry to mid-level personnel.  While the Panda Bear is not an entry level worker she is not part of the corrupt oligarchy that only seems to care about their own members.   However, the impression of the Panda Bear is that she is probably one of the more advanced clients of the coach.

As stated in previous posts, the Panda Bear career has been stalled.   She has been doing the same thing for about sixteen years and has advanced herself by switching organizations.    While she is good at her job and considered to be smart, whenever she asks about a promotion(which would be going from a mid-mid level position to an upper-mid level position) her superiors will look at her as though she is absolutely crazy.   The Panda Bear has at times received increases of responsibility that have not lead to promotion.   The Panda Bear has come to feel that the rewards of the paid work place should be tangible( raise, bonus, merit award, better working conditions, title change).

According to the SecondAct, there are some hot career opportunities in Information Technology for workers over 40.   The Panda Bear had previously tried to break into IT and was not successful.   She has several programming certificates with an A+ average.   She has found employers don't want to train people at all(in all of the Panda Bear's jobs from 1993 on she was an up and running quick employee).   In the 1990s, the Panda Bear thought employers were able to bring trained workers from abroad rather than hire Americans.  After 2001, the Panda Bear has heard that many American companies have their programming work done abroad where they can pay their workers less.   The Panda Bear does not want on extra work if it is not going to lead to some kind of advancement;she would rather have fun.

SecondAct, also states there is a need for customer service representatives.  The Panda Bear wonders where SecondAct got their information.   All the customer service jobs and help desk jobs now seem to be handled overseas where often the person you are spreaking to is hard to understand.

What can be done to get American companies to hire Americans?    The Panda Bear does not like senseless nationalism but the Panda Bear thinks there something unpatriotic about American comapnies hirng foreign workers rather than Americans.   Should the brightest and best be America's own citizens?

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Panda Bear on Dental Abscesses, Political Protest, and her War On Mice And Clutter(WOMAC)

The Panda Bear had intended to write about the plight of the unemployed, the nature of the US presidency and the need for political protest.   However, some personal crises came up that have preoccupied the Panda Bear.

However, the Panda Bear will say something about legal, peaceful protests.   Growing up, the Panda Bear growing up learning an old Union song,   There was song which had a verse went something like this:

Freedom don't come on a bird wing
Freedom is a hard one thing
You have to work for it, fight for it, day and night for it again
And Every Generation has to win it all over

The Panda Bear things now may be a time for this generation to rise up and demand freedom and fairness.   The Panda Bear remembers the end of the revolts of the nineteen sixties; many rights and freedoms people now take for granted(i.e. US withdrawal from Vietnam, End of the Draft, Women's Rights, Civil Rights, some Workers Rights) were gotten as a result of political protest.  Many people with wealth and power don't voluntarily give up their privileges.    The Panda Bear remembers having to wear dresses to school in the winter where it is very cold up until the fifth grade.   What made her elementary school change(it went up to the eighth grade), was all the eighth grade girls one day all wore pants.  The school changed the rules requiring girls to wear dresses.   Now most women were pants in the winter in the cold USA of the Northeast.

The Panda Bear has a dental abscess..   The Panda Bear had taken last Thursday and Friday off for personal reasons.   She felt a little tired and at times felt nauseous but did not think anything of it.  On Saturday, her tooth started to hurt.   She was able to see a dentist who told her it was it was probably food caught in her teeth.   Today(Monday) she noticed that her face had gotten swollen.   She went to work but left to see seek health treatment first from a Physician Assistant who prescribed her an antibiotic and then saw her dentist who started a root canal.  

The Panda Bear is feeling better but not perfect.    However, the Panda Bear wanted to note if something like this happened in her previous job(which ironically was a physician organization) she could lose pay for calling in sick after taking vacation time and/or weekend.   The Panda Bear feels that company sick policies should be a target for health care reform.   Sometimes they can deter workers from getting immediate medical care which would be of advantage to the employee, the health insurer, and the company(though many companies don't seem to realize this advantage). In the long run it would save time by treating medical problems early before they become more serious.   The Panda Bear often feels that people call in sick after holidays and/or weekends because they can't get medical care during that time not just that they want to extend their time off.

The other personal problem the Panda Bear has had recently was that she saw a mouse in her apartment.   The Panda Bear has been fortunate that for the eleven years she has lived in her apartment she has not seen a mouse.   For the past couple of weeks, she suspected that she saw a mouse.   Yesterday, she set-up some snap traps.   She has used glue traps before but thought it was cruel that the mouse did not die right away.

However, this morning the Panda Bear saw the mouse.  It looked like a house mouse.   Field mice can look kind of clean and cute but this mouse looked dirty and nasty.   The Panda Bear read about house mice and how they can nest in people's homes.   Once she read that they can nest in people's homes, the Panda Bear announced to Mr. Panda the new War On Mice And Clutter(WOMAC).  

The snaps traps did not catch the mice so the Panda Bear started using the "enhanced" mouse catching techniques such as glue traps.  The mouse is a trespasser.  If the mouse is too stupid to go into a snap trap for a quick death, the Panda Bear feels she has no choice to use a glue traps.  She has put about 24 glue traps near where she thinks the mouse is along with the four snap traps already out.   She puts the traps in groups of two because sometimes she has heard the mouse can jump over one trap.   The Panda Bear's mother-in-law- sometimes catches the mouse by barricading it so the mouse has no choice but to go over the glue trap.   The Panda Bear has fought sucessfully an infestation of the pantry moths by throwing out infested products, storing grain products in glass containers and using glue traps.

Furthermore, the Panda Bear has order Mr. Panda to get rid of his extra clutter arguing that mice like cluttered environments.   Mr. Panda has improved over the course of the marriage in his ability to throw things out but he still keeps alot of old newspapers, boxes and clothes which she feels attract mice.    The Panda Bear also needs to learn to keep her stuff off the floor so the mice don't have places to hide.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Panda Bear on Pandas on the Internet and Food Advertising

Instead of doing housework the Panda Bear is sitting at her computer writing her blog.   The Panda Bear would rather do almost anything rather than clean-see the post The Panda Bear on Housecleaning.

The human Panda Bear did not get to be an Internet TV.   In the future, she will not announce outside projects until after they take place   She now realizes the media can be tough. She apologizes if she inconvenienced any of her readers; she knows how valuable everyone's time is.  Once at work  the Panda Bear was on the telephone with someone from a foreign country.   This person at the end thanked the Panda Bear for her "valued time".   The Panda Bear was very impressed with this thought and wishes more people would be considerate of people's limited time.

However, there are plenty of opportunities to see Panda Bears on the web.  The Panda Bear found this website which has the different web cams of the zoos which have Panda Bears.  The Panda Bear likes the web cams of the San Diego Zoo and the Atlanta Zoo.    The Pandas are so cute!!! They love to eat their vegetables.   In fact, Panda Bears have a much better approach to birthday cakes then humans.   Both the San Diego Zoo and the Atlanta Zoo have videos of Pandas and their birthday cakes.  For their birthday, the Panda Bears will get an ice cake with bamboo shoots and other fruits and vegetables.  The Pandas will eat the fruit and vegetables and instead of eating the cake they will play with their cake.  Just think how much healthier human beings would be if on their birthday they would celebrate by eating fruits and vegetables and using their cake to get exercise!!!

The Panda Bear was reading a book review about the book The Way of the Panda: The Curious History of China's Political Animal.   The book deals with the Wests fascination with the Panda Bear.   There is some speculation the that Westerners like Pandas because they seem a little human like and they have a reputation for gentleness.   The Panda Bear agrees from what she has read about the Panda Bears and seen on the zoo web cameras that they seem for wild animals to be gentle creatures .They were once caniverous but now mostly like to eat plants.   They seem to like to hang out in the forest  eating bamboo.  Furthermore,  they have a short mating season(in other words these are not oversexed animals).

Therefore it bothers the Panda Bear when she goes to the grocery store she sees cereal bars being advertised by using the Panda Bears out from the movie Kung Fu Panda.  These Pandas Bears look mean and tough.   She feels it distorts the true nature of the gentle seeming Panda Bears.   The Panda Bear wonders if Kung Fu Panda shows that we as a culture devalue gentleness(we want our Pandas tough not gentle).

The Kung Fu Panda on food packages in not the only image that the Panda Bear sees on food packages that bother her.   There is a local store that carries alot of products aimed at the Russian  immigrant community where there is a lot of food labels in Russian.  Often the food products have pictures of former Tsars such as Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Elisabeth and the son of the last Tsar,  Alexis.   These images the Panda Bear can kind of understand(the old Tsars-Russian in its old glory days-Alexis died too young to have any impact on Russia).   However, the Panda Bear is amazed to see food products with the picture of the last Tsar-Nicholas II.   The Panda Bear does not like the last Tsar of Russia because she thinks he was a despot and he was behind many of the programs against the Jews of  Russia.   However, even if one was pro-Tsar wouldn't one see Nicholas II as the Tsar who lost it for the monarchy and brought on the communists?  It is hard for the Panda Bear to imagine anyone liking him.

The Panda Bear is also surprised that in these politically correct times there are still on packages only African American Aunt Jemima's., Uncle Ben's and African American cooks on the Cream of Wheat and Cream of Rice cereal boxes.   The Panda Bear feels to be politically correct these boxes either should either have no human image or the images should be multiracial(i.e a white Aunt Jemima, a Asian Aunt Jemima, a Hispanic Aunt Jemima).   The Panda Bear believes the idea behind these pictures is skilled black domestic help waiting on white people.   When she was a child, the Panda Bear remembers alot of anger about images of black servants(the Panda Bear remembers her mother taking away some paper dolls who were dolls black servants of a white nineteenth century family on the grounds of its being racist).   To the Panda Bear it is surprising that black Aunt Jemima,  Uncle Ben and the African American chief of the Cream of Wheat/Rice package have survived into the twenty-first century. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Panda Bear on TV, Modesty, and Being Busy

The Panda Bear is always surprised about how much time working people seem to spend on television.   She would not think they had the time to watch so much television.   The only time the Panda Bear watches television is on Friday night.

That said the Panda Bear(the human one) will be on Internet TV Friday September 23rd at 9:00 pm EST.   She will be on on the show Mind, Body and Soul. 

She invites her readers to see her on the show.   This week the Panda Bear was feeling envious of some other people's career success.   In a later post, the Panda Bear will discuss how stupid it can be to be envious of others.   However, one of the ways the Panda consoled herself was asking herself can any of these people that the Panda Bear envies write the Panda Bear Blog with subscribers in the US, UK, Germany and Switzerland and viewers all over the world?  She thinks in all honesty the answer is no.

The Panda Bear is normally sweet, modest and unassuming person.   She believes that a person's good qualities should speak for themselves and it is rude to flaunt one's success.   However, in blogging as in other endeavors such a marketing and political campaigns to be successful one has to create a "social profile" and make an effort to seem entrenched, popular, wealthy and sucessful.   Especially in political campaigns, the Panda Bear has heard that political insiders want to pick the "winning" candidate so many campaign managers will try to convince people that their candidate is the bandwagon and that people should join  the bandwagon.   In the book  Inside WikiLeaks My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman for Wiki Leaks, claims that Julian Assange tried to make the press think that Wikileaks was a much bigger organization than it was (see Panda Bear's book review).  The successes of many brash and egotistical people is what gives rise to the saying "modesty is a virtue one goes further without".

On a personal level, the Panda Bear has learned that though these are not her values some people like people that have a "designer" label to them.  To these people the Panda Bear has learned to unobtrusively, truthfully and quietly to notify them of her "designer" and "name brand" activites.   Also when the Panda Bear feels that she has been unfairly put down or belittled she has learned to sweetly and factually show the offending party how wrong they are(this incidentally is very effective).  The Panda Bear thinks women many have a harder time stating their accomplishments then men; women more than men  have been taught not to brag.

My where has the time gone?   The Panda Bear was hoping to do several posts today, clean the house and relax.  She will be lucky if she does half of it.   She is also tired and needs to rest.  The Panda Bear wonders-why are we all so busy nowadays?

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Panda Bear on Hiring Americans

The Panda Bear no longer knows whether she is an economic liberal or conservative.   She thinks the government does have a role in helping the unemployed and people in need but she is against the government directly helping business.   A lot of the original economic stimulus package the Panda Bear believes was a political pay off to local politicians and the unions.  

However, the Panda Bear thinks the private sector on its own will not create the needed jobs for the United States.   September 11th changed some of this but the Panda Bear remembers that whenever there was a supposed shortage of workers,  US industry would be able to get visas for foreign workers.   Some of these positions were for jobs that the Panda Bear thought many Americans would want such as engineers, nurses, physicians and computer scientists.   If Americans did not want these jobs, the Panda Bear thought it was because these organizations did not treat their workers the well.  The Panda Bear thought there was some decision was made that it was cheaper to get foreign workers than train Americans for these jobs.

Since September 11, the US has become less open to admitting foreign workers to he US.  However, now many jobs are now shipped overseas.   Many administrative and technical positions once held by Americans are now done by office workers in Asia.

The Panda Bear thinks the US government should be doing more in protecting jobs for Americans.  However, right now both political parties seems to be under the control of big business.    She things US citizens need to put more pressure on both the government and industry to hire American workers in American companies.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Panda Bear on Father Panda Bear, Roosevelt, and Obama

The Panda Bear's father(Father Panda)  who is 89 years old was sick and in the hospital this week and now has gone to the rehab for physical therapy.   Therefore, the Panda Bear was unable to do a post on Thursday/Friday.

However, in the hosptial Father Panda Bear said Obama was no Franklin Roosevelt.   Father Panda said his father worked on roads as part of the WPA(the Panda is to busy right now too look at what it stands for but it was greated by the Roosevelt adminstration to provide jobs for the unemployed).  When World War Two began, Father Panda's father was able to get a regular job in the factories which got busy supporting the war effort.

When the Panda Bear was laid off in the early nineties and was unemployed for about a year during the first Bush adminstration, many older people told her how much Franklin Rooselvelt did to help the unemployed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Panda Bear on September 11

The Panda Bear wishes to express her deep sympathy to the families of the victims of September 11.   In respect to the families of the September 11 victims the Panda Bear will keep her post about it very short and serious.   The Panda Bear did not loose anyone on September 11 but she did know people in New York City at the time and knows from them how upsetting the experience was for them.
During September 11, the Panda Bear was working near downtown Boston where the were concerns that Boston might be attacked and she saw the enhanced security around the city and she herself felt nervous that Boston might be attacked.

Before September 11, most Americans did not know what it was like to experience a direct attack.   As readers of the Panda Bear Blog may know that the Panda Bear's mother(Mother Panda) lived through the Japanese invasion of the Philippines,    Where the Panda Bear grew up, many of the parents of the children she knew had experienced WWII in countries such as England, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, China and Japan where the parents had experienced their countries being at war and the country had been directly .   Before September 11, the Panda Bear had not realized how difficult, frighting and infuriating war can be.

The Panda Bear would like to express her thanks and appreciation to the English who withstood major bombings during WWII which she thinks some of her fellow Americans don't fully appreciate.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Panda Bear on the Abuse of the Word Nazi

The political rhetoric in the United States has gotten emotional, nasty and cruel.   The Panda Bear thought this extreme rhetoric started from the right but currently the Panda Bear thinks its coming from all sides of the political spectrum.   What she finds most disagreeable is how both the right and left are just throw the term "Nazi" around to describe a political opponent.   The Panda Bear would like to start a movement to keep the term Nazi to refer to the Nazi party of Germany.  

As readers of the Panda Bear Blog may know, that the Panda Bear's mother(Mother Panda) grew up in Germany in a city called Breslau now called Wrocław which became part of Poland after WWII.    Mother Panda lived under the Nazis from 1932-1938.  When the Panda Bear was growing up, Mother Panda always complained about jokes about the Nazis.   To her the Nazis weren't funny-they were people that wanted to kill her and did kill members of her family who stayed in Germany.  Mother Panda knew of both Jews and non Jews who opposed Nazism who were killed just after Hitler after Hitler took power by the Nazis.  Though, it is a flawed source, the Panda Bear was reading in Wikipedia, that Breslau was a section of Germany that supported Hitler from the beginning.     Panda Mother says she remembers many people seemed to embrace Nazism without any outside pressure to do so.   Growing up, in this kind environment my mother's family had to pay close attention to the political term "Nazi" and what this means in terms for her and her family's safety.

In Merriam Webster's Dictionary , one definition of Nazi is an overbearing person.   The Nazis were more than domineering people-they were cold blooded killers who murdered many people in Europe.
Here is a link to Wikipedia's explanation of the term Nazism and what it means.  Neither George Bush or Barack Obama are Nazis under this definition even though their opponents call them by that name.  In fact Obama would not even be eligible to be a member of the Nazi party since he is part Black and the Nazis believed in white supremacy.

The Panda Bear in future blog posts will describe what she believes the improper use of the word "Nazi" and how she feels it is diluting and misrepresentating what the GermanNazis truly believed and did.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Panda Bear on Labor Day and her Blog Readership

Because of Labor day, the Panda Bear will be posting on Tuesday and Friday of this week.
Last weekend in the US was Labor Day weekend, which some consider to be the last weekend of the summer and students return to school. Most businesses were closed September 5. However, here in New England the weather can stay summer-like through September.  

The Panda Bear's US readers may be wondering why the Panda Bear needs to explain Labor Day.   However, the Panda Bear Blog has an international readership.   Google providers several ways of tracking blog readership.  As to be expected, the number one country for the number of viewers for the Panda Bear Blog is the United States.   However, much to the surprise and pleasure of the Panda Bear Blog, the number two country of  Panda Bear Blog readers is-drum roll please-is Germany.  In fact last week, there were more German viewers than US viewers of the Panda Bear Blog.   The Panda Bear is very surprised the Germany is the number two country of blog readers because it is not an country that speaks English as its first language.   Great Britain ranks as the number third country of Panda Bear Blog readers.  The Panda Bear would have thought Canada would be in the number two spot of blog readers since it is near the US.   The Panda Bear Blog also appears to have some regular readers in Brazil which is also not an English as first language country,

The Panda Bear wishes to take advantage of Labor Day to thank and express her sincere appreciation for the common working person and all that he and she does for everyone(Actually, the Panda Bear considers herself to be a common working person).    The Panda Bear knows of many people where it just their having a good work ethic that stops them from going on public assistance;they don't materially benefit from working.   The Panda Bear also knows of many people who work hard at their jobs despite difficult working conditions.  The Panda Bear thinks it is simply these people's having a good work ethic that makes these people persevere and excel in the jobs they do.  These people aren't being rewarded for their supreme efforts financially-they could probably get away with doing less.

More should be done by companies and society in general to show they appreciate the hard work of average people.   What strikes the Panda Bear as being extremely unfair is that it is easier for people on public assistance to go on vacation than working people.   Working people even if they have "vacation" time have to spend much of it doing chores after work which is not a problem for people who don't work.

The Panda Bear proposes that the new work incentive should be that very well earned leisure and deserved leisure.   Perhaps people who work would not have as MUCH leisure as those that don't but they could have a high quality leisure.    The Panda Bear supports much of the effort of Take Back Your Time whose goal is to increase the amount of leisure time in the US/Canada.

Finally, in closing, the Panda Bear would like to share some songs Labor Day songs that were collected by Peter Rothberg of the Nation magazine.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Panda Bear on Preventative Measures

Life has returned pretty much back to normal after the hurricane scare in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The Panda Bear and her husband still have to take down the masking tape from their windows. The few people who don't have electricity are shortly expecting to have their power back.

However, on the radio in Boston many talk show hosts were making fun of the intense publicity surrounding the hurricanes and stating that it was politically motivated. Granted hurricanes hardly ever make it to Boston area and the Panda Bear has lived through several false hurricane alarms. However, the Panda Bear believes that it is better for government officials to err on the side of caution. To the people who lost the electricity everywhere as a result of the storm and to the people in New Jersey and Vermont where the flooding was heavy the tropical storm Irene was a crisis.

Many times steps are taken as a precautionary measure even if the chance of something actually happening are relatively small. The Panda Bear has lived and worked in buildings where the fire alarm would go off for trivial reasons a few times of month during certain time periods. It would get to the point where the Panda Bear would be tempted to ignore these fire alarms. When this happened the Panda Bear would tell herself that the one time she ignored the fire alarm would be the time the building would burn down.

Cancer screenings are another example of precautionary measures. Women are advised to routinely have to have pap smears and after a certain age mammograms. There is a certain level of anxiety that is involved with these tests. There have been other times the Panda Bear has had have to have additional examinations and procedures done to make sure that whatever was wrong with the Panda Bear was not cancer(even though she was told the possibility of its being cancer was low).

These tests can be frustrating and stressful even though the Panda Bear is very glad that they are around and available to people. (Incidentally, the Panda Bear believes that African Americans still don't have the same access to health care access to health care as Caucasians. The Panda Bear knows of a few African Americans who were at a risk for cancer who did not get offered these extra tests that the Panda Bear who is Caucasian got offered and who was at a lower risk for cancer than these African Americans.).

The most annoying of these tests is the colonoscopy. As readers of the Panda Bear Blog may know the Panda Bear recently had a colonoscopy. The test itself is not bad but the prep is difficult. The Panda Bear had her first colonoscopy May of 2011. It could not be completed because the prep did not work. Therefore the Panda Bear had to have a second colonoscopy done which was done in August which had a more extensive preparation. For this preparation, the Panda Bear had to be both on a liquid diet for two days and take laxatives during those two days. On the second day of the liquid diet and taking this awful tasting laxative the Panda Bear was feeling that medical treatment had not made any progress from the Medieval times when they did purges and did amputations without anesthesia(Seriously, probably some cancer patients feel that their medical treatment is in some ways quite inhumane even if done in the modern medically correct manner).

Fortunately, the colonoscopy turned out well and and the best part is that the Panda Bear won't have to have another one for ten years. She even lost some weight that she wanted to loose. She thinks the weight loss from the gas they put in during the procedure which caused the Panda Bear to loose her appetite for a while.
This routine cancer preventions tests have caused the Panda Bear to take about five days sick leave. Fortunately, the Panda Bear does have work time to do this(in part because she never goes anywhere or does anything exciting).

The point is is the prevention can be an effort and perhaps is not always necessary in hindsight . However, the Panda Bear knows several people who died of colon and cervical cancer who had access to cancer screening but for what ever reason did not feel it was necessary to have them. Probably these some of these people and their families regret these people not taking these tests. The Panda Bear used to work in the insurance industry where there was a saying that insurance is a waste of money until you need it.

The nature of preventative measures is that one can't always judge ahead if they are needed. Often they may be a waste of time. However, if on the small chance something does happen one is glad to have done them.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Panda Bear on Hurricane Irene

The Panda Bear and Mr. Panda have been preoccupied from Wednesday till today with Hurricane Irene.  Hurricanes hardly every reach the area where the Panda Bear and Mr, Panda live.  The Panda Bear thinks since Katrina, officials have felt they would rather err on the side of over prediction rather than under react to storms.

Mr. Panda got very worried where he heard about Hurricane Irene.  He always worries about things.  The last thing he worried about was the US defaulting on the debt.    The Panda Bear and her co-workers paid more attention to Hurricane Irene when the Governor of Massachusetts declared a state of Emergency in Massachusetts.   They wondered if they would have work that Monday.   The Panda Bear felt distracted at work all Friday from thinking about the hurricane.

Saturday the Panda Bear and her husband planned to do grocery shopping and clothes washing before the storm(they were afraid of a black out).  However, the Panda Bear made Mr. Panda do some additional errands which he felt could wait because of the Hurricane and the State of Emergency declared in Massachusetts.   The Panda Bear feels that Mr. Panda never feels it is a good time to do certain tasks so she made him to them anyway.

Saturday night Mr. Panda tapped the windows.   The Panda Bear and Mr. Panda were one of the few residents who tapped windows in their neighborhood.   They also bought bottled water and checked their flashlights.

The storm came Sunday.  It was very windy.   A lot of tree branches fell.   The Panda Bear and her husband stayed inside.   As some her blog readers know from previous posts, the Panda Bear hates housework.   However, the Panda Bear tried to apply some precepts of positive thinking and got some housework done without kicking and screaming.  The Panda Bear is currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and now the Panda Bear can pride herself on not exploiting any household help.

The Panda Bear and Mr. Panda lost their electricity for six hours.   What made it hard is that they did not know how long it would be out.  Mr. Panda had a radio that you could crank up to power it and the Panda Bear was listening for information on when the power would be restored.    The Panda Bear was worried that they would have to throw out all their food from their refrigerator.    It amuses the Panda Bear that she heard what several men minded most about the blackout is that they could not get hot food.

When she got to work, the Panda Bear heard of several people who still had no electricity.  For one person, not having electricity meant they had no water for toilets since they got their water from a well that depended on electricity to function.   This person's electricity may not got restored for a while since she lives in a rural area.   The Panda Bear truly feels that this person and her family has suffered some hardship from the storm.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Panda Bear on Mindfulness and Bully Proofing

The Panda Bear wants to let her readers know that her Internet TV appearance on August 26 has to be rescheduled.   She will not be on August 26.    She will let her readers know when she will be on closer to her her new date.

It is getting to be towards the end of summer hear in Boston, Massachusetts.   Even though the weather is still nice here some people at work were saying they were getting sad because the days are getting shorter and cooler reminding people that winter was coming.   The Panda Bear thought here was an example of where it was beneficial to practice mindfulness(being focused on the present moment rather than the past or future).   It really extends the winter to worry about  winters past and future when the summer is still here.  Simply enjoy the summer while it is hear.  The concept of mindfulness is central to many relaxation/mind/body practices.   This article is very good on showing the positive benefits of living in the moment on a very practical day to day level.     This website  has  a more in depth approach to the concept of mind fullness(which is helpful even though some of the information is local to Boston, MA).

The Panda Bear could have used the practice of mind fullness when she was younger.   She was upset about being bullied as a child long after stopped.   The last peer episode of being bulled happened when the Panda Bear was fifteen yet the Panda Bear worried fairly intensively about being bullied until she was about thirty even though it was not a present reality.   

In a previous post, the Panda Bear said in her adult life she found two people who transferred out her elementary school because of problems being bullied.   She has through Facebook has come into contact with another elementary school classmate who remembers some very cruel things going on in elementary the school.   FYI, the elementary school the Panda Bear went to was considered to be a very good public school.    However, it becomes more and more apparent to Panda Bear that adults knew the bullying was going on but did nothing to stop it.
In Massachusetts, where the Panda Bear grew up, there now have been laws made requiring schools to come up with anti-bullying programs so school bullying is being discussed alot.   However, the Panda Bear recently read a publication from the Massachusetts town where she grew up about a course given to children from seven to ten on "bully proofing" themselves so they won't get bullied.     The problem is that small  children really have very little control of their lives.    One friend who was bullied said children made fun of her for the clothes she wore that her parents picked out for her.  The Panda Bear feels that there is probably very little children who are bullied can do to protect themselves without adult support.   

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Panda Bear on her Family and Modern Stress Management

In previous posts, the Panda Bear dates that she likes the work of older authors who write about "nervous" conditions as opposed to using newer the term "anxiety".  However, the Panda Bear does not want her readers to think that she lives in the past.  She wants to share with her readers two web sites that she has found helpful in dealing with stress management and learning different relaxation techniques.  One is  Search the site for relaxation techniques and stress management tips.  They have some very good articles.   Another good site in learning about different kinds of relaxation techniques is   The Panda Bear has found this site very helpful.

The Panda Bear will discuss in later posts how she been able to use different relaxation techniques.   However, the Panda Bear wishes to tell her readers that if they wish to see and hear the Panda Bear she will be on the Internet show, Mind, Body, and Soul on this network at 9:30 pm Eastern Standard Time on August 26, 2011.  When the Panda Bear told a friend that she would be on Internet TV, the friend said it was amazing that the new technology let every one's voices be heard.   Indeed the Panda Bear has heard on NPR that many of the designers of the Internet were nineteen sixties activists who wanted to let the the common person be heard.  The Panda Bear is the voice of a certain type of every person.

The Panda Bear's family was very excited when they heard she would be on Internet TV.   The Panda Bear has a very small immediate family.  There is Mr. Panda, the Panda Bear's husband, Mother Panda, the Panda Bear's mother and Father Panda, the Panda Bear's father.   The Panda Bear is an only child and has no children.   Her family are quiet and reserved people.   Theyfeel the Panda Bear Blog is their chance of fame.  Mr. Panda will walk around the apartment saying "I am Mr. Panda."

Both the Panda Bear's parents are in their eighties.   Father Panda is the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants who came here after the First World War.   He grew up in the Detroit Michigan area and can very clearly remember the Great  Depression.  As stated in a previous post, Father Panda was a big fan of Franklin Roosevelt and the Panda Bear thinks if he were running for office today, Father Panda would be voting for him.   Father Panda has a PhD. in science.

Mother Panda was born in Breslau Germany which is now part of Poland.   Her family had to flee the Nazis in 1938.   Her family scattered all over the word.  Panda Mother and her parents went to the Philippines; it was one of the few countries that let the German Jews in at that point in time.  Panda Mother and her parents lived through the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines.   The Japanese were not bad to the German Jewish Community.  In fact, Panda mother says she saw her family's name on a list that Germans give the Japanese to have killed because they were Jews.  However, the Japanese ignored this request of the Germans.  Mother Panda's mother died just after the Americans came liberated the Philippines.  Mother Panda and her father came to the US after the World War II ended.

The Panda Bear's parents must trust the Panda Bear.  The Panda Bear told them that some parents get hurt by what children say about them in blogs..   However, the Panda Bear thinks that her parents see this blog as being a way for them to obtain immortality.   Perhaps the Panda Bear can get them to some guests posts about their experiences growing up.    In particular, Mother Panda has become more open about her experiences with the Nazis growing up as a child.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Panda Bear on Obama, Bush, and Lincoln

The Panda Bear finished reading Decision Points by George Bush.   On the whole the Panda Bear enjoyed reading it though the Panda Bear has many disagreements with Bush's policy.   However, what she found interesting is that George Bush and Barack Obama have one major thing in common; they admire Abraham Lincoln and want model their presidency on Lincoln's presidency.

The Panda Bear had heard previously that Obama liked to compare himself to Lincoln and find similarities in their  political work history before they became president.    She heard that Obama had read Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln By Doris Kearns Goodwin and it influenced Obama's cabinet picks in the White House. The book may have influenced in Obama choosing Hillary Clinton for his  Secretary of State.   Lincoln added some of his opponents to his presidency to his cabinet.

While Obama may have run on the campaign of change, the president whose policies he wanted to reverse, George Bush, was also a deep admirer of Abraham Lincoln.  George Bush states that while he was president he read thirteen books on Abraham Lincoln's presidency. 

Perhaps Bush and Obama admired different aspects of the Lincoln presidency.  Bush states that he admired Lincoln as a war president.   Bush tried to emulate Lincoln's visiting the troops and writing condolence letters to the families of fallen soldiers.   The Panda Bear suspects what Obama admires about the Lincoln presidency is his freeing of the slaves and trying to get people of different points of view to work together.

However, that Bush and Obama tried to emulate the same president shows how complex the lessons of history are.   It shows how people can get the same information and come up with quiet different perspectives.   It is the Panda Bear's belief that it is very hard for people to find the objective truth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Panda Bear on Pandas and Anxiety

The Panda Bear apologizes to her readers.   She has not been able to keep with her blog posting schedule of Mondays and Thursdays.   She hopes to make her next posting on Friday.   The Panda Bear still plans on posting twice a week.  However, dear readers, please keep in mind that the Panda Bear is an average person who has to work and has many other commitments.

The human Panda Bear has done some research on the real Panda Bears.   Here is a link to the Panda Bear camera at the San Diego Zoo.   The real Pandas are so cute!!! They have unique personalities and they like eating bamboo shoots.   These gentle, harmless creatures are an endangered species because the forests where they live are being cut down(In Boston, we are having the problem that all these wild animals are coming into the city-all the forests are being cut down-there is no place for them to go).   The human Panda Bear has resolved that it is one of the goals of this blog will be to help her namesake, the Panda Bears.

The Panda Bear has been named an "anxiety" expert on  However, since the Panda Bear is an non expert expert(in other words she has experienced anxiety but is not a mental health clinician) she will not use the term anxiety on this blog.   She feels the word does not convey what an ordinary person feels.   For the duration of the blog, instead of using the word "anxiety" she will use the words "nervousness", "timid", "fearful", "high strung" and "on edge.".

Many psychologists and other mental health clinicians have told they use clinical terms in part to get payments from the government and insurance agencies while they may not describe the actual. feelings involved   As in political terminology, the mental clinical terms are often at variance with they way words on used in common speech.   For example the term "depression" to a mental health professional describes a very specific set of symptoms while in common usage it can mean sad or blue.   The Panda Bear is committed to use technical terms the correct way.   Henceforth, the Panda Bear will describe feelings in the way a person experiences them rather than in misusing clinical terms..

As readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, the Panda Bear likes old books.   Recently, the Panda Bear was reading some posts and how it was a good idea to have time disconnected from technology(the Panda Bear dislikes the term "unplugged" because she does not like comparing humans to machines).   However, people in the nineteenth century found in hard to get away from technology.   Here is a passage from one of the Panda Bear's favorite books on stress was written in 1881 called American nervousness : its causes and consequences, a supplement to Nervous exhaustion (neurasthenia) (1881) written by neurologist called George Beard showing how clocks and watches made people of the time feel constantly on the edge.  Here is the quote:

perfection of clocks and the invention of
have something to do with modern ner- 
since they compel us to be on time, and
the habit of looking to see the exact moment,
in time,
as not to be late for trains or appointments.Before the general use of these instmments of precision there was a wider margin for all
prepared the
steamers or the needed
of a
; a longer period was required and for, especially in travelling coaches ofolden period were not expected to start like trains, on the instant men judged oftime by probabilities, by looking at the sun, an dnot, as a rule, to be nervous about the loss moment, and had incomparably fewer experiences a delay of a few moments might destroy the hopes of a lifetime. A nervous man cannot take out his watch and look at it when the of time for an appointment or train is near, without affecting his pulse, and the effect on that pulse, if we could but measure and weigh it, would be
sleeping where as well as in waking hours, to get somewhere do something at some definate moment.

to be correlated to a loss to the nervous Punctuality is a greater thief of nervous than is procrastination of time. We are under strain, mostly unconscious, oftentimes iufll