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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Panda Bear on Popular Music

The Panda Bear is recovering from a colonscopy/   The procedure went well and the Panda Bear won't need one for another ten years.   However, it makes the Panda Bear like she is aging because it was a routine screening for people over fifty.

Another thing that makes Panda Bear feel old is popular/rock music.  Now the Panda Bear is not a high music person.   She enjoys rock/popular music that was written before 1995.  (Now the Panda Bear likes Jazz, Blue Grass and Classical).   However, the popular/rock music written afterwards does not appeal to her at all.

The Panda Bear has two theories for her change in taste in music.   The one she would like to believe is that  popular/rock music got worse after 1995.   However, the major rreason for the change is that the Panda Bear believes that a lot of popular culture is aimed at young people.    After people hit a certain age it stops appealing to many people.   However, people keep a sentimental attachment to the music one liked when one is young..   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Panda Bear on Ayn Rand, Career Coaching and LinkedIn

When people ask the Panda Bear the purpose of her blog, she says she seeks to be the voice of a certain type of intelligent average person who is muddling through life.  

As the readers of the Panda Bear Blog know the Panda Bear daytime career is stalled.  She has been in her present position for six years with no indication that she is promotable from the organization despite getting some excellent performance reviews.   She has held a similar kind of position in other organizations for ten years.  Her day job is an administrative position for a large Boston nonprofit organization.

 Recently,  she found out that the organization she worked for has a career coach(after working there for six years).   This morning she had a phone interview with the career coach.   The career coach said the Panda Bear would have to apply and let her manager know she was interested in career coaching.   The Panda Bear says that her manager already knows she is interested in career development.   In fact the Panda Bear has been quite open with her organization that she thinks there lack being lack of organizational career paths is a problem for the organization especially as it is a large organization has the capacity for a workforce development program. 

The Panda Bear started her work life in a large profit making corporation.  They had corporate career ladder.  While workers, were not guaranteed promotions, a good worker who wanted to move ahead had a fairly good chance of doing so and the company provided some help and gave workers some sense of what they might need to do to get ahead.   The Panda Bear on the whole was happy working for this organization.  She felt her efforts were appreciated in what were very humble positions and she received six promotions in seven years.  The Panda Bear was layed off from this organization.

The Panda Bear misses the lack of organizational career path.   She thinks it is a good thing both for the organization(it keeps skilled talent) and for the worker(the worker can keep senority).  The Panda Bear thinks in a capitalistic society people expect hard work to lead to advancement and will feel frustated if it does not.

Often when the Panda Bear feels overworked/under appreciated she will think of Ayn Rand's philosophy in that she is has some self interested reasons for doing the work that she does. However, the Panda Bear has many misgivings about the philosophy of Ayn Rand.  This link has some interesting discussion about Ayn Rand and her philosophy.   The Panda Bear read both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and she did not like either book.  However the Panda Bear did like the book We the Living which takes place in Russia which is probably part of the reason the Panda Bear liked this book.  

However, some women have taken to Ayn Rand because she is a woman philosopher.  In this respect the Panda Bear has some respect for Ayn Rand and a greater sympathy for her perspective.  According to the link mentioned above Ayn Rand was a great business woman and she was very successful in getting her way on things.   The Panda Bear has often felt that women are expected to put other people's interest ahead of their own and be "nice" and cooperative in a way that is not expected of men.  From this perspective, the Panda Bear have some argreement for Ayn Rand's philosophy in when women work the motivations are purely altruristic and they have the right to expect advancement.

The Panda Bear wishes to end this post on work issues by discussing LinkIn.    When the Panda Bear joined linked in about two years ago she did not find it very useful.  However, within the past two years LinkedIn professional network has vastly expanded and the Panda Bear finds many people in her field now part of LinkedIn.   The Panda Bear now finds it to be a valuable part of her profesional life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Panda Bear on Taking A Creative Break, Career Development and Open Leaks

The Panda Bear will be taking a creative break today.  She is very busy in her day job; the summer is her busy season

As her readers may know from her previous posts, the Panda Bear's day career is stalled.  Yesterday, after working there for six years, she found her company did have career coach(she thinks this information should be more available to its workers).   She will make an appointment with the coasgh.   The Panda Bear has been critical of her organization which is a large one for not offer more career development programs.   She believes this is good for both the organization and the individual worker.   In a capitalistic society, the Panda Bear believes most workers work harder, better and smarter with incentives.  However, the Panda Bear has found it hard to find good career advise in her field.  Her previous recent employers have been small employers(two of them folded into larger organizations) and have been unable/unwilling to give the Panda Bear much career direction despite the Panda Bear getting good job reviews and her considered to be very smart.  

The Panda Bear has just finished reading a series of novels written by journalists about journalism.  This includes The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, and Stieg Larson's Millennium Trilogy.   The Panda Bear shortly will be reading Allen Drury's Capable of Honor.  In a later post, the Panda Bear will be discussing what these novels show about journalism and what they show about people's conception of fiction.   After all, these books are FICTION  about journalism by authors who are journalists.

The Panda Bear has just finished reading  Inside WikiLeaks My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman for Wiki Leaks.  In the book, Daniel Domscheit-Berg claims that he and Julian Assange had a major falling out.  Daniel Domescheit-Berg and some of the early members of theWiki Leaks group have formed another organization called OpenLeaks.  The book Inside WikiLeaks is a fascinating picture of real life hackers(the people behind Wiki and Open Leaks are hackers) and journalists.  Daniel Domescheit-Berg claims to be motivated by idealism and that he tried to prevent innocent people from being hurt by the leaks.    According to the book, Julian Assage who claims to believe in the totally open society ran Wiki Leaks in a closed and secretative fashion.
The Panda Bear feelings about these leak web sites.  She believes probably these sites have done some good.   However, these sites are being run by hackers-peoplewho believe it is their right to intrude on others.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The PB on the Debt Ceiling, Politicians, and the Millennium Series

The Panda Bear is not happy about the way the US Congress threatens to hurt the little person when discussing the US budget and the debt limit ceiling. The Congress is scaring people by threatening not to pay people on social security or in the military who have not personally caused the budget problems. Why shouldn't the first thing not paid if US cannot meet its monetary obligations be Congress's paycheck?   Also the Panda Bear is upset that foreign aid and foreign wars aren't under closer scrutiny by Congress. The US is not now in a position to solve the world’s problems.
The Panda Bear was also upset about the Congressional bailout of the financial industries. Here the leaders of financial institutions that caused the nation's problems were being bailed out by Congress and were being called "indispensible" to the financial management of the US. Some of these people seem to be doing better than ever as the rest of the US suffers. However, the Panda Bear wants to put in a good word for some smaller banks and credit unions. She heard this weekend that they were prepared to cover overdrafts of social security recipients and military personnel if they occurred because the government not issuing these people their expected checks. The Panda Bear thought this was highly commendable and civic minded of some profit making instructions.
Also, the Panda Bear is also upset about her stalled daytime career. She feels the managers of her present job have no intention of promoting her though she has gotten good performance reviews. She feels she may have to look for advancement at another company which she would not mind except that it would mean that she would go down on vacation time. This year for the first time in over fifteen years she will have enough vacation time to take three weeks off-she has not be able to do this for over twelve years. However, if her current employment stalemate continues she feels she will decide that since the bulk of her time is spent working she would be better off in another company and give up her vacation time.
However, the Panda Bear has just got an e-mail stating that she should take a more positive approach to life.   The Panda Bear is glad she has a job and is not actively suffering now when so many people are. She can be proud that she is not part of the ruling elite that seem bent on ruining the US.  She feels by her blog she can contribute a small voice urging people to demand social change and greater accountability of US leadership.
The Panda Bear this weekend finished reading Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest" .   She enjoyed "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" while not feeling crazy about the two sequels. 
Part of the problem was that the Panda Bear kept on hearing the book discussed on various shows on NPR.  She knew too much about the heroine Lisbeth Salander. 
However, many of the NPR commentators kept stating the series contains important messagesfor our times.   The novels are very cynical about the Swedish welfare state. The Panda Bear remembers g taught that Sweden was a model country in having this extensive welfare system. The novels also make Sweden seem very capitalistic while being very cynical about big business.  The Panda Bear is also becoming cynical of big business and big government.
The Panda Bear thinks that part of the Millennium’s series success is that it is easier for Americans to see and discuss problems in Swedish society than in the US,