Bobbing Around

Volume Eleven, Number Four
January, 2012

Bob Rich's (sky blue) rave  other issues

*About Bobbing Around
  guidelines for contributions
  Tar sands oil blocked, by Beth Buczynski
  Maldives to go solar
  More Animal Extinctions? by Jake Richardson
  The age of free solar, by Giles Parkinson
  Good ethics is good business
  Keep Your Brain from Shrinking, by David Gabel
  Enjoy your portable music!
*Deeper issues
  Diagnostic system is disputed
  Breakup: protecting kids
  Stop Smoking
  I want bad things to happen...
  Why can't I let anyone love me?
  I'm a single mom going crazy
  Do you really need new? by Alfredo
*For writers
  Zombies, Vampires and Young Writers, by Karen L. Syed
*What my friends want you to know
  Big solar bootcamp, 11-12 Feb Sydney
  New book on natural disasters
  Second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter
  Invitations from Peter Bright
  New YA mystery; Mary Jean Kelso
  Mom's Story; A Child Learns about MS, by Mary Nickum
  For Adventurous Ice Cream Lovers, by Alina Niemi
  Steam Heat, by John Roseman
  Novel Prevue Book Trailers
*Book review
  No comfort zone, by Marla Handy
*A little fun
  Global Worming, by Jaiia Earthschild
  New Feature: a quiz from Shah N. Khan
  Two poems from Elizabeth Tindle
  The Zamang

New Arrival

   I am delighted to announce the arrival of my grandson Casey, shown here with his Dad Mark and big sister Arianna. Mother Anina ran a conference a week before the birth, so Casey is already a well-educated young man.

   Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.

I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.

"Only a life lived for others is worth living."
Albert Einstein

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."
Dom Heider Camara


Tar sands oil blocked by Beth Buczynski
Maldives to go solar

Tar sands oil blocked
by Beth Buczynski

   For the first time in Canadian history, First Nations, whose territory encompasses the entire coastline of British Columbia, have publicly united to oppose the transport of tar sands crude oil through their land.

   Over 60 nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, which bans tar sands oil pipelines throughout the Fraser River watershed, an area that was never ceded to the Canadian government, and therefore not legally under the government's control.

   "North or south, it makes no difference. First Nations from every corner of BC are saying absolutely no tar sands pipelines or tankers in our territories," said Chief Jackie Thomas of Saik'uz First Nation, a member of the Yinka Dene Alliance. "We have banned oil pipelines and tankers using our laws, and we will defend our decision using all the means at our disposal."

   The First Nations' refusal to allow tar sands oil extraction or transport through their would make it legally impossible for the Canadian government to move forward with many high price oil production projects. Monday's announcement -- on the first anniversary of the Save the Fraser Declaration -- comes in response to recent calls from the Harper government and oil executives to push through pipeline and tanker projects against the wishes of British Columbians and First Nations.

   "The government can talk all it wants about pushing tar sands oil pipelines and tankers through BC. There is no way our Nations will allow it," says Chief Art Adolph representing the St'at'imc Nation. "If they are serious about respecting our rights, the government of Canada must stop pushing the oil companies' line that this is in the public interest, and the government of BC should step up to the plate too and begin protecting our rivers and coastlines from further environmental damages that violate our basic human rights. Especially now, when Canada is a global embarrassment for failing to address climate change and systemically ignoring Indigenous rights."

   The Save The Fraser Declaration prohibits tar sands crude oil tankers in the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon. Until now, the Declaration has been used to fight Enbridge's northern pipeline plans. Now it is being recognized by First Nations as effectively banning tar sands crude oil exports on the whole coast, including the south.

Maldives to go solar

   The Maldives is an island nation, and on very low-lying land. They have more motivation than most for doing something about climate change, and they are doing it. Vice President Dr. Waheed has announced that 60% of their energy will be solar, as part of the drive to being carbon neutral by 2020.

   You can watch an interview with him at Treehugger.


More Animal Extinctions? by Jake Richardson
The age of free solar by Giles Parkinson
Good ethics is good business

More Animal Extinctions Might be Possible
Jake Richardson

   Climate change models currently aren't factoring in important aspects of animal behavior, and therefore could be underestimating its impact on animal extinctions says new research.

   "But in real life, animals move around, they compete, they parasitize each other and they eat each other. The majority of our predictions don't include these important interactions," explained Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut. (Source:

   For example, in a related study scientists found animals they documented were moving at a rate of about eleven miles per decade toward our planet's poles. The reason for their movement toward cooler habitats is warming in the areas they have lived for many years. Climate change is making some places both hotter and drier, leading many animals to move. This particular study found the animals they documented were actually moving away from increasingly hot places three times faster than previously thought. Not all the animals move at the same rate -- one butterfly species has actually moved over 130 miles north in just two decades. Another example is the vanishing of the Inyo chipmunk from the Sierra Nevada mountains in California.

   Animals are not only subjected to climate change effects though, their habitats are being disrupted or converted to human uses, so they sometimes move wherever they can find natural lands, and that means sometimes they also move south. These movements are exactly what the ecologist was describing that add confusion to the picture for research animal populations, so predicting population size and health is more difficult.

   The animals that can't adapt to the changes in habitat or move quickly enough compared to species that compete with them for habitat, could be more likely to be driven into extinction.

   If you are concerned about climate change, you might want to know livestock agriculture is one of the main human-related contributors to the very damaging phenomenon, meaning reducing one's meat consumption can also reduce climate change emissions.

The age of free solar
by Giles Parkinson

   The cost of solar PV has fallen so dramatically in the last few years that industry pundits have begun playing a new game -- identify the spot where the price of PV finally hits a floor. But what if it never did?

   That tantalising prospect was raised by the International Energy Agency in its Solar Energy Perspectives report released last week, when it said that building-integrated PV -- a thin layer of PV-active material -- will become almost a standard feature of building elements such as roof tiles, facade materials, glasses and windows, just as double-glazed windows have become standard in most countries. Because solar PV would be crucial to the value of such buildings, the IEA argues that the cost of PV could "almost vanish" in the very market segment where it currently costs the most. "PV roof costs may never meet a floor price," it says in the report.

   The idea that PV costs will "vanish" into the value of the building is potentially revolutionary for a technology that is supposedly hamstrung because of its high up front capital costs. Commercial building owners, however, are comfortable with the concept of "vanishing costs," because it is a fundamental part of the "green building" push that has rewarded higher investment in energy efficiency and low emissions technology with greater yields. And now the concept been taken up by the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia, which argues that adding a standard 1.5 kW rooftop solar system could actually reduce the size and the term of a home mortgage, and thereby "vanish" into the value of the home.

   SEA chief executive Ray Wills says that the price of PV panels has fallen so far in the last two years that they offer a payback of 10-12 years without subsidies, and four to seven years if the remaining federal government incentives (a much reduced multiplier) are taken into account. But if the cost of a 1.5 kW system (around $3000 after the current subsidy) was added onto a $100,000 mortgage, and the energy savings it produced applied to mortgage repayments, then the term of the mortgage could be reduced by as much as four years.

   Investing more in a larger solar system of, say, 2.5 Kw would have an even bigger impact (assuming the household uses more than $1,100 worth of electricity in a year). For a $100,000 mortgage, adding a 2.5 Kw solar installation would add $9,000 to the mortgage, but would shave more than five years off the life of the mortgage, assuming all electricity savings were spent on repayments.

   Wills says this is a better outcome than a 0.25 per cent interest rate cut on the loan. "Of course, if electricity prices rise, the value of savings increases, and your ability to pay off your mortgage would not be compromised by rising energy bills," Wills says. "And you can eat into bank profits by putting solar on the house."

Read the full article.

Good ethics is good business

   Patagonia, a large manufacturer and seller of outdoor clothing, has made a splash. In a full-page ad in the New York Times, the company exhorted people to NOT buy its products such as this jacket.

   The reason? We don't need stuff that costs the earth. Their message is "Don't buy what you don't need. Think twice before you buy anything."

   Since current global resource consumption is 1.5 times what the planet can provide, they are right. And it's a brilliant marketing strategy to take the ethical high ground. Should I happen to need one of Patagonia's products, I'll certainly buy it, even if it costs more than alternatives.


Keep Your Brain from Shrinking by David Gabel
Enjoy your portable music!

Keep Your Brain from Shrinking
by David A Gabel

   The typical New Year's resolution is about losing weight. However, there are other aspects of our health that perhaps deserve more attention. One, for instance, is keeping a healthy mind. Alzheimer's disease is a terrible affliction of the mind and it is associated with a shrinking of the brain. A new study suggests brain shrinkage can be avoided if people consume the right diet. The researchers recommend diets with high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids and lots of vitamins B, C, D, and E.

   The study was led by Gene Bowman, ND, MPH, of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. It was published December 28, 2011 online in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

   Bowman's study involved 104 elderly people with an average age of 87. Blood tests were taken to measure the levels of nutrients in their bodies. Also, they all underwent memory and thinking tests. Some of the participants then had MRI scans to measure brain volume.

   After the tests, Bowman concluded that there was a significant correlation between nutrients found in the blood and thinking/memory scores, as well as brain size. For the thinking/memory scores, nutrient levels accounted for 17 percent of the variation. For brain size, the nutrient levels accounted for 37 percent of the variation. Other factors that played a role were age, level of education, and high blood pressure.

   The nutrients that played the largest role were certain vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin D and the omega 3 fatty acids can be commonly found in fish. Vitamins B and antioxidants C and E are primarily found in fruits and vegetables.

   The study also revealed what foods not to eat to avoid brain shrinkage. Subjects whose diets contained high amounts of trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores in thinking and memory. Trans fats can be commonly found in packaged, fast, fried, and frozen foods. They can also be found in baked goods and margarine spreads.

   So when trying to lose weight this year, keep in mind that the brain is a body part where you do not want to lose weight. A diet consisting of high levels vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids should help in both respects.

Enjoy your portable music!

   According to a study conducted in the Department of Communication Disorders at Tel Aviv University, about a quarter of Israeli youth may develop hearing disorders due to prolonged exposure to music players and loud noise. 289 adolescents aged 13-17 participated in the study that examined the habits of music listening through headphones attached to MP3 players, mobile phones and computers.

   Eighty percent of participants reported that they listen to personal music players on a regular basis and 41 percent reported daily use. In addition, 83 percent said that they listen to music while driving.

   The study shows that 49 percent of participants already encounter short term symptoms after listening to loud music. Twenty-one percent of the respondents reported changes in hearing and 11 percent suffered from "tinnitus," which is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound.

   The second phase of the study measured the intensity of the music played on music players. Researchers used miniature microphones which they inserted into the external audio channels in the participant's ears.

   Measurement revealed that 26 percent of the adolescents listen to music at an intensity that could cause damage and found that the average volume is 89 decibels.

   For a comparison, noise regulations for factories allows workers to be exposed to 85 decibels for eight hours maximum, or 88 decibels for four hours. The measurement also discovered that many participants listened to music at 100 decibels or more.

   Professor Hava Mutchnik, a lecturer at the Communication Disorders Department at Tel Aviv University and head of the research team, emphasized that in Israel and the United States, unlike Europe, there is no law which forbids the distribution of music players that enable playing more than 100 decibels.

   The research partners were colleagues of Prof. Mutchnik, including Dr. Noam Amir, Dr. Ricki Kaplan-Ne'eman and Ester Shabtay. Other findings of the research are that 79 percent of adolescents are aware of the connection between high volume of music and actual hearing damage, but only 20 percent are concerned about it.

Deeper Issues

Diagnostic system is disputed

Diagnostic system is disputed

   The American Psychiatric Association is on the verge of releasing the fifth revision of its DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders). However, there are major stirrings, not only about the details, not only about the process (both of which are seriously faulty), but about the whole concept of medicalising human distress.

   Late last year, the British Psychological Society published a wide-ranging, polite but strong condemnation of the approach that had me cheering. They started with:

   "The Society is concerned that clients and the general public are negatively affected by the continued and continuous medicalisation of their natural and normal responses to their experiences; responses which undoubtedly have distressing consequences which demand helping responses, but which do not reflect illnesses so much as normal individual variation."

   This refers to "psychiatric diagnoses" such as Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Depression and the like.

   The BPS continued, "The putative diagnoses presented in DSM-V are clearly based largely on social norms, with 'symptoms' that all rely on subjective judgements, with little confirmatory physical 'signs' or evidence of biological causation. The criteria are not value-free, but rather reflect current normative social expectations. Many researchers have pointed out that psychiatric diagnoses are plagued by problems of reliability, validity, prognostic value, and co-morbidity."

   Not long after, the American Psychological Association added a similarly strong critique.

   I have just read an even more damning blog by Professor Ronald Pies, who is among other things a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard. He starts his essay with this quote:

   "It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has." Sir William Osler (Canadian Physician, 1849-1919)

   I couldn't agree more.

   You can read Ron Pies' blog for yourself.

   OK, why did I choose to categorise this issue as a matter of philosophy rather than psychology? Because it is. The debate is not about how to treat 'mental disorders,' or what they are, but whether this is a fruitful way to view people.

   As a result of a knock on the head, Jim may change the way he thinks, feels and behaves. This is clearly a medical issue. Sam may show similar behaviours, without any known brain damage. This however does not mean that Sam must have brain damage that is unobservable. The causes of his problem may be entirely different, for example a response to a cumulation of more stresses in his life than he can endure, combined with how adults in his infancy handled their problems.

   Like Sir William Osler, I have come to the conclusion that, unlike with medical problems, who suffers is more important than how that suffering manifests. The huge volume of research on the determinants of psychotherapy outcome can only be explained on this basis. Tammy starts therapy feeling hopeless, helpless, faulty. A skilled therapist will form a very special kind of emotional bond with her, and lead her to transform her way of acting, thinking and feeling. The problem is solved by the client, not by the therapist; very different from surgery or medicine.


Breakup: protecting kids
Stop Smoking
I want bad things to happen...
Why can't I let anyone love me?
I'm a single mom going crazy

Breakup: protecting kids

   Many of my adult clients need my services because of how their parents had behaved during a divorce. I see warring couples, and work with children wounded by their parents.

   You may now hate the person who once was the love of your life, but, in most cases, both of you want the best for your children. So, look beyond your anger and consider what is really important.

   Imagine you've reached the age of 83 years, then died. It is now your funeral, and one of your children goes up front to speak. What do you want said about you? "Oh, Dad/Mum was REALLY good at hanging on to hate! S/he could twist the knife so well! Our childhood was absolute hell because of the way we were used as weapons in the fight between the two of them. Well, good riddance at last, Dad/Mum!"

   Or would you prefer "I was eight years old when my parents divorced, and let me tell you, we kids didn't suffer in the slightest. They couldn't live with each other any more, but both made 200% sure that we didn't suffer for it."

   If you prefer the second, you can get all the guidance you need from two publications from the (Australian) Child Support Agency. I endorse all their recommendations, and ensure that my clients facing or surviving family breakup read them.

   Download them here as PDF files:

Me, my kids and my ex

What about me

Stop Smoking

   An increasing number of people have come to me wholly or in part in order to quit smoking. If my aim in life was to make lots of money, the trick would be to keep my methods to myself, and even to swear successful clients to secrecy.

   However, as the world's worst businessman, I have done the opposite, and have posted a new page at my web site. There, you will find a 10-step program that's guaranteed to work for anyone with the motivation to REALLY WANT TO DO IT. So, if you wish to free yourself of the shackles of addiction to a nasty, smelly, dirty, expensive habit, go to and get started.

   Let me know how it worked for you.

I want bad things to happen...

Please help me Dr. Bob.

   I am 18 and ever since I can remember, I've wanted bad things to happen to me. I'll be walking down the road and want someone to jump out and rape me. I'll be driving down the road and imagine horrible accidents. I think, "with one fluid movement I can make that image a reality." or I want a car to come out of nowhere and hit me. It's truly sickening. Sometimes I will go tothe doctor and want them to tell me I have cancer or some other serious illness. I've praciced in my head hearing those words coming out of a doctors mouth. I want to have ADD or OCD, just something. Sometimes I'll stand at the top of the stairs and think about throwing myself down them to break a wrist or arm. I've even been a cutter. I've even been anorexic. And it disgusts me to admit all this, but I so desperately wish for these things. I mean, I know that I dont really want these things to actually happen, so why do I wish for them? I've had a pretty normal home life. I don't take any medication (except for ibuprofen or acedamedaphin for my chronic headaches) and there is no abuse (although, sometimes I wish one of my parents would abuse me, or a boyfriend. It's sick, I know). Honestly, this scares the crap out of me. I want to tell someone, but I'm worried about what they'll think of me. I dont want to be put in a mental hospital. I just want answers. Please.


Dear Shirley,

   Yours is a relatively unusual problem, but I have come across it before. Also, I have helped people who had quite different problems, which I think arose for the same reason.

   To get you to understand what I think may have happened, let me tell you about these different problems.

   A man came to me once, because he was afraid of falling over. He had all the relevant medical tests done, and nothing physical was found. When he was standing, his body started to sway and he needed to hold onto something or sit down.

   Now, everyone's body sways all the time, a few millimeters this way and that. Standing is a dynamic balance with constant muscle adjustments. What happened to this man was that for some reason, at one time he noticed the slight automatic movements. They worried him so he paid more attention to them. And the more he focused on them, the bigger the movements got. Attention is energy.

   My second example is panic attacks. Look at

   A panic attack is when you react to a situation without physical danger as if your life was being threatened. The symptoms of extreme fear feel terrible, so then you become afraid of it coming back, and this keeps the problem going. The first panic attack is usually to some bodily symptom you misinterpret as being life-threatening. For example, a temporary fall in blood pressure may make you dizzy, and you have the thought "I am having a stroke!" That thought is scary, and then you react to the fear.

   Again, it is attention to the problem that keeps it going.

   My guess is that your problem is similar. Most people have an occasional bizarre thought that comes from nowhere, like a driver having a momentary impulse to cross the centerline and have a head-on smash. People don't do this, and the thought passes, hardly noted. For some reason, though, when you had such a thought, you took it seriously, and then kept your attention on possible occurrences of similar thoughts. As I said, attention is energy, so that made them come more often.

   After awhile, they seemed to you to distinguish you from other people. Having these thoughts became part of your unique way of considering yourself, in a way what you were about. This gave them even more importance, so that now they rule your life.

   The solution?

   Stop worrying about them. When a thought like this comes, treat it as unimportant. "I got hit by another of those thoughts. So what. It's only noise." The thought is only true if you believe it. When it is only noise, you don't believe it any more, so it's not true.

   These thoughts are not a sign that you are crazy, only that you accidentally acquired a habit that now you don't want. Habits can be broken. Read

   So, I don't know where your problem came from, but I am pretty sure this is the way it has grown and kept going. The more you worry about it, the worse it gets. Let go the worry, accept it, and it will fade away.

   You can do it.


Why can't I let anyone love me?

   It is almost impossible to believe that someone truly loves me. I have a solid self-confidence. But it is so hard for me to trust. My boyfriend loved me for 10 years before he found me again a few years ago. We knew each other in college and lost contact. I know that nobody will love me as much but he has abandoned before, cutting all communication ties. Even though he said to be sure that I am the woman of his life, I can't trust that he won't abandon me again. I was raised in foster homes because my mother could never raise us. My aunt and uncle raised me until I was 12 and they died. Why can't I let people love me? Thank you!

Joanie my dear,

   Have a look at

   In particular, read what I say about attachment styles.

   With your childhood history, you are very likely to have what is called insecure attachment style. That is, you automatically tend to have fears of abandonment, because that was what happened to you when you were little and had no power over the actions of adults.

   Understanding this can be helpful.

   Even such deeply held belief systems can be modified through therapy, but of course it's hard work. It is worth it, because beliefs are often self-fulfilling prophecies. If I expect to be abandoned, I will act in ways that push people away: actions motivated by jealousy, clinging, etc.

   The question is, why did this man leave the relationship previously? You should seriously discuss that with him, preferably with a competent relationship counselor present. Be open to each other. Listen to him. If he is able to remember and disclose what his sources of dissatisfaction were then, you will then have to consider: do I want to change these patterns of behavior I do?

   If the changes would take you into a better, stronger, more secure way of relating to people in general, then it's worth the effort. And when you have made these changes, you will not only feel more secure, but be more secure, with him and in other relationships of all kinds.

Good luck,

I'm a single mom going crazy

Hi Bob

   Tonight I wanted to admit myself...

   The screaming in my head was so loud I had my hands covering my ears begging for it to stop. I was crying and simply did not have any sympathy for anyone. Including my 10 year old son.

   He has ADHD, I have ADD. I am a single mom that is ready to walk out on everything. I'm 45 and I wondering if it is perimenopause. Or what. I get crazy anger. I have a hard time controlling it all. I talk to myself to stop and move on but it will last 20 seconds and I'm back to crazy mad. Over and over.... What is wrong with me?

   I don't normally reach out like this but I'm scared.


Anna my dear,

   Everyone has a breaking point, which varies from time to time. It is a balance between the stresses on you and your inner strength. You are not unique, just under more pressure than you can bear at the moment.

   You can do three things:

1. Practical measures to reduce the pressure on you. I don't know where you live, but there may well be services you can access: government-funded, church-based, charitable, whatever.

   Your son's school may be able to mobilize some resources for you.

   You might find ways of sharing parenting with others. Even with a difficult child, two or three can be easier to look after than one.

   A great majority of children (and adults) diagnosed with ADD or ADHD actually don't suffer from the condition. It has become a fashionable catch-all. Boy naughty? Must have ADHD. Your son and you may well belong to the 10% or so who genuinely have it. But get a second opinion. Maybe all he needs is some behavior management.

2. Build up your resilience, so you can carry more load easier.


   It describes 7 measures that will help and make you stronger.

   In addition, meditate in any form. A few minutes a day of regular meditation is hugely helpful.


3. Acceptance.

   We get overwhelmed when we want things to be different. If whatever is, is, and it's all right, then no matter how bad things are, you can be content.

   When I remember to do this, life is good although a great many things in it are not. I have 5 points of chronic pain in my body, but they are merely uncomfortable sensations when I simply accept them.

   When I forget, my body hurts, the problems in my life are a great load to carry, and I wish to be off this planet.

   If you like reading, get hold of 2 books:

   "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, and

   "The Rugmaker of Mazar-E-Sharif by Najaf Mazari.

   Both will inspire you to think like this. Both these men are geniuses at surviving the unsurvivable. We ordinary people can learn from geniuses.

And give your son a hug from me. I am a professional grandfather.


So just a couple months ago my bf of three years confessed to me he cheated on me. He told me it was some random girl he hooked up with a party and I believed it. I broke up with him right then and there. A month after the break up I sent him an email for closure and he wrote back saying how horrible he felt for what he had done and all this other stuff. And that was the end of it we both said goodbye and accepted it was over. I wasn't going to hate him I was just holding on to the good memories and letting it be and moving along.

   To me knowing he felt just a tiny bit bad made me feel better thinking he actually had a heart for second. But I came to find out through online, not him or anyone directly told me, that it wasn't a random girl, it was actually one of his friends. A month after our break him and her were official in a relationship. As soon as I read that and saw the picture my heart was racing faster than I've ever felt I couldn't barely breathe and I was shaking uncontrollably. Horrible feeling.

   That right there devastated me even more. I had accepted that that he cheated believing it was a random hook up, thinking he was gonna regret losing me over a one night stand. But knowing he left me for someone else hurts alot more, maybe it doesn't make sense but I can't explain it any better. It hurts alot more because it makes me question everything! Basically everything he told me in that email was all BS. He obviously did not feel as horrible as he says if he's already happy with someone else.

   I was so good to him I treated like any man would want to be treated. I'm a good looking girl with good morals and would have never done him wrong. I will never understand what she does better than me?

   I'm not trying to hate on the girl, I've never personally met her but from pictures I've seen she's cute, but she does drugs and is a high school drop out. Maybe she's just better at making him happy?

   I know I shouldn't care or even let it affect me but im trying my best. Two months later and it was barely starting to get easier to get through my day and then I find this out. I don't want to feel like I am back to square one. But I just dont know what to do anymore. I want this to make me stronger but I just know how? I never thought this would happen to me. How do I make this go away ? I just want to be happy once again! I want to feel like myself and go on with my days not letting it affect me, but this is pain I've never felt before.

   How can I move past being left for someone else?

My dear,

   Of course this situation has got you terribly upset. He has betrayed you, lied to you, treated you with disdain. You have been morally upright, and decent, and got kicked in the teeth anyway.

   Your question shows wisdom: you want to get past the issue. It has depressed you, made you feel inadequate, and now you feel that's enough, you want to get on with the rest of your life.

   OK, here is something that may help. From your choice of words, it seems to me that you have automatically looked at this as a sort of a competition. The guy was the prize, and the other girl won the trophy. Because of that, you have been seeing yourself as if you'd lost. This is best expressed in "Maybe she's just better at making him happy?"

   I don't buy this. Maybe he is unable to commit himself for any length of time to anyone. Maybe he is a reed that bends whichever way the wind blows. Maybe he got scared by the thought of marriage and kids. Maybe his father played around so he grew up thinking this is what men do, it's the way of the world. Or maybe anything.

   As for losing the contest: if his behavior with you is an indicator of his typical pattern, then you are better off to find this out now than after you've had one or more kids with him. So then, you are the winner and the other girl is the loser. She is welcome to him, and good riddance, and we only hope she is not too badly hurt when he repeats his pattern.

   Then again, given your generosity of spirit, we can hope that he eventually grows up, thinks beyond the moment and takes responsibility for his actions. Pity that didn't happen while he was lucky enough to be with you, but what is, is.

   If you can see the situation from this point of view, it should be easier to move on. You can realize that his choices may reflect badly on him, but they do not reflect badly on you.

   When you found out that he'd cheated on you, you severed the relationship, but didn't feel personally devastated. That came when you found out that in fact replaced you with the other girl. So, if this wasn't a competition you lost, but rather his weakness of character revealed in time, then indeed you can let go and get on with the rest of your life.

Make it a good one.

Thank you for your reply. What you said makes alot of sense and you are right. In fact, his father did cheat on his mom when he was younger but worked through it. I would have thought he would never do the same thing to me considering he saw the pain his mother went through or when it happened to him in a past relationship. But it didn't work out that way because he put me through it. I don't want to feel like I wasted three years of my life thinking what we had was real, but I can't help it. His apologies are meaningless. May be in time I'll forgive him.


Do you really need new?
by Alfredo

   I started to use my first computer in the year 1998, during my Honours year. That first computer was an IBM 486 and I can now compare it to a glorified typewriter.

   My curiosity about the components of the computer were so strong that I pulled apart and reassembled my IBM. I had a close look at the hard drive, power supply, RAM, and so on. I was truly fascinated by the technology. I was given a couple of computers by family members who were upgrading and that gave me incentive to learn how to fix them.

   Very soon I was fixing computers and I was good at fixing both PCs and Macs. Today, after having fixed thousands of computers, I look back and realize that I did it all with a good heart given that I did not profit from my developed skills but put them to good use to help needy people. with the support of some charity organizations, I begun to fix computers for people who could not afford one but needed it. Disadvantaged people, poor students and even poor pensioners could now have a computer at home, totally free of charge, complete with monitor, keyboard, mouse and hard drive. I used Ubuntu Linux on most computers because that was a free program which is still available today, totally free. It is one of the best operating system around.

   I feel that I have more than enough experience to look at today's situation where new computers, always more powerful or better in some way, come out every few months. It is hard to keep up. But is all this change necessary? No.

   Today I have several PCs and Apple computers. My collection includes a Powermac quicksilver which is 773 MHz, a Powermac Mirror Door dual1.25 GHz, an iMac G3 slot loading, an iMac G4 lampshade, and an iMac G5 iSight. I also have three PCs, all dual core, one of them being the most recent i7 sandy bridge architecture. Yet, you would be surprised to know that the most reliable, quickest and most fun to use is my Powermac Mirror Door dual 1.25 GHz. This computer can handle anything I throw at it and that includes music, movies, photography and all that one would ever want to do. Yet this computer was made back in 2003 and is now 9 years old. The current price for such a machine is between $150 and $250, in good condition, compared to forking out $2,500 for an intel Mac or $1,500 for a good PC.

   The truth is that if the computer is to be used for basic functions (no one is going to use it to launch a satellite to Mars) then a second hand Apple, especially those with dual CPU, which is much better than a dual core, will do just nicely and for a fraction of the cost of a new machine. For basic computing, an old PC with a single 3.0 GHz CPU is more than adequate.

   What are the problems with new machines? Parts are made in China, and last a couple of years at best. To give you an example, Apple computers have had many problems in recent years: the iMacs have a heating problem, especially the latest models, and the LCD screen on these machines do not last very long, usually develop vertical lines, and are prone to freezing. Powerbooks, iBooks and especially the Airbook, all have heating problems. Apple is quite good and has had excellent customer service. But lately, given that the lines of unhappy customers are increasing, it may become more difficult for Apple to be kind to all consumers. I'd think three times before purchasing a new Apple computer today. I would certainly ensure that I have extended cover or a good long Apple care plan and that I provide adequate ventilation for the newly purchased machine. But many Apple customers who have purchased a new computer report problems with lots of malfunctioning components. Most of my friends with a new Apple computer have had to return their purchase to get fixed soon after buying it. And what about PCs? Pretty much the same. Very few PCs are reliable today especially because the latest CPUs are so hot that one could easily fry an egg on them.

   Are new computers necessary? Don't tell Big Brother but they are not. Some older machines run rings around their newer counterparts. Yet we follow the trend and we believe in myths. The truth is that my Powermac Mirror Door dual 1,25 GHz CPU outperforms the latest iMac intel Sandy Bridge. I know because I have both. It is not just about being fast but about being reliable, efficient and smooth. My old Powermac is wonderful and it has plenty of life yet.


Zombies, Vampires and Young Writers by Karen L. Syed

Zombies, Vampires and Young Writers
by Karen L. Syed

   I love working with young writers. I have a gal who has been with Echelon/Quake for a couple years now. She was thirteen years old when she first pitched me at a writers con. She was very nervous, but she pushed through and I have published two of her books now.

   I think it's as unfair to generalize young writers as it is to generalize anyone. Putting writers into boxes is what has gotten the industry into the mess it's in. Readers are confused about what they should read or not and what they should like or not. There are so many writers out there pigeonholing themselves and their peers into this category or that one.

   There have been allegations that young writers have fallen into a genre rut. But I'm here to tell you, not all young writers are stuck in the paranormal fantasy realm. For example Kieryn Nicolas' first novel with Echelon/Quake was a spy thriller (Rain) dealing with teens and identity theft.

   Her second (Flawless Ruins) is a dystopian novel; again, no zombie or living dead things. Kieryn may not be your typical teen, but is definitely a normal teen. She wrote the first book when she was twelve or so and it is a huge book--over 100,000 words, not a small fluff book with sparkly things and zombies. Her characters are well formed, they are realistic, and her plot is better developed than most I get from older/mature writers.

   I think youth need to be encouraged and I for one believe the reason kids read so much of the vamp/zombie stuff is because some bonehead in the industry said it was hot and everything else was dying, so that's what writers are submitting because they think that is what they HAVE to submit to sell books. So that is what there to publish and sell. As a publisher, I try to avoid it. I want more traditional stuff at our house and I want to make a difference in people's lives with our books.

   The industry is ours; it is what we, as authors make it. If we want to compete with all the zombie stuff then our books have to be interesting enough to grab the attention of the reader and not just what "we/I want to write."

   If you write to satisfy your own ego and such then don't take up the valuable slots that could be filled by writers who write for their readers.

   It may be our industry, but the readers are what make this industry hum. But that's just me.

Karen L. Syed is the president of Echelon Press Publishing and nothing pleases her more than to discover new talent in the writing world, no matter what their age is. She currently lives in Orland, FL with her husband and enjoys Walt Disney World, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and watching other people exercise. You can visit her unique and controversial Blog at

What my friends want you to know

Big solar bootcamp, 11-12 Feb Sydney
New book on natural disasters
Second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter
Invitations from Peter Bright
New YA mystery Mary Jean Kelso
Mom's Story; A Child Learns about MS by Mary Nickum
For Adventurous Ice Cream Lovers by Alina Niemi
Steam Heat by John Roseman
Novel Prevue Book Trailers

Big solar bootcamp, 11-12 Feb Sydney

   Been pondering what we need to do to see big solar projects built in Australia? If so, what better way to kick off 2012 than to join campaigners from across the country for a fun weekend of skills, learning and energy.

   On Saturday Feb 11th and Sunday Feb 12th 2012 we'll be hosting the first ever national big solar bootcamp! Bringing together fellow campaigners from around Australia in a beautiful riverside location just south of Sydney, the bootcamp will be a fantastic weekend of training, speakers and action.

   Here's 5 reasons why you won't want to miss our 2012 Big Solar Boot Camp:

  1. Get to know your fellow campaigners. The power of the 100% campaign is that your efforts are combined with the efforts of hundreds of others around the country. Whether it's meeting new people or catching up on old friendships, there's no substitute for meeting face to face.
  2. Fantastic speakers. There's a great line up of speakers, including Senator Christine Milne, to talk about big solar and the opportunities in Australia's political scene. See full list of confirmed speakers here, and there's more to come!
  3. Learn and practice your campaigning skills. There'll be workshops on things like media skills, tactics assessment, strategy development and organising techniques where you can improve your skills with a little help from your friends.
  4. Get inside the Build Big Solar strategy. How are we going to finally see big solar built in Australia? Find out more about the strategy and help us craft it to suit you and your group.
  5. Swim, dance or just relax! The Youthworks camp at Port Hacking is one of Sydney's most gobsmackingly beautiful waterside spots with lots of spaces to walk, swim and relax plus a chance to dance along with our soon to be announced live band.

   All the details, including the draft program and FAQs are here.

SATURDAY 12 FEB - SUNDAY 13 FEB Rathane Conference Centre, Youthworks, Sydney

   Costs are $140 for waged people and $60 per person for low income. We also have a number of travel scholarships available to assist interstate participants. But get in quick! Scholarship application closes 18th January.

   I'm really looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible at Port Hacking and kicking off a big year for big solar in Australia.

Dean Bridgfoot
Organising Program Coordinator
0448 327 791

New book on natural disasters

Hi Bob,

   This new book is edited by Kathryn Gow, a Counselling Psychologist and member of the APS. Many of the chapters are applicable to Australia (and especially the Queensland Floods -- if only someone had read it). I have one chapter in it.

Dr. Elizabeth Tindle, FAPS, AFBPS


   The January Bainstorming is now live at

   Subjects this month: A Wife To Behold, My Autobiography It's Never Too Late, Response to Nerva from December Bainstorming, Funny definition, Kids working, Betty's Solution for Politicians, A Political Quote, Book Reviews, Progress report, Our Christmas, The Complete Toppers, State of America Series: Immigration (legal and illegal), Political Cowardice and Stupid Laws, Excerpt from the final Apertures Novel A World Lost, A world Gained.

Darrell Bain
Fictionwise Author of the Year.
Multiple Eppie and Dream realm award winner.
See all my books at or Amazon or B&N.

Second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter

   It's a new year and a good time to think about breathing new life into our careers and book sales. Of course, I'm thinking of the beautiful new edition of The Frugal Book Promoter. For you or for a writing friend who needs a nudge. It's been expanded (416 pages!) and updated and has a fantastic new cover by Chaz DeSimone. What you'll get that you don't have in your old edition is below. Of course, if you don't have the old edition, there will never be a better time than now when we're all charged and positive about 2012.


   We all know that book promotion (and life!) has changed since The Frugal Book Promoter was first published in 2004--particularly in ways that have to do with the Web, but in other ways, too. As an example, the publishing world in general is more open to indie publishing now than it was then. So, this new edition is updated but it also includes lots of information on ways to promote that were not around or were in their infancy a few short years ago. So here is what is new:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Invitations from Peter Bright

Hi Bob,

   Quiet Tasmania has lots of information about neighbourhood noise in general and neighbourhood barking in particular, and there's a sister site at Quiet Tasmania News, which is updated more frequently. The relevant laws in other states are similar.

   Those interested in a hemp industry for Tasmania might care to join the discussion group Go Hemp Tasmania and contribute their knowledge and experience while learning more about the enormous potential for industrial hemp -- a heaven-sent plant if ever there was one!

   Best wishes, and thanks for all you do.

Peter Bright

New YA mystery; Mary Jean Kelso

Coming in March from Wings Press.

Mom's Story; A Child Learns about MS
by Mary Nickum

   Mom's Story; A Child Learns about MS tells the story of a young girl who sees her mother with some frightening health problems and learns she has MS but she will not die from it. This book is a compassionate, accessible and easy to understand account of symptoms, search for help, diagnosis and adaptation to this heart-wrenching disease. Amy fears the worst, which is common when one is confronted by the unknown. Her best friend, Kayla, doesn't quite understand why Amy is so worried. Amy's older sister, Kelly is concerned and does her best to help, while older brother, Tony, tries to deny the whole situation. Information is the key to allaying much of her fear along with understanding from parents, adult friends and her older sister.

Publisher: Chalet Publishing.
Available: and
Price: $9.95

Mary J. Nickum has had MS for over 30 years. Currently a magazine editor and freelance writer, she lives with her husband in Fountain Hills, Arizona, and has two grown sons. Mom's Story is her first book for children and their families. She is a retired librarian, who is now an editor and freelance writer. Reach her at

For Adventurous Ice Cream Lovers

    How does Chocolate Curry Ice Cream sound to you? Cucumber Mint Frozen Yogurt? Too wild? Maybe something more traditional, like Strawberry Basil Balsamic Ice Cream, or Pineapple Mint Sherbet...

   If you have an adventurous palate or are looking for some alternatives to traditional ice cream, The New Scoop: Recipes for Dairy-Free, Vegan Ice Cream in Unusual Flavors (Plus Some Old Favorites) by Alina Niemi is for you. Sherbet, sorbet, frozen yogurt and ice cream flavors run the gamut from classics, like Mint Chocolate Chip, to tropical, like Mango Frozen Yogurt, to unusual, such as Chocolate Lavender Ice Cream.

   All delicious flavors use non-dairy milk substitutes, and ice creams are nut butter or tofu based. Vegans, people with lactose intolerance or allergies, or those wanting healthier frozen options will find something to drool over in this cookbook.

   Be the boss of your ice cream!

   Get free sample recipes at

Steam Heat (MuseItUp Publishing), by John B. Roseman

Erotic horror

   Chad Benson, a rugged construction worker, has always had his way with women until a mysterious, irresistible visitor blindfolds and seduces him in a steam room. She compels him to make an ominous promise to accept the consequences of their union, whatever they might be.

   For the first time, Chad becomes obsessed with a member of the opposite sex and roams the health spa, seeking the red-haired girl he believes is his seducer. The totally new experience of falling in love is an emotion he'll desperately need when he faces a deadly evil.

   Available in e-book at MuseItUp Publishing at at

   Check out John's other books at MuseItUp Publishing: Dark Wizard; Dax Rigby, War Correspondent; More Stately Mansions; and The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes.

Novel Prevue Book Trailers

   Book Trailers are the most happening publicity tool available to authors to spread awareness of their writing. Novel Prevue's affordable yet memorable trailers are fashion-designed to fit authors' visions for their books.

   As the author, you are involved in the creation of the trailer, your opinion is valued and is incorporated in the design.

Get your book seen, contact Novel Prevue:
Su Halfwerk

Book review

No comfort zone
by Marla Handy

   If you are a therapist who works with the effects of trauma, this book should be prescribed reading for you. It will give you an inside view of what your client's life is likely to be. Therapy is about empathy, and Marla will help you to develop yours.

   If you are in the police, paramedical or medical services, again, you must learn from Marla. You will become sensitized to visible signs shown by children living in an unsurvivable situation, and by adults who have that in their past.

   It may be too much to ask for, but the perpetrators of child abuse should be made to read this book. I have long thought that the best way to deal with criminals would be to wire their brains to their victims, so they can experience what they have done to another person. We don't have the technology for that, but reading this book is a good substitute. Perhaps judges could take note?

   This is not to say that I agree with everything Marla says. She has been high-functioning for many years, and yet considers herself to be still in the grip of PTSD. She is. The main reason is that she believes the condition to be "hard wired," unfixable. Such beliefs are self-fulfilling prophecies. I used to have PTSD. I don't any more. I have worked with many people from terribly abusive childhoods, some as bad as Marla's, and my clients have an excellent success rate in converting relivings into memories with no remaining emotional charge.

   This does not detract from the book: the vivid writing that brings scenes to life, the honesty, the power of one person's experiences.

A little fun

Global Worming by Jaiia Earthschild
New Feature: a quiz from Shah N. Khan

Global Worming
by Jaiia Earthschild

   It has recently been diagnosed that the current socio-economic chaos stems from a planetary parasitic infestation. We have a case of global worms.

   Having once divested myself of some uninvited inner critters which accidentally died of starvation whilst I was fasting, I feel myself to be in a unique position -- a gastric vantage point if you like -- from where I can clearly see the 'Federal' Reserve, the World Bank, the IMF, Halliburton, The Carlyle Group, GE, OPEC, to name but a few, as a bunch of ginormous worms whose sole purpose is to drain the life force, the nutrients and vitality out of one country after another, while the bodies of the parasites grow more and more bloated.

   These 'powersites' are controlling the world currently. They are devouring everything that is good and true and beautiful and excreting toxic waste. The upper bodies of these critters take on the characteristics of smooth talking humans which mask the lurching, lumbering, ghastly, ever-fattening corporate worms from our limited perception.

   It is a horror movie too disgusting to contemplate. Aesthetically I wish I had not thought of it. But, life having offered me such a tasteful metaphor, I feel morally obliged to share how I rid myself of those critters foolish enough to have taken up residence inside me...

   How did they die? Well...without becoming grotesquely graphic...let's say I employed cataclysmic cleansings... It was the abominable abdominal apocalypse. With Kali as my inspiration, by the time they emerged on the crest of a coffee enema wave, they were barely carcasses. In fact they looked rather like pathetically small, limp condoms.

   Hey wait a moment -- isn't that what recent past presidents and barely present popes have been denying the people of Africa? Now we know why! David Icke says that the hidden world leaders are mostly all reptiles. I say they're just a can of worms. Tough skinned invertebrates for whom perhaps the sight of a condom poses something of a personal threat.

   Fasting teaches one that illumination and elimination are almost the same thing. Enlightenment is our birthright, just eliminate the obstacles. These 'powersites' need to be flushed from the world's intestines. But to stage this non-violent revolution is going to take guts. We must economically starve them. Governments must quit feeding them our taxes. Legally require the bailed out institutions to bailout the people or return our money. This is the fasting phase. It won't last. Hunger doesn't hurt when it is temporary. It heals.

   Global worming starts here! Cut out the junk food -- tax luxuries and inessentials sky high and give bonuses to those who provide real necessities. Take plentiful doses of any truth that busts our belief in this elitist stranglehold over the collective wealth of the planet. And finally I recommend a series of corporate colonics to flush the entire economic system down the toilet...Hey -- it's already happening!

   Cleansed of all that old ca-ca, we can build a new economic system upon a foundation of respect for life on earth as a whole. A system which shares our global abundance appropriately. We are guests of the land, not owners. On a healthy planet as in a healthy organism, flora, fauna, water, oxygen and minerals -- each aspect is part of an interconnected web where all parts work harmoniously together. Biologically, personally or planetarily speaking, a healthy immune system is a prerequisite for peace.

   So, not so honorable powersites, your hosts are evicting you. If you can extract yourselves from your corporate wormholes, we can probably find something useful for you to do at the local food bank or soup kitchen -- for a fair and decent wage of course.

   A new world order indeed.

You will find more from Jaiia Earthschild at the Maui Writers' Blog

New Feature: a quiz from Shah N. Khan

   Shah and I have been on the same email list for a couple of years now, and I enjoy reading his posts. They give me a window into a different culture, one I respect.

   Shah has hundreds of puzzles to entertain you. He has a weekly newsletter Fraternity Briefs for Inspiration, Humor & Quiz for Personal Development.

   Here is the first puzzle from him. He has offered to make it a regular feature.


   What 12 letter word can be found by rearranging the letters in this anagram?

   Answer in the next issue of Bobbing Around. If you can work it out, email me (bob at to earn a free copy of any of my electronic books.


Two poems from Elizabeth Tindle
The Zamang

Brisbane birdlife
Elizabeth Tindle 23 August 2011

Butcher Bird "Bites the Dust"
13th September 2011

The Zamang

   Some years ago, I wrote a collection of little poems, The Young Greenie's Alphabet. It was never published. Now, my friend Alfredo and I are having a bit of fun, devising illustrations for it. Being contrary, we started with Z:

   Here is Alfredo's drawing:

About Bobbing Around

   If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don't want a repeat, it's simple. Drop me a line and I'll drop you from my list.

   You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article's author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)

   If you are not a subscriber but want to be, email me. Subject should be 'subscribe Bobbing Around' (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends.

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  • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
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    Submission Guidelines

       It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

       Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

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