Monday, September 25, 2006

It's Monday! YOU Do the Math!

I found this interesting...

The Top 10 Biggest Colleges:
(based on their 2004 enrollments)

10. University of Central Florida -- 42,465
9. Texas A&M -- 44,435
8. Michigan State University -- 44,836
7. University of Florida -- 47,993
6. Arizona State University, Tempe Campus -- 49,171
5. University of Texas at Austin -- 50,377
4. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities -- 50,954
3. Ohio State University, Main Campus -- 50,995
2. Miami Dade College -- 57,026
1. University of Phoenix, Online Campus -- 115,794

[the above states came from here]

Here are some of my thoughts when reflecting on the above...
--this is why Texans are SOOO obsessed with college sports. With those two schools alone they practically have more college students than the population of a lot of other states! ;) No, honestly though, I have never been that into college sports (prefer the pros), and I find alot of my friends down here are, so I think it honestly is a cultural thing.
--OH! So those BILLIONS of pop-up ads, spam emails, banner advertisements that the University of Phoenix (online campus, of course) puts out really DO pay off! People really DO read those and take action. Wow. I just though they were purposed to slow down web surfing! ;)
--who the heck is "Miami Dade college?" Is that the Hurricanes? I think it is that "Dade" that is throwing me off. You Daders out there help me out! ;) Isn't there some rule that if you are going to have THAT many students you automatically become a "university" versus a "college"?!?! ;)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Some Questions...

Some easily answerable...

Some who knows...

1.) Did you know Chick-fil-A is not open on Sundays?
--I did not know this until about a month ago. I went to one and was sitting in the drive-thru for a little bit and wasn't real sure why no one was taking my order, but then I just decided it was because their power much have been out, as it had just stormed and the power was out to the street signal next to the store. It wasn't until I went to a friends house and found out from their roommate who used to work at a Chick-fil-A in high school that she explained to me that all Chick-fil-A's are closed on Sundays. I mean I always knew the one at ACU was closed on Sundays, but it was closed all weekend, so I figured that was just a school thing. HA! You can see it for yourself on their website here. I actually think that is pretty cool that they do that. I respect that. A BIG fast food chain that is not giving into the TOTAL market--"we want money"--business format.

2.) Is it disrespectful to eat during the National Anthem?
Like if you're at a baseball game for instance and you're standing (of course) but you have like a hot dog or nachos already. Is it being sdisrespectful if you munch on your food during the anthem?

3.) What exactly happens to helium balloons that are let go into the sky?
--I could have sworn I learned growing up at some point that they eventually reach some point in the atmosphere where either they deflat due to the pressures or they pop--something like that. But if that is the case, does the balloon remains fall back down to the ground? How come you never find all the leftovers from balloons when LARGE groups of them are let out into the sky at different celebrations? And IF that is the case (that they remains fall to the earth), wouldn't that be littering? Shame on those people!

4.) Does EVERY major city have a "Kiss FM?"
--I think they must.

And my favorite question of them all. The one I've asked on my blog before, but no one has ever been able to answer for me...

5.) Does anyone know what the "air" is that they fill potato chip bags with?
--I mean how can they fill the bags with some substance of "air" that does not cause the chips to go stale over time before you open it, but once you open a bag, if you leave it open in the "outside air" it only takes a matter of hours for them to go stale. Is it that whatever the "air" substance that happens to be in the bag, when it mixes with the combination of the "outside air" that the combination causes them to become stale? This one has had me pondering for QUITE sometime now...

Monday, September 18, 2006

It's Monday! YOU Do the Math!

Recently I have been skimming through my textbooks from my last couple years of graduate school training. The purpose behind this madness is to find reference materials for my final paper I must write to graduate from my program. It was during this adventure that I came across some interesting statistics that I wanted to share…

The poverty threshold is a concept used by the U.S. Census Bureau “to determine who is poor. Poverty thresholds vary by family size and are updated annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index”…For example, in 2000 the poverty threshold was $17,463 for a family of four…The Joint Center for Poverty Research reported the following information related to poverty in the United States in 2001…

11.7 percent or 32.9 million people in the United States were poor

16.3 percent of all children under the age of 18 lived below the poverty level. This is the highest poverty level for any group.

26.4 percent of all households headed by women in the United States were poor

10.1 percent of elderly persons (65+) were poor

21.4 percent of persons of Hispanic origin were poor

22.5 percent of African Americans were poor

9.9 percent of whites were poor

39 percent of adults with disabilities have household incomes of $15,000 or less compared to 10 percent of other households

[Schriver, J. (2004) Human behavior and the social environment: Shifting paradigms in essential knowledge for social work practice, 4th Ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. p. 224]

I also found a chart with the following statistics that I thought were interesting as well, so I wanted to share them…

Death Rates Among People Ages 25 to 34 by Race/Ethnicity in the year 2000

Non-Hispanic blacks 3,500,000
Hispanics 3,400,000
Non-Hispanic whites 3,100,000

Non-Hispanic whites 1,500,000
Non-Hispanic blacks 1,000,000
Hispanics 800,000

Non-Hispanic blacks 4,400,000
Hispanics 1,500,000
Non-Hispanic whites 400,000

HIV infection:
Non-Hispanic blacks 2,900,000
Hispanics 700,000
Non-Hispanic whites 300,000

[Schriver, J. (2004) Human behavior and the social environment: Shifting paradigms in essential knowledge for social work practice, 4th Ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc. p. 236]

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What We Are...

I LOVE this! Absolutely LOVE this! Holly came across it and shared it with me and I couldn't help but share it with y'all! Part of it made me laugh out loud! So be prepared! Enjoy! HA!

Just another day in the mental health realm...

…or for those of you not familiar with this area, welcome to a day in the life of an individual working with the severely mentally ill…

Jim and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool, Jim suddenly jumped into the deep end. He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there. Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled Jim out.

When the director of nursing became aware of Edna’s heroic act, she considered her to be mentally stable. When she went to tell Edna the news she said, “Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you’re being discharged since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of another patient. I have concluded that your act displays sound mind-ness. The bad news is that Jim, the patient you saved, hung himself in his bathroom with the belt to his robe right after you saved him. I am sorry, but he’s dead.”

Edna replied, “He didn’t hang himself. I put him there to dry. How soon can I go home?”

I thought the above story was funny. I got it from a friend in an email. And though it might not be exactly how things tend to go in a mental hospital setting (because we restrict use to pools nowadays…HA), it really isn’t too far off from how some of our client interactions go.

My most recent experience was a group therapy session…

Time out (this is for those schooled in the mental health realm): imagine doing a group session with two major depressive clients (MDD), one bipolar client (BD), and three schizoaffective clients (SAD). We are talking some people with GAF scores under 50. Some of which, when they first entered the unit, were in the 30s.

Okay, so group begins with one individual (a SAD) who is experiencing grandiose delusions and introduces himself to the group as ______ Trump. He believed he was Donald Trump’s son. Immediately following group the participants’ name introductions, “Mr. Trump” decided to begin by begging on behalf of himself and another of the group member’s urges to have a cigarette.

In our locked-unit, obviously none of the clients are allowed to leave to go to a smoke area, and there is no smoking on our unit. So since this gentleman had been in the unit for about 3 days at this point he was experiencing some extreme withdrawal symptoms; though from the “show” he put on about it, I think more of it was a psychological addiction than as much of it being a physical/chemical addiction. Yes, I don’t doubt the man smokes at LEAST a pack a day, so I’m sure his body was chemically addicted so after having to stop cold-turkey for three days straight I’m sure he was experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, but his response was fun to watch, especially since my supervisor was running the group, so I just got to sit back and watch.

This gentleman who is SAD and was having grandiose delusions began to throw a temper-tantrum that we would not allow him to go have a smoke break. He proceeded to inform us about how he graduated first in his class from West Point; fought on the front lines in Iraq for our country, and so the LEAST we could do is give him a cigarette to show our appreciation for what he has done for our country.

Wow…I had no idea Donald Trump’s son was so involved in supporting our country! ;)

Now this gentleman was getting rather out of control because of his desire to get a cigarette. My supervisor did a great job to keep from escalating as the client was, and she was able to get him to calm down and focus his thoughts off of his nicotine craving and onto the topic at hand for the group.

I’ll be honest. This client was rather intimidating at times. When I first met him and he was following me and my supervisor around the unit as we gathered people for group session he introduced himself to me, and then asked what I do. I told him I help Christine, my supervisor, and then we proceeded to move on to another room. He then asked me, “What do you do? Just follow her around?” And I said “no, I help her out.” He said, “You are like her little elf! You’re her little elf! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”

He proceeded to crack up at himself and repeatedly say “you’re her little elf” and then crack up again. I just smiled and walked on. I had no intentions of arguing with such a tall gentleman who is following me around the LOCKED unit. I have NO problem being an elf at that point in time! HA!

Not only did he have the characteristic laugh that some schizophrenics have, but he also had the stare. He would just stare with an uncomfortable stare at people—uncomfortable for the person on the other end of the stare. It looks like a threatening stare, though I want to clarify that many times the stares are not with threatening intentions, they just come off that way.

SAD (schizoaffective disorder) is an interesting mental illness to work with. For those unfamiliar with the mental health terminology, schizoaffective disorder is when an individual has schizophrenia and a mood disorder, which could be major depressive disorder or bipolar, for instance. Many times it is schizophrenia and bipolar that we have on our unit. That can be a difficult circumstance for the individual as well as those working with them. Either disorder is difficult enough to live with, but having both can be overwhelming at times.

So there you have it. A week with a VERY interesting group session! You can have REAL fun things come out of group session when you are working with such low functioning individuals.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The 3 Most Difficult Things to Say...

I got this in an email and I found it rather interesting to think about. So I thought I would share it and get your thoughts and opinions.

The three most difficult things to say are:
1.) I love you
2.) I'm sorry
3.) Help me

Do you agree? Disagree? What do you think?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Simple LOVES!

So there are the "simple pleasures," but for me, when I'm happy, I'm HAPPY! And when I'm HAPPY....I'm in LOVE! Love with life!

Lately, I've been getting so happy over some of the littlest things in life, and I LOVE IT!

I just want to share a few of the simple LOVES of my life lately...
  1. Singing loudly in my car to music! I LOVE it! And I have a playlist on my iPod right now that i'm TOTALLY addicted too! And lately driving to school, which is a good 25 minute drive I have been singing like NONE OTHER! LOVE IT!
  2. The Dixie Chicks!!!! I freakin' LOVE their music! I'm sorry to those haters out there, but these ladies have some AMAZING talent and then fact that they write their songs makes me love them even more! FREAKING IN LOVE with them right now! LOVE IT!
  3. The thoughts of my love for the Dixie Chicks right now has me TOTALLY into the idea of getting a group of folks to go to their concert here on December 5th (yes, it is a weekday, but who cares...HA)! Just thinking about seeing them in concert makes me SO HAPPY! LOVE THEM! and LOVE IT!
  4. Eating different foods that I haven't had in a long time. I have been SOOO burnt out on the same ol' same ol' lately that nothing sounds good, so I've been thinking of things that I haven't had in a long time. This weekend I made BLT sandwiches...FREAKING LOVED IT! It was just SOOO refreshing! And so much healthier than the pizza most of the rest of the family ate (but my uncle, he ate BLTs with me and LOVED it and was so glad I thought of it! We are the two NON-picky eaters of the house and healthy-conscious ones, typically). LOVED IT!
  5. Seeing my fellow interns at my internship! These ladies are SOOO much fun! We all laugh SOOO much! The past week and a half I've had a low caseload so I've got to spend more time with the ladies...LOVE IT!
  6. Gas prices coming down! Come KNOW you "LOVE IT" too! ;)
  7. Thinking about graduating! LOVING IT! The other intern that is graduating this semester with me...she is the best! She is SOOO on top of things with graduating and things. Anyways, she has me fired up about potential job options and looking for jobs and stuff. We chatted with one of our supervisors at our internship last week about potential jobs and it was GREAT! She is so going to help hook us up with several people she knows to help us get a counseling spot somewhere...LOVE IT!
  8. Thinking about having a career in something I love not too far off! LOVE IT!
  9. Thinking about not having homework not too far off! LOVE IT!
  10. Thinking about getting a place of my own not too far off! LOVE IT!
  11. Thinking about all the possibilities that stand before me! LOVE IT!
  12. Making new friends! Already made a really cool new friend that is in both of my classes this semester! Good times! LOVE IT!
  13. Talking on the phone with my best friends...LOVE IT!
  14. The new seasons of my shows FINALLY starting...House, Dancing with the Stars and Oprah (next week)...LOVE IT!
  15. Finding a couple more people that I'm friend with that do NOT have myspace pages! We are NOT among the 100 million who DO have myspace pages! Can you believe it?!?! 100 MILLION...crazy! You people! ;) Having more NON-myspacers...LOVE IT!
  16. Checking the Texas Lotto each Wed. and Sat. nights to see if I won the office lotto pot. I SOO wanna win...HA! LOVE IT!
  17. Emailing lately with some of my favorite folks from the church congregation I grew up at...LOVE IT!
  18. Blogging a lot more than I was in the summertime (because I have homework once again. Having homework = blogging! HA!) LOVE IT!
  19. Playing football with my cousins last weekend! I haven't gotten to play sports in a while and I've really missed it! But then the soreness the next few days also reminded me that it had been a while. That's okay because...I LOVE IT!
  20. Just thinking about how much I LOVE all the great friends that I have! I've been SOOOO blessed to keep in touch, and pretty good touch I think, with as many friends as I have from my undergraduate college years. Friends are one of the BEST things! AMAZING friends I have! I LOVE talking with them! GOOD people! LOVE IT and LOVE IT!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Charles M. Mills

It’s just a name to millions of people…

…but to some, it is the name of a loved one that passed through their life, and since that time, has passed on.

Charles M. Mills...

A son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a friend, a mentor, a leader, an employer, an employee…

I don’t know the roles Charles might have fulfilled during his 61 years walking this world, but I do know he influenced the lives of others during that time—and it’s to those whom Mr. Mills touched their life in one way or another that I offer my deepest of sympathies…

On September 11, 2001, Charles M. Mills became one of the 2,996 victims in what is now known to be the worst ever terrorist attack on the United States. Mr. Mills was from Brentwood, New York, and had been in, or at, the World Trade Center buildings the morning of the attacks.

Having served many years in the police force fulfilling one duty after another, at the time of the attacks, Charles M. Mills was serving as the director of the Petroleum, Alcohol and Tobacco Bureau, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, located in the twin towers.

It has been said that “Charlie was lost while supervising the evacuation of employees from the World Trade Center.”

Charles M. Mills—a servant putting his life on the line day after day. I honor Charles for his duties of the past and I end with sharing the words of those who knew him personally…

Charles Mills, "Sonny" to me, was my cousin. It had been many years since I had seen him, but I loved him. He is missed by all who love him.
Karen Paulus 07/18/2002 1:50:04 PM

We will never forget what Charlie did for our City of Troy NY. He was a powerful influence, well respected, and will be terribly missed.
John J.Treski 09/11/2004 9:56:16 PM

Long before 9-11-01, before he worked for the NYS Dept of Taxation & Finance, before he was Police Commissioner of Schenectady, Chief of Police in Troy, and Director of Campus Police at SUNY-Albany, the Twin Towers and NYC I knew Charles Mills. When I first met Charlie, I was a rookie Transit cop, not very long out of the NYC Transit PD Academy (where a classmate was Charlie's brother, John.) Working that 4 x 12 shift out of District 33 (East New York) I was assigned to an RMP, and designated as the driver for the duty Captain. Now, having grown up in Rockaway Beach, NY, and not having need of a car, I had no driver's license, until I had to get one for the Transit Police job. Which meant, of course, that I was in no way familiar with the highways and by-ways of New York City, nor was I all that comfortable behind the wheel of a powerful un-marked police vehicle. After I managed to find my way to downtown Brooklyn, I picked up Captain Mills at NYC Transit Authority HQs on Jay Street. I explained my "newness" to the duty captain, and he calmed my nerves by telling me that it was okay, he knew where everything was we needed to see. He then proceeded to direct me to a restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, where we dined like gentlemen, and the Cap' picked up the tab. After eating our dinner, we began to ride around the city, to visit commands and whatever else the duty Captain has to do. When we overheard a radio call for an injured officer, the Captain directed me to proceed to that location post-haste. As you can imagine, it took me less that 2 minutes to get totally lost. I quickly stopped to ask directions, then proceeded on, only to slam on the brakes when the Captain calmly asked "Do you always sail right through red lights?". After he peeled his face off the windshield, and regained his seat, Captain Mills nonchalantly said to me "Officer, you have to know this - if you hurt me, MY WIFE WILL GET YOU!". The remainder of the tour was uneventful. But neither of us ever forgot that ride. (Charlie reminded me of it every time I ran into him for the next nine years). I left the Transit PD in 1982, moving over to the Nassau County PD. By then, Charlie was a Deputy Chief. And I had been hearing that accolade reserved for the best of us, "He is/was a good cop" and "He is a good boss". I heard he retired shortly thereafter, and moved north, as I later discovered, to make more law enforcement history in Albany, Troy, and Schenectady. Although I never really missed the Transit PD (took 6 months to get the steel dust out of my sinuses) I did miss the guys, and Charlie will always be one of those. If I ever get through the pearly gates, boss, I'll be honored to drive your chariot.
Chris McKeon 02/09/2006 5:27:43 AM

Charlie -- an intensely joyful man with startlingly piercing blue eyes -- had a very distinguished career as a cop. He is most fondly remembered for his service as Police Commissioner for the City of Schenectady where he realized his lifelong dream of commanding a police agency. Charlie threw himself into the life of that comunity. He was famous for going about incognito after hours as the legendary Caliph of Baghdad once did to take the pulse of his community. I am very proud of him, his service and his sacrifice. I wrote the following poem about him and shared it with many of his friends.

Schenectady had woes and ills.

And so, we hired Charlie Mills.
When Charlie took the town's commission,
He swore improvement as his mission.

He went to work at breakneck pace
To make an impact on the place.
No iv'ry tower for this Commish.
He cut his bait and caught his fish.

He lasted but a brief few years;
But left with our regrets and tears.
Yes, o, this town did Charlie touch
And that is why we love him much.

Was there a time when Charlie quailed?
When of our trust that Charlie failed?
Never happened. There's no way
That he'd not rush to save the day.

In times of old did al-Rashid
Concerned with all his people's need
Go forth at night in beggars' clothes
To learn first hand the people's woes.

Thus did Charlie pound a beat
Like any patrolman on the street.
Thus did Charlie win our hearts:
Community cop -- was Charlie's art.

From far away beyond our town
Someone sought to strike him down
And take from us our faithful friend
Who with such heart did us defend.

They tried by such horrific crime
To set a-back the hands of time.
However they might hurt us much
There's something that they cannot touch.

For everywhere that cops walk beats
There's some of Charlie on those streets.
You cannot keep a good man down
And still he watches o'er our town.

Behold our man from flames arise.
Behold our Charlie's ice blue eyes.
Towering tall above Ground ZeroS
tands Charlie Mills, American Hero.

~Terry O'Neill

Charlie was a "cops cop". I worked for him when we were in the transit police in the 1970's. We became friends when I became a police chief and Charlie was police commissioner in Schenectady N.Y. Our paths always seemed to cross. We had dinner together many times at police functions, the last being in San Diego at the international police chiefs assc. Our paths crossed again when I retired and took a job on John St. My office looked out onto the twin towers and I could see Charlies building clearly. On 9/11 our paths crossed for the final time in this life. As I watched with horror the second plane hit the towers I prayed he or anyone else I knew was not there. I did not find out till later that he was indeed there in his office. I have since moved to Florida and became a cop again. The last I had heard was that he was never found. I believe Charlie is with God and wearing God's police uniform, still protecting as he always did in life. If I ever get there I hope we can patrol together again.Love your friend,Mike
*** Posted by Michael Clinch on 2004-02-24 ***

Blessings upon Charles’ family and friends during this time of remembrance and the days to come.

[I obtained the above references to Charles by his loved ones from the following websites: here, here, and here.]

Remembering September 11, 2001

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong…

Words that ring out oh-to-familiar to most of us as we read them. It seems as if it were just yesterday that we watched our leader, President George W. Bush, address us as a nation with those very words.

For my parents’ generation it was the Kennedy assassination; for my generation it was the terrorist attacks on 9/11. A point in our crucial years of development that we find ourselves questioning—“Why?” and “What happened?” A time that will always be remembered for the uniting of a nation brought about by some of the darkest behaviors known by mankind.

It was a day that will never be forgotten. A day in which most all can remember exactly where they were at and what they were doing when they heard of the news. When they witnessed the towers—filled with business men and women, police and fire officials, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers—plummet to the grounds in a matter of seconds. Our teary eyes and dropped mouth demonstrated the sorrow and shock we couldn’t speak. We watched as image after image depicted the attacks on multiple buildings within the lands of our nation. Would there be more? Was this just the beginning? Had some brave and courageous souls not stepped up on United Flight 93, who knows how many more hundreds or thousands of lives might have been lost that day? The heroes aboard that flight sacrificed their lives for others—along with hundreds of others who entered the burning twin towers in efforts to save as many people from within as possible.

A great and strong nation we often pride ourselves as—but 9/11 reminded us that we are not invincible. As much as one nation may want to believe they are in the majority power and control across the world, they must remember that they can not change others. Even when a force so dominate and powerful exists, an Achilles heel can still be found.

On a day with such lose and darkness, heroes still emerged. On a day that was ignited by acts of terrorists, uniting among strangers prevailed. On a day when confusion ran high, clarity of the means for security began.

Though it only took minutes for the skies to be clouded with dust, it took hours upon hours for the smoke to clear and the wound to be processed…

Though today as a nation we may still fall short of serving justice to those responsible for the horrendous acts committed that day—at the same time we stand stronger as a country that has embraced our spirit once again as a community willing to stand forth for our freedom and beliefs. Though many innocent lives were lost that day, we stand firm in our promise to honor those lost by continuing to remember what they, as well as ourselves, believe in as citizens of this great nation.

Today the United States mourns the great loss we had five years ago. Might each life lost that day represent a presence of love that we, remembering today, might carry forth in our lives to come—showing gratitude and love toward those with whom we encounter.

I want to end by taking a moment to relive the events of that tragic day. Below you’ll find the timeline of the attacks. I encourage my readers to join me in moments of silence at the times in which the planes became weapons of mass destruction. I have highlighted the times the four planes “hit.”


8:46 AM Plane crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

9:03 AM Plane crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

9:17 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shuts down all New York City area airports.

9:21 AM The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) halts all flights at U.S. airports. It is the first time in history that air traffic has been halted nationwide.

9:38 AM Plane crashes into the Pentagon. Evacuation begins immediately.

9:45 AM The White House evacuates.

10:05 AM The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

10:10 AM A portion of the Pentagon collapses.

10:10 AM Plane crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

10:22 AM The State and Justice Departments, as well as the World Bank are evacuated.

10:28 AM The World Trade Center's north tower collapses.

10:45 AM All federal office buildings in Washington, D.C. are evacuated.

1:44 PM Five warships and two aircraft carriers are ordered to leave the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia to protect the East Coast.

4:10 PM Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapses.

[The above timeline was taken from this website.]

It's Monday! YOU Do the Math!

[This is an entry in my Monday blog series. I use math in the title to refer to the numbers that will be present in each entry in this series. Each entry will revolve around statistics of some sort—typically some interesting statistics I might have happened across recently and wanted to share.]

This entry in my monday blog series is in reference to today being the 5-year anniversary of the worst ever terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

May the lives lost that day never be forgotten. The numbers are staggering...

  • Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 9/5/02): 2,819
  • Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
  • Number of NYPD officers: 23
  • Number of Port Authority police officers: 37
  • Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
  • Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402
  • Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614
  • Number of employees lost at Cantor Fitzgerald: 658
  • Number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Enduring Freedom: 22
  • Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115
  • Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1
  • Age of the greatest number who died: between 35 and 39
  • Bodies found "intact": 289
  • Body parts found: 19,858
  • Number of families who got no remains: 1,717
  • Estimated units of blood donated to the New York Blood Center: 36,000
  • Total units of donated blood actually used: 258
  • Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
  • Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
  • Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20
  • FDNY retirements, January–July 2001: 274
  • FDNY retirements, January–July 2002: 661
  • Number of firefighters on leave for respiratory problems by January 2002: 300
  • Number of funerals attended by Rudy Giuliani in 2001: 200
  • Number of FDNY vehicles destroyed: 98
  • Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124
  • Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99
  • Jobs lost in New York owing to the attacks: 146,100
  • Days the New York Stock Exchange was closed: 6
  • Point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average when the NYSE reopened: 684.81
  • Days after 9/11 that the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan: 26
  • Total number of hate crimes reported to the Council on American-Islamic Relations nationwide since 9/11: 1,714
  • Economic loss to New York in month following the attacks: $105 billion
  • Estimated cost of cleanup: $600 million
  • Total FEMA money spent on the emergency: $970 million
  • Estimated amount donated to 9/11 charities: $1.4 billion
  • Estimated amount of insurance paid worldwide related to 9/11: $40.2 billion
  • Estimated amount of money needed to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $7.5 billion
  • Amount of money recently granted by U.S. government to overhaul lower-Manhattan subways: $4.55 billion
  • Estimated amount of money raised for funds dedicated to NYPD and FDNY families: $500 million
  • Percentage of total charity money raised going to FDNY and NYPD families: 25
  • Average benefit already received by each FDNY and NYPD widow: $1 million
  • Percentage increase in law-school applications from 2001 to 2002: 17.9
  • Percentage increase in Peace Corps applications from 2001 to 2002: 40
  • Percentage increase in CIA applications from 2001 to 2002: 50
  • Number of songs Clear Channel Radio considered "inappropriate" to play after 9/11: 150
  • Number of mentions of 9/11 at the Oscars: 26
  • Apartments in lower Manhattan eligible for asbestos cleanup: 30,000
  • Number of apartments whose residents have requested cleanup and testing: 4,110
  • Number of Americans who changed their 2001 holiday-travel plans from plane to train or car: 1.4 million
  • Estimated number of New Yorkers suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder as a result of 9/11: 422,000

[The above statistics were taken from this website.]

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Please take a moment to read this, especially if you have a blog of your own...

This Monday, communities, families, individuals around the world will remember the incidents of terrorism that took place on U.S. soils five years ago. In a matter of minutes, thousands of innocent lives were lost--2,996 lives to be exact...

Though those 2,996 individuals will never walk before us again, a remembrance of their spirits still can through honor and tributes to them. This is the purpose behind the 2,996 project. While a great number of lives were lost that day, we as a nation, a community, a band of the human race across the world are refusing to let these innocent lives be forgotten.

Here is a short explanation of the project taken from the official website:

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim. We will honor them by remembering their lives,and not by remembering their murderers.

I ask each and every one of my readers who are reading this to take part in this project. Sign up! I realize this is a last minute shot to try to get people involved, but that's okay. Go spread the word and let any other bloggers you know, know about this opportunity.

Though all 2,996 victims have already been assigned to bloggers, the victims are now being assigned to second bloggers. I think more than one tribute is a WONDERFUL thing, so I still encourage people to sign up! Imagine if you were one of that victim's surviving family and friends. You'd be blessed to have more than one tribute to your loved one to read on the anniversary Monday.

I got word of this project via my friend Nicole's blog. Thanks to Nicole for signing up and spreading the word!

I really would LOVE to see each and every blog I frequently read to take part Monday in this AMAZING idea of remembering and honoring the innocent lives lost on that dark day nearly five years ago.

Now go sign up and spread the word. Let me know if you are taking part! Drop me a comment!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Maya Angelou Poem

I liked this...

So I thought I'd share it...


one old love she can imagine going back to...
and one who reminds her how far she has come...

enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own…
even if she never wants to or needs to...

something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

a youth she's content to leave behind....

a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age....

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

one friend who always makes her laugh...
and one who lets her cry...

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored...

a feeling of control over her destiny...

how to fall in love without losing herself…

how to quite a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without ruining the friendship…

when to try harder...
and when to walk away...

that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents…

that her childhood may not have been perfect...
but its over...

what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

how to live alone...
even if she doesn't like it...

whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...

where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...

what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...
and a year...

~Maya Angelou

Monday, September 04, 2006

It's Monday! YOU Do the Math!

[This is an entry in my Monday blog series. I use math in the title to refer to the numbers that will be present in each entry in this series. Each entry will revolve around statistics of some sort—typically some interesting statistics I might have happened across recently and wanted to share.]

As an individual seeking a career path in the mental health realm, I am always fascinated by statistics on this topic. Recently I came across an article in a magazine put out by the Texas Medical Association for physicians. The magazine is "Texas Medicine," but it was the cover story that caught my attention and led me to wanting to read an article in this August edition.

The article was entitled "Diagnosing Mental Illness: Patients turn first to primary care physicians." I found this article very intriguing. It shared some statistics that I found rather eye-opening, and I wanted to share them here:

...mental illness is no laughing matter, especially when one in every four Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says mental disorders are the leading cause of disability for people aged 15 to 44 and that many suffer from more than one disorder at a given time.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) says only about 25 percent of people with mental disorders obtain treatment.

It's obvious when considering the state's population numbers that the supply of psychiatrists has not kept up with demand...The Texas Medical Board says there were 1,298 general psychiatrists and 190 child psychiatrists in 2005.

The DSHS report says the number of psychiatry residency programs in Texas has been stagnant for the past 10 years, and it is unlikely the state will be able to address the need for more psychiatrists with that level of training positions. This year, 62 psychiatric residency positions were offered in the state.

No psychiatrists are available in 181 counties, and there are very few in West Texas or the Panhandle. Many border counties lack an adequate number of psychiatrists as well.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, untreated mental illness costs the United States $300 billion each year; untreated depression alone is responsible for $40 billion of that.

[Prather, E. (2006). Diagnosing Mental Illness. Texas Medicine. August 2006. p. 24-29]

Think about three of your friends and then decide which of y'all is the one with a diagnosable mental illness! ;) And most likely, that one of y'all isn't getting treated for it. And IF they actually are, and they live in Texas, they very well might be getting their medication for treatment from a primary car physician instead of a psychiatrist.

It's just interesting. Though the stats were not mentioned in this article, I know from previous research that Texas is one of the lowest paying states for mental health providers. With this being the case, it's no wonder good mental health care is hard to come by. This is a disservice to 25% of Americans--having inadequate mental health care. And if this isn't bad enough...

Recently a friend of mine shared a news article website with me. This is unbelievable. First we are neglecting the mentally ill, then we are discriminating against them. The link is here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Acceptance thru Forgiveness

At what point is our level of acceptance hindered? At what point does someone hit the mark of “asking a lot of people” to accept them? Is there a breaking point for forgiveness of behaviors in the past that were considered UNacceptable? Is it possible to have a past of such extreme that acceptance comes at quite a high price?

Biblically standing many would cite Matthew 18:21-22…

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Of course, this particular citation is referencing behaviors done directly toward you. I’m not specifying to that extent, but just behaviors in need of forgiveness in general—whether direct at you, or someone else.

What can be even more burdensome is when these unacceptable behaviors come with “permanent” reminders—ways of their existence still remaining even long after the intent/reason/purpose for the behaviors might have changed or been forgotten.

So to what extent are you, or a group as a whole, willing to accept those with a burdensome past? Do you think you could be forgiving of the “extreme,” even with constant reminders?

Let me help you try to picture an “extreme” case…let’s imagine together…

[Feel free to picture me sitting on a window seat and pushing a small “hidden” button and a little red trolley car comes ding dinging along a track behind me…HA!]


[The following story is rated “R” for adult language. Well, media today would rate it “PG-13” but one word in general would give it its “R” rating if you asked my mother…HA! Read on at your own risk.]

You live in your town. Okay, maybe your city (this is the big-time because we’re talking “extreme”). You live out in a cozy suburb of the city, of course; not in the inner-run down parts where gangs are part of your passing in your everyday commute.

You attend a small church congregation—200 on Sunday mornings when everyone is in town and no flu virus is going around. The membership is made up of a fairly conservative group with a majority population of middle to later-aged individuals. It’s a pleasant group of people who get together to worship their God.

One day a man (and his wife and young daughter) move to your city. They have come via Greyhound with their belongings all wrapped up in brown paper bags. They were able to get themselves a small efficiency place at a complex willing to allow month-to-month rental payments with no questioned asked. The man has recently gotten out of prison. His previous charges are not known, but he admits to previous gang involvement.

His plea is that he left his hometown in another state because he wanted to change his life. He knew how difficult it would be for him staying there being around the same setting that influenced his past behaviors so he moved to your city with hopes of change. He claims to want to get his life right with God and to “do the church thing.” He has called you to talk to you about coming to your church. With your accepting heart, your first reaction is “of course! Our church will open its hearts and welcome you with open arms.” But then he stops you to disclose what is still unknown to you…

The man tells you his past gang involvement was pretty extreme and he has the tattoos to prove it. He informs you that his appearance can be hard to accept. You tell him that doesn’t matter, to which he continues to share with you the explicit level of his body markings.

He says there is barbed wire tattooed around his neck—harmless I suppose, but “tough” when trying to fit into a gang. He also has the true markings of a gangster. He discloses that his right cheek as several tear drop markings. Without his sharing, your limited gang knowledge reminds you that each of those tear drops represent individuals who that person has hurt or killed while being a part of a gang. He then continues. He admits to having a life-sized hand with the middle finger gesturing to the world imprinted on the back of his head. And not to leave those glancing at him from the front out, the phrase “Fuck the World” tattooed across his neck just above the barbed wire.


So, could you accept him? Could your church accept him? Would you place stipulations on your “acceptance?” Would you tell him it would be necessary for him to wear a covering of some sort over the back of his head? I’m sure any current/past gang member could come up with a bandana to suffice. ;)

Would he be expected to sit in the back pew, or could you sit in a pew behind him and look at the finger gesturing at you as your minister preaches about worldly sins? Could you place yourself in a one-on-one Bible study with him and share with him the passages on love face to face with the phrase “Fuck the World” staring back at you through the remainder of the study?

This man might be pressing the limits of “acceptance” right? I mean he has the “permanent” markings to bring his past history to the forefront in most situations, so can acceptance still be established with such “hatred” displayed?


At this point you might be thinking, “Oh please! That definitely is the extreme, so what’s the likelihood of that ever happening?”

It happened. And it happened to some of the people I was the closest to growing up in my hometown church congregation.

I suppose my friends at this congregation were willing to be led by their hearts. They truly took on the ministering and sharing of their gospel through Colossians 3:5-8 where it says…

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

They were able to accept this man and his family for who he was claiming to be now, and who he admitted to having been in the past.

Unfortunately, it was the news of who he is accused of becoming in the future (which represents today), that has brought his story to my attention…


[The following story is rated “PG-13” for graphic details. Read on at your own risk.]

A matter of months passed as this gentleman continued his “new” life in his “new” town. Him and his family were able to move into a better living situation, with the help of the church, and he and his wife took on the blood of Christ through baptism within the first few months of their attendance with the congregation.

Slowly things began to change, however. Checks in and out of drug rehabilitation clinics were occurring for both the man and his wife. He began to have difficulty making the bill payments, even with the financial budgeting advising that he was getting through a man at the congregation—who happens to be a close friend of mine. The family's financial situation was tight, as their income was limited to SSDI checks (Social Security Disability Income).

With time the man began to struggle with the adjustments and unfamiliar stresses of his “new” lifestyle. The pressures became too much for his coping ability and he lashed out at his wife, resulting in her and her daughter leaving him. The man continued to struggle. He cut off connection with the gentleman from the church who was helping him handle his finances—leaving him with threats to hurt/kill him. The man ended up checking himself into a group home. So time passed until this past week…

Wednesday evening police released word that an older gentleman in his 70s had been murdered at his home. His body was found on the porch. He had been shot, execution style, in the back of the head and stabbed in the abdomen with a 12-inch serrated knife. Witnesses say his daughter and her boyfriend were the last seen leaving the house that afternoon with the father’s SUV. The “boyfriend” being the “changed” man from the church.

The police were on the look-out for the couple. Time passed and people from my hometown church were unnerved and anxious. The man who had helped the man with his finances was beside himself when the news reached him. The police were in contact with him immediately having got notice of the death threat that “the man” had posed to him in recent weeks.

The police were called in for 5-minute interval drive-by “checks” on the church congregation during the Wednesday night evening service. The congregation was informed of the situation and asked to be on the lookout and to report any contact they might have with “the man.”

It was “the financial advisor” man who was given the most concerned attention by the police however. It was this gentleman who had gotten the closest to “the man,” through offering his caring heart and unconditional forgiveness for his past history. This gentleman was the one who was expected to have “the man’s” SSDI check arrive at his home in the next couple of days, as SSDI checks typically arrive at the first of the month.

Would “the man” show up looking for his money? Would “the man” try to contact the gentleman to hurt him or to get his money? The police didn’t know, nor did the gentleman—all he could do was pray.

It was early Saturday when the news came in that “the man” and his girlfriend, the accused suspects in the murder case, had been taken into custody when making a stop at a hospital in the state of Arkansas.

The heart-driven gentleman and his wife from my hometown church were then able to return to their home safely without the aid of police escorts, as the past couple of days had been. Prays were being lifted up for the restraint of the accused dangerous individuals. But minds still wondered…

Minds are still boggling at the mixed thoughts of occurrences. Had acceptance gotten to too much? Or had “the man” gotten to the point of not being able to accept his “new” life for how it was becoming? Maybe could he not accept himself and forgive himself for his past—sending him spiraling back into the ways of his past?

I don’t know, but as the trial begins to pan out over this next week, you can bet I’ll be keeping in touch with those who were closer to the action than I—those who were able to look past the past and accept today for a “new.”

See “him” for yourself here.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

If My iPod Could Talk... would tell you I am obsessed with music. Music is a BIG part of my everyday life. It's a lot like food to me, in that I believe I have to have it to survive and I'm not real picky about what kind.

When I first learned about iPods, I was never really interested in having my own, because they were just another of those "new gadgets" that is WAY over priced and everyone is getting one just to be a part of the fad. I was perfectly content with my cds. iPods were the new development once again to make people lazier, in my opinion.

But then for Christmas I found one of the video iPods as my gift from my uncle and aunt with whom I live. Though I had not asked for one, I figured I could give it a try to see what all the "big deal" about it was. I "might" use it, you know! ;)

So today I sit writing this entry with my iPod currently playing through my stereo. It is playing one of my 16 playlists I have loaded on it, which consist of an array of songs out of the 1254 songs I have on the iPod to date.

So, I've had the iPod for approximately 8 months--that making about 240 days. With that being the case, according to my "Top 25 Most Played" songs off the iPod, my number one most played song has been played more times than the amount of days I've even had the player...HA!

I think looking at the "Top 25 Most Played" songs is interesting. I think it can tell a story in a way. The reason's one plays some songs SO much more than others has purpose. Sure, maybe you just REALLY like that song, but that is not always the case. Some songs become a part of you at a certain time because they have a special meaning for you at that time.

I wanted to share my iPod "Top 25 Most Played" songs list. I would love to hear what other's "Top 25 Most Played" list looks like. It can be interesting...

[Disclaimer: The number in parentesis following the artist is the number of times the song has been "played" on my iPod (note: to qualify as a "play" on an iPod, this means the song has to be played COMPLETELY through and come to a complete ended to count). The date following that number is the last time that song was "played" on my iPod]

25. Feels Like Today by Rascal Flatts (96) 9-1-2006
24. **Look Away by Chicago (99) 7-17-2006
23. When I'm Gone (edited) by Eminem (105) 6-14-2006
22. Here With Us by Joy Williams (108) 7-25-2006
21. I Just Can't Live a Lie by Carrie Underwood (108) 8-13-2006
20. Pieces by Rascal Flatts (112) 8-26-2006
19. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall (119) 9-1-2006
18. What's Left of Me by Nick Lachey (123) 8-26-2006
17. You and Me by Lifehouse (123) 9-1-2006
16. Unfaithful by Rihanna (129) 9-1-2006
15. You're Beautiful by James Blunt (129) 7-21-2006
14. **Starts with Goodbye by Carrie Underwood (130) 8-20-2006
13. Boston by Augustana (133) 9-1-2006
12. What Hurts the Most by Rascal Flatts (135) 9-1-2006
11. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield (135) 7-29-2006
10. 525,600 Minutes on the Rent Soundtrack (136) 8-25-2006
9. Stand by Rascal Flatts (138) 9-1-2006
8. Wisemen by James Blunt (140) 6-10-2006
7. Be Without You by Mary J. Blige (162) 9-1-2006
6. Bad Day by Daniel Powter (165) **4-14-2006
5. My Wishes by Rascal Flatts (167) 9-1-2006
4. When I Get Where I'm Going by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton (219) 9-1-2006
3. Hate Me by Blue October (230) 9-1-2006
2. Breathe by Anna Nalick (236) 9-1-2006
And the number one most played song on my iPod since I got it...

1. Not Ready to Make Nice by the Dixie Chicks (262) 9-1-2006

So that is my list.

The reason some dates are highlighted in green is to make special note that some of those songs HAVE been played a lot on my iPod; however, they have not been played recently--meaning they might not be one of my "top" favorite songs anymore, they just happend to be on the list because they WERE played a lot at one time. One song has been noted with (**) because that particular song has not been played on my iPod in a number of months because I cut that song out of my music listening pleasures because of psychology-related reasons.

The songs that I have highlighted in red are songs that got played a lot because they had a special meaning at a time for me. Two of the songs that are in red that have been denoted with (**) represent songs that were played a lot because they meant something really special to a friend of mine, so I played them a lot for that friend, as well as I listened to them on my own time thinking about that friend.