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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Under Attack - Welchia_ICMP_Scan

Each time I come online, norton informs me that there is an attempted intrusion against my machine from welchia_icmp_scan. This message board is one of only two links which result from a google search of welchia_icmp_scan. It doesn't even seem to be listed on the norton / symantec site.

Norton is identifying the culprit as being an easynet site, but I don't know how easily IP addresses can be faked, so I don't know... Though I have reported it to them and asked them to investigate.

I had no idea there would only be 2 links on this worm / attack / whatever, but was kinda relieved to read on this message board that others are having the same problem, though several on there are getting reports that their computer is *causing* the attack, not receiving it, so I'm still fairly lost.

Basically lots of speculation on there, in the absence of hard facts it's all that's available!

I can't help but feel somewhat victimised!

Does anyone have any info about this Welchia_ICMP_Scan attack business? Anyone??

Letters from America, self harm, SSRIs

Radio legend Cooke dies aged 95 is the BBC's report of this surprisingly sad news. I found the Letter from America dull and irritating, but now that Alistair Cooke (which I always thought was spelt Alistair Cook, and it really bugs me to get that kind of thing wrong) has died, I do feel sad. He was an institution really, and I guess it's the end of an era. And the beginning of incessant re-runs of the whole 56 years of letters :-S

Today it was also announced that there is to be an inquiry into self harm in young people in the UK. Apparently more people self harm in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, and women / girls are 7 times more likely to self injure than men / boys.

I think an official inquiry is long overdue and certainly to be welcomed, though I'm already not feeling entirely positive about it, and it was only launched today!

Firstly, their website is very much aimed at "professionals" rather than those of us who do self-harm, and thus have considerably more expertise on the subject. This, and the fact that it seems the panel seems that it will also be mainly made up of professionals, leaves me less than confident that this inquiry and its results and recommendations will be centred around US, those it is talking about!

The other thing I find troublesome about this inquiry is that it, as with every bloody other thing in the world (well, maybe not, but ya know...), is about under 25s. This ubiquitous assumption that on our 25th birthdays we mysteriously and abruptly stop hurting ourselves, stop wanting to attend or join groups, stop caring about certain campaigns, is totally invisiblising (?!) and invalidating to those of us who are (gasp) actually 26 or over.

It is hard enough to counter the myth that all those who self harm are teenagers, the implication being that it is a "phase" to "grow out of", but when the one and only inquiry on the subject in the history of ever, implicitly suggests that, it annoys me immensely.

My own take on self harm (or self injury, or self mutilation, or self abuse, or whichever of the multitude of things people call it) can be found on the PurplePippa website. Saves me ranting even more here ;)

The other big mental health news here in the UK is that doctors are feeling "forced" to prescribe anti-depressants due to a lack of alternatives available. A massive 80% of them feel they are giving out too many SSRIs because not enough help like counselling or therapy is available.

Disgusting situation. Referrals for help can take months or years and this is clearly inappropriate for people in acute crisis, which is when people would be most likely to consult their GP I would imagine. And the ironic (or disturbing?) thing is that if people received immediate support, I believe that in many cases the problems would be resolved fairly quickly, with having had someone to talk to and learn new coping strategies with. As it is, say it takes 2 years for an appointment, by this stage, what was initially a problem of, say, stress at work, or relationship breakdown, could well have become much more serious and long-term, due to having no help (other than not-so-pretty pills) for such a long time while in distress.

So, if money is the motive (which it damn well shouldn't be), see people within 2 weeks of referral, and there would be fewer people needing long-term support or help. I reckon.

Apologies for so much ranting today, just too many issues much too close to my heart.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Blunkett, babies and breasts

Despite its offensive headline, this article on UK Indymedia really takes this country's government to new extremes in weirdness and total, for want of a better word, outrageousness!

He wants to charge people who were wrongly convicted for crimes for their "bed and board" while in prison, as if they hadn't been wrongly convicted and locked up, they'd have been paying for them themselves...

Ok... is it not enough that these people had sometimes many years of freedom taken away from them, with no apology, compensation, anything, but now they are being charged for the privilege!

It is so, so blatantly ridiculous that I can't help but wonder if it's true. But all the indications are that it is... And the fact that the same issue is mentioned in this article suggests it is, sadly, true.

But yeah, using language which is so prejudiced against people with mental health problems can't be condoned.

Mark Thomas, however, can always be relied on to speak the truth ;) Well, he puts it pretty well here, talking about coca-cola, dasani and other such nonsense.

And, for the benefit of all those LIFE and SPUC folk, please read any or more of these 169 articles on how there is NO LINK between abortion and breast cancer. No link, no link, and yep, NO LINK!!

Ok, got that out of my system for now ;)

Monday, March 22, 2004

Google's results for poodle show Tony Bliar's biography now at number three!!!!

I'm wondering why Amazon's motto thing is "And you're done". They've even trademarked it. I don't know about you, but for me, if I say "I've been done" that generally means I've been ripped off...

Since I downloaded the Mouse Clocker tracking programme, my mouse has climbed the Empire State Building a surprising number of times. The only slight problem is that for it to track the distance your mouse moves, you have to run the programme, which I keep forgetting to do. I want it to start automatically. Maybe I'll mess around with the settings .

The world according to the BBC News is a disastrous, devastating place at the moment. I never know whether at some points the world is a worse place to live, or whether you / I just feel it more acutely at some points.

I watched Aimee and Jaguar a few nights ago. I was surprised when googling it to find quite a few negative reviews, as I found it an incredible film. Lesbian love story, Nazi Germany... it could have been corny, cheesy or overly romanticised. Oh no, it was harsh, real and desperate. The fact that Lilly and Felice had such a fucked-up relationship made it, for me, much more absorbing and much more to get into than the more typical falling-in-love without any complications Hollywood versions of such things. I smiled at some parts, sobbed at others, and certainly am glad I saw it.

Friends had said to me "oh it's really depressing, don't watch it until you feel strong in yourself" but I got to the point where firstly I never thought I'd ever feel strong again, and secondly, I realised that if I did, I wouldn't want to depress myself, so I just watched it anyway. And I'd recommend it to others, as long as they don't want a shiny-happy perfect glossy film. Ugh!

Anyway, once again for luck... Poodle

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Send a Message of Hope to a Child

Send a message of hope to a child in an Australian immigration detention centre.

This is a totally easy and straight forward way to maybe bring a little smile to the face of someone who really, really, really needs one.

I'm going to do it, definitely. So quick and easy, but with a really positive result.

A devastating quote from the site:

The choices of these children are dangerously limited. Take this quote from a 12-year old girl in detention:

‘I am getting crazy, I cut my hand. I can't talk to my mother. I can't talk to anyone and I am very tired. There is no solution for me - I just have to commit suicide - there is no choice.'


With that kind of despair at age 12, it just goes to show how fucked up the system is. And of course it's not just in Australia that it's happening :(

Friday, March 19, 2004

Lose Weight the Anti Psychotic Way!

First of all you need a trip to your GP to procure some antipsychotic drugs. Hearing voices or believing you're the Queen of England can be an effective start.

Once you start taking them, expect to sleep for 16 hours a day with a total inability to wake or form a coherent sentence. After a few months, this may calm down, though on the other hand, it may not.

Olanzapine (Zyprexa) is a common first choice, and if you are lucky enough to be taking this one, you should gain your first few stone pretty damn quickly. Other anti psychotics will have the same effect, though maybe a little more slowly.

Adding an older or tricyclic-type antidepressant to your daily regime will increase both the speed and volume of weight gain. Mirtazapine (Zispin / Remeron) is a particularly effective choice.

Despite the depressing and debilitating side effects, you must remain on antipsychotic medication for 3 or 4 years. Ideally, change your drug periodically for maximum weight gain. My preferred order was Stelazine, or trifluoroperazine first, followed by Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Risperidone (Risperdal) and finally Quetiapine (Seroquel).

Now comes the weight loss bit!!!!

By now you should have gained approximately six stone.

The best medication to be on at this stage is Quetiapine (Seroquel), and here comes the fun bit...

You halve the medication. I did this in October and lost two stone in 5 weeks! A further stone and a half came off over the next 2 months.

Yeah, ok, so my weight loss stopped at 3.5 stone, and yeah ok I'm still several stone heavier than when I started on these scary cocktails, but hell, it makes ya feel good.

Or something.

Ummm...

Ok, ignore the whole thing, yeah?

======

Incidentally, this is one of the most accurate descriptions of how it feels to be stuck with psychiatric medications I've ever read! At least make them pretty!!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Profanity!

Profanity carved into Blair's Commons table was an article I came across which made me laugh almost as much as the homophobic senator's gay son marrying :))

Someone carved, well, a rude comment about Tony Blair into the table he uses in the Commons!!!!!

Furniture polishers saved the day...

Fan-bleedin-tastic!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Bigots, Bastards and Brides

This story gave me a much appreciated opportunity to Ho Ho Ho tonight.

Evil bigot works hard to prevent same sex marriage becoming legal. His son then happily marries his boyfriend. As I said, Ho Ho Ho!

That's not to say I'm the world's greatest supporter of same sex marriage - I'm not. I don't think that aping (apeing?) heterosexuality and its misogynist institutions is the best way forward for the LGB community. However, many want the rights and public commitment associated with marriage and who am I to prevent them?

And who knows, one day I may even be seduced by the idea of it!

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Uncle Roy!

i've had jazz fm on for a few hours and they've just played some band music of a band with my great uncle in!!!!

i don't remember him much... i remember you had to keep feeding 2p coins into his tv for it to work. and a rope ladder to get to the attic.

good old uncle roy!

They're shit, they're inaccurate, and they're somehow addictive...

What am I talking about?

Quizzes like these...


Woodstock
You are Woodstock!


Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla



Don't worry, I won't annoyingly fill my blog with them, but sometimes you just have to share ;)

Abortion

We were looking round the Roman Catholic cathedral last week and I picked up a leaflet by Life (read: scary anti-abortionists) about Abortion and Rape.

I knew it would infuriate me and make me seethe, and indeed it did. They basically say that if you get pregnant after rape (which they say is very unlikely) then having an abortion will be more traumatic for you than carrying for 9 months and giving birth to a child whose biological father (read: bastard from hell) kinda ruined your life.

Sick fuckers.

Also, they go along with what SPUC used to brainwash us with at school... don't punish the child for its father's sins. Yeah that's all very well but what about its mother????

Incidentally, don't click on either of those links for fear of being disgusted by these people's sheer hatred of women.

Loaves and fishes, food and drink, and Delia...

I've always been intrigued by wine. Well, maybe not wine itself, but rather people who can look at shelves and shelves of bottles and pick out a good one, even one to "go well with" a particular meal. And I may be wrong, but I do think that actually most people can do this.

So why can't I? Did I miss that day at school?

I prefer red to white, Cabernet Merlot is particularly delicious, but equally, I'll gulp a glass of Lambrini if I'm thirsty or skint enough. Yeah I know, classy chick...

So anyway, today's Observer promises me somewhere to start when facing the wine aisle, with Top 25 Wine Truths which indeed give me some ideas, but I still don't feel especially knowledgeable. Oh well, I should enrol on a course...

The 'fat tax' issue seems to be totally ridiculous and kinda scary too. I'm sure if more of us had enough money to live on, we'd be able to afford healthier food anyway.

I want to get back into cooking. I have always loved cooking and until my life got too messed up I did it fairly regularly. Delia's site seems a good place to start. Tortilla looks tempting and, most importantly, cheap. And I used to love a good omelette. That's if I can ever get past the chocolate recipes section...

And to put food and drink in a more global perspective, the horrors of the death penalty are brought forward with this article about prisoners' last meals before they are killed. Depressing and twisted, particularly being refused a cigarette after Dubya apparently banned them on "health grounds".

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Vagina Warrior

S from Rape Crisis is nominating me to be a Vagina Warrior!

The website says, amongst other things:

====
Although Vagina Warriors are highly original, they possess some general defining characteristics:
They are fierce, obsessed, can’t be stopped, driven.
They are no longer beholden to social customs or inhibited by taboos.
They are not afraid to be alone, not afraid to be ridiculed or attacked.
They are often willing to face anything for the safety and freedom of others.
They love to dance.
They are directed by vision, not ruled by ideology.
They are citizens of the world. They cherish humanity over nationhood.
They have a wicked sense of humor. A Palestinian activist told jokes to an Israeli soldier who pointed a machine gun at her as she tried to pass the checkpoints. She literally disarmed him with her humor.
Vagina Warriors know that compassion is the deepest form of memory.
They know that punishment does not make abusive people behave better. They know that it is more important to provide a space where the best can emerge rather than “teaching people a lesson.”
[...]
Vagina Warriors are done being victims. They know no one is coming to rescue them. They would not want to be rescued.
They have experienced their rage, depression, desire for revenge and they have transformed them through grieving and service. They have confronted the depth of their darkness. They live in their bodies.
They are community makers. They bring everyone in.
Vagina Warriors have a keen ability to live with ambiguity. They can hold two existing, opposite thoughts at the same time.
[...]
Vagina Warriors know that the process of healing from violence is long and happens in stages. They give what they need the most, and by giving this they heal and activate the wounded part inside.
Many Vagina Warriors work primarily on a grassroots level. Because what is done to women is often done in isolation and remains unreported, Vagina Warriors work to make the invisible seen. Mary in Chicago fights for the rights of Women of Color so that they are not disregarded or abused; Nighat risked stoning and public shaming in Pakistan by producing “The Vagina Monologues” in Islamabad so that the stories and passions of women would not go unheard; Esther insists that the hundreds of disappeared girls in Juarez are honored and not forgotten.

For native people, a warrior is one whose basic responsibility is to protect and preserve life. The struggle to end violence on this planet is a battle. Emotional, intellectual, spiritual, physical. It requires every bit of our strength, our courage, our fierceness. It means speaking out when everyone says to be quiet. It means going the distance to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. It means honoring the truth even if it means losing family, country, and friends. It means developing the spiritual muscle to enter and survive the grief that violence brings and, in that dangerous space of stunned unknowing, inviting the deeper wisdom.

Like Vaginas, Warriors are central to human existence, but they still remain largely unvalued and unseen. This year V-Day celebrates Vagina Warriors around the world, and by doing so we acknowledge these women and men and their work. In every community there are humble activists working every day, beat by beat to undo suffering. They sit by hospital beds, pass new laws, chant taboo words, write boring proposals, beg for money, demonstrate and hold vigils in the streets. They are our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our aunts, our grandmothers, and our best friends. Every woman has a warrior inside waiting to be born. In order to guarantee a world without violence, in a time of danger and escalating madness, we urge them to come out.

CELEBRATE VAGINA WARRIORS. LET THEM BE HONORED AND SEEN. LET MORE BE BORN.
====

It feels scary, but nice to be recognised like this.

I am a vagina warrior... I feel I need a theme tune ;)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Totally evil

Someone sent me a link to this BBC article about a shop selling coats made of hamster fur.

Since I was a teenager, any huge passion for animal rights has dwindled considerably, but I have three of these babies and the thought of killing 100 of them to make coats is just so awful :(

Monday, March 08, 2004

More Creature Comforts

While giggling quietly to Just a Minute on the BBC Radio Four website, I find myself feeling somewhat guilty for raving about the rodent pets, and completely ignoring the existence of the underwater kinds which also share my living space, though less noisily.

Zee is a goldfish. More specifically, a shubunkin. He seems to have an uncanny knack of surviving where no other fish can, given the considerable number of tank-mates he has had and lost. He (is it a he? who knows?) swims contentedly (I presume? who knows?) around his hexagonal tank amid plants (fake and real), and the air pump vibrates so noisily that he seems to survive on minimal oxygen, as the noise annoys me too much to have it on too often, or for too long.

Interaction with, and entertainment from goldfish is fairly untypical, though he recognises me when it is feeding time. He rather exists in his own hexagonal idyll, providing me with welcome relaxation when I watch him, for which I am grateful.

The other underwater creatures in this house are the intolerably dull sea monkeys. I was stunned to find multitudes of websites and message boards full of people marvelling about these bizarre life forms. Ok, so their ability to be born when they come into contact with water, after being freeze dried, is momentarily impressive, but from then on you are obliged to feed what are essentially little bugs swimming and shagging in a tub of water.

Some people rave about these things, give each a name, and there was even an article published in USA Today in which the author bemoans the death of three of hers (how did she notice?). I could name mine I suppose, if I could tell the difference between them, but they are so very, very dull that they rarely get called anything other than "boring" or "weird".

And yes, they have sex. And when they do it, they really go for it, sometimes shagging for over 24 hours. I did not know this until they started doing it, and I wondered for several days whether two pairs of them were somehow stuck together. Internet research (which led me to discover this incomprehensible adoration of sea monkeys by so many people) told me that they were indeed mating, and this can go on for some time. No baby boring things seem to have appeared yet though.

I know, you're thinking I'm an appalling pet owner, but seriously, they are too, too dull to merit any other kind of written treatment. I look after them well. I figure that inherent boring-ness was not enough to condemn them to certain death by starvation, so I follow the contradictory and confusing instructions on keeping them healthy, and will do for as long as they are swimming and shagging in the plastic tub.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Creatures

Pierrot, aka Nepenthe is bumbling around. Clara and Heidi are quiet for the first time in about 15 hours. Pierrot doesn't know what has hit this house since those two arrived. There seems to be such a huge difference between the two variations of the same species.

Pierrot is gorgeous - grey and white with huge heroin chic eyes. He's enormous (or is that just in comparison to the others?) and really his wheel is too small for him. Maybe that's why he's not on it much. Or is it just that he's lazy... I secretly hope it's the latter, since the energy of the other two puts me to shame.

"The other two", Heidi and Clara were supposed to be able to live happily together. Both female, and from the same litter, and as they're Russian dwarfs they are much more sociable than Syrians. But yeah, after about 3 days of Clara trying to rip Heidi's face off, I had to separate them.

Heidi got the better cage, due to her victimisation, though there are not and never have been any signs of her being traumatised by her previous treatment by her sister.

Clara got the smaller cage, but with a wheel, which she runs on incessantly. I read somewhere that when they're running on their wheel they really and truly believe they are running miles and miles and miles. I don't know whether that's nice or really, really sad.

Heidi's cage has three levels, with big springs and ladders going from floor to floor. She is essentially an acrobat and mostly hangs from one of the levels, spinning herself round and round and round. She eschews the ladders and either traverses from floor to floor via the springs, or more commonly, by climbing up the side of the cage and squeezing between the edge of the cage and the edge of the floor above.

People think hamsters are pets for kids, but for me they are cute, they are friendly (intermittently anyway), they are certainly entertaining, and they are, in a weird way, nice company.

If you agree with me on that point, I like you already.

If you think I'm sad, then you're reading the wrong blog, mate.
4.38am on a Sunday morning, listening to Classic Gold on my funky new DAB radio. IMing my girlfriend, smoking rollies, and creating my very own blog.

Have been downloading lots of random and free programmes tonight. Some useful (HTML editor for instance), some funky (a cool Lemon Jelly screensaver), and some downright daft (a programme which measures how far your mouse travels... as I type, it's gone 2897 inches, some 20 something % of the way up the Eiffel Tower).

About me? Mad, in debt, radical, angry, pacifist, warrior, flower-power chick...

Yeah I know, that says nothing and everything. Well that's me - nothing, and everything :)