The Marina Dock Newsletter APRIL 2006
Dear Marina Dock Members
April is just another month in the cosmological scheme of things.
As usual in a free market economy some of us are doing better
than others. It was a big month for
my space dot com,
an ok month for News Corp, the German economy,
and Russian gas reserves. Conversely it's been a dismal quarter
for polar bears. The former are all experiencing healthy economic
growth, whereas the polar bears are literally watching their
long held real estate holdings evaporate right from under their
feet. Polar bears do however have a long history of durability
and consumer confidence; if they can avoid a complete meltdown
and ride out this cyclical downturn, without having to resort
to protectionist instincts, they should do well in the next
quarter…century. The Marina Dock is somewhere in the middle
when it comes to economic survival we are showing strong investor
confidence and our economic outlook is bright based primarily
on our heavy reliance on tangible dreams, as well as an endless
supply of new material to work with.
Recent studies conducted
in England appear to bear out the growing belief among scientist
that making simple changes to our lifestyle can lead to significant
improvements in how well our brains function. The study found
that a combination of techniques based on healthy eating, physical
activity, sound sleep and stimulating your mind through solving
puzzles and remembering lists makes people sharper, more confident
and better at making decisions. The study goes on to say that
the traditional method of establishing IQ as a fixed measure
of intelligence may no longer be applicable. There is an increasing
body of scientific evidence that suggests you can take steps
in your life to actually improve your brainpower by, for example,
enhancing your memory, working on your spatial awareness, doing
things differently to normal and eating healthily. Scientists
say you will see noticeable improvements within a week. In clinical
trials 15 volunteers who each followed a "get smarter " regime
for a week, were expected by their researchers to be about 10%
cleverer at the end of the study. What they found was that some
performed up to 40% better than in the initial assessment. However
one guy who decided to go out on the town for a stag party the
evening before the second test found his score had dropped by
around twenty percent-proving that alcohol damages mental function.
Well hello!!!! Tell me something I don't know. The participants
spent about a week following as much of the advice in the 50-
page get smarter guide as they could manage. Its recommendations
included moving around your home blindfolded, using your computer
mouse with your "wrong" hand for an hour a day, and playing
games such as Scrabble and Charades. Many of the people who
followed the guidelines were ecstatic saying that this test
had totally transformed their lives, or that they had their
first good nights sleep in five years. The study went on to
say "A lot of people feel they are under- performing in their
life, that they are letting themselves down, in terms of their
ability to handle events or thinking that people at work are
clever than them. This research shows that everyone can get
smarter, and feel better, if they do these things. Here is the
"get smarter guide":
Brush your teeth with your wrong hand and take a shower with
your eyes closed.
Sunday- Do the New York Times crossword puzzle
and take a brisk walk.
Monday- Have oily fish for dinner, and either
cycle, walk or take the bus to work.
Tuesday- Select unfamiliar words from the dictionary
and work them into conversations.
Wednesday- Go to yoga, Pilates or a meditation
class and talk to someone you don't know.
Thursday- Take a different route to work and
watch the origin of the species on the history channel.
Friday- Avoid caffeine and sugar and memorize
seven different phone numbers.
Memory, Learning and Other Cognitive Skills
over a period of years may lead to a condition known as Alcohol
Dementia, which can cause problems with memory, learning and
other cognitive skills. Alcohol has a direct affect on brain
cells, resulting in poor judgment, difficulty making decisions
and lack of insight. Nutrition problems which often accompany
long time alcohol abuse can be another contributing factor,
since parts of the brain may be damaged by vitamin deficiencies.
Those suffering from Dementia may have very little ability to
learn new things, while many of their other mental abilities
are still highly functioning. Along with the decline in cognitive
skills, sometimes-noticeable personality changes take place.
Confusion may be the most obvious symptom of dementia, but his
confusion is also accompanied by obvious memory problems. Those
suffering from dementia may remember in great detail events
that happened years ago, but are not able to recall events that
took place in the past few minutes. Another symptom is telling
the same stories or asking the same questions over and over,
with no recollection that the questions have just been asked
and answered. In conversation they may repeat the same piece
of information 20 times, remaining wholly unaware that they
are repeating the same thing in absolutely stereotyped expression.
Remarkably, at the same time they can seem to be in complete
possession of their faculties -- able to reason well, drawing
correct deductions, makes witty remarks, or playing games that
require mental skills, such as chess or cards.
This list of warning signs of possible dementia are
published on the Alzheimer's Outreach web site:
Anger, and Irritability
Liability, Unstable moods
Suspicion, and Jealously
A Personal ENCOUNTER
I decided to insert
this piece from a website, because I ran into Ray, an old drinking
partner of mine, at a meeting I attended recently in Santa Cruz.
We used to drink and play the ponies at Golden Gate Fields together.
We spent endless summers pouring over "The Racing Form" trying
to beat the odds and pull off the big one; we came close a few
times. I know he won about forty grand one evening at "The Santa
Rosa County Fair" this was around 1982 when forty grand was
a chunk of change. Outside after the meeting Ray was talking
to another member, when he fixed his gaze in my direction. His
face appeared blank and expressionless; his eyes had a sad and
jaded look about them. Years of drinking had finally taken its
toll. Alcohol the rapacious creditor had collected its final
payment, his soul. I could see by his irritability, he was trying
to put a place or a name on me. Finally turning back in frustration
to the person he was talking to he whispered meekly, almost
apologetically, "That guy looks familiar." Now we know this
disease is cunning, baffling and powerful, but why does it have
to be so damn patient? " But for the grace of god." I told Ray
about the Marina Dock, he seemed interested. "Yea, he said,
his eyes brightening, I used to drink in San Francisco with
a couple of Irish dudes." You did, I responded keeping up the
pretense, "I think I may know one of them, he holds forth at
The Marina Dock, they call him "Irish Tony, he has close to
22 years now." "Yea, yea, that's right, he shouted excitedly
"Irish Tony" that's the guy. I heard since, Ray is coming around,
who knows, maybe just maybe? "God works in mysterious ways his
wonders to perform" I love this job. In closing, just a reminder
it's never too late or too early to write that check you have
been considering for some time. You are the ones who keep our