Apple, MAC or Anything “i” And Why It Can Be Your Worst Nightmare

As in my post below, I finally steeled myself and bought a MAC laptop.  Against every fibre of my being and, everything that goes against my grain, I finally got talked into buying a MAC computer after the breakdown of my beloved HP laptop which had served me well for over 7 years.  I had been assured that I was making the right decision as Apple (the company that produces MAC computers…just in case you’ve been in a coma or a cave for the past decade or more), was a highly reputable company.  How wrong that was in my case.

The first 10 days that I had my brand new MAC laptop, I had gotten sick and couldn’t spend any time on it.  That meant that 10 of the 14 days that the store would take it back, was already gone and I had 4 days to learn MAC and its operations as well as evaluate the computer itself.  With so many rave reviews by both Apple enthusiasts and sales people’s assurances, I should have no problems, no issues, no viruses, no way to not love this computer in spite of its undoubtedly hefty price tag (which was much more than I had expected or wanted to pay for a computer that would likely only last me 3 or 4 years maximum.)

Sending Error Reports In The First Week

Within the first week I was using it, a program would suddenly “need to close” and I’d have to send out an error report.  Do we really know where the hell these things actually go or whether anyone really ever sees them?  Like good little girls and boys, we send them out into cyber space, hoping that someone, somewhere, somehow, pays attention to them.  I’ve often wondered if these error reports are just something that they have us do so that in the midst of cursing and swearing at the sudden shut-down and loss of any information that we’d written or found, we’d have something that might make us feel that we’ve done something about it and someone will fix that problem so that it doesn’t happen again.

Apple Tech Support For Days

By the second day of more usage, I was soon tired of sending off error reports and gave up sending them, resorting to cursing and swearing and having to take deep breaths.  That was it.  I needed Apple’s Tech Support Line.

All of the Apple Tech Support Technicians were highly friendly.  It was as though they knew that you’d over spent your budget and were soaked by the pricing so, yes…of course…they’re going to be nice.  They also all spoke of the computer as though it were a pet, a child, a human being and anthropomorphized the machine in front of you to the point where you felt as though you should give it a personal name and feed it.  I had no issue with them.  They were highly eager to help me with my problem and did so in a fun-loving, personable way, making the long tech support sessions feel almost a bit fun at first.

Three calls and 6 hours later, including a remote session where a technician was actually remotely inside my brand new baby, looking at its inner software workings, I was still no further ahead as the thing kept crashing both programs and itself into a downed state.  This is where I began to lose my temper but, tried to recognize that they didn’t produce the machine nor charge me the money and were only doing their jobs.  They were far more patient than I was.

By the 4th call to Apple, I was fuming and ready to throw the computer through the window in spite of being escalated to Senior Advisors with Apple’s Tech Support System.  Of course, they understood my upset and frustration and that I wasn’t taking it out on them but, even when confronted with the question of whether they would be happy with how much they’d paid to get a lemon, all that they could do was read off of some company policy card that read, “you’re screwed” (in different wording than that of course).

“You’re screwed!”

The final Senior Advisor relented that the problem wasn’t a software issue but, a hardware issue from the factory and I’d need to send it in to be serviced.  SERVICED?  I needed a brand new computer “serviced”? That wasn’t the worst part though.  I now had a brand new piece of JUNK that I’d paid a small fortune for and would be without a computer for at least 10 days.  More than that, worse became worst when I was told that even to get it seen at an Apple Store, I’d have to make an appointment, leave it for the 10 days and the earliest appointment that they could get me was 2 weeks away!

I’m sure you can hear the mutterings in my mind that weren’t exactly pretty at this point.  I’m equally certain that each Apple Technician must have to go through a “how to keep your cool while the customer implodes” course before they’re put onto the phones as it didn’t seem to phase them one bit that I was explaining how I used my computers for work and 2 to 3 weeks more after paying the price for a brand new computer to wait to have what I considered a “refurbished” model (in the light form of the definition) was not exactly music to my ears.  And, yes..this was all still under warranty.

I wasn’t accepting this answer and he knew it as I explained it (without hesitation in how I said it).  He didn’t even try to make a return call the following day to see what I had decided to do,..send it in or wait for the 2 weeks and take it into a repair centre.  Either way, it would be the same time frame and wait.  Neither desirable nor, acceptable given that I had already spent over 7 hours of tech support in 2 days already and had a mound of work to get caught up on with NO computer now.

Thankfully, the shop that I bought it from had been one that I had spent several thousand dollars in over the past couple of years with 2 computers, 4 printers, all the ink cartridges (another fortune) and office supplies.  That gave me a bit of leverage and I had to rely upon that to talk my way into accepting the now, 4 days past their 14 day return policy.  I sweet talked the manager into hearing me out and he did.  The only caveat was that I had to pay an extra $149.00 + tax to get them to set it up and put on an un-needed anti-virus program to get them to give me a brand new computer.  They did.

The SHOP to the rescue…NOT APPLE!

I am now writing this on this brand new MAC computer, having been set up by their tech support team which gives me a 30 day store guarantee that should anything go wrong in the next 30 days with this thing, they have incurred the responsibility of having to either repair it or, handing me yet another computer of my choice.

If something goes wrong with this one (knock on wood not), I will NOT be going with another MAC computer and will go back to swearing off of anything Apple completely as I had done for years.

To those of you who have nothing but good experiences with Apple products, my hat is off to you.  Perhaps, I am just laden with rotten luck but, I seemed to have gotten the alleged “one lemon” of a Mac computer ever made, according to the store and Apple itself.  I’m sure though that I’m not.  I’m sure that there’s many more unsatisfied customers out there and I’d love to hear your stories.

In the meanwhile, my fingers are crossed that I’ve suffered The Apple Curse long enough and it’s been broken.  My hope is to finally love this machine, given what I’ve been through for it as well as the cost of it.  If not…my front door will have a laptop come hurtling through it onto the street where I will watch with delight as the next vehicle to come up the street will crush it into a few thousand tiny pieces.  That sounds nasty, does it?  But, it’s where Apple tends to leave its customers believe it or not.

We live and we learn but from my little corner of life, Apple is not the god it wants us to believe.

Computer Shopping Can Be A Nightmare

I’ve been in what can only be considered by anyone who relies upon their computers as “Computer Hell” for the past month when my trusty HP laptop finally gave out its last legs and died on me.  I felt as though I was going through a mourning period but, had to replace it.  The question was, where to start?

If you talk to any nerd, geek or I.T. person, you’ll quickly be told that the days of anything computerized, electronic or otherwise, is now being built to last a couple of years at best.  It leaves one wondering how much they should spend on a computer given that it might only last 2 to 3 years if that long but, still meet your needs.

With that in mind, I contemplated getting the lowest priced computer available and consider its cost spread out over 2 or 3 years.  What could I live with, not only within my own mind, but also my wallet and budget?  I had a figure in mind and set out to grab anything that was on sale, seemed like a good brand name and would get me through a couple of more computing years.

That’s not, of course, how this quest turned out.

Think “being talked up”.  Not only was I talked to by sales people until I couldn’t think straight anymore but, they talked me “up” from one model, one brand to the next, assuring me that I’d be unhappy with anything less.  If that wasn’t enough, they spent an equal amount of time, trying to sell me software, extended store warranties that you know your computer will either not need because it will crash in the first few months while it is still under manufacturer’s warranty or, your computer will outlive the warranty and die 2 days after the warranty expires.

If you’ve done any computer shopping at all recently, you know that there’s the window’s based computers, tablets and off in a section of their own, the Apple computers.  Simply the name, “Apple” has you cringing and gritting your teeth because if you know anything about computers at all, you know that anything “i” or “Apple” screams out, “BIG BUCKS HERE!”  I truly believe that they should have neon signs with that logo lighting up the aisles for all Apple/Mac computers as I tried to avoid it like the Black Plague.

“I love my Mac”, many friends have said.  “I couldn’t be without it and I’ll never go back to Windows based anything!”

This seems to be a case of “once you’ve had a Mac, you’ll never go back” for these Apple loving friends.

In spite of my best efforts to avoid a Mac, I was led to them by every sales person I encountered in all of the stores I went into.

“They’re more money but, they last longer, come with software for basic tasks and…they never get viruses so, you’ll save on antivirus software. ”

I fell.  I fell hard for the Macs and purchased one after reasoning out that even were I to buy the software for a Windows’ version computer, by the time I required a new computer in 2 to 3 years (if I was that lucky), I would also need to upgrade the software so, the Macs made sense in my already muddled mind.

What ensued was a total nightmare as my brand new Mac began stopping programs, crashing and screwing up just after the 14 day refund/exchange policy with the store ran out.  Onto Apple’s Tech Support.  There had to be some simple explanation and fix.  After all, Macs are made out to be infallible by everyone who’s ever had one and every sales person in every computer store or electronic department.

Not so quick.  Apple is NOT what it makes itself out to be.  There’s an entire saga that goes with this story, best left to a separate piece but, suffice it to say that if you’re going to spend the money on a Mac, Apple or “i” anything….know that they are not the pure and honourable company they make themselves out to be or have sales persons try to convince you that they are.

Forewarned is forearmed…or…at least, that’s the way I see things from my little corner of life…wait for an explanation in my next entry.

Never Doubt That You Do Make A Difference In Other People’s Lives

A friend of mine passed away on Monday of this week.  He wasn’t really a peer but, rather 94 years old, my first chiropractor and a neighbour on my street.  Yet, despite the nearly 40 years in age differences, he and I had become friends and I mourned his passing though he had long since moved into assisted living with his partner of about 15 years or so.

I hadn’t seen him much since he had moved away as his life with his new companion had taken up most of his time and, my life had also changed quite a bit with a father-in-law, younger than him, who required almost full time care until more recently when, he too, passed away and his estate required settling.  There was much going on for both of us to keep up with.

This man had become a pseudo father and even a grandfather figure to me in spite of him having 9 children of his own.  He had called me his “10th child” as a place of honour in his heart and though I had that title, I also held the much heralded title of “friend” to him as well.

When his first wife passed away as he turned 80 years old, he was still doing chiropractic sessions for close relatives and friends, such as myself.  He no longer charged for his services.  Payment came in the form of your company with him and a tea while he talked about his days in the war, his family that he missed, his departed wife, his children and grandchildren.  It was fascinating for me to hear his stories, though often repeated, not out of forgetfulness but more out of intrigue for detail that he’d left out and later added to the retold versions.  Nothing was ever boring to listen to with him…at least, not for me.

There were days when I was busy with my own life, working from home with a self-created business, taking care of a household and being a mom.  Yet, the moment he picked up the phone, calling me to come “sit with him” as he “needed to talk”, I’d unhesitatingly leave what I was doing and go to sit with him.  In my mind, there should be no such thing as “too busy” when someone is lonely and in emotional pain.  Nothing is that important, unless of course, one has someone else more in need.

There came times when he became so depressed that despite his many children and grandchildren, he felt alone.  Perhaps, there’s something less inhibiting about talking to “a friend” than family members but, he shared his thoughts with me as well as his heartaches more freely than he seemed to do with others and, I felt honoured to be that sounding board for him.

I came to love this man as though he were my father or grandfather and felt that though I didn’t truly know his children in actuality, I knew them through him and his accounts of his life.  While I didn’t have 9 other brothers and sisters, I felt as much one of his children as I could possibly feel given that I wasn’t born into the family.  He made me feel that way.

I tried my best to keep his spirits up by simply being there, listening and talking.  In return, I felt that I had also been given the gift of his friendship.  As much as I gave, I received from him in return in a different way.  I learned that giving of yourself and your time is not a waste of time.

“I’m sure you have better things to do than listen to an old man’s stories,” he’d say with assurance that he recognized that most younger people didn’t have time for stories from an older person of days gone by “but, damn it, I am lonely and I need a friend.”

He confided in me and I tried my best to respond in the best way that I could and, he’d often tell me that it was me who “saved his life” by being there as his friend.

At 81 years of age, he met his companion and sold the house that he’d built for his family to one of his children and moved into her condo to be with her, a woman a year older than him.  Still, he’d drive over to my home at least once a week, plunking himself down on my couch, talking away whenever he needed my ear and “his friend” as he’d say.

At 92 years of age, he and his companion decided to move into an assisted living facility where their meals and other chores were taken care of.  He didn’t like it much but, felt that with his declining abilities to care for these types of things for both of them, it was the best choice.

We lost contact for several months as he’d forgotten to give me his new phone number but, I got a call from him, angry at me for “not phoning him,” as that’s “not what friends do to each other.”  I had to remind him that he hadn’t given me his new number.  He calmed down and laughed.

Just before Christmas of 2014, he had turned 94 years old and I called him to wish him both a happy birthday and a merry christmas.  His building had been locked down with a flu outbreak as a lot of elder care facilities have happen each year.  For 3 weeks, he was miserably ill and totally unhappy that he couldn’t do as he pleased.  I promised to visit him in the new year.

I never got that chance to see him one last time.  I got sick myself and knew I wouldn’t be allowed in as it wasn’t good for anyone in the building.  I was waiting to get well again to go see him when an accidental meeting of a mutual friend to one of his daughters, alerted me to the news that he had passed away a few days before-hand this past week.  It was purely by accident that I bumped into this mutual friend and I felt my knees buckle beneath me as I heard the sad news.  I blamed myself for not having called him during the nearly 3 weeks that I had been sick.  Yet, I came out, knowing that the bump-in that I’d just had with that mutual family friend, hadn’t been just a coincidence.  We never had seen one another prior to this and, I rarely entered the store that we were in nor, did she.  Something bigger than coincidence was at play and, I knew somehow that he was orchestrating it all no matter how corny that all may have sounded to anyone listening to me say it.

I attended his funeral yesterday and though most people were dry eyed as he was, after all, 94 years old and couldn’t live forever, I wasn’t one of them.  Even his children took it better than I did and I met every last one of them, finally.

The entire time that I was there, I kept feeling guilty for not having been able to see him or called him more than I had called him in his remaining time on this planet.  I wondered if I had been a “bad friend” or, whether I had made more out of our friendship than it really was.  It was hard for me to be there and I stood by his casket, trying not to cry, apologizing to him quietly on my own and patting his arm, placing a kiss on his cold cheek one last time, tears wanting to tumble down my cheeks in spite of the many who had not shed a tear and went on chattering about other things around me.  I was thankful to go unnoticed at that time or, at least, I thought I was unseen.

As I was about to leave, feeling that I had done what I came to do, one of his children grabbed me by the arm, then another and another.

“You were Dad’s one true friend,” one said to me, giving me a hug that broke me down into tears.  “Dad told us all that you were his real and only friend.”

Another, spun me around to face her at this point.

“Dad told me about how you saved his life and made him love himself and want to go on again,” she said, taking my hand in hers.  “He told us all about how you were the one who got him through the hardest time in his life, were there for him during it all and how much he loved you.”

“I can’t thank you enough for what you did for our dad,” said another, rubbing my shoulder  as they surrounded me.  “He treasured your friendship and all that we heard was how much of a friend…his ONLY friend…you were to him.”

I was so deeply touched by their words that I couldn’t hold back the tears.  It was them, consoling me that had me so touched when it should have been the other way around.

“We are so grateful that you were in our dad’s life,” said another.  “We can’t thank you enough.  It’s like he became a new man because of you and went on to live until now.”

Another apologized for not having thought to have let me know that he had passed away.

“How could I have forgotten you when you were such a big part of Dad’s life?” she said, shaking her head at herself.  “I’m glad that you found out through my friend.  And by the way, that was not accidental or a coincidence that you bumped into her that day.  I’m sure Dad made sure that you knew because I’m a bone-head.”

“I lost my own father in 1999,” I said, dabbing my cheeks with tissues I got handed by one of the daughters.  “I want to thank all of you for sharing your dad with me.”

I left the funeral in tears.  They weren’t tears of grief as I knew that he had to leave at some point and had been ailing for a number of years.  They were tears because I really never knew how much I had meant to this man all of those years.  HIs children let me know that it was more than I could have imagined.  I had mattered.  I had made a difference in his life, just as he had made a difference in mine.  His words in telling me that much, weren’t platitudes.  He had sincerely meant them and his children, though not having to do it, validated that for me and likely, moreso for him as he could no longer speak for himself.

We may not feel as though we make a difference in people’s lives.  It may even be unspoken but, we do play a part in other’s lives no matter how small or how big.  Never doubt that about the time and care that you give to other people.

Be yourself and care about other people.  Give your time to those in need, no matter how small it may seem to you, it may mean the world to someone else.  Don’t ever think that just by talking to someone, you aren’t making a difference.  Simply being there can make a world of difference for them and you.

Today, while I’m missing my friend and still tearing up over the simplicity and beauty of caring for others..that’s how I’m seeing things from my little corner of life.

Harry Connick Jr Is Keeping American Idol Alive

Harry Connick Jr. brings a breath of fresh-air to American Idol and revives ratings with his humor.

Harry Connick Jr. brings a breath of fresh-air to American Idol and revives ratings with his humor.

Let’s face it, American Idol has taken a nose-dive in the ratings department over the past few years with many of its former fans, bailing on the ailing show.  With FOX and Idol executives scrambling to find fixes for the show’s lack luster performance, they’ve done everything from re-formatting the show to paying out huge sums of money to bring judges to the table who simply didn’t have the right chemistry together.  More often than not, egos got in the way and the tensions ran so high that people were turned completely off of watching the rest of the season.

Enter Harry Connick Jr., a crooner who not only has the goods himself but, seems to bring the judge’s table together and lights the air with a breath of fresh air in his both, bluntness and humorous escapades while in the judge’s chair.

As a former Idol die-hard fan, it was a struggle to watch the show after former Idol judge, Simon Cowell left the show for what he believed would be greener pastures (which all failed miserably) and finally turning off the show completely after a couple of episodes of watching the likes of Niki Minaj and diva, Mariah Carey totally ruin the show with their ego lit cat fights.

In 2014 when the powers that be behind Idol decided to dump the panel, including “The Dawg”, Randy Jackson, the sole original judge who had out-stayed his welcome on the show and replace the panel with singer, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., curiosity got the better of most of us who hoped that the show could be revived by this change.  It didn’t totally disappoint but, lacked luster still somewhere that I, personally, cannot point out and again, interest was lost.

This year, Connick seems to be bringing more of his humor than his harsh, Cowell Wannabe attitude and that seems to be making a difference for the better.

Connick seems to ignite the flames of interest in never knowing what he and Urban will do next.  The humorous stunts and attitude give the show not only a light feel to it with a great deal of entertainment value but, also brings the spotlight back to the contestants, something that the show is supposed to be about but, had been taken away by poor choices in judges on the panel and bad chemistry between them.

Kudos to Connick for his sense of proportion and fun-loving antics that don’t detract from the contestants but, add to the entertainment of both the contestants and the viewers.

While Idol may still be lagging behind its competition in “The Voice”, aired between September and December, it’s certainly seemingly being given a boost by Connick and Urban’s sense of balanced humor.  J-Lo is simply a pretty, giggling face that doesn’t clash but compliments the two men’s humorous escapades.

Bravo to FOX and Idol execs.  They’ve found a balance that will hopefully, revive the nearly half-dead show this season if it continues as it’s going thus far.
At least, that’s the way that I am seeing things from my little corner of life.

Renee Zellweger Aged By Cosmetic Procedures

A picture paints a thousand words or, at least they say.  In Actress, Renee Zellweger’s case, this may actually be true.

Renee Zellwegger, aged by plastic surgery?

Renee Zellwegger, aged by plastic surgery?

For some celebs, plastic cosmetic procedures and surgery have offered them a more youthful look.  Others have had total disasters where they end up looking grotesque or like some sort of alien creature.  Renee Zellweger seems to have turned the hands of time forward, aging her years beyond her 45 current chronological age.  One look at the photos above, tell that story quite clearly, without words.

I have hated my own “hooded eyes” for a good portion of my life.  It’s gotten worse as age and gravity have done their own work on them.  I’ve often thought about getting some sort of lift procedure whereby my upper lids have been de-bulked, giving me the look of having some sort of crease or socket.  That temptation has been held back by the sheer cost of such a procedure and now, having seen what it’s done to Zellwegger.

I’ve always been a fan of Renee.  To me, she has “it” not only as an actress but, as a seemingly genuine person.  The Bridget Jones’ Diary famed Zellweger seemed to have had it all so, it’s made me wonder why such a beautiful young woman, inside and out, would have gone to do what it is that she’s had done to herself.

It appears that she’s had several different procedures done but, the biggest seems to be in her eyes or, better put, the windows to her soul.  The 45-year-old actress now appears much older by virtue of the look of her more recently altered eyes.  She’s barely recognizable let alone, pretty.

Besides rather sunken looking eyes, she has let her eyebrows grow thick, un-plucked/coiffed as well as seemingly, not caring about her hair.  It’s as though she almost wants to look much older than her chronological age but, why?

Sources say that the actress was falling victim to the belief that she would garner more roles from Hollywood if she altered her appearance.  My bet is that it hasn’t been the Holy Grail to further stardom for her nor, has it been flattering to her personally.  As a matter of fact, I’d wager a bet that she has actually lost roles because of her latest surgical procedures.

In looking at Zellweger now, I can barely recognize her and don’t really wish to.  I have learned one thing though.  I will not be having my own hooded eyes done.  Having seen this woman’s results, I will keep myself as I am thank you very much.

In trying to perfect yourself, you can sometimes make yourself worse.  Stay how you are and love yourself as you are and you’ll be better off.

At least, that’s how I see things from my little corner of life.

Missing Flight MH370 Could Be The Result Of A ‘Cover-up’

Missing Malaysian Flight MH370 still has more questions than answers surrounding the mystery behind its disappearance.  Moreover, there have been reports that MH370 will be declared officially “lost” as the end of December of 2014 or sometime in January 2015.

Having searched some 670 square kilometers underwater in a new area of the Southern Indian Ocean since early October 2014, some 9 months after MH370 lost contact and was deemed missing, nothing has been found of the plane.  No wreckage, no debris, no sign or trace of the plane anywhere from the ocean.

Search efforts between Australia and Malaysia Airlines as well as privately hired investigators have cost well over $30 million dollars thus far and turned up nothing that even remotely resembles being close to the final resting place of the missing and ill-fated flight which set off from Kuala Lumpur March 8, 2014 towards its intended destination of Beijing but, never made it.  It suddenly reversed course and headed back over Malaysia in a westward direction, turning northwards while traveling over the north end of Indonesia and finally, appearing to head south.  That’s where there is confusion and the rest of the story appears to be based upon the British Satellite tracking system, Inmarsat’s raw data in a way that has never been the company’s intentional use nor, been done before.  Further details can be read HERE or you can do a search on this blog for other previous entries for more details.

Hugh Dunleavy, the commercial director of Malaysia Airlines set MH370 passenger and crew family members into a rage when he stated that Malaysia Airlines and the Australian government would be declaring the plane as “lost” late December or early January 2015 and preparing to compensate the families.  Both Malaysia Airlines and the Australian government have denied such claims from Dunleavy and vowed to continue searching.

What has become clear is that this newest and recalculated flight path, hundreds of miles from the original search sites where they were so sure that they’d heard pings from the plane’s black box, is also proving to be less than accurate as the new search has yet to find any evidence of the missing plane and its passengers.

Equally frustrating is the idea that new theories are now abounding, including conspiracy as well as technical expert opinions where they now believe that the plane was under control at the time and perhaps, had made a landing which would have resulted in little damage to the Boeing 777.  This has led to more criticism towards the handling of the protocol that has and had been used in this plane’s mysterious disappearance and more potential theories as to what happened to it.

One flight authority, Desmond Ross, has stepped forward in more recent days, saying that he believes that the plane’s disappearance is likely the result of a breach in protocol as well as having been the victim of cover-ups.

Ross feels certain that both Malaysian and Australian officials are being led on a wild goose chase as a “façade”.  He states that proper protocol (assumed to mean the procedure when a plane fails to respond and signals are lost to it) wasn’t followed. Certainly, we know that Malaysia Airlines traffic controllers and authorities waited several hours before it declared the plane as missing, in spite of not having heard from the plane since the time of sign off and, sign off towers in Cambodia, asking where the plane was as they had not had contact from it.  Many hours later, Malaysia admitted that it had military radar information which showed the plane had made a 170 degree turn and re-crossed the Malaysian Peninsula in a westward direction, having purposely disabled all communication systems.  Authorities did nothing about it and were reluctant to report it.  It was only with force that reports were finally released several weeks later. All of this resulted in a much delayed and unnecessary delay in search efforts.  The question of “why” is running through many people’s minds.  Ross questions whether there is a cover-up in place.

It doesn’t take a genius but, rather those interested in this story to recognize that something is wrong with this entire scenario from start to finish.

There appears to be pieces of information and evidence that has been held back and searchers have been sent on what is now known to have been fruitless in findings.

With no evidence, no debris at all found, it’s looking more and more like the possibility of a cover-up could be real.  If you’ve read any other entries in this blog, you’ll know that I have believed this since Day 1 of this story and continue to feel about this. Something is fishy and it’s even possible that the so-called “whacky” former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was and is correct when he wrote that MH370 has likely been hijacked, stripped of its markings and will be used by a terrorist group with the CIA knowing more than they are letting the world know.

”Airplanes don’t just disappear,’ he said. ‘Certainly not these days with all the powerful communication systems, radio and satellite tracking and filmless cameras which operate almost indefinitely and possess huge storage capacities.”

”The plane is somewhere, maybe without MAS [Malaysia Airlines] markings,” he said in his blog.

”It is a waste of time and money to look for debris or oil slick or to listen for pings from the black box.”

So, it seems to proving itself even now, some 9 months and millions upon millions of dollars spent on futile searches which all seems to be turning up nothing towards any evidence whatsoever.  More experts are now admitting that a lot of materials in the plane were made of plastic and something should have washed up on some shore, somewhere.  Nothing has done so to date.  People have called Dr. Mahathir Mohamad somewhat of a quack but, who would know the inner workings of the Malaysian government system better than a former Malaysian prime minister?

It seems that things are not as the public or the families of the passengers of still missing Flight MH370 are being told.  Something is amiss.  Something stinks. Something is being hidden and searchers could possibly be on a wild goose chase as a facade.  One thing is certain…nothing else they’ve done has given any clue, evidence or answer so, this case is as wide open to possibilities as one can imagine.

At least…that’s the way that I’m seeing things from my little corner of life at this moment.

Could Doctors And Prescription Antidepressants Been The Cause of Robin Williams’ Suicide

Could pharmaceutical prescriptions, given by doctors have killed Robin Williams?

Note:  The following are my musings only, based upon information put out by media outlets and do not necessarily constitute truth or reality.

Actor-Comedian, Robin Williams' suicide...could it be the result of side effects from his prescribed medications?

Actor-Comedian, Robin Williams’ suicide…could it be the result of side effects from his prescribed medications?

It’s been 3 months since Actor, Robin Williams ended his own life by hanging himself with his own belt in his home.  Not much new has come out about Williams’ death.  It seems to have been a big news story for a couple of weeks then, after the quick and hushed funeral services, with cremation occurring one day after his death, nothing more was said.

Questions lay unanswered and Life moves on for the rest of the world.  New stories have taken over and shortly afterwards, the world quit wondering, it seems.

However, news has surfaced that allegedly, the toxicology report done during Williams’ autopsy, revealed that Williams had 2 antidepressants and 2 caffeine related substances in his body at the time of his death.  No alcohol or illegal drugs.

Allegedly, the report also states that Williams may have been under the influence of a form of dementia at the time that he committed suicide but, Williams had also complained to his wife, Susan about the way his meds made him feel.

What is most questionable is a bottle of Seroquel, a drug used to treat schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and depression, prescribed a week before his death, were found closed.

TMZ alleges that there were court documents which state that Williams was likely suffering from a form of dementia caused by Parkinson’s Disease, called “Lewy body dementia”.  Initial reports however, stated that Williams was in “early stage Parkinson’s”.

Williams wife at the time of his death, Susan Schneider, has allegedly stated in the Coroner’s Report that Williams was still disturbed over his 2009 move “World’s Greatest Dad” where Williams had played the father of a young man who accidentally ended his own life via the same method that Williams (ironically or not), ended his own.

When asked whether Williams was into auto-erotica (such as that portrayed in the film), Schneider stated that he was not.

The night before Williams died, it has been reported that he appeared to be suffering a form of paranoia where he placed his watches in a sock and gave them to someone (unnamed) “for safe keeping”.  He had also taken out his iPad, something Schneider said he hadn’t done for months.  She saw that as a “hopeful sign”.

According to news sources, several tabs were left open to research on drugs like Lyrica, an anti-seizure medication and Propranolol, more commonly used to treat blood pressure and tremors.  Could it be that Williams was trying to find alternative medications because he felt uncomfortable with the side effects of the medications he was prescribed?

Williams had also reportedly begun taking Levodopa to treat symptoms from the Parkinson’s Disease.

One need only watch the commercials for different prescription drugs to find that depression and suicidal thoughts may appear or become stronger while on a lot of these drugs.  It has become more widely recognized that antidepressants are most commonly the causes of such thinking patterns coming about or worsening.  They have been under scrutiny because of that effect on an already depressed person or to create those types of impulses and thoughts when being used for other purposes. Antidepressants medications are seemingly, being handed out by physicians like candy in today’s medical world to treat everything from Menopausal symptoms to weight issues or even smoking cessation.  Properly used, under the correct conditions, they can be life savers but, seemingly far too many doctors are worrying more about prescribing other medications so, they resort to antidepressant scripts as seeming “cure-all” for everything that ails someone.

Hallucinations is one of the possible side effects of Levodopa, something that has been insinuated as having possibly happened through what has been hypothesized as Williams’ potential Lewy body dementia. Abnormal thinking: holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact

Was it truly Parkinson’s Dementia related or was it the medication’s side effects?

While it is unclear whether Williams had taken any of the Seroquel, side effects of Seroquel may include mood or behavior changes, constipation, drowsiness, headache, and trouble sleeping. Older adults with dementia may have a slightly increased risk of death when taking this medication. It also includes a warning that these side effects can occur and your doctor should be contacted if you experience, restlessness/constant need to move, shakiness (tremor), signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), mental/mood changes (such as increased anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide).

Sadly, most antidepressants come with this warning:

WARNING: Antidepressant medication and suicide risk

For some people, antidepressant treatment causes an increase, rather than a decrease, in depression—and with it, an increased risk of suicide. While this is particularly true of children and young adults on antidepressant medication, anyone taking antidepressants should be closely watched for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The suicide risk is greatest during the first one to two months of antidepressant treatment.

Monitoring is especially important if this is the person’s first time on depression medication or if the dose has recently been changed. Signs that medication is making things worse include anxiety, insomnia, hostility, and extreme agitation—particularly if the symptoms appear suddenly or rapidly deteriorate. If you spot the warning signs in yourself or a loved one, contact a doctor or therapist immediately.

If you are concerned that a friend or family member is contemplating suicide, see Suicide Prevention.

Having seen all of this, is it any wonder that the “cure” may be worse than the disease?

It seems plausible that perhaps, Williams’ suicide, given all of the above, may have been more as a result of side effects of medications prescribed by his doctors than his actual depression and Parkinson’s Disease.  At the least, one cannot truly rule it out as a possible cause.

Will we ever truly know?  Likely not but, the potential remains that it could have been doctor prescribed medications that drove Williams to suicide or at least, increased the potential for it.  That is also ringing as a higher possibility since it was alleged that Williams had suffered from depression and anxiety for many years but, hadn’t ever gotten to the point of suicide.  Why then?  Could it have been the medications and their side effects?

Of course, his doctors are all going to report that they feel it was some form of dementia due to his disease as opposed to the medications that he was prescribed by them.  What doctors would openly say, “I think the medication(s) I prescribed may have been detrimental and set suicidal thoughts/dementia/hallucinations which drove him to suicide/was to blame for it”?  None.  No doctor is going to admit that possibility and put himself or herself into that position of being slapped with a lawsuit.

I suspect that there’s a fairly 50/50 chance or better that Williams may have been pushed over the proverbial edge and into suicide by the side effects of the medications he was prescribed.  Do I have proof?  No.  Can I be sure that is the case?  No.

This is all just my musings.  Nothing more.  It is simply a possibility and a vantage point from my little corner of life.