Restless Brain Syndrome

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


February 2011, my son 36 year-old-son was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Over four and a half years later, my son Jason’s “recovery” from MS looks like a cure, but who knows? We’ll see. A few days ago, when he visited with the neurologist who originally diagnosed the disease years ago, the doctor was noticeably surprised to see Jason looking so bright and energetic. He was expecting to see a patient wracked with the disease. He inquired. Jason, in a joking fashion told him “I was cured by my dad and my midwife.”  He explained that he sees a nurse practitioner who has a small clinic in Wasilla, Alaska and who also works in a midwifery. He mentioned that both I and his “midwife”—Paula—zeroed in on “Leaky Gut Syndrome” as the primary cause of the MS.  There’s been lots of theories about what causes MS which also includes low Vitamin D3 levels, genes and lots more. Paula’s brother has an auto-immune disease, which explains why she’s spent many hours every day reading about it (as I do).  So I’m going to explain Leaky Gut Syndrome not in Medical-ese, or proper English, but an American dialect called “saloon”.
Your gut has tiny pores in it where the recently digested nutrients go through and enter your system where they are transported around your body and feed all your parts and pieces. What is left over in your intestines is nasty and a bit toxic and is commonly referred to as “Poop”.  “Poop’—in Latin it’s known as “crap”.  Poop is designed to properly exit the tunnel taking the toxins with it.  But something has happened: Your gut starts getting potholes in it. There are volumes of articles theorizing why these potholes are showing up. Things that irritate your gut lining like the nasty leftovers from processing foods, or gluten, or stuff you eat that you have a sensitivity to.  Eventually, these potholes become holes in the lining and they get big enough that the undigested food particles and toxins fall through them and into the river where they are carried around your body and even up to your brain. You see, these food particles were supposed to be fully digested and become poop, but they fell through the potholes undigested.
Now, further inside your system lurks security guards stationed to intercept intruders. They work for a company called “Immune System”.  They are the Mall Cops of you system.  Normally they just hang around and glare at people. But if you inhale something like pollen, they will send mucus out to gather up the invaders and escort them out of your body through your nose. “Mucus”: in Latin is known as “snot”.  But look out! Here comes undigested food particles (proteins) and toxins floating by the mall cops. The mall cops don’t recognize these intruders and swing into action. This trigger-happy bunch starts shooting up the place, stray bullets strike parts of the brain, tearing holes in the myelin (the fatty material that insulates important parts of the brain). The holes (sometimes called lesions) make MS. After a never-ending onslaught of invasions by these undigested particles that keep falling through the gut leaks, the immune system mall cops get themselves completely worked up into frenzy. They will shoot anything that moves.  The more bullets that accidentally hit the brain myelin, the more crippling is the MS.
Conventional treatment which seems to help, consists of drugs that calm the immune system down a bit.  The mall cops are still there, but – let’s face it – they’re stoned.  That’s good because they’re not shootin’ up the place quite as much. But those drugs are expensive, the side effects of some of them are really bad. Something else that seems to be able to calm the mall cops down a bit is Vitamin D3. That’s what I’ve heard anyway.  I doesn’t hurt you and it’s cheap. Although I heard you should take calcium if you are taking D.
I almost forgot this part. There are two types of enzymes of interest here: Digestive enzymes, and systemic enzymes. Digestive enzymes help break down the food in your belly so less of it is undigested to fall through the potholes. Systemic enzymes like Serrapeptase cruises around your circulatory system, and like Pac Man, gobbles up the proteins that fell through and are floating around before the mall cops spot them and start shooting.
Anyway, one would suppose that if you didn’t have a leaky gut, the whole problem would go away.  Google “Leaky Gut Syndrome” and settle in for a winter of reading fun. 
I started reading the Dr. Terry Wahl book on beating progressive MS with the paleo diet. I read it cover-to-cover at least three times. With all the supplements and diet recommended by Dr. Terry Wahl and others, my son Jason was holding his own. That in itself was no small matter. But Paula, pursuing the Leaky Gut theory went a step farther. Jason’s previous test for allergens (the scratch test on the back) did not identify any significant sensitivities, so she did a blood draw and had that tested. Bingo! He had some sensitivities that on the surface didn’t appear alarming. Given numbers, he had no level-3 (troublesome) sensitivities; he had a couple level-2  sensitivities (moderate), and a couple of level-1 (very minor) sensitivities.  When he avoided those foods completely, the healing—aided by pre/probiotics and Bovine Colostrum—made headway.  As near as he can remember, it was around June (2015) when he had the blood test and fine-tuned his diet. He believes it was August when he noticed he was feeling normal again.  Before, ringing the bells and making any big announcements, he waited to see if this rejuvenation was going to hold.  Well, it is October 8th and he still feels absolutely normal. As an aside, he had been trying to qualify for the physical standards for State Public Safety which includes running one and a half miles in under 15 minutes. Because of his “foot-drop” he never made it.  However, about 2 weeks ago, he completed that run 43 seconds ahead of time.

In summary, here is what he did:
·         Stopped assaulting his gut. Identified (through a blood test) what foods were irritating his gut lining. 
·         Took Bovine Colostrum to start healing it.  About a month
·         Took prebiotics (the fertilizer) and probiotics (the flower seeds)to re-grow the good flora in his gut to more thoroughly digest his food. The pre and pro are combined in the same supplement. 
o   One could consider a digestive enzyme with one’s meals for a while
o   One could consider a systemic enzyme on an empty stomach for a while
I just want to add another treatment to heal leaky gut that I only read about. It’s just too funny not to mention it. You can search the web yourself and find that it has been performed in Europe several times and is very successful. It’s call “Fecal Matter Transplantation”. If you speak “saloon”, it‘s known as a sh*t enema. Take fecal matter from a healthy young donor, mix with water in a blender (borrow the blender from a neighbor), and give yourself an enema. The reason researchers knew it would work is because Hitler’s physician cured Hitler’s bad gut by mixing up a (you ready for this?) a poop cocktail and convinced the Furher to drink it.  The real reason I would not recommend this is because a guy I know who tried it told me that about 30 minutes afterward he had an irresistible urge to invade Poland. Anyway, the series of enemas was used to kill a gut fungus call Candida so the gut could eventually heal.  If you do it, don’t tell your friends.  (here’s 3 cases where remission was recorded for 15 years, 3 years, and 2 years. Thought you might find it interesting

Monday, October 5, 2015

Gun Control? Start in Hollywood.

Movies don't reflect the current culture, they create it. In 1962 I read a small book published the year before entitled "The White Negro". In it, author Norman Mailer wrote about the emergence of the
sympathetic anti-hero, the "hipster". What caused this glamorizing to spread so fast and reach almost total acceptance by the American population was Hollywood's Marlon Brando and James Dean. I would add that the brooding rebels were soon to be back-dropped by the gritty writings of Tennessee Williams and the big screen. That steady diet of existentialism influenced popular music, poetry, other writings and
the entire mindset of that emerging generation. The "simplistic" morality of John  Wayne and Gary Cooper became a thing of the past.

Compare movie posters of "Casablanca" for example with the majority of movie posters today. Today, the posterized hero has a square jaw, a macho scowl, and a huge gun. Guns, guns, guns on every poster ready to "even the score".  The number of bullets fired in any of the "action movies" is impossible to count. Yep, the coolest people on the planet are fearlessly ready to settle the score with "guns ablazing".  Guns, 
guns, guns. Talk about reaching the saturation point in the collective mind!  There was an old adage that said "whatever becomes thinkable, becomes doable with frightening speed". No, The entertainment industry doesn't reflect the culture, it creates it. Where else would it come from? When the movie hero starts splattering bad guys all over the place, I'm sure the viewers react emotionally the same as the Roman citizenry jubilantly did watching a lion rip the entrails out of a screaming Christian. Yet, these entertainment elitists consider me a lowlife because I own a gun. When some tragic event happens thousands of miles away, I'm supposed to give up something of mine? What are these actors going to give up? Nothing. They are going to continue feeding bloody meat to the collective beast.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Canonizing Junipero Serra

I just saw where the pope intends to canonize an 18th century priest and some natives of California are complaining about how their ancestors were treated by Europeans during that time (which of course, is true). Well, naturally I have a story relating to that very topic which I read about in one of Alistair Cooks books:
For about 50 years in the 16th century, the Spanish Conquistadors brutalized the Indians of the new world, enslaving them and working them to death in gold and silver mines. Fortunes were made for the Spanish conquerors. The catholic priests who routinely accompanied the conquistadors on their explorations of new lands were appalled by the treatment of the Indians. They complained about the abuses, but their complaints fell on deaf ears. Finally, returning to Spain from the new world, a priest (Dominican Friar Bartolome de Las Casas) complained to the king of Spain and the whole thing wound up in court.

Las Casas complained that human beings could not be treated in such a fashion as the Indians were being treated, but the attorney for the conquistadors, Sepulveda (a humanist scholar) argued that by acceptable civilized standards, Indians were not human beings.  The court agreed with this intellectual elitist and the enslavement of Indians continued.  So the priests went to the pope. Pope Paul III was outraged and made a papal decision declaring that Indians were human beings and henceforth would be treated as such. He also declared that anyone violating this decree faced excommunication.  This forced the king of Spain to inform the conquistadors that they would lose all financial support for their expeditions if they did not comply with the New Law of 1542.

The political and financial aspects of the Spanish hung in the balance of a debate between the intellectual gymnastics of a humanist-scholar and the straightforward declaration by a theological absolutist.  Of interest, one Spanish ship returned to Spain with a cargo of gold that was worth in today’s money, thirty million dollars!  Pope Paul III was up against astronomical political and financial interests. But he maintained that some things were beyond debate… were “absolutes”.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I know; you wanna read my Sarah Palin stuff ...

Well, click on this link.
For a long time I had several small pieces scattered all around, so I changed the posting dates on them to clump them together.  I just added to that post down there some data I just read today about one of her major accomplishments -- "ACES" -- oil tax policy and the results of that. Here is the data as of today: : “Oil tax returns filed with Alaska has increased 383% since ACES was passed….and annual capital expenditures have nearly doubled since FY2007 … 13% if Conoco Phillips development occurred in Alaska but Alaska contributed 34% of their income. .. oil and gas jobs increased more than 15% between 2007 and 2012." You can read the whole article here.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


My next gig will be the Russian New Year Mardi Gras at the Finlandia Hall January 10th, 8225 Spring Street in Anchorage. This is a ticketed event. Tickets available on through the internet.  The band “Forget Me Not” will be playing also.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Spirit--The 7th Fire of Alaska

Rod Master (seated) engineered and played on my CD Cruisin' Anchorage, is working on his next project Spirit -- The Seventh Fire of Alaska, for its production scheduled for February 20, 2015 at Anchorage's Discovery Theater. I guess another old gig partner -- Matt Hammer -- will be returning to Alaska to see the production.  Rod has worked with Native musical groups for years.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Some of my recordings on sax (and maybe a reading or two)

Bridget Sullivan vocal on Shadows and the Light;   Instrumental Cool Joe 
Froma live reading at the Out North Theater in Anchorage Genesis on a Book Shelf

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I remember the event well and dedicated  a long chapter in my book Fire and Ice to the event and the players in one of the largest oil spills recorded.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


My son, Tim, called me yesterday on my birthday and before long we were chatting philosophical stuff. He asked me if I planned on posting any more things like I did about Darwin. So, we talked about science and technology a bit and I came up with this: 

Science toys with us, as though within it, we will eventually discover the Holy Grail. Always, since even before Francis Bacon, we believed that because science might provide for us enough food and water access to feed the planet and provide for everyone, or through it, we would be able to talk to one another in a common language, see our common humanity, science would eventually eradicate war. Science didn’t eradicate war, it perfected it. In the twentieth century, wars were first fought with total scientific detachment.  Open a trap door, press a button and vaporize a quarter of a million people.  Those who would place their faith primarily in science and would turn a deaf ear to the dualist/theists will regret the lessons learned from the past. Remember the difference between “knowledge” and “wisdom”. It takes knowledge to build the “big one”, but “wisdom” to keep that sonofabitch away from the kids. 

Is science finally “settled”? Is it settled regarding global warming or ape-to-man evolution (see my Darwin posting)? Arising out of the first agricultural civilizations appearing after the close of the last ice age, man’s intellectual hunger has no limit and its capacity has no end.  It often gambles on the attempt to observe some discernible pattern in the events of history. Well, how about this musing of Loren Eiseley in his 1971 Invisible Pyramid: “Beginning on some winter night, the snow will fall steadily for a thousand years and hush in it’s fallings … the cities. The delicate traceries of the frost will slowly dim the glass in the observatories and all will be as it had been before … The long trail of Halley’s comet, once more returning, will pass like a ghostly matchflame over the unwatched grave of the cities.”?  Will Chicago be one huge block of ice, and in it, the forlorn and echo-empty “Carbon Exchange”? Don’t ask me. I don’t attempt answers, I just post questions. It’s much safer. But I will say, “It’s not… ‘settled’”.  Look, if the Vikings who about 1,000 A.D. traveled from Norway to Greenland (so named because it was lush in the hospitable balmy climate), then on to Newfoundland where they luxuriated and built settlements which they occupied for about 500 years, decided to “bag it”, and go back home, it wasn’t because of a minor nip in the air. Fur-wrapped Vikings could deal with a little chill. That mini ice age was punishing. If the crops won’t grow and the fishing spots are frozen over, it’s time to bag it. Another indicator can be found in the woods where the wood for Stradivarius violins were initially taken. That quality of wood has disappeared because the changing climate has made the tree growing season so radically different. So, if Nero is going to play the fiddle while we freeze, it won’t be a “Strad”.  However, if we really warm up, you won’t hear any complaints from me. I’m already in Alaska. So, you’ll find me eating locally-grown bananas on the beach in Nome. More stuff later… I’m getting tired of writing.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Passing of a life-long Alaska at age 93

My mother-in-law, Ida deVille, at age 94 passed away last night at 11:30. She went to join her husband, Jacques (“Jack”) who died at age 91 in 2003. The life-long Alaskans, before moving to Cordova, resided in the now-abandoned town of Katalla which rested on the very edge of the Gulf of Alaska near Kayak Island. Following is my favorite story about Ida:
Jack – not surprising – had been a commercial fisherman most of his life. Ida accompanied him on the boat quite often during the fishing season, but not this one time. She stayed home to take care of their three sons; this was before the births—later—of two daughters.
In the mid ‘40’s, Jack deVille had been gone for some time chugging his way around the Sound in search of salmon and had no way of knowing that wife, Ida, had been worrying over the deteriorating condition of their youngest --infant -- son, Bob. Katalla had no hospital, doctors or even radio communications to summon help from Cordova. The trip from Katalla to Cordova by boat – assuming weather was conducive to the trip – was tedious, and very long. And without radar, piloting a boat in the dark when approaching the waters off the Copper River delta with its sandbars and breakers, would have to be a matter of life or death.
On such emergency occasions, the powerful radio at the St. Elias lighthouse on Kayak Island had contacted Cordova for help. There were times when this was difficult to arrange. When the weather was bad, a boat from Katalla could not approach the beach line of Kayak Island without being smashed on the rocks. But Ida was becoming desperate. At the kitchen table, she scribbled four notes which read, “Someone sick. Need Plane”. She folded each paper and stuffed them into four tobacco cans. She sealed the cans with wax and tape. Leaving her sons in the charge of a couple of teenage neighbor girls, she trekked out into the stormy weather and climbed into a neighbor’s boat who then maneuvered it into the deeper water and turned south-southeast. The engine, the reliable “two-bits” “two-bits” “two-bits” sound it made as it dutifully pushed the boat into the bigger and bigger swells, Ida and the neighbor squinted out of the pilot house windows, their eyes fixed on the rotating light of the lighthouse off in the distant darkness.
Reaching the south end of the island they “paced” back and forth directing the beams of spotlights at the lighthouse living quarters until they saw dark figures immerging from the building, who, with flashlights in hands, made their way to the beach. The spotlight on the boat was now directed on to Ida, on deck, so the Coast Guardsmen could see she was holding up a can. She then flung it into the water. Then she did the same with the other three cans. Now it was time to wait for the waves to carry the cans to the beach. The Coasties could be seen walking up and down the beach, scanning their flashlight beams on the incoming waves. After a period of time, one of them began waving, and the spotlight revealed that he held up one of the tobacco cans.
The next morning the small plane arrived. It was so small that Ida could only pack for Bob, no clothes for herself. She asked the two Hanson girls what they would like from Cordova as payment for watching the boys. “Ice skates” they replied. In the Cordova hospital, Bob was diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia. He was in the hospital for two months. During that time, Jack had pulled into Cordova and then learned about the situation. After Bob’s release from the hospital, Jack, Ida and Bob boarded their Boat, the “New Josie” and he loaded his new prized possession – his new Ford truck – onto the stern of the boat, lashed it down, and headed for Katalla.
In the Gulf, in line with the Copper River Delta, the winds tore through the area with such force that crossing was impossible. In fact, turning the vessel around in those swells took timing, nerve, and luck to minimize the time spent sideways to the swells. He was lucky enough to swing the “New Josie” around to prevent capsizing, but not lucky enough to save his Ford, which was ripped loose of it’s lashings and washed overboard. That was only the first of many attempts to cross the Gulf during the next 3 months.
When they finally moored up in Katalla, 5 months after leaving, Ida was very apologetic to the Hanson girls and gave them a pair of clip-on ice skates, adjustable in size, so they could share them.

Recently acquired photo of Ida in the ‘20’s at the Woody Island Baptist Mission near Kodiak Alaska where she spent her younger days. Bottom picture Ida is seated making bread in the kitchen of the mission.  Upper left, showing off her purchases from her first paycheck: a Bible, a sled, and her new boots. Upper right, still making bread decades later.