My doctor said I had IBS, but that wasn’t what was really wrong with me

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When I was a little girl, maybe as young as 10 years old I began having “stomach problems”. After lots and lots of tests, the doctor determined I needed more fiber in my diet. I would have to pour a spoonful of some sort of sawdust like substance on my fiber rich cereal each morning.

As an adult I never really got better. I wouldn’t have problems all the time but every once in a while things would flare up and I would begin to suffer again.

I was told as an adult I needed more protein in my diet and with a diet high in red meats, I absolutely didn’t get better. In fact, if anything it made me want to avoid red meats all together.

Eventually I was told I had IBS, which is short of irritable bowel syndrome – this was in my late 20s, or early 30s. My grandmother had IBS so apparently I did too.

If you look at the list of symptoms for IBS you would have agreed with the doctor too. I had pain, in my abdomen. The cramping and discomfort varied but at times it was horrible. I had excessive gas, and at times urgent need to defecate.

But despite being able to check off all the little symptom boxes for IBS that isn’t what I have. My doctors were wrong. All of them.

My little sister had a daughter who at a young age began to have similar symptoms to me. Only after all these years, medical testing had advanced and without much effort they were able to figure out her problem, she had some sort of milk allergy.

As we learned to pay attention to what she ate, I learned to watch my own food. I think I first noticed it when I went to Taco bell. Afterwards I had what I began to call episodes.

The one day I was at a Mexican restaurant and had the chips and queso. Again, another episode.

In time I figured out that any time I had cheese, milk and even butter, I would have an episode. After decades of suffering and misdiagnosis by countless doctors, I learned the one very simple truth, my body can’t tolerate dairy. I have to avoid it if I don’t want to get sick.

I had to get REALLY bad before things got better for me but now I know what causes my problems and I know not only to avoid all sorts of dairy but that if I still have occasional pains, I go on a very bland diet for a few days, maybe even a full week and I’m all good.

So before you get on tons of meds to treat your IBS, make sure in fact you do have IBS. Make sure it’s not something as simple as being lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.

 

The support of public televison

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I finally got around to watching season six of Downton Abbey which was the final season in the series. I loved Downtown Abbey. The production values for a TV show were quite simply out of this world I had never seen anything like it.

In the United States we have to watch this British television show on PBS, or like me, you pay to watch it on internet sites like Amazon Prime.

Downton Abbey was actually produced by the BBC but instead of getting to watch it on BBC America we instead have to watch it on PBS because they spend millions of dollars to buy the rights for it.

PBS (Public Service Television) doesn’t work like normal TV channels. Instead of making money through selling ad space (ie: commercials) or through monthly subscriptions (ie: HBO) PBS makes its money through donations.

I’m not a fan of this method. Why beg users for money and let’s be clear here, that is exactly what they do day in and day out, when you can just sell ad space and be done with it?

Beyond that, what happened to all that money they made on shows like Teletubbies and Barney? We all know that PBS made a killing in merchandise rights for those shows.

  • The Teletubbies began in 1997. They were an instant success.
  • Before that there was Barney and Friends in 1992. I think we all know how hugely successful that franchise was.

Those shows make a crap load of money, hundreds of millions a year in merchandising rights if not upwards of a billion a year.

PBS is a non-commercial not for profit, broadcast television distributor and in 2011 PBS made close to a billion dollars in revenue — $838.4 million to be exact.

It’s that money they use to buy the rights to shows like Downton Abbey so they can then play while they beg us for money.

It just doesn’t make sense!!

Most of public television’s revenues come from private membership donations and grants most stations solicit individual donations by methods including fundraising, pledge drives or telethons, which disrupt regularly scheduled programming.

This annoys some viewers, since regularly scheduled programming is often replaced with specials aimed at a wider audience (such as music specials aimed at the baby boomer generation, and financial, health and motivational programs) to solicit new members and donations; during fundraising events, these programs are often interrupted within the broadcast by long-form segments (of six to eight minutes in length) encouraging viewers to donate to their PBS member.

Instead of running a 6 to 8 minute commercial to beg for donations, why not just sell that 6 to 8 minutes in commercials and save us viewers the hassle?

Long story short, I hate PBS. Not because of lack of quality programming but because their business model is retarded and makes no sense.

Update: I found out today that the government spends almost half a billion dollars a year to fund PBS. So in addition to the nearly billion dollars a year in revenue, they also get an addition $500 million a year from the government. SERIOUSLY?

 

It’s Good to be the King’s Son

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They say it’s good to be king, but in reality it’s much better to be the king’s son, at least that is the case with the British monarchy.

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Whoever is King or Queen of England automatically becomes the Duke (or Duchess) of Lancaster. That’s been the case since 1399. It’s a huge private estate, very much in the Downton Abbey style.

This estate is an amazing 45,550 acres of land holdings which includes some rural estates and farmland, urban developments, historical buildings and some commercial properties.

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The money this land generates goes to support the royal family. Queen Elizabeth II is the current Duchess of Lancaster.

The overall value of the land is worth about $580 million and generates about $19 a year in income which is used to support the royal family.

Sounds great, right?

Well, that’s nothing compared to what the King or Queen’s first born gets. As the eldest son of the current ruling monarch, you automatically inherit to Duke of Cornwall. This land is much bigger, and covers 135,000 acres.

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The modern day value of this land is almost a billion dollars and generates about $23 million a year in revenue, all for the Duke of Cornwall. The current Duke of Cornwall is Prince Charles.

When Prince Charles becomes King, he inherits the Duchy of Lancaster and, his son Prince William becomes the Duke of Cornwall.

 

Beyond the new IT television series

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I’ve been seeing ads for the new series called Beyond, for weeks now. I was really looking forward to seeing it.

But right off the bat there were problems … well, at least for me.

At the start you see a young Holden about to enter high school, drinking a beer with his best friend. This puts him at 14 or 15 years old. They are very clear at the very start where the two best friends are saying they are about to enter high school.

Fast forward 12 years and that makes him 26 or 27.

The problem is, he looks barely 18. He is 24 in real life.

The little brother who at the start of the show was a couple years younger than him, is now 12 years later in college. If he was 10 to 12 or so at the start, he would now be 22 to 24.

Most people graduate college at 21.

However in the first episode of the series Holden asks his little brother how old he is now and he says 17. This means his little brother at the start would have only been 5 years old.

Here are two images of the little brother. Obviously he’s not a 5 year old. He’s 10 if he’s a day!

little-brother-1 little-brother-2

If this “12 year coma” was such a key point in the story, why not make the characters obviously older or maybe the 12 years significantly less to match the new ages of the characters. It just doesn’t make sense.

In real life the man who plays the character of Holden’s younger brother is actually 25, a year older than the man who play’s Holden’s character is, in real life.

But to the show’s credit, Jonathan Whitesell does look way younger than Burkely Duffield.

When they re-introduce the best friend character, as an adult, he’s now working as a high school counselor, working on finishing his PhD. This matches up as the average student takes 8.2 years to get through the PhD program, and is 33 years old before they finally get their PhD.

Freeform which used to be the ABC Family Channel is known for teen shows like The Fosters, Shadowhunters, Pretty little Liars, Switched at Birth, and Cheer squard, it seems out of the ordinary for them to green-light a show meant for people in their mid to late 20s,

Then again maybe they are trying to break out and bring in a new age group. Their show Party Girl is about a 27 year old and Ben and Lauren Happily Ever After is a show for the Bachelor fans, which is most people with females in that 21 to 35 age group.

So back to the show itself … what do you think? Were you annoyed as I was about the age issues? To me it was so distracting. I had a hard time focusing on the show because I kept trying to do the math in my head.

Age discrepancy aside, I like the show. I think it has a lot of potential.

Update: I decided to binge watch the whole series. In episode 6 they reveal that he was 13 the summer before he went into a coma, making him 14 or near it a year later and he is now 25.

 

Rules of Engagement is a copy of ‘Til Death

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I realize that a lot of TV shows and movies are similar, but some don’t even try to be different. Case in point Rules of Engagement.

It’s a direct copy of the same ‘Til Death, which ran from 2006 to 2010 and starred Eddie Stark from Everybody Love Raymond.

In ‘Til Death there was a married couple, an engaged couple (that lives next door) and a single friend. In short it’s a show about an old married couple and a young, newly engaged couple.

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In Rules of Engagement there is a married couple, an engaged couple (that lives in the same building) and a single friend. In short it’s a show about an old married couple and a young, newly engaged couple.

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I decided to do some digging to find other shows or movies that were alike and here is what I found …

  • Armageddon / Deep Impact
  • Paul Blart Mall Cop / Observe and Report
  • The Prestige / The Illusionist
  • Chasing Liberty / first Daughter
  • Antz / A Bug’s Life
  • Turner and Hooch / K-9
  • Olympus Has Fallen / White House Down
  • Friends with Benefits / No Strings Attached
  • Shark Tale / Finding Nemo
  • Mirror Mirror / Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Tombstone / Wyatt Earp
  • Striptease / Showgirls

 

Do you Stash? I just started.

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The experts say that you need to start investing for retirement by the time you are 30. I’m well past 30 and haven’t saved a single dime. Isn’t that horrible?

The Best Way To Predict The Future is to Create It
I know I should. I’ve always mean to and sometimes I even do, or at least I try to. But life happens and it seems like every time I start to get ahead, something blows up.
Recently however, I discovered an app called Stash. They have a 30-day free trial so I decided to check it out.

Basically, it’s an investment app. You put money in your account and use that money to invest into various funds.

I intended to start out slow with $5, the minimum required to invest in a fund. However, I messed up by clicking buttons without reading and ended up with $15 instead of $5. Still, $15 wasn’t bad so I went ahead and pushed forward.

With my $15 Stash balance, I spent $5 on three different funds.

Yes, I know investing $5 in something isn’t going to make me rich. But that wasn’t really my point. I was just trying to learn how it all worked.

After two weeks, I put another $5 into my Stash account, and then invested that in another fund.

At the end of the month, I seen a small return on all my investment funds, except for one. I picked “All That Glitters” because someone once told me that investing in things like Gold and Silver during times of political turmoil was a good idea. I put $5 into my fund during the Trump and Clinton election. So far, that fund is down 2.16%. Guess that’s what I get for listening to random people about investing.

Overall though I was still ahead, making more than I invested, so I put another $5 into my Stash account. This time, instead of finding a new fund, I put it in a fund that I had previously invested in. The Raw Earth fund had the most gains so now with a $10 investment into Raw Earth, I’m happy to say that I am showing a 4.27% growth.
By investing small amounts, $5 or $10 here and there, it makes saving money easier. My sister invests 4% of her check every month into her retirement account. That’s only $250 a month, and I know I should do that too but I just don’t. I’m sorry I’m just not that responsible.

Instead I’m going to try it this way. I’ll put $5 in every time I have a little bit of money. During the first 30 days of using this app that turned out to be $30.

By the way, you can find the Stash app in iTunes. It’s free to use for the first 30 days and then after that it cost $1 per month.

If you don’t know anything about investing, don’t worry. They make it easy.

  • Step 1: Deposit some money into your Stash Account
  • Step 2: Tell it something you like. ie: Movies, Jewelry, The Environment (You have a long list to pick from)
  • Step 3: Invest the money you put into your Stash account in one of the suggested funds.
  • Step 4: Wait and watch your money grow.

You won’t get rich overnight but it’s nice seeing that $5 you put in turn into $5.10 and then $5.43 and then eventually who knows how much.

This isn’t really meant for short term earnings. It’s about the long haul. Put some money in today, invest it and forget about it. Over time that $5 will grow. It will one day become $10 or maybe even more.

The point is, that you do something. Nobody ever really has a lot of spare money lying around but you have to try and saving money and investing in your future with a mobile app like Stash makes it a lot less painful.

If you put just a tiny bit of money in your Stash account every time you can, it will start to add up over time.

Update: In the end I used the app for 90 days, which ended up costing me $2 since my first 30 days were free. I ended up making a 1.46% return on my total investment. Since I actually made more than I spent I call it a win but even better, it actually forced me to save money that I wouldn’t have otherwise done.

Are you descended from royalty?

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Someone once said if you go back far enough, we are all related in some way or another to a member of some royal family.

The question is, what if you really can prove you are an heir to a long lost aristocratic title. Can you claim it?

Most counties, including the British peerage, pass title titles based on the eldest son. If a titled person dies with no son, it reverts to the line of the second son of the previous generation and if that fails it reverts to the third son an so on. For this reason it’s rare for their to be no heir to a title or go into abeyance as they call it, but it could and has happened.

For example, the 9th Baron De La Warr and 6th Baron West died in 1554. At his death, the baronies of West and De La Warr fell into abeyance because he had no children. This meant the co-heirs were the two daughters of his half-brother, Sir Owen West, who was the eldest son of his father’s third marriage.

The barony was eventually reclaimed and re-created by William West, the elder son of Sir George West, second son of Thomas West, 8th Baron De La Warr, by his third wife, Eleanor Copley, and Elizabeth Morton, widow of Robert Walden, and daughter of Sir Robert Morton of Lechlade, Gloucestershire. He was nephew and adopted heir of his uncle of the half blood, Thomas West, 9th Baron De La Warr, eldest son of the 8th Baron’s second wife, Elizabeth Mortimer.

But what about one that has been in abeyance for a really long time? Well it is entirely possible for a peerage to remain in abeyance for centuries. The Barony of Grey of Codnor was in abeyance for over 490 years. It fell into abeyance in 1496 and was only reclaimed in 1989.

That being said, as of 1972 it’s not easy to claim a title that has been in abeyance for more than 100 years. There are exceptions to the rules, but as I said before, it won’t be easy. You’ll have to no doubt do a lot of homework, have a lot of proof and get some legal help.

There are a lot of extinct British peerages. Here are just the Baron’s alone from the last 100 years and next to that is the year they went into abeyance.

  • Baron FitzHardinge 1916
  • Baron Colchester 1919
  • Baron Seaforth 1923
  • Baron Abercromby 1924
  • Baron Ribblesdale 1925
  • Baron Bateman 1931
  • Baron Emly 1932
  • Baron Wenlock 1932
  • Baron Castletown 1937
  • Baron Tenterden 1939
  • Baron Alington 1940
  • Baron Bingley 1947
  • Baron Berwick 1953
  • Baron Seaton 1955
  • Baron Egerton 1958
  • Baron Tredegar 1962
  • Baron Dorchester 1963
  • Baron Nugent 1973
  • Baron Romilly 1983
  • Baron Ormathwaite 1984
  • Baron St Leonards 1985
  • Baron Sherborne 1985
  • Baron Greville 1987
  • Baron Lurgan 1991
  • Baron Calthorpe 1997

These are the Earls

  • Earl Brassey 1919
  • Earl Brownlow 1921
  • Earl Farquhar 1923
  • Earl Loreburn 1923
  • Earl of Ashburnham 1924
  • Earl of Northbrook 1929
  • Earl of Lathom 1930
  • Earl of Orford 1931
  • Earl of Camperdown 1933
  • Earl of Dartrey 1933
  • Earl Buxton 1934
  • Earl of Londesborough 1937
  • Countess Cave of Richmond 1938
  • Earl of Berkeley 1942
  • Earl of Sussex 1943*
  • Earl Wavell 1953
  • Earl Manvers 1955
  • Earl Roberts 1955
  • Earl Jowitt 1957
  • Earl of Athlone 1957*
  • Earl of Feversham 1963
  • Earl of Danby 1964
  • Earl Alexander of Hillsborough 1965
  • Earl of Chesterfield 1967
  • Earl Stanhope 1967
  • Earl of Kilmuir 1967
  • Earl Poulett 1973
  • Earl of Stamford 1976
  • Earl of Midleton 1979
  • Earl Beauchamp 1979
  • Earl of Ancaster 1983
  • Earl of Birkenhead 1985
  • Earl of Avon 1985
  • Earl of Ypres 1988
  • Earl Amherst 1993
  • Earl Sondes 1996
  • Earl of Munster 2000
  • Earl of Halsbury 2010
  • Earl Kitchener of Khartoum 2011

If you want to claim claim to an Earldom, all you have to do is prove your claim. However it may not be easy. Abeyant titles can be claimed as of right, but only by someone who can prove that he (or she) is the sole surviving legitimate descendant in the entire world of the last holder.

Getting a hundred+ years worth of verified documents won’t be easy but it’s not impossible.

What are the official rules for wearing a tiara?

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In America we usually associate a tiara with royalty but it got me thinking. Just what are the rules of wearing a tiara if you are a member of the royal family or a member of the aristocracy?

tiara

Tiara’s were a mark of rank but were usually reserved for married ladies. Young, single ladies almost never wore them. Tiaras were commonly given as a wedding gift.

At that those were the rules during the olden days, during the times of Downton Abbey. The only other rule back then was to make sure that the size of your tiara wasn’t bigger than someone who outranked you, especially a member of the royal family. In other words, it wouldn’t be appropriate for a daughter of an Earl to wear a tiara that was larger in size than a Duchess.

During the Victorian era, Tiara’s were worn all the time, well for events that took place in the evening. Obviously you would wear them to things like weddings, but also they can be worn during formal dinners, and a night out at the ballet or a play.

Today though, we have gotten far more casual about the rules of wearing a tiara.

Really any formal (white tie) event in modern day, is a time for a tiara. If the event includes an evening gown, then you could wear a tiara.

Black tie events, with a few rare exceptions usually mean no tiara for the ladies.

You don’t have to wear a tiara if you don’t want to or down own one. But if you want to, and I mean, who doesn’t? Then consider the event. If it’s a formal affair then you can probably get away with wearing a tiara.

And before you ask what the difference between a white tie and black tie event is, a white tie event is something you would wear a full evening dress or formal evening dress to.

White tie is the most formal style. It’s usually reserved for state dinners, formal balls and evening weddings. White tie events are only appropriate after 6 pm.

 

 

Should you really not wash your hair?

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There have been a lot of confusing information out there about washing your hair.

I’ve decided to do some extensive research into the subject matter and find out what the answer really is.

So should you wash your hair daily? The answer is it turns out is no. Your hair will be healthier if you wash your hair only every two or three days.

I have a friend who has very long hair. In fact her hair is more than 4 feet long. It’s so long she can’t even wash it herself. So once a week she goes to the salon and has it washed for her.

Washing your hair every day removes the natural oils and proteins, which will cause your hair to dry out. Dry brittle hair leads to breakage down the entire strand.

Beyond washing your hair only two times a week, my friend with the really long hair also suggests doing a monthly deep conditioning. When you wash your hair, put in your conditioner but don’t rinse it out. Now wrap your hair in a warm towel and leave it on for 30 minutes.

 

Fiverr is now Sixerr

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Well not really, but they should be because recently they started adding $1 for every transaction as a “processing fee”.

So now when you go to Fiverr to buy a simple $5 gig, you’ll actually have to pay $6.

I still use the site, but I’m also far more selective when hiring someone. I almost never hire someone to do anything for me unless they are from the US or the UK. Just far to much scams or problems otherwise.

Still, for the US and UK guys, you can find some good deals.