One man's philosophy is another man's bellylaugh.

Jeff L. Howe

Jeff L. Howe
Strasburg, Pennsylvania,
April 19
Visit the website:
Jeff Howe is a bonsai enthusiast and harmonica player who has very good reason to believe that the Universe tastes like a cheap buck-fifty melon. He is a product of Walled Lake and a former Poetry Slam Champion of Milwaukee. He once shook hands with Rocky Colavito, opened for Leon Redbone and took a piss next to Mose Allison (no hands were shaken). All things considered, his best single day was July 4th, 1987 when he marched in the Marmarth, North Dakota parade in the morning, discovered a rare dinosaur skull in the afternoon, and then sat in playing harmonica with a drunken cowboy band until way past tomorrow. It's been downhill ever since. Jeff is a misemployed geologist who specializes in interpreting rock outcrops at 70 miles per hour. It's a gift. His daughter loves cows. ................................................................................................................... FOR MORE STORIES, PHOTOS AND HARMONICA RECORDINGS VISIT:


Jeff L. Howe's Links

AUGUST 9, 2012 12:14PM

Live-Blogging Parkinson's Disease: What IS This?

Rate: 8 Flag

I’ve never been much of one to become overly concerned with what the names of things are.  As a science teacher, I am constantly presented with little glimpses and pieces of nature and asked: “what IS this?”   And by asking, they expect something ecosystematically genus-specific like “Cytellus tridecemlineatus,” “Northern hairy nutscratcher,” or “Lilly Grady’s upland liverwort”.   When something is given a name, it is given substance, validity and verification.  It is set down upon its own piece of the enormous puzzle that nature study has been working on since inquiry began.  

And that’s really the way it should be. 

But I tend to disappoint my students by often replying: “why, that’s a little green frog”, or “it’s one of nature’s most efficient recyclers,” or “I don’t know, let’s google it.”  If truth be told, I’m really more interested in how things work, who they compete with and how they are adapted.  The names are simply a necessary evil that helps to keep us from becoming confused. 

But with Parkinson’s disease, or “parkinsonism” it’s different.  Parkinsonism is what is known as a “spectrum” disease, and like autism, dementia and mixing paint - it is broken into an infinite, incremental series of subsets that grade together – one into the other – like yellow into green.  When you have Parkinson’s, or autism, or dementia, you exist somewhere along that spectrum.  You are like the color greenish-purple: are you more green than purple?… and to what degree is purple blue and red?  And what if you’re so far off the visible scale that you’re completely IN-visible?  Where does that get you?

 (To read the rest of this blog, as well as the rest of the "Live-Blogging Parkinsons" series, please go to link below... look for the "Parkinsons" link under "More".)

© 2012, Jeff L. Howe, all rights

You can find the entire Live-Blogging Parkinson's series, along with stories, blogs and wicked harmonica at


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Again, I'm sorry about the bait 'n switch here but my ultimate goal is to build the audience for this particular series at my personal web site...
Not a bait and switch Jeff... everyone should understand ad much as they can about the full spectrum of Parkinson's, Diabetes, Alzheimer's and all these afflictions that sneak up on us.
I was diagnosed with early onset PD about 6 months ago or so. Do you have Parkinsonian tremor or PD? Steve Blevins and a few others here on OS have it, too. Jeff, let me know via PM if you want to Skype audio chat. I am part of a PD Pay It Forward network, ad hoc, on FB, and we share our terror, triumphs, meds info, etc etc. A person with access sent me over 160 research papers and docs, half of them still unpublished. My main PD doctors are Mt. Sinai/NYC, and I also see a specialist at the NYU clinic.
I will come on over this week, Jeff. MS is another one of those spectrum type deals.
I'm sorry you got this crappity thing. Analogous colors are a good way to describe it. Names of things are so abstract to begin with, something we've stopped thinking about. My mom, a bird lover before her Alzheimer's, used to chirp and tweet when she wanted to say bird. I always got what she meant, and the sound was much prettier than the word.

I'm glad you could connect with Greg. I'm a cancer survivor, and the club is everything.
Agent Howe?

The eagle has landed. the train will be met. I can say no more.

Agent Why
You have my sympathies, Jeff. More here than I knew about PD, enuf to give me sympathetic symptoms. I'm one of those people who hear or read about an ailment and suddenly think I have it, too. Sure as hell hope not with this one. I admire your courage.
ChiGuy - The melon fields lie fallow and the muskrat's in the corn. Two deuces and seven lies. Over.
Sending fireflies your way, Jeff.