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Strategic Living's News & Views
November  2009
In this issue
CBS Blows Chance on Ghost Whisperer
Awearness: Who's Watching Your Back?
Upcoming Classes
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Joanne Factor of Strategic Living Greetings!

I recently read a great story of a 72 year old woman using her wits and a can of air freshener (instead of pepper spray) to fend off an assailant. Great instincts!

If you are like most people who consider self-defense classes, you wonder how you could really be ready for a possible assault without turning into a paranoid wreck.  There is no truly easy answer.  However, the critical element of your thinking habits is key.  Just do this simple exercise.

Since you're reading this enewsletter I'll guess you're at your computer. Or maybe you're on the go, reading this on your iPhone or other mobile device (and hopefully you're not driving). Pause. Yes, right now. Look around. What is within arm's reach that can be used as a weapon?  Anything you can pick up and use to throw or strike will do just fine.

Did you pause and look? Do it.

Next step: reach out and pick it up. How does it feel in your hand? What can you do with it? For example, I'm looking at my cordless landline phone. I can easily wrap my hand around it and use it as a hammer to the face (or side of the head or solar plexus or other soft target). Or the loose-leaf binder can be thrust into a throat.

Do this exercise every so often. You'll be better prepared. Just in case.

Sincerely, Joanne

Ghost Whisperer Needs Live People Skills

CBS, what WERE you thinking?

You had a real opportunity, and you blew it. Big time.

Perhaps you didn't realize that October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You had an opportunity during the October 16, 2009 episode of The Ghost Whisperer to say something intelligent about dating, relationships, and abuse. But you blew it.

Lots of things about The Ghost Whisperer I don't understand. Like whether Melinda's husband is dead or alive, or both. Like how she suddenly has a five-year-old son and I never ever realized she was pregnant. Or like how merely sad ghosts can't pick up material objects, while the violent ones throw things.

But I do understand the warning signs, or "red flags," of potential abuse.

Melinda's sidekick Delia decides to stop dating Roger for screaming at the maitre'd in a restaurant. OK, the maitre'd insisted on opening a "special" bottle of wine for them even after they declined, and then spilled it all over Delia. Roger jumped to his feet, and let loose a verbal barrage (fortunately appropriate in language for prime time TV). As her mother told her, don't date a man who's mean to the waiter, and Delia saw a mean side she that just didn't appeal to her. So she does not return Roger's phone calls.

Then strange things begin to happen. On a show about talking to ghosts, that's to be expected. But these strange goings-on were from a live person. Rose petals and roses on Delia's car. A shower of violet flowers. A mime sent to pantomime love. Delia suspects Roger is trying to woo her back.

Melissa encourages her to reconsider: "Are you sure you don't want to give Roger a second chance? But it proves he has a romantic side, and besides you told me that that maitre'd was obnoxious and had spilled things on you before! So, maybe, Roger was just, I don't know, protecting you."

Melinda had this GREAT opportunity to affirm Delia's intuition. She could have said something like, "Delia, he's still really interested in you and wants a second chance. If you do go out with him again, just look out for controlling behavior, it could foreshadow an abusive relationship." I'm sure you have at least a couple of scriptwriters clever enough to turn some of the behaviors of potential abuse into scintillating TV dialog. (If you want to know what they are, download this Signs of Batterers list and Campus DV Safety flyer. Or read Domestic Violence for Beginners, by Alisa Del Tufo.)

But no, she made excuses for a man she did not know, evoking romance.

Sure romance is sexier than domestic violence. But when all rates of violence in this country are at 40 year lows EXCEPT for domestic violence, when domestic violence is the #1 lifetime hazard facing women today, and when in all of my self-defense classes for teen girls most already know of friends who've been in abusive relationships, popular TV shows have just got to do a better job of making at least a discussion of abuse more mainstream. Abuse is not romantic, to either the living or the dead.

[To watch this episode, paste this URL in your browser:]

Who's Watching Your Back?

Proclaim your awearness with these new shirts. Strategic Living logo on front left and "Who's Watching Your Back?" with Eye design on back. Comes in both unisex and ladies styles.  Unisex shirt comes in rich Carolina Blue 100% cotton Gildan Ultra Cotton Activewear, while ladies T is a vibrant Aquamarine 100% cotton Hanes shirt, with V neck and slender tapered cut.

        Strategic Living T shirt       Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

Unisex shirt is regularly $15, but through this enewsletter is only $11.99 (plus shipping and tax). 
Buy Now

Ladies shirt is regularly $18, but through this enewsletter only $14.99 (plus shipping and tax).
Buy Now

Sizes available are S, M, L, XL (and 2XL for Unisex only).  When ordering please indicate size in "Note to Merchant" field.
'Tis the Season . . .

OK, this really has nothing to do with self-defense.  But it is the cold season.  While I don't have the cure for the common cold I do have some home remedies that I use over and over.

Here is my substitute for Sudafed:  Chop a handful of jalapeno peppers, a head of garlic, and a thumb of garlic.  Put in a bowl that can hold about 3 cups and pour boiling water to the rim.  Cover and let it come to room temperature.  Strain.  Compost the solids, reserving the liquid.  Every morning and every evening put 2 tablespoons of your liquid in a glass.  Add juice of 1/2 lime.  Fill the rest of the glass with water.  Drink.  Do this for about a week.  Helps alleviate stuffiness and congestion.

Tea is always welcome this time of year, and here's my mixture.  Find a store that sells dried herbs in bulk, and get some peppermint, licorice root, lemon grass, nettles, burdock root and dandelion root.  Mix together and keep in a sealed container.  Prepare like any other herbal tea.    You'll have to play with the proportions to taste, and you'll know when you get it, the flavors are both delightfully contrasting and complimentary.

Do you have a favorite recipe?  Email me.
Joanne Factor and BOB, Strategic Living
Classes for Winter 2010:

Self-Defense 101:  A four week course that builds progressive skill and prepares you for those unexpected moments.

Four Tuesday evenings, Feb 2 - 23, 6:45 - 8:45 pm, through the UW Women's Center.  Register online at, or phone 206-685-1090.

Four Saturday afternoons, Feb 27 - March 20, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus (10700 Northup Way).  Register online at

Weekend Workshop:  Offered through the ASUW Experimental College, the winter quarter class will be offered Feb 19-21.  Visit for more information and registration.  Note: this class is often co-ed.

Self-Defense Basics for Women:  Offered through the ASUW Experimental College, this short seminar will focus on skills most essential for college women (although the class is open to anybody).  Wednesday March 3 on the UW campus.  Registration will open soon, visit for more info.

Self-Defense One-Day Seminars:  If you have only a few hours to spare, spend it here. OK, practice time is limited, but you'll learn the most important lesson: that you have choices. In a single session you'll learn about real risks, assailant tricks, crucial targets and how to create an impact, and releases from the most common grabs. Register at

Next offered:

Sunday Jan 31, noon - 5:00 pm
Sunday Feb 28, noon - 5:00 pm
Saturday April 3, 1:00 - 6:00 pm

KidSafe:  Age-Appropriate Safety Skills for Children:

North Kirkland Community Center:  Next class at this location is January 30.  Phone 425-828-1234 to register.
Self defense class - striking practice
Self-defense skills are like CPR, you should review and practice them annually. 

Register for my Refresher Program at  And if you believe that these skills are crucial for all women, please take advantage of my Referral Program at

Do you work with a non-profit or community organization that holds silent auctions?  Ask me to donate a gift certificate for a private 1.5 hour seminar.

Do you work with a non-profit or community organizations whose staff/volunteers/members/clients would benefit from a safety skills seminar?  Visit for information on requesting partly subsidized training sessions.
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phone: 206.202.0748

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