Saturday, April 30, 2011

It’s dark out there

It is early and that's no surprise. I was in bed for about five and a half hours before I gave up and decided to make a pot of coffee. Now I've had a cup and browsed the internet as I usually do about this time. My feed reader told me that there was something new to read on a friends blog; Mature Landscaping. Nance has a great way with words. And her posts prove it. If you read carefully you might notice a small reference to pain. Her pain. From what I can tell, she is at odds with severe pain on a regular basis and still appears to be a winner. She handles pain with much grace. Enviable grace.

Speaking of pain as I was... in about a month, I will be talking to the surgeon who will do the Spinal Cord Stimulator implant. Surgery will follow within a week or two? A month or two? Whatever! Then, with any luck at all, I will be able to wirelessly dial up the necessary pain relief any time I wish. Electronic wizardry sending messages from the embedded controller and up my spine; these fool the brain by scrambling the pain message. What a wonderful time to be alive!

Of course I don't get off the hook of pain completely. I now count 'Trigger Finger' as something new to plague me. Luckily it is my left hand ring finger and so, being right handed, I'm not incapacitated by it. I was able to get my wedding ring off before the swelling became too bad and now the ring sits here in front of me, looking a little lonely, waiting to go back on someday.

On a different subject; I've been researching Asperger's Syndrome during the past half a dozen years. I had always thought that I had ADD/ADHD. (I'm seventy years old. It doesn't make a lot of difference now.) But as I read about that I began to see references to Asperger's and so I explored some more. I took the usual on-line tests and each time I did I came up with scores that indicated that Asperger's was definitely a part of me. And this (self) diagnosis explained so much about my childhood! And my adult life as well. Such as the fact that I have a problem looking anyone in the eye. I remember all of the meetings I had to attend and the silent commands to myself, "look him in the eye...you have to or he won't believe you!" It was one of those 'John Wayne' things...you simply couldn't trust a 'cowboy' that wouldn't look you in the eye. I failed so many times. I can't do it for more than a second or two, so I've learned to look at eyebrows instead! And then there is my boring recitation of facts that only I would enjoy. I often see my unwilling audience's eyes glazing over as I interject with yet another useless fact from my never empty treasury of facts. I used to read the dictionary for fun; Aardvark to Zymurgy. And then I would read it again. And again.

There are plenty of other signs of Asperger's, enough so that during the time with my Tuesday morning painting group, I mentioned the fact that I was fairly certain that I had Asperger's. One of my friends there, nodded her head  and said, quite firmly, "I knew it! I knew it!" She works with developmentally challenged kids at the local high school and knows quite a bit about Asperger's. (I'm developmentally challenged in ways you would not notice at first glance.) Asperger's, or Aspie's, as some call themselves, usually have higher than normal intelligence. I have an IQ of 138 or 143, depending on who you want to believe. Those numbers did not make me a rocket scientist; I was a carpenter! Having a higher IQ and having Asperger's makes for a very uncomfortable life at times. I can't always make use of the intelligence in ways that society understands. And when I was younger I was constantly being flogged with those numbers by counselors who thought I needed more motivation.

Being a carpenter was really a blessing as I could usually work by myself if I needed to. Plus, I could work out construction problems in my head while I was alone and come up with better methods for building. That 'talent' soon promoted me to foreman and superintendent. I was still an apprentice when they made me foreman as well. (That didn't win me a lot friends) But, being deeply introverted, I had to come up with a different way of leadership as I simply couldn't yell and threaten to fire anyone. I did find a way and it worked for me for many years. I would give them the 'look'…without actually looking at them, of course. I would exude disapproval without ever saying a word. Devastating!

As I said earlier, I'm over seventy years of age and whether or not I have ADD or Asperger's…or a bit of both, makes no difference now. Except for the fact that I'm now aware of some of my more irritating 'habit's' and will try to moderate them for the sake of friendships. Just don't ask me to look them in the eye

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Disappointed

I just read that our President has released the "long form' of his birth certificate. He should never have done it. He's playing right into the wacko's hands with it. Now they will claim it's a forgery...'it must be, otherwise he would have shown it earlier.' These fools won't let up. You watch...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buzzfeed says...

Pay Your Taxes? These 10 Companies Didn't. [PIC]

From injaynesworld: i

it's the "Sunday Recap - Late Edition..."

I didn't get around to this till the early hours of Tuesday...but it's still fresh stuff!

Love the 'Toenail' story!

Remember when?

I ran across this bit of wisdom (satire) and just had to share it...

"Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half our 401(k)’s, took $trillions in taxpayer funded bailouts, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves $billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah…me neither. Pass it on." 

Tweetit

Have I become immature, or has Twitter matured? I prefer the latter. All I know for sure is that I have suddenly started following and reading all sorts of tweets on my once dusty Twitter account. It started, I believe, when I picked up on the John Kyl story and I just had to read Stephen Colbert's tweets on the subject of 'Not intended to be a factual statement'. Here's a sampling (44) of these great tweets that still make me laugh. Can you believe that Kyl is still a Senator? How can he have the nerve to pick up a paycheck? But I digress...I started looking around the Twitter world and have begun following lots of people and organizations. I'm up to 71 now and still looking for more to follow. But, what I don't understand is...why do people follow me? I rarely have an original tweet; I am a habitual re-tweeter, just doing my bit to spread the news...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tax myths

and misunderstandings - Chico News & Review:

A clear and concise story on the 'Reagan Ripoff'.

Why doesn't a Republican give us a verifiable accounting of how successful Supply Side Economics works? Because they can't. It's the same old lie and repeated endlessly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Colbert

Colbert twittering silly John Kyl into oblivion:

"Kyl, like so many on the Right flaps his gums and lies so much he has to have someone else call his dog. "

Now that's funny! (And true!)





Monday, April 11, 2011

A special report on pensions:

Falling short | from The Economist:
The second paragraph of this story told me just about all I needed to know... "The employers who promised higher pensions in the past knew they would not be in their posts when the bill became due. That made it tempting for them to offer higher pensions rather than better pay." It was simply criminal and no one has gone to jail for it yet. Maybe the CEO that signed the agreement is gone but the company isn't and they are responsible for those sins. Someone...lots of someones need to go to jail. They lied. And they knew it when they signed the agreements. And until someone is punished I don't intend to believe anything they have to say.

In the past five years we have lost half of our wealth. Stolen. Theft by the manipulations of Wall Street and no one has gone to jail for those crimes either. But we were lucky as I had a Carpenter's Union pension. When the Dow Jones collapsed, I didn't hear a word of complaint from the Carpenter's fund; the checks continued to arrive. On time and for the full amount. If they hadn't, we might have had to live with our children!

And now someone, lots of someone's, want the gullible to put their retirement savings into 401(k) plans? Why?

Enough griping...the rest of the articles are fascinating but must be taken with lots of salt.

From Street Talk:

Another Haley Barbour Hunkers Down on K Street : Roll Call Lobbying

I know...and I'm sorry for it. Sort of. But take a look at this guy (and read the story of course) and imagine him as President. He wants to be. Appearances shouldn't matter but Mr. Barbour needs a year at a gym and elocution lessons. Hopefully he will be eliminated in the first round.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A good read

I've been reading the book The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason. It's a crime novel set in Iceland, the home of the author. I'm not finished with it but I'm thoroughly hooked. I was hooked enough to open up Google Earth and descend, virtually, on the small island of Iceland and tour some of the spots described in the book. Such as Hafnarfjordur. Say that three times, fast. Heck, say it once! The photos don't tell me the temperatures but they are uniformly lovely. The aerial views seem to indicate that everything is 'neat and tidy'. And the roads! Wide roads with beautiful sweeping interchanges, but where are all of the people? The photos almost all show deserted vistas both in towns and out on the highways. Unfortunately, Google hasn't sent their camera cars to Iceland so you can't take a virtual tour street by street at ground level, but you can click on the hundreds of photo opportunities and get a good sense of the place. Enough so that I want to go. Unfortunately I will have to go alone as my wife had already read the novel and sensed that it was never 'really' warm in Iceland (Duh!...it's called Ice-land for a reason!). For her, vacations are in warm places.

In the book, the police detective, Erlendur Sveinsson, is not at all like any detective novel 'hero' that you read about before. He is a tormented and lonely soul. His children hate him and he's hated by his ex-wife. Odd, but he reminds me a great deal of Kurt Wallander, the Swedish detective in the novels by Henning Mankell. That's another author that's a favorite of mine. Maybe it's the long dark winters of the sub polar regions that gives these authors such a tortured view in their books. Iceland sits astride the Arctic Circle and isn't all that far from Sweden…and it's really dark all winter long. In fact, the author notes that depression is a major problem in Iceland.

But I'm going in the summertime when the sun never sets! I guess I'll have to bring my wife some souvenirs…

California's Republicans:

Dead, or just resting? | The Economist

Hopefully the former. It's just one more good thing to love about the Golden State.

Friday, April 8, 2011

American Fascism

Henry A. Wallace's Warning of American Fascism

This was written in 1944, believe it or not. 67 years ago and it reads as if it were written yesterday. I came across it on True Blue Texan's blog and after reading it, I just had to post it. Read it and see if you don't see some truths...maybe even more than 'some'.

Hopeful

Yippee! I think I'm finally emerging from a three month Fentanyl holiday. I'll take my pain plain from now on…straight up thank you! Hopefully, this new feeling will last for awhile and I can get on with living again. I had been in a creative slump for the past few months but last night, just before bed, I whipped out the watercolor crayons and my big sketchbook/art journal and started drawing with big strokes and big color. Added water and then more color. I let it dry and then I started in on it again this morning. All very abstract of course but I have featured a big Rx with black slashes through it.

Somewhere in my reading this morning I came across this bit of wisdom…why is it that the Republicans have successfully focused the righteous anger of public opinion on the costs of the public sector employees and have pulled a curtain across any view of the crimes of the banking industry whose excesses have cost us far more than the public sector? How dumb are we? And don't get me started on the wars. Three trillion dollars for the Iraq war and now the Afghan war, the longest war in our history at over ten years…we haven't even begun to calculate what that will cost us all in the end and it's all because of the power of the military/industrial complex, the bad boys that Ike warned us about. Oh, Ike…if only you could see it now. You would weep. I know we should. But we continue to watch TV, that gentle soporific machine, and our lives glide along undisturbed. We need the draft! Yes, if we want out of the current wars and to avoid the future ones, we need to put ourselves in harm's way. I guarantee you if we thought that our son's and daughter's, our grandchildren, wives and husbands were in danger of being sent to fight in some senseless war, we would rise up and demand that it stop…now! We have not been attacked by any nation and yet we have laid waste to two nations and alienated ourselves with countless citizens of the world. Disgusting.

I better go back to my painting…