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12/11/2015 3:49 pm  #201

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

CT, from my point of view writing appears to help a great deal, as your thoughts seem very well organized to me.

I'm feeling frustrated in that any words of encouragement that I can think to offer would undoubtedly come off as trite. In lieu of offering some saccharine hallmark card remarks, please know that my thoughts and well wishes go out to you.

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

12/11/2015 7:49 pm  #202

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

If I may I would like to echo Goose's remarks, CT and add that  I enjoy your writings very much--you do a great job writing, very thoughtful, if not self-revealing, and easy to read.  Keep it up.


12/15/2015 6:48 pm  #203

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread


 The mood is upset, frustrated, angry.

 Okay. So it was my birthday this weekend. I was by myself. It's not the first time so it's no big deal. I understand people have their own lives. That's okay.

 But someone told me they would send me a text on Saturday to let me know if they were available or not. So I waited. They didn't send a text until Sunday night. I had already had dinner and I was working on what is in the next paragraph. I'm never inclined to go out on nights where I have to work tomorrow. I'm 52, I don't bounce back like I did when I was 20.

 So that was the upset part.

 The frustrated and angry part has to do with a song. One effing song.

 Let me be perfectly clear, I purchased the song. I own it. I don't think it's too much to ask to be able to play it on my phone instead of just iTunes or my iPod. That's just rude. At any rate, I started with the basic attempt to just drag and drop the song onto my phone's SD card.

 It copies just fine. What it doesn't do is show up anywhere if I'm trying to build a playlist.

 The second part of the problem is that I've gotten a new phone and the only way to build a play-list on the music player that works with bluetooth is to us a sync manager on my computer.

 Okay, fine. No big deal.

 So I plug the phone into the PC. I get a message saying I need to download and install the sync manager. So I do. And I plug the phone in. And the phone says it's connected to the computer. And the computer says the phone is connected to the computer. But the effing sync manager says there's no phone connected.

 So I go back to the website and look up troubleshooting. Apparently others have had the same problem. I follow the troubleshooting guide. It doesn't work. So I go to live chat. And after two hours of screwing around with the phone settings, the PC settings, uninstalling and reinstalling the software, turning off my virus protection and firewall, and restarting the PC half a dozen times the phone finally shows up on the sync manager.


 So I open the playlist on my phone and I attempt to add the song.

 I get a message saying I don't have the right to copy this song. So I open iTunes. It says I have to authenticate the song before I can even play it. So I do it. And try to add it again. And it still says I'm not allowed to copy the song.

 So now I'm getting angry.

 So I had to Take Steps.

 I don't like having to Take Steps because it usually involves doing something that someone else would be upset about if they found out. Namely the people who did the song. So I found a pattern and I Took Steps.

 And I finally got the song added on my phone and it played.

 But I didn't listen all the way through after I Took Steps. The song in question is 4:39 in length. The song that was the result of the Taken Steps was 3:32 in length. So I'm blasting the damn thing on the sound system in The Thingy (it's a RAV-4, that's a story by itself) and it plays about two thirds of the song then cuts off and starts over.

 No matter what buttons I push it won't advance and won't stop playing. Now, I'm doing about 50 at the time and that is no situation in which screwing with the phone is a good idea so I shut it off. I discovered the file was incorrectly copied when I got to Sheetz.

 Now I'm frustrated. And angry.

 When I got home tonight I checked everything on both the phone and the computer, deleted the corrupted file, and Took Steps again. This time it worked. I listened all the way through and it's fine now.

 Deep breaths. In and out. Difficult to find a center.

 I've been waking up in pain every day for the past five or six days. I don't know what the problem is but I'm having to get up two to three hours before I'm supposed to. I'm dragging. I can't take a significant amount of pain medication and still go to work. And I'm at the time of the year where I have no leave left so I do not get paid if I'm out.

 I'd much rather not do it.

 I can actually see the curve in my spine on some mornings. It hurts to turn my head. It hurts to move at all. The pain management doses take the edge off but they do nothing for the exhaustion. I can't do this for an extended period of time. Sooner or later I'm going to crash. That would be bad.

 The next two days are auspicious.

 Tomorrow, December 16th, my best friend since I was 15 will take around 15 Xanax, wash them down with a bottle of vodka, and check out of the world for good. On December 17th, my older brother will tie an extension cord to a ceiling fixture, kick the ladder out from under himself, and also leave the world.

 My tenses are getting confused.

 No sense of scale, you see. It's like it happens all over again. Every time. The following two weeks are hell.

 Back to upset again.

 I'm not sure I can do this.

 Thanks for listening. 

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

12/19/2015 7:36 pm  #204

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread


 The mood is three dwarfs; Dopey, Sleepy, and Grumpy.

 First, an apology. I haven't been proof reading these posts because I can't focus long enough to do so.

 Sue me.

 The pain level has been excessive for the past week. I was initially just having problems moving my head. Now it hurts to move my legs...even a little.

 I'm guessing I'm still having sleepwalking episodes. It's hard to tell because, well, I'm asleep when they happen. One of the best indicators is waking up to find things have been moved or changed somehow.

 The recurring theme is light bulbs.

 I will wake up to find that, at some point during the night, I removed all of the light bulbs from one or more ceiling fixture, carefully packed them into their original containers, and put them in the closet in the living room.

 Before you ask, no.

 I have no idea what the obsession with light bulbs is about. What troubles me is that for some of the fixtures, I have to use a step-ladder to reach the bulbs. My balance is questionable even on my best days. On days like the past six days there is no way in hell I should be on a ladder.

 It's not something I would attempt while conscious. Doing it while I'm not cognizant is downright dangerous.

 So I'm concerned.

 I've had sleepwalking episodes before. They're usually mostly harmless. To my knowledge, I've never left the house or attempted to drive a car or operate any other kind of machinery. I have attempted to cook. Usually using the toaster oven.

 I say attempted because I never get past the first few steps. I will generally wake up to find the toaster oven rolled out and the extension cord plugged in. Fortunately, the toaster oven will only operate for a maximum of 90 minutes before turning itself off.

 I've never gotten as far as actually putting anything in the oven. Mostly I'll just find the cupboard where I store the cooking tray open, and the roll of tin-foil sitting out. Sometimes I'll get as far as lining the cooking tray with foil, sometimes not.

 A lot of times I'll find a freezer bag with four chicken thighs sitting on the counter. Completely thawed. And likely crawling with salmonella after sitting out for five or six hours.

 But lately, it's just been the light bulbs. Like I said before, mostly harmless.

 So, for the past week, I've either been waking up right in the middle of a project of some sort or waking up in bed. In both cases the pain level is high enough that my neighbors, if they were closer to my house, would call the cops.

 It has happened before.

 It's one of the reasons I'm very happy with my current residence. It's unusual for me to wake up screaming but it's not unheard of. Usually I stop as soon as I realize I'm doing it. Then the screaming is replaced with a blistering chain of invective delivered at top volume.

 This has happened every day since last Saturday.

 My emotional state was bad enough that I was avoiding any prolonged contact with my friends—because I'd really like to keep them.

 I have medication prescribed to treat the symptoms of the damage to my spinal cord. It works well most of the time. And then there are days like today. It hurts to move my legs. The signals that go from my head to my feet telling them to get moving are intermittent The danger of falling is high.

 On days like this I'm pretty much screwed as far as being able to do things for myself.

 There is no way in hell I'm going to drive a car. The mailbox is just far enough away that I'm afraid to make the trip. If I fall while I'm out there I'm screwed until someone passing by notices...and if they notice before they run me over.

 So I'm three of those dwarfs. It's only three because there's no dwarf named Upset.

 Thinking about appropriate dwarf names got me thinking about fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Specifically, how completely inappropriate the are for children.

 Seriously. Think about it for a moment. Single young woman lives in a house with seven miners? And they call her Snow White? There's a reason the song is entitled Heigh-Ho. And I”m still convinced that first work should have been spelled Hi.

 Little Red Riding Hood?

 So a suspiciously intelligent wolf--with an excellent command of English given the drawbacks in attempting to pronounce words with a long, narrow mouth filled with prodigious fangs—manages to convince an elderly lady that the person knocking (Again, how?? Paws? Hello?) is, in fact, her Tween granddaughter and not a 400 pound killing machine.

 So the old lady opens the door and is promptly devoured by said killing machine who then puts on Granny's nightie.

 When Red shows up, she finds the cross-dressing murderer in Granny's bed and becomes suspicious. Possibly from the blood sprayed up the walls and across the ceiling and in huge puddles on the floor, and soaked into the bedding and Granny's nightie...but that's just a guess.

 Red decides to question Granny.

 Rather than pointing out the aforementioned blood-spatter evidence, Red goes with the size of Granny's eyes, ears, and fangs at which point the wolf reveals that he is, in fact, not a 90 year-old woman...well, duh!

 So Mr/Mrs wolf chases Red all over the house and Red's screaming gets the attention of a passing woodcutter who kicks in the door and commences to chopping the wolf into tiny, bite-sized, bits.

 Oh, but wait? Is that Granny in that pile of gore? Yes! Not only alive and well but still in her nightie. Just how many nighties was she wearing?

 Okay, got a little sidetracked for a moment.

 The point is that someone read this story and decided it would be just the thing to tell a small child before turning out all the lights and leaving them alone for the night.

 Tomorrow night mummy and daddy will tell the story of the which who eats children.

 Later in the year, they'll make an appointment with a child psychiatrist because they have absolutely no idea why little Billy wakes up screaming in the middle of the night.


 Instead of telling the nursery rhymes, just get Junior an uncensored copy of Grand Theft Auto.

 What could possibly go wrong?

 Thanks for listening.


If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

12/19/2015 10:26 pm  #205

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Sorry about your pain and be careful with that sleepwalking--if it's possible to do so when one is asleep and walking at the same time.  Your sense of humor is alive and well--don't ever lose it, CT.


12/19/2015 10:40 pm  #206

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

The fractured fairy tales are fantastic!

Sorry I haven't been able to make it to the noon hangout during this endless Indian summer.

Life is an Orthros.

12/29/2015 6:34 pm  #207

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread


 The mood is very erratic. Moody, if you will. All over the place.

 I'm having difficulty dealing with it. It's never a good idea to say or do things when I'm in this state but my job consists wholly of people. It's social service. You just can't avoid encountering other people.

 So it's taking longer than usual for me to do things. I have to stop and think about the motivation for doing them. Am I taking an action because I'm upset? Am I going overboard because I'm on a high? Am I refusing to do something because I'm sullen?

 Overall I find this annoying.

 But the only thing I can do is deal with it. Autism isn't curable but some of the symptoms can be treated. Which I'm doing. For the longest time in my life I was convinced I didn't need treatment. That I could just get by as I am. I can be strong.

 Then, probably the most horrific event occurred. Something that was violent and destructive and dropped right in my lap to deal with. And I failed. I completely fell apart. I had to call a friend to help. I just kept repeating over and over “I don't know what to do.”

 That convinced me.

 If that kind of thing could happen to someone who was convinced he didn't need help either then it could happen to me. So, anyway, I'm in treatment. It helps but I still have to deal with the day-to-day issues that no amount of therapy or medication will address.

 I have to stop. Think. Question myself. Then act. Just going with my first impulse never ends well and always leaves me feeling like the biggest jerk in the universe when I finally do reflect on things.

 Reflection is necessary. And it can't be conducted from a first-person perspective. That is to say I can' just assess everything from my own viewpoint because it's just doing the same thing over again. I have to step outside myself. Step out, then look back. Try to see what others see. Try to understand another perspective.

 It's difficult sometimes. Okay, it's difficult most times. Most people are hard-wired in a first-person perspective. Removing your own viewpoint from your own memories can be problematic because they're your memories. They were stored that way.

 This morning was rough. As the waking up part of the morning progressed I began to feel like I wanted to curl into myself. Hide. Just keep turning inward and inward like a nautilus shell. The idea of interacting with anyone made me want to scream.

 So I was late going in.

 I hate days like this because, although the fear, the anxiety, is so bad I can't function, the guilt is still working just fine. Not only am I dangerously wound up, I'm also suffering from a crushing sensation of having let everyone down. They're not fun days.

 Anyway, I went in after lunch and managed to get through the rest of the day. Even spoke to a few people. Work's been difficult because we had another 'upgrade' inflicted on us. I'm not sure how much more 'improvement' we can survive. Because of this 'upgrade' we now have a massive amount of work backing up.

 When I say massive, I'm not exaggerating. I currently have around two-thousand pages of documents waiting to be addressed and I don't have the equipment necessary to get them done. And I'm just one worker. There are over a hundred people in the office who are all in the same situation.

 That kind of group stress is a tangible thing. It's in the air. It affects everything people are saying and doing and I can feel all of it. Having to deal with my own emotions is taxing enough. Having to deal with waves of alien emotion is not something I can handle.

 So, I guess erratic is about the best I can do.

 Bad Wendy stayed over on Christmas. We went to her mother's house in Lebanon on Christmas Eve for a small get-together. I was nervous as hell. Bad had gone upstairs when we got there to wrap some presents so I was left in the living room with two complete strangers.

 So I started babbling.

 That's when everything going through my head comes straight out of my mouth without any stops in between. It's mostly harmless but when meeting others for the first time it can tend to make them uncomfortable. I started shaking badly and by the time dinner was ready I was pale and sweating and having difficulty holding things.

 But I got through it. And actually enjoyed myself—eventually.

 We didn't do much over the following weekend. Mostly just reading, occasionally talking. I think Bad is happy to have a friend she can tell anything to without worrying about what I'll think. It's a good feeling to know that someone is comfortable around me.

 My repair to the dishwasher finally failed.

 Since I wasn't able to change the hoses where they connect to the dishwasher, I had to make up a repair for the fitting where it attaches to the sink. I used two small sections of hose and four band-clamps to attach a new sink-fitting to the existing hoses.

 Basically, the only thing keeping it together is friction. That is to say, the tightness of the band clamps. I had them tightened down enough that there were no leaks and it worked fine for several months. About a week ago, the clamp on the pressure line finally gave out and a stream of hot water went shooting across the room.

 Since I did the repair, I had a standing rule not to run the dishwasher when I was either asleep or not in the house. I was actually standing right next to it when the line came off so I didn't have to deal with a huge flood. I'm counting myself lucky there.

 I decided to do a little bit more intensive repair this time. I went to Home Depot and got new clamps and some silicone sealant. I put a small layer of silicone on the pressure line fitting, cranked the clamp down, then let it cure for three days. Tonight is the first time I'm trying it out. There was a little bit of dripping when I first turned the water on but a quarter-turn on the clamp stopped it. I stood there while it was going through its first cycle. It seems to be holding up okay.

 And I'm trying to do the same.

 Thanks for listening. 

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

1/05/2016 5:49 pm  #208

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread


 The mood is level. Or at least not as volatile as it was yesterday.

 Stress from work is bleeding over to what life I have outside of the job. My philosophy has always been to leave things at the door but I'm having trouble with this one.

 I have to ask. If I can foresee a need to have a plan in case a newly installed system fails, why can't the people I work for do the same? At no point did anyone ask “what if something goes wrong?” It makes no sense and just leaves me so floored that I'm taking it home with me.


 I was supposed to call my younger brother over the long weekend just past. I didn't. And I feel a tremendous amount of guilt about it. I just...I just couldn't. I just curled into myself until everyone and everything else in the world was shut out. Safe.

 There's a great deal of noise in my head right now. Sort of like a ringing in my ears but in stereo. I'm concerned. This usually precedes an Episode. During an Episode, I'm only thinking in a straight line. That's the best way I know how to describe the thought process. It's not really a straight line but that's the best I can do.

 Thinking in a single straight line is bad because anything not relevant to the beginning of the line is discarded as irrelevant. During and Episode I slide a little closer to the state some of those profoundly autistic children. The one's who are completely unable to relate to this world.

 It's nowhere near as bad but it's enough to scare me because I have absolutely no control over a beginning or an ending. It has to run its course. That's the way it is.

 I think about death a lot.

 Not in the morbid sense but more in the sense of individual consciousness. Both Plato and Descartes hit the nail on the head when they pointed out that no one can be sure that anything outside themselves is real because your brain can be fooled into perception of things that aren't real.

 It's an electric signal to a series of neurons arranged in a specific pattern that determine what you perceive. Send false signals and you will still get the same result. In short, there is no way to determine if what you perceive is actually there.

 But, as Descartes pointed out, if you think then you are real.

 Thought is strictly internal.

 What I find perplexing is this; I am aware of myself, and everything around me within range of my senses. I have memory of things. So how could this simply stop? How do you bind a consciousness to the rest of reality after your body stops functioning.
 I just doesn't seem possible.

 I find that sad.

 Thomas of Coventry.

 Thanks for listening.

If you make yourself miserable trying to make others happy that means everyone is miserable.

-Me again

     Thread Starter

1/05/2016 6:01 pm  #209

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Conspiracy Theory wrote:


 The mood is level. Or at least not as volatile as it was yesterday.

 Stress from work is bleeding over to what life I have outside of the job. My philosophy has always been to leave things at the door but I'm having trouble with this one.

 I have to ask. If I can foresee a need to have a plan in case a newly installed system fails, why can't the people I work for do the same? At no point did anyone ask “what if something goes wrong?” It makes no sense and just leaves me so floored that I'm taking it home with me.

I presume you are talking about the changes to the imaging system at work.  Not only is it not functioning properly, the overall design of it isn't very good either.

Nobody I work with or know was involved with this project, but whoever was responsible for it really messed it up.

Try not to take work issues home and let it ruin your day.


1/05/2016 8:00 pm  #210

Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

CT--look what a big mess the county's new 911 system turned into a few years ago and they are still trying to get it right.  Sometimes I think these high-gloss tech companies are so slick that they can sell a bill of goods to people in the county who are totally clueless so it's accepted on blind faith.


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