Thursday, November 29, 2007

clearing out the cruft

is cruft even a word?

anyways, i've begun to realize that although some of the ideas i come up with for blog posts may not be the greatest (no, really?) if i don't write them down they wind up cluttering my brain and keeping me from coming up with anything better...

and that sucks...

so what has been cluttering up my brain? lots of things, but one that i keep coming back to was my visit to the dentist a couple weeks ago... as i'm wheel-less i took the bus... i've certainly found material to blog about on the bus before and this time was no exception... buses are, of course, no smoking areas and that's a good thing for me because i'm allergic to tobacco... unfortunately that really only means people can't light up or take a drag while on the bus, it doesn't actually protect us non-smokers from second-hand smoke because the nicotine addicts have a tendency to puff and puff and puff until the very last moment, get on the bus, sit down beside you, and then exhale their noxious, carcinogenic breath... thanks a lot folks... it's people like you that make me feel just a little less guilty about the realization that i'd be much better off if you all keeled over right now...

and that was just my trip to the dentist's office... once i got there and planted myself on one of those weird dentist chairs i learned something i didn't know before... you see, unfortunately for me i found myself with a raw spot on my gums just between and behind my 2 front upper incisors and i was sure that was going to make my trip to the dentist miserable (clearly they have no difficulty finding sensitive spots even where there were no obvious sensitive spots before)... i learned that dentists encounter such inflamed gum problems so frequently they actually have a term for it: a pizza burn... incredible, because that was exactly the cause too... darn that pizza, why does it always have to be so delicious that you can't wait for it to cool down...

oh, and of course the receptionist/cashier found a new way to confuse me once my visit was over and done with...

her: so did your parents send money for the visit or should i just send a bill home with you?
me: ???
her: ....
me: ??... uhh, credit card...

i'm 32 years old, my face is covered with hair, and she asks me how my parents will be paying... way to throw a guy off his game...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

copyright policy makers are dumb

here's something that i wish policy makers would get through their thick skulls:
Technical measures can be used to deny access to materials without authorization, but Copyright is a law that limits what you can do with material you already have access to. The two relate to very different concepts.


thank you, Russell McOrmond, for those 2 wonderfully put sentences...

Monday, November 05, 2007

adhd

adhd - it's like add only worse because you act out and are disruptive... such is the nature of hyperactivity..

do i have adhd? was i ever officially diagnosed with adhd? i don't know, i don't recall... what i do recall is being subjected to a behaviour modification experiment because i was too disruptive in class...

basically they had me take this drug (such as for example ritalin) one week, some other drug the next week, and so on and so forth and had the teachers write down their observations... those observations were that none of the drugs worked to modify my behaviour, which was good for me, but at the age of 13 i knew what was what and the threat of (presumably) well meaning authority figures continuing to try to change the way my brain worked did not appeal to me in the least... so as a result that did work to modify my behaviour...

by which i mean i learned that in order to avoid future (possibly successful) experimentation i had to learn to fly under the radar... i had to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and my body still - i had to learn to censor everything i did and become inhibited...

"but wait, surely there were limits" you say - and perhaps you're right, but there was no guidance on which impulses were ok to act on and which weren't, and the mental energy it takes to keep those impulses in check doesn't exactly leave a lot to spare for complex analysis of the situation at hand (and even if it did it would still be a filtered/censored response)... nor was it like there was much evidence any kind of middle ground existed as there always seemed to be a complaint designed for what i was doing...

even as an adult a more relaxed middle ground is hard to find - "stop bouncing your knee, your shaking the table", "i'm going to take that thing away from you in a minute", or "stop tickling the kids, you're getting them worked up and they're making too much noise", never mind the old childhood favourites like "no running in the house", "no jumping on the furniture", "stop jabbing your classmates in the side", "stop drumming on your desk", or "stop banging your head against the wall" (many of which i'd probably still be doing if not for the consequences)...

so i live in a world where, in the wrong setting, simple muscle ticks can get me in minor trouble - i learned as a kid that in order to hold on to the person i was (no way you can change the way the brain works without changing the way the mind works) i had to keep the real me to myself and now as a consequence the only time i can be myself, the only time i have the freedom to be myself, is when i'm alone... otherwise there are too many rules, too many consequences, and too much hassle - and then folks wonder why i don't let people in and don't socialize as well as i could...

i crave stimulation just like the next person, but as a tactile person fulfilling that craving means moving, often in ways that distract and annoy others, sometimes in ways that wind up being destructive... in a society that values order so highly, i represent chaos... so i try to find a balance between order and chaos because a whirlwind does not belong in a bottle and because if i can't be myself around others then there is a part of me i cannot see...

i don't understand girls

i don't understand girls sometimes, but i'm a guy so i guess i'm not supposed to... but still there are things that just seem odd...

here's what got me today - i was on the bus and there was a girl talking on her cell phone (no, that's not it yet) who had her nails done to look like dominoes... and not just black dominoes, some were black and others were hot pink...

i don't get over-the-top nails (truthfully i don't get painting nails at all but that's another matter) and this was just one example of it (i'm sure you've seen ample examples of it too)... do they attract attention? sure they do, much the same way a circus freak attracts attention - you stare because it's so odd...

i suppose some attention is better than no attention, but i find it hard to believe that's the kind of attention so many would be seeking...

the law of conservation of mental energy

yeah, i just made that up but hear me out...

i think that mental energy (like real energy) cannot be created or destroyed...

if that's true then it stands to reason that you only have a finite amount of mental energy you can put into a thing and thus the more you put into image the less that's left over for substance...

no where have i seen this more plainly demonstrated than with food... i was at a company function on friday and it was a fancy-pants sort of affair complete with fancy-pants food... you know the kinds - small portions with things drizzled on the plate in order to make it look like a work of art... i've encountered food like this before and never has it ever been great food... ok food, reasonable food, but never great, never anything to write home about... i enjoy bbq's more than i enjoy this type of food...

i don't know where the practice of dressing up food came from but i'm certain it's entirely misguided... we've all learned over the years what good food looks like and we've come to associate that appearance with the taste of the food so that good food just naturally looks good to us... making the food look like art visually indicates that the attention of the cook/chef was not 100% on the flavour of the food and that always seems to result in food that tastes less good than it could...