Racism is not a side effect

My son and I both suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, subtype Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

And as a sufferer of ADHD, I often say and do things without stopping and thinking. I often say and do things that I later regret (and sometimes I regret them immediately if I hurt someone emotionally).

So, I can completely understand impulsively Tweeting or posting something on Facebook that had I had the ability to take some time to think about it before posting, I might have said, “You know, this might not be the best thing to say at this time.”

But that’s the thing with ADHD. I don’t have the capacity to do that. The part of my brain that edits my thoughts before they reach my mouth or hands, isn’t functioning properly.

I take medication for that. When I’m on my ADHD meds, I do stop and think before I say or do things.

When Roseanne said she tweeted something she shouldn’t have and blamed the sleep aid Ambien on it, I can somewhat empathize with such impulsivity — if that truly is what caused her to Tweet the things she did.

I mean, I checked the side effects of Ambien, and I found a few that could relate to her situation,

  • confusion
  • irratibility
  • depersonalization
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • delusions
  • dementia
  • uncaring

as well as a host of other equally uncommon and rare side effects. The thing is, the Ambien website also states that if you suffer from any of those to Check with your doctor immediately.

Therefore, if she did suffer one of these rare side effects that somehow “made” her impulsively and uncontrollably Tweet things she wishes she hadn’t, I get that.

I’ve been there. Done that.

But here’s the thing and Sanofi, the maker of Ambien, stated it very clearly and succinctly in their tweet:

The racism? That’s totally on Roseanne. She can’t lay the blame on anyone else, not on any thing or any drug. There is no excuse for being a bigot. That’s simply who she is: a hateful, spiteful, loudmouthed racist.

And now everyone worldwide knows it.

Impulsivity? It can make you post things before you’ve taken the time to think how it might be perceived differently from what you meant. I’m notorious for that. “No! That’s not what I meant at all!” and then I have to do damage control.

Impulsivity does not make you say racist things unless you already are a racist. No drug that I’m aware of will turn you into a racist.

Roseanne is a racist and has always been a racist.

Because she couldn’t keep her racist thoughts to herself — or possibly because she believes in Trump’s America you can say the most vile, hateful things and get away with it — not only is her show canceled, but sadly, a lot of actors, writers, and others employed on the show are out of a job as well. And they can all blame Roseanne for it.

If only she had taken the time to stop, think, and choose a different course of action, like not tweeting racist things.

Granted, she’d still be a racist, but she’d be an employed racist.

Words have consequences.

Racism will never be tolerated.

Goodbye, Roseanne. Please crawl back under your rock and take all the other bigots with you.

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Random Randomness on a Friday

A Friday Haiku

Rain rain go away

And you had better not freeze,

No ice ice baby!

Weigh-In Friday

Good news. I lost two pounds.

*Does the happy weight loss dance*

Now if I could only figure out what I did different this week from last. Although, I did buy a medicine ball and I’ve been doing various exercises for my core with it.

Writing and OCD

I don’t know if I really have OCD, but I have ADHD-induced obsessiveness.

I’m refering to yesterday’s blog where I mentioned I was sinking into a research quagmire because I felt a scene needed a humorous anecdote to balance a tense moment where my MC is combating a demon, specifically the Egyptian demon Ammit, the devourer.

Have I completed the research and continued with my almost finished edits on my novel so I can start having it beta read?

No. To show just how obsessive I can be about being as factual and historically accurate in my fiction, even an urban fatasy faerie tale, I’m reading the entire text of “The Egyptian Book of the Dead.”

Just so I can write one short paragraph.

Tell me that’s normal behavior and all writers do the same thing.

Please?

Wisconsin is rejoicing

Yes, Wisconsin is rejoicing, or at least the intelligent part is.

Paul Ryan, who has represented Wisconsin’s first congressional district, is retiring.

What will the legacy be of Ryan’s 20 year career in Washington? One of complete and utter failure.

Looming largest for the people of Wisconsin was his total inability to prevent the closure of the Janesville GM plant, which had provided significant employment to the area for 90 years.

Ryan will also be remembered for not having the balls to stand up against Trumpy the Clown with his insane outbursts and unpredictable shifts on every position that have made the United States a laughing stock to the rest of the world and has put us on the brink of nuclear war against two countries, so far.

Ryan, who for 20 years was touted as the Republican’s budget wunderkind despite never being able to pass one of his budgets, will now be remembered as the architect of the most financially ruinous budget ever passed, one that screws the middle class, widens the gap between the rich and the poor, all while crearing a fiscal conservative’s worst nightmare of an out-of-control deficit reaching record heights never before imagined.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, as they say. May Kharma make Ryan’s retirement as financially uncertain and and terrifyingly insecure as those of the elderly he has screwed, and tried to screw, over the years.

Once more for those in the back, social security insurance and Medicare are not entitlements, they are benefits we pay into throughout our working life.

Paul Ryan will not be missed.

Smart missiles, stupid leader

On April 11th, Trumpy the Clown tweeted: Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

The next day, he then tweeted: Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”

Wow. Trumpy the Clown sure has Russia guessing now, doesn’t he? “Will he? Won’t he? Golly gosh! The suspense is unnerving.”

When Trumpy’s lawyer had his office raided and files detained, Trumpy went on a twitter rant: “Attorney-Client privilesge is dead!” and “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!”

He’s also ranted about his wall, about sending National Guard troops to the border, how our relations with Russia are the worst ever because of Meuller and the “Fake and Corrupt Russia Investigation.”

And today he’s ranting about Comey, calling him a “proven LEAKER & LIAR,” how everyone in Washington thought he should be fired (at least every one of the voices in Trumpy’s head, anyway), and so on and so forth.

Anyone else see the striking resemblance to Captain Queeg from “The Caine Mutiny?” Trumpy the Clown is sinking deeper and deeper into an arrogant, self-possessed, delusional paranoia. I predict he will soon tweet: Aah, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that Crooked Hillary, that leaker Comey, the conflicted Meuller, and the Fake News are all out to get me and ruin America! But the people know I’m great… the best President… better than the failed Obama!

Sad!

It’s sad that we allow him to destroy the dignity of the office of the President of the United States and our country’s standing among the world community.

Forget impeachment.

Guys! The 25th Amendment is there for a reason: to rid ourselves of unstable, dangerous people like Trumpy the Clown.

Last word

It’s the weekend. It should be Spring, but it isn’t. Not that I’ve ever really seen a Spring here in Wisconsin. Maybe once, back in the 1960s, I think we may have had a real Spring with warming weather, April showers, and May flowers.

Either that, or I have a false memory courtesy of Al Jolson.

I do know that for as long as my wife and I have lived where we can plant flowers around the house, which is about 20 years, we’ve experienced a May where the ground was thawned enough and there was no danger of a killing frost to allow us to plant only a handful of times.

Despite my haiku suggesting otherwise, I’m never surprised or disappointed when it’s still cold in April or May. This is Wisconsin. Wisconsin doesn’t care what season your calendar says it should be.

Therefore, this weekend’s forecast of freezing rain, snow, ice, and a winter weather advisory is just par for the course.

Enjoy your weekend no matter what the weather.

Keep resisting.

And, as always, a song.

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Adventures in ADHD – Episode 344

Guess what my latest interest is?

Aw, you peeked.

Anyway, as I’ve blogged time and again, one of my most glaring symptoms of ADHD is my sudden interest in a thing.

Wow! I like that thing! I want that thing! I need to learn everything about that thing!

These sudden and overwhelming interests just come out of nowhere. I can’t predict them and I have a heluva time trying to rein them so they don’t disrupt every aspect of my life.

Here are some things in the past that I had a sudden interest in:

  • Beer steins
  • Beer brand collectibles
  • Old toys
  • Car detailing
  • Swords
  • Guitars
  • Fountain pens
  • Knives
  • Silver Age Comicbooks

My most recent interest is jazz, but the interest comes with a twist.

It started when I was at Barnes & Noble a few weeks back and I picked up a vinyl copy of Miles Davis – Kind of Blue. According to the liner, it’s considered the greatest jazz album of all time.

Well, it is really good. So good, I ordered, and read, Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece by Ashley Kahn. The book was great, too.

Then, to save money, I went to the library and began picking up other jazz albums from that era by those on the album, like John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, as well as those contemporary to that period, like Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy. We’re talking late ’50s, early ’60s.

Ok, no problem. What’s wrong with becoming suddenly interested in jazz if it doesn’t cost you much?

Nothing, except now I want to play jazz. Sure, I could get back into playing guitar, but I’ve never mastered that. I was never able to adequately memorize the fretboard and learning jazz is much more difficult than say, “Wipe Out!”

Plus, I my fingers just aren’t nimble enough to play fast.

And to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of classic jazz guitar. Not compared to horns. I’ve always loved the sound of brass, especially the sassy sounds of a sax.

But we don’t have any saxes laying around.

We do, however have trombones. Both my sons played trombone in school. We’ve been exposed to the sound of trombones for over a decade, even though they both recently put their instruments aside.

So, I picked up the trombone and I’m self-teaching myself using YouTube and my son’s lesson book.

How long will this interest last?

It’s hard to say. Sometimes they’re just a shot in the dark, lasting up to three months, other times they return in cycles, never really going away, just sort of sleeping then reawakening, like my passion for fountain pens, comics, so on.

This could be considered a reawakening of my passion to learn to play music, only it shifted from the guitar to the trombone.

Here I am after only two days of practice. Pretty awful.

 

I know five notes. B flat, C, D, E flat, and F. I don’t know any songs, just that five note scale. But I feel I’ve accomplished a lot in a short time.

I get the feeling the trombone, like a piano, has the notes laid out more intuitively than the guitar does. At least for me.

The hard part will be getting my lips in vibrating shape.

And keeping myself interested beyond three months.

And if you want to hear what a well-played trombone (or two) sounds like, try this:

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Just another random Friday

Friday Haiku

Christmas is coming

The children are excited

Adults, not so much

New ADHD-fueled interest

And just like that, I have a new interest. I should have seen it coming when I blogged about the knife I found from my father-in-law (I reworded that sentence to avoid making father-in-law possessive because I’m not sure if it is father’s-in-law or father-in-law’s).

My new sudden interest is, of course, knives. Since that blog, I’ve purchased a new folder by Schrade. It caught my eye because it’s aesthetically completely different from my 40-year-old Buck 503 knife.

I also purchased a knife sharpening system from Lansky because, well, I’ve never ever been able to figure out how to sharpen knives.

Sure, I’ve tried. I’ve had people explain it (but have never had anyone teach me), I’ve read books, and I’ve watched videos. Yet for whatever reason, the concept escapes me in actual practice.

I just can’t maintain a consistent angle as I drag the knife across a sharpening stone and more often than not the edge ends up as dull as when I started. I suspect I’m just not coordinated enough or don’t have the attention span to maintain a concise angle through the entire process.

Because of this ineptitude, I’ve resorted to those drag through sharpeners. Sure, you get a sharp edge, but those things also are very aggressive in removing metal. After years of use your nicely shaped knife blade has been reduced to nothing for than a icepick thick filet knife.

So after watching several YouTube videos of people getting their knives so sharp they can shave with them (one showed the guy splitting hairs! I’ve always wanted to split hairs), I decided I needed a sharpening system that held the knife and stone at the precise angle throughout the entire process.

Thus, the Lansky sharpening system. It’s inexpensive, especially when compared to those $300+ systems out there. I chose the Natural Arkansas hones because, well, I don’t know. Maybe natural and Arkansas triggered a more pleasurable response than their other offerings.

Maybe I’ll make a video sometime of shaving or splitting hairs.

Balisong

No, not the Bali Hai song, I’m talking about those flipper type knives known as butterfly knives that originated in the Philippines.

While in the Navy, an old salt was talking about those knives. He was telling me a story about why they were called butterfly knives. He said, when sailors were stationed in the Philippines, they’d often have Filipino girl friends. Jealous girl friends, who, if they thought you were cheating on them *snigit!* they’d suddenly flip open one of these knives and ask, not so gently, “You butterfly?” The appropriate response to which, if you wanted to remain intact and unpunctured, would be a wholehearted, “No! Me no butterfly!”

Anyway, that’s what I was told. It could have been just another sea tale for all I know.

Anyway, the reason I brought up the topic of balisongs or butterfly knives is because my ADHD has made them the next must have it now thing. So I’m reading up on them and watching YouTube videos. They’re like very sharp, very dangerous fidget spinners, so of course, I want one.

Although, I wonder how well I could flip considering my general lack of coordination. I haven’t even been able to finger roll a pen very fast (think of the Top Gun classroom scene where Val Kilmer’s character, Iceman, spins his pen), so I doubt if I can achieve moves like the following:

Maybe I should start with an unsharpened trainer first, since we never seem to have an adequate supply of bandaids in our house. I swear someone is eating them.

Flynn folds

If you’re a #Resistor there has been some good news today.

Mike Flynn has plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI, re: the Russian Probe.

Amy Siskind tweeted: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on Friday that President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea is a sign that the House Judiciary Committee has enough evidence to probe the president for obstruction of justice.

Good times.

Not welcome here

The Orange Turd is such a bumbling jackass, who is not only straining all our relationships with our allies, but now he’s not even welcone to visit our staunchest ally, the United Kingdom.

Anyone who had the erroneous belief President Obama somehow made America a joke needs to open their eyes to what the Orange Turd is doing. No one is laughing at is, they’re embarrassed by us and don’t even want us to visit them any more.

The manchild is a witless buffoon who needs to be removed from office ASAP.

He’s campaigning for a child molester for Cripe’s sake!

Impeachment isn’t enough for him, we need to invoke the 2tth Amendment and get rid of him completely.

End note

Today’s the first day of December as many of us rush headlong into Christmas and debt. Try not to think about that and just have a great weekend.

I leave you with this:

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The lonely forgotten knife

Several years before my father-in-law passed away, he was clearing out stuff he felt he wasn’t going to need much longer.

He gave me a beat-up old toolbox filled with a variety of well-worn tools. I’m not the handyman he was, by any stretch of the imagination, but I took the box graciously.

When I got home, I browsed through it, vaguely noting that it had pliers, wrenches, a partial set of sockets, long screwdrivers, a battered tape measure, a nub of a straw hand broom, and an old pocketknife. The knife was dirty, tarnished, with some paint specks on the rustic, imitation wood handle. It was not very attractive, so I left it inside the box and set the box in the corner of the basement and promptly forgot about it.

Until last night when I had an ADHD attack of I’m suddenly interested in this thing! Now! Get the thing! Where is the thing?! I need the thing!

Other ADHDers can relate.

So, I dug the knife out. Examined it and attempted to clean it up with Q-tips, some rubbing alcohol, and a little oil.

It looked like your average well-used, utilitarian four-blade folder with a 2-1/2 inch spear blade, a plain punch, a screwdriver-caplifter, a can opener, and a shackle (key ring?).

2017-11-15 07.55.102017-11-15 07.55.22

My wife said she remembered seeing it on her father’s nightstand after he emptied his pockets every night, so we determined it was probably his every day carry (EDC) knife.

There were no identifying markings on the knife, no name badge on the handle, but as I cleaned it, I noticed some illegible writing on the tang of the knife blade, which I speculated spelled out the word, “stainless” on the tang of the knife blade. It looked like my FIL’s EDC was just an ordinary, plain Jane, generic folder.

Not that I should have been surprised. My FIL was an unpretentious man who cared more about how something functioned than if it was flashy or had an impressive name. I liked that about him.

As I cleaned away years of accumulated gunk however, I saw that it didn’t say “stainless” after all. There was a brand name stamped there.

It said, “CAMILLUS, NEW YORK, USA.”

Yes! Now I could indulge in my most favorite hobby of all! Research!

Camillus, my research showed, was one of America’s oldest knife companies. It was established in 1875 by Adolph Kastor, a Jewish German immigrant, and they originally imported knives until the Dingley Tariff was enacted in 1897, which made it too expensive to import knives.

To survive, they needed to manufacture knives domestically and eventually, Kastor found a small knife manufacturer in Camillus, New York.

By 1910, with Kastor now at the helm, the Camillus Cutlery Company was producing close to a million knives a year.

Camillus was a very successful company throughout the twentieth century. They provided private label knives to Sears, Craftsman, and J.C. Penny and others, and created a wide range of collectible knives honoring famous people.

When WWII began, Camillus was contracted to provide knives to the military, including the development of their KA-BAR Fighting Utility Knife, which was adopted by the U.S. Marines. After the war, Camillus began producing a full line of official knives for the Boy Scouts of America.

As the twenty-first century arrived however, the company started to struggle. Revenue declined from overseas competition, and they suffered from poor management decisions, until they declared bankruptcy and went out of business in early 2007. Later that year, their product names and intellectual property were acquired by the Acme United Corporation (a shadow corporation of Wile E. Coyote, I’m told) for a mere $200,000 in a bankruptcy auction. In 2009, Acme relaunched the Camillus name.

But my FIL’s knife? Best I can figure by the tang stamp is it was possibly manufactured sometime between between 1946 to 1950.

It resembles the Camillus Camp knife, but lacks the badge on the handle that particular knife sports in their catalogs from that era.

In their 1946 catalog, they have a page showing their Army-Navy knives. The very first one, the Army General Purpose Knife, looks exactly like my FIL’s knife.

2017-11-15 11.44.09

My wife says that makes sense because her father would have been 18 years old in ’46 and he joined the Air Force a few years later. It’s possible therefore, that he either received the knife while in the Air Force or purchased it at the base PX.

And now that little folder, which once languished alone and forgotten in the bottom of a toolbox, now has an interesting history behind it and a prominent place in my collection.

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Friday randomosity

A Friday Haiku

Here’s William Shatner

Ch ch ch ah ah ah Stab!

Friday the Thirteenth

Take a letter, Maria, address it to the CEO

I’ve mentioned all my frustrations with US Cellular every since we left Verizon for them. Things like their “we’ll pay you to leave your cell phone carrier” scam to their “no activation fees” claim.

I’ve now had my service cut off twice, neither of which I feel were justified and when they reactivated service, they charged me $25 per line each time. Wait. That’s an activation fee, isn’t it?

I finally got so fed up I wrote a letter, not an email, a real sent through the Post Office with a stamp two-page letter, detailing all my grievances with their customer service, how I feel we’ve been misled, and how we are currently being charged as much as we were being charged by Verizon, despite the fact the rep said we’d be paying nearly $100 less and no one can explain why.

I doubt he’ll read it or even receive it (secretaries usually just trash crank letgers, right?), but even if he does, I doubt he’ll bother responding.

But writing complaints is the American Way. I remember back in 1993 or so, we had bought a stairstepper from Sears and it broke almost immediately. We called for service and someone came out to look at it and then said it needed a certain part that he didn’t have.

After not hearing back, I called customer service again to see what was going on. Had they ordered the part? When would it arrive? When will they fix it?

I kept getting the runaround. I kept asking to talk to their supervisor, but nothing came of it.

Finally, someone said, that product was no longer serviceable, either the company stopped making that model and it’s replacement parts or they simply went out of business. I don’t recall which it was, but I was mad.

So I wrote an angry letter to the President of Sears, complete with dates, times, what was said, and how poor their customer care was.

I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but a few days later I got a whiney phone call from the store manager.

“Why did you write the President? You should have contacted me first.” Waa waa. To be honest, it hadn’t occurred to me to contact him since my beef was with Sear’s service department and not that particular Sears store.

Anyway, he offered me a replacement piece of exercise equipment similar in cost and I picked out the CardioFit that I still have.

So yes, sometimes writing a letter does get a response.

Living la vida ADHD

One thing I’ve learned in dealing with my ADHD is, it doesn’t take much to knock me off-kilter. It’s why I need a reliable routine. Some might call it a rut, but it’s essential to preventing what I can only describe as a flare-up that can override my meds.

I have a set routine of things I do in the morning and any deviation throws me for a loop. At work it’s the same, I turn on my computer, log in, go get coffee, come back and set up my desk with notepads, reminders, and important info I’ll need throughout the day, each item has its own place.

Yesterday, I logged in and noticed all my icons were gone from the task bar. I always open Outlook first, but it’s icon was gone as well. *twitch*

Then I noticed new icons on my desktop. I only have a few icons on my desktop and they’re in a specific order. *twitch*

Overnight they had updated to Office 2016. Ok, no problem, I can just save the 2016 icons in my task bar, then I’ll start Outlook and … *TWITCH!*

Aside from Outlook nowhaving an even uglier interface, aside from it defaulting to having the emails opening in a Preview Pane, which I hate, and despite other changes that I’ve spent the last two days correcting, the *twitch* biggest problem is that all my email Archive folders are gone!

Gone.

I need my archive folders. Every project gets its own folder and I drag all the responses to it’s respective folder, so I can work on it as the deadline looms.

I have deadlines looming and all my response emails are gone! *twitch*

So yesterday, as well as today, it’s like I hadn’t even taken my Adderal. If I had foresight, I would have taken a double dose. Instead, I feel like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing this way and that waiting to Tilt!

Speaking of Fidget Spinners

In June, I was walking with my son around an outlet mall. We passed a kiosk where they were selling these weird little triangular things. My son said, “Look. They’re selling those stupid fidget spinners.” And I had no idea what he was talking about, even after he tried to explain it. “You do what? Hold it and spin it? Why?”

“Nevermind, dad.”

Fastforward to now. We both have fidget spinners. I’ve got four.

We both have ADHD and despite the fact they really don’t do anything except spin, they are oddly compelling and satisfying. Instead of constantly twitching and moving and as my grade school report cards all said, “Cannot sit still, always distrupts the class,” I’ll pull out the fidget spinner and give it a spin, then I can focus on other things a little bit better.

It’s funny though, because in researching them, I’ve seen a ton of articles declaring the fad is now dead. I find it interesting when people don’t understand the usefulness of an item, they label it a fad then try to say its dead.

If you don’t understand the point of fidget spinners, don’t get one. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

Weigh-In Friday

I lost a pound according to my scale’s app, but then I remembered I didn’t track last week, so I might have gained a few ounces.

I’m taking the pound.

That’s a wrap

Have a great weekend. I’ll spare you the political rants again. There’s just far too much stupidity and assholery to discuss.

Just keep resisting.

And here’s a song to lead into the weekend:

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