Adventures in ADHD episode 162

After work, I had to stop at the pediatrician’s to pick up my son’s prescription for ADHD, then I ran it over to Walgreen’s. All that extra running around and gas is thanks to the U.S. government and their pain-in-the-ass laws about ADHD meds, which they classify as a controlled substance.

By this time, my own ADHD meds had worn off, which means unlike what amphetamines would do to normal people when they wear off — and that is crash and zonk out — when ADHD meds wear off all that pent-up and suppressed hyperactivity comes out full force like a rocket. In other words, I’m like Taz.

I dropped the prescription off and they said it be 15 minutes to fill. In reality, it turned out to be almost half an hour. I wandered around, looking at merchandise, picking things up, playing with them, turning on Halloween decorations and a few early Christmas decorations.

Finally, they paged me. I went up and that’s when the fun started. I had to hand over my driver’s license to prove who I was. My distractability was at an all time high. I’m looking everywhere except at the pharmacist. I think I was looking at a advertising display for something, it probably had interesting colors, or I was reading the text, whatever. He was trying to hand back my license and I didn’t notice until he finally waved it in my face.

Then he started ringing everything up and I got to play with the debit card reader thingie, whatever they’re called, and I had to put in my pin several times because I kept making errors. When I finished, I started drifting again, and didn’t notice the process was complete or that it was beeping for me to remove my card. He again had to tell me to do that.

And all this time, I never made eye contact, I’d just sort of pass over him as I talked as if I couldn’t focus on him.

I left embarrassed and worried he thought my erratic behavior came from abusing my own son’s ADHD meds, maybe even alerting authorities, when the reality was, I was off my own meds.

Nevertheless, I was very proud of myself. Why?

Because this:

20170915_161912_Film1

They had a display of toy cars and it was the first time I’ve ever saw a Fiat 500, however, I exercised a fantabulous amount of self-control and did not buy the car even though it was only $5.99 and even though I walked around the store with it in my hand until they called my name.

And that’s the truth.

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Thank the Greeks it’s Friday

A Historical Friday Haiku

The Greeks named today

“Hemera Aphrodites”

Aphrodite’s day.

Monday’s Solar Eclipse

Let me get the Public Service Warnings out of the way:

  • Do not stare at the sun or eclipse with the naked eye. Damage to your vision could result.
  • Do not look at the sun or eclipse through your camera’s viewfinder withiut an approved solar filter on the lens. Damage to your vision could result.
  • Do not take pictures of the sun/eclipse with your camera or smartphone without an approved solar shield. Damage to the electronics could result.

Be aware there are unscrupulous people selling “protective” solar eclipse eyeware that doesn’t protect you from shit. Amazon has been policing the sutuation, but many have already been sold.

That said, I’m really ticked at my ADHD procrastination. I saw solar eclipse glasses for sale at American Science and Surplus back in March when we were buying fun items for our kids’ Easter baskets.

I regret not buying them then because now they’re impossible to find. But then, if I had bought them, I wouldn’t remember where I put them these five months later.

Yesterday, I saw a sheet solar eclipse film for $27 that you could cut to your specifications. I figured I could cut them up so we could wear them on our faces, as well as buy an SLR 58mm empty filter to glue the film to and screw over the SLR camera’s lens.

But when I hit Add to Cart, I kept getting errors. Later, when I finally seaeched again, the price had jumped to $67! I hate the law of supply and demand.

So, I guess we have to go to the old school, tried and true method of putting a pinhole in a cereal box and watching the eclipse’s reflection through that.

Or, I could just go on FB and view the millions of FB Go Live events everyone will be posting.

Well, there’s another total solar eclipse expected on September 14, 2099. Maybe I should buy them Tuesday and out them away.

Fahrvergnügen

You remember the old Volkswagen ads, right? Fahrvergnügen! Which means, “driving pleasure.”

Tomorrow, we (specifically my wife) get to once again enjoy Fahrvergnügen!

We will be picking up our new 2017 VW Jetta SE. I don’t expect much sleeping tonight as we wait in restless anticipation like it’s the night before Christmas.

Our first car as a couple was a Jetta. Great car that we drove into the ground because neither of us are mechanics.

Weird thing was, it had no lap belts. It did have a shoulder belt. The salesman at Ernie Von Schledorn (“Who do you know want’s a car?”) told us that a lap belt was unnecessary because the dash was heavily padded to protect our knees in a crash.

And we believed the asshole.

Anyway, it was still a great car and we were fortunate never to have tested the padded dash.

But we wondered as we test drove and finally decided to welcome this new Jetta into our family, why it took almost 25 years to look at another VW?

My son and I were thinking of naming the Jetta, Jarvis, because that’s a good German name. My wife is leaning toward Jean-Luc, because … Piccard. And really, Star Trek and Patrick Stewart trump a Marvel AI anyday. Sorry, didn’t mean to trigger anyone by saying trump. Dang. Did it again.

And no, I’m not unhappy with my Fiat 500 already. In fact, here’s a

Gina Update

My Fiat 500 is still the most fun car to drive I’ve ever owned or even test drove. I have no idea where all the bad reviews come from. I haven’t experienced any issues at all and still find it an extremely enjoyable ride. In fact, no one shoukd be allowed to enjoy driving this much.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Well, maybe for a 500 Abarth, that little scorpion badge is pretty cool. Or maybe a 124 Spider. But that’s several years away.

I am thinking of adding a throaty performamce exhaust at some point though. I think Gina would sound good with a growl.

Weigh-In Friday

Yeah. Sorry. I forgot to weigh myself again. Don’t worry. Wednesday I see my doctor for a regularly scheduled annual checkup and I’m sure his scale will tell me I’m still a fat slug. It always does. No matter what my home scale says, I can always count on his scale to add several pounds. That scale hates me.

Update on Zagg

Last week i ranted about Zagg making hard screen protectors for the Samsung Galaxy S8 that are for shit. They only have glue along the two curved sides, which causes several problems.

One is they create an airgap between the screen and protector which inhibits touch sensitivity, forcing the user to press harder.

The second is they just fall off because there isn’t enough adhesive holding the protector to the glass.

My wife’s just fell off. My son’s didn’t fall off when he dropped it but the Invisible Shield itself cracked.

I invoked their warranty, which is a free replacement whenever you damage it. They send you a replacement screen protector and a prepaid envelope in which to send the damaged shield back. I suppose that prevents people from submitting endless claims, getting a free reolacement, and selling them to others.

The other day I received an email from Zagg. “We received your damaged shield. Thank you. And we charged your credit card on file for $10.99 for shipping and handling.”

That isn’t free! I call that being charged. Bastards.

The Alt-Right

Fuck them. Fuck all of them. Fuck the Nazis. Fuck the neo-Nazis. Fuck Nazi sympathizers. Fuck Nazi apologists. Fuck the KKK. Fuck white nationalists. Fuck white supremacists. Fuck fascists. Fuck racists. Fuck misogynists. Fuck bigots. Fuck homophobes. Fuck Islamiphobes. Fuck anti-semites. Fuck TheRump. Fuck Bannon. Fuck all the fascists in the GOP. Fuck anyone who rationalizes hate, prejudice, or who blames “both sides.”

Because there is no middle ground here. Both sides aren’t to blame nor are the radicals on the right and left cut from the same mold. The responsibility lies solely with the alt-right. They don’t plan “peaceful” protests or rallies. They come armed to intimidate and provoke fear. They come to spread their loathsome message of hate in an attempt to win over new converts who get a hard-on for these primitive chest-pounding threat displays. These are nothing more than recruitment rallies and the more media attention they get, the more successful they are. That’s how bullies work.

And the only way to stop a bully is by standing up to them, refusing to back down, refusing to be intimidated. And by answering with force if need be.

If anyone tries to spread the blame to both sides, if they try to make claims that the alt-left is just as guilty as the alt-right, explain to them there is no alt-left.

There is no alternative to denoucing hate, prejudice, and racist beliefs. In the end it comes down to this: you either support hateful, fascist slime or you stand with the rest of the human race. There is no middle ground.

An Alt-Right Haiku

Ignorant beliefs

Hate, prejudice, racism

We stand against you.

And how about some classic Anti-Nazi songs?

anti-Nazi Songs

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A Friday haiku

The week is over
It seemed so long and dreary
Let’s start the weekend!

June Mile-a-day challenge Day 23

I can’t believe I made it this far without waking up at least one morning and going, “Maybe I’ll sleep in and run later.” I’m actually proud of myself for getting this far.

Wednesday I added at 1° incline to the treadmill. The readout says that means I burned an addition 5 calories per run, if you believe in the accuracy of those things.

I did notice my cool down heartrate went up from 114 up to 124 after that first incline run. Today it was down to 119.

Something else I noticed which surprises me. I’m not feeling stiff or have any aches in my joints despite not taking any rest days.

Add in that I also walk an average of 20,000 steps each weekday, so my leg muscles, ankle, knee, and hip joints are always in use.

If you had asked me what would hapoen if I ran a mile a day for a month before I started this, I probably would have predicted some sort of overuse or stress injury. Shinsplints, for example, which had forced me to quit running almost 2t years ago.

But no, I feel pretty good. I’m contemplating keeping this up as a regular daily activity. Maybe I’ll even bump my distance up, gradually, and start July running 1-1/4 miles each day. That means I would have to get up 5 or 10 minutes earlier.

Hmm. We’ll have to think about that.

Music and running

When I first started treadmilling, I’d put on a record. A record. Yes. Some of us still call them that and for a very good reason: I still have a vinyl collection and a quality turntable — a classic, refurbished AR XA.

Anyway, when I was starting out, I could listen to one side of a vinyl record and my run would be over before the record was. Each side of a vinyl record usually has a pkaying time anywhere from 15 to 22 minutes.

Once my runs went longer, I switched to watching something on TV because otherwise you have to jump off the treadmill, lift the needle from the record, flip the record over, then tey to gently place the needle down despite shaking hands from an elevated heartrate. It just wasn’t worth it risking a scratch.

So television. I found coverage of Track and Field events were the best motivator, but unfortunately, they’re few and far between.

Since I’ve now been running just a mile each day, my treadmill time is less than 10 minutes, which means I can go back to enjoying one side of an album.

Yesterday, I put on Boston’s eponymous (I always wanted to use that word) first album and listened to side A. Today, I ran to Side B.

And I discovered something. Running to music makes the time seem to go by faster whereas watching an episode of television seems to make the run drag on and on.

I wonder why that is?

And commercials last forever!

Weigh-In Friday

I’ve managed to drop below the 200 pound wall again. I’m at 199.4 now. And my average fat went down -0.7% while my average muscle went up +0.5%.

Life’s Good = LG

We’ve been with US Cellular for almost two weeks now. So far, despite my problems with all my previous phones, my LG V20 is holding up nicely. By now, my other phones would have been starting to show signs of glitchyness trying all day to find a crappy Verizon Wireless signal here in my Faraday Cage we call a building.

But so far, the LG is working flawlessly. I always have a 4Glte signal (knock wood) and I can place phone calls from nearly anywhere inside the building. Even it’s battery lasts for most of the day. All my other phones needed to be recharged after just a few hours.

I’m not claiming the LG is the best smartphone out there, but on the US Cellular network in downtown Milwaukee, it is greater than any Verizon Wireless phone I’ve ever owned.

So glad I made that switch.

Gina update

I’ve been driving our 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge for about 2 months now. Usually, by this time with any newer car I’ve owned, the newness and novelty would have worn off. I’d become, if not jaded then bored with it.

Not this car. I’m still having a blast driving it around town. I actually look forward to driving to and from work.

I’ve read many a review on this little Fiat and the majority of them are, if not downright negative, at least less than praising. I can’t help but wonder if they’re talking about some other car. Or possibly, years of driving and reviewing dozens of cars has made those automotive journalists jaded or possibly they just don’t appreciate the fun someone can have driving a minicar; they only value cars that have peel-your-face-back acceleration along with a throaty growl.

I feel sorry for them. My Fiat still is bringing a smile to my face.

Welcome to the new dark ages

Anyone else beginning to feel triggered just seeing TheRump’s face or hearing his voice?

Anyone else feel that, “OK, things couldn’t possibly get any worse?” And then it does? How many more rights, how many more safety and environmental regulations can they dismantle?

How much more power can they give to the rich and corporations? How much further can they erode the middle class’s ability to make ends meet?

How many more lies will the American people swallow before they finally rise up and scream, “ENOUGH!”

Resist.! None of this is normal. We don’t have to accept it. The revolution must begin now

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

because this land was made for you and me, not the corporations, not the robber barons, not the elites, and definately not some ignorant, bigoted Orange Turd.

Woody Guthrie – This Land is Your Land

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Let’s play favorites

Do you have a favorite car? One that, over the years, you’ve consciously or even subconsciously, used as the measuring stick by which all other cars are measured?

Mine had been my mom’s 1971 Super Beetle. I learned to drive with that car. It was a four-speed manual and a blast to drive.

1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle

I was a teenager and got my license in my junior year in high school. Many of my classmates, if they had their own cars, drove the muscle cars of the day, complete with jacked-up rear ends and big, wide rear tires, so they looked like funny cars (the race cars, not something to laugh at). 

They drove Pontiac GTOs or Firebirds of various vintage, Chevy Novas, Chevelles, Camaros, as well as 442s, Skylarks, Cudas, Chargers, Challengers, and so on. All tuned so those big V8s would growl and cough and rumble as they drove around John Marshall High School, squeezing tires, to show off for the girls like peacocks waving their colorful tail feathers.

They lived for cars and girls  (queue song).

And here I’d come with my mom’s Bug. There’s not much you can do to mod a Bug, especially when it’s your mom’s, but I had a friend help me install an 8-track stereo that I could just plug in, then take out when I was done. We used my home stereo’s set of book shelf speakers, which fit perfectly behind the backseat storage area of the car.

So I’d cruise around blasting tunes and to really get attention, I’d pop the clutch and lay down some rubber. I think it caught people’s attention because no one expected a Bug to squeal it’s tires. Sure, the back end would hop and I’m sure I wasn’t doing the transmission or clutch much good, but it would leave about a two or three foot long burnout.

(And if I my younger son, once he has his license, ever pops the clutch in my Fiat 500, he’s grounded for life.)

That Beetle was a fun little car to drive. It had decent excelleration and was quick enough and small enough that you could weave in and out of traffic without any problems.

And it has been my reference car ever since. Whenever I’d test drive another car, I’d mentally compare it to that one. In the end, none even came close. 

I mean, sure, I enjoyed my 1986 Dodge Datona Turbo Z. When the turbo finally kicked in and threw you back into your seat, it was a lot of fun. But otherwise, it was a heavy car, despite its small size and wasn’t very zippy in traffic because of its turbo lag. And shifting always felt clunky until it finally did go clunk.

1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z

The two Ford Escorts I had were what would be called basic transportation. One was the body style from the ’80s and the other was the sportier looking version from 1995. They were more utilitarian than fun.

And although our 1996 Pontiac Sunrise served us faithfully for nearly 15 years until it developed a hole in one of the cylinders, I wouldn’t necessarily call it fun to drive either. In fact, it seemed rather heavy, but we always felt safe in it during the winter.

So over 43 years, and at least 14 cars, the memory of that Beetle lived on… until three weeks ago when we bought the 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge.

Queue angelic choir singing “Ohhhhhh!”

Now I have a new favorite car.

Small is the new black.

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Zen and the art of driving stick

It was 1940 and Oldsmobile introduced the “Hydra-Matic,” the first automatic transmission. They sold something like 200,000 units and it was that same year the very first case of road rage was documented.

Driving automatic

Drivers of these new-fangled automatics began to suffer a disconnect between themselves and their vehicle because they found they had too much time to seethe over every single road incident and perceived wrong.

Drivers of stick, of course, were more zen-like, tranquil in their oneness with their automobile. They were absorbed in the moment, hands, feet, and mind all focused on the very act of driving, and didn’t have time to waste on frivolous external stressors.

That first incident of road rage occurred on Route 66 somewhere between Holbrook, Arizona and Williams, Arizona. 

Pepper McHilheney,  a spitball pitcher returning from a loss that had raised his ERA to an astronomical 37.3, was driving in his brand new black Olds Hydra-Matic, fuming about being tossed out of the game because he beaned the ump with a fastball after said ump had called the 90th ball that inning, when along came Biff Melonmeister, a traveling anvil salesman out of Davenport, Iowa, driving a similarly equipped Olds, but in cream, who was worrying that if he didn’t find a blacksmith soon who needed a new anvil how was he going to make his next car payment, when he inattentively cut off Pepper.

Pepper, of course, beeped and shouted, “Get your head out of you ass!” while making obscene gestures with his free right hand that, had he been driving stick, would have been otherwise occupied.

Biff, seeing the gestures, returned several of his own, because he too had a free right hand.

Soon the two were racing side-by-side down Route 66 cursing and throwing hand gestures at each other until tragically for both Olds involved, they went off the road and crashed into some shrubbery.

The two drivers extricated themselves from the bushes, gave each other the finger again, and fisticuffs ensued.

Meanwhile, Irving Potash, driving his trusty old 3-speed stick on the column two-tone Nash, went by and said, “Dudes, chill.” He then responsibly returned all his attention to driving and made it to his destination safely, on time, and with a smile on his face, proving the adage: a stick in hand is worth two birds in the bush.

There are many more anecdotes about the superiority of stick drivers to automatic, but a recent survey by the prestigious Institutus Ferretatus proves it best.

According to their study, drivers of automatics have a higher incidence of heart disease, hypertension, headaches, and are more likely to die of a heart attack, stroke, or road rage incident. Additionally, they are more hostile and impulsive compared to their stick driving counterparts.

Stick drivers on the other hand, live longer, have significantly lower stress levels, are much happier, and of course, are much more fun to be around.

Stick drivers today are known as “the seven percenters” because only about 7% of Americans drive stick. These seven percenters generally lead healthier and happier lives than the other 93% of drivers.

So next time you’re in the market for a car, consider the stick. Your heart will thank you.
#savethestick

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Meet Gina

I’ve been doing research on a new used car, because that’s what I do: I research the Hell out of everything before I buy it.

Is that an odd trait? To enjoy doing research, making comparisons, weighing the pros and cons? 

I know some people buy on the spur of the moment, sometimes making what to me seem like rash decisions.

But I have to know everything about something before I jump in. Or in my case, wade in and gradually test the waters.

It’s just how I’m wired. I think it’s the OCD aspect of my ADHD. Others with ADHD are the risk takers and make decisions immediately. It’s been said that I can’t make a decision to save my life  (which is untrue. In life and death situations the obsessive part of me shuts down and I rely on instinct).

Anyway, this was supposed to be about cars. So I narrowed my search down to two makes, Ford Mustang and Mini Cooper. These two were then narrowed down to two specific cars on the same lot, both 2007. The Mustang was a black deluxe with white hood stripes and 75,000 miles and the Mini Cooper was the S, turbo model with 84,000 miles. Same price.

I test drove both. The Mini seemed like a better driving experience, but the engine was covered with oil, which concerned me, and they had to jumpstart it because the battery needed replacement. Because of that, the radio didn’t work. But the interior was cool otherwise.

Whereas the Mustang’s interior seemed dated. And although it had a new clutch, the shifting just didn’t seem as smooth as the Mini.

So I made a chart of pros and cons. Doesn’t everyone? In the end, it turned out there were more pros for the Mini than the Mustang and surprisingly, the Mini was actually the faster of the two in the quarter mile and the Mini had a top speed nearly 20 mph faster. 

But talk maintenance costs and the Mustang wins, because Mini turbos are notoriously expensive when parts start to go and they suffer from carbon buildup that can be costly as well to clean.

So it came down to the Mustang, my childhood dream, a car that still turned heads when I test drove it, or the Mini which was fun to zip around in city traffic, would be smaller and easier to park downtown, and gets much better gas mileage.

My teenage son tried to influence me toward the Mustang. “Dad, you won’t have any street cred in a Mini.” 

Which did I choose?

Right? The 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge,  of course. 

“Wait,” you’re saying, “you never mentioned a Fiat was on your list!”

That’s because it wasn’t. The Fiat was a surprise last second entrant that we saw sitting on a lot Saturday as we went by and once I took it for a test drive, that was all she wrote. 

It’s a cute, zippy fun car to drive and its the first car, or even first inanimate objects, I’ve ever felt compelled to name.

Meet Gina, my Italian beauty:

Gina strikes a pose

“So all that talk about researching and not buying spur of the moment was just bullshit?”

Well, yes and no. I did generic research on the Fiat 500, Honda Fit, and Mazda3, among others, but using Autotrader and CarGurus, I didn’t find any specific vehicles that interested me. Not like the Mustang and Mini.

So I knew specs, Fiats got much better gas mileage than the other two, and reliability, Fiats didn’t have the mechanical woes of Mini turbos and since Fiat owns Chrysler,  the parts are Molar and more comparable to other domestic cars, like the Ford for repairability.

The Fiat 500, Gina, reminds me a lot of the first car I ever drove, my mom’s 1971 VW Superbeetle. It was stick as well and a blast to drive around town. I’ve driven many cars since then, but not one gave me the same thrills zipping in and out of traffic or the cute good looks as the bug did. Until Gina.

Gina’s two-tone leather interior

Gina is all the bug was, and more.
And both my sons like it and not a word about street cred from my teenager. In fact, he wants me to pick him up from school.

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