Monday, December 28, 2015

FALLOUT 4! My tips.

It's been over a month since Fallout 4 hit the scene and the gaming world went crazy. Heck the porn world went crazy too. They actually LOST record sales because of Fallout 4. Name a game that's pulled that stunt before! Since my dear wife got upgraded our system to Xbox One and got the Fallout 4 package, I've spent some serious time playing this game. I'm almost a level 60 now and I'd like to share some observations. These are tips for those of you coming to the game a bit late. Some of these observations haven't been posted in any other tip pages that I have seen (and I've been looking!).

First of all, the end all be all of Fallout info is the Wiki. It's an undeniable source of information. But now my tips in no particular special order:

SETTLEMENTS: This is the big new thing to Fallout. Building settlements. All the tip pages I've read tell us that you need food, water, and beds for your settlers. That's the bare minimum to keep happiness above 50. You need at least 1 count each of food and water per settler as well as 1 bed per settler. Here's what they don't tell you;

-Don't go build crazy on your settlements unless all your settlers have what they need. That means planning ahead. You should build your settlement for the possibility of no less than 20 settlers. That means 20 beds need to be incorporated into your build one way or another. This is important because there is a cap on how many elements you can build into a settlement before it's "full". If you reach "full" and don't have beds for new settlers, you'll be looking for hacks and tricks to get past the cap. And there are tricks to be sure, but some report they can screw up your game. I've tried one and it did nothing at all. Probably only works for PC. I find, if you plan ahead, you don't need tricks. I've gotten by just building "bunk houses" for my settlers and tossing mattresses on the floor. So long as you cover those basics, you can pretty much build whatever you want. But you will run out of room eventually. Now for more basic tips.

-Try to assign all settlers to something if you can. Busy settlers are happy settlers. Well, usually. It will be challenging to give absolutely everyone a job once you start hitting that 15-20 person bracket, but you really want them all to have something to do. Crops and defense are the easiest assignments, but there's the junk station too that you can assign them. You can also have more than one create supply lines to other settlements. Supply lines are very important as they link food water and building materials from one place to another. Then you can put little shops on your settlement and they can work at those and even earn you some caps.

-Defense! Your defense for any settlement should be a minimum of your total food plus your total water. You'll have to set up a lot of defense on the ground, but try to build defense out of reach if you can. Elevated defenses have better range and are harder for enemies to damage. You really can't have too much defense. I go overboard on purpose and aim for over a hundred no matter where it is (or as close as I can come). Defense is also an integral part of happiness.

-Light things up! Power is also on the happiness checklist you can find in your Pip boy under Data/Workshops. Give them power. Wire things up and put in fancy lights. Would you like to live without electricity? Seems your settlers don't either.

Here is my personal checklist of minimums for building your settlement. OH, and if you you don't have to set up a beacon for any settlement right away... DON'T. Build it first, invite people afterward. You'll thank me.  20 beds, 20 food, 20 water, 20 power (if you have access to water, use water purfiers! they will need power so add to both for your settlement), 80 defense (some of it should be settler assigned but you can cover that anytime), 1 of each workstation (like armor, weapons, chemistry, etc), 1 junk station (larger spaced settlements could have 2 or 3), 4 shops (but the more you can build in toward at least one of each, the merrier), 1 brahmin trough per every 2 brahmin (that aren't supply liners). Make sure you have designated areas for your crops and water (if you don't have access to a major water source).

PERKS: Okay, building your character is as complex as it ever was but there is one area of perks that are absolutely imperative. Scrapping and crafting perks are essential to your survival. So is the aquaboy perk. When building your character stats, make sure you have stat levels needed to get these perks!  Here are my minimum suggestions for theses perks:

-Strength: 4 so you cover blacksmith and armorer perks. You may not care about blacksmith, but armorer is a MUST to get all you can get out of your armor. So at least a Strength of 3 for that. Don't forget that Strength affects your carrying weight too and hording junk has never been more important.

-Perception: 4 to cover your locksmith. Picking locks WILL get you further than hacking.

-Endurance: 5 for Aquaboy. Breathing under water in this world is way too handy. You also don't take rad damage from being in water. There is a LOT of water in this game.

-Charisma: 6 if you care about settlements at all and want to make the most of them. This is for your Local Leader perk. You can't build shops or set up supply lines without it. It's also important for speech checks in missions. If you don't care about those things, you should have at least a 3 for Lone Wanderer to increase your carry weight when alone (even with Dogmeat) by 50 lbs.

-Intelligence: 6 to get the absolute most out of your crafting because of Gun Nut and Science! perks. Science! is a level 6 perk. Your hacking is also covered under this stat and there are places that you will need your hacking at Master (well at least one place that I know of). You also want the Scrapper perk that is a level 5. You could say this area is loaded with important perks.

-Agility: I set mine at 2 and raised it to 3 later on. Agility is full of great "kill em" perks, but you don't need them as much as you do the crafting perks to really get ahead on your character. Here is the really cool thing, even without the bobbleheads, you can put a perk selection into raising any stat you want to build your way up in more perks later in the game. So, it's not like you will miss out on any of these by not getting them right away. At a level 50 I was taking down Deathclaws with handguns before they could reach me. And I haven't raised my Agility for the other killer perks yet.

-Luck: Again, I set this at 2 and raised it to 3 later and now I have the bobblehead. Luck is nice, but not as important this time around as those essential crafting perks.

Now I'd like to point out a couple of tips that will help you in wandering the wastes that I also haven't seen mentioned elsewhere.

HUNTING FOR HEALTH: You know all those packaged foods you can find in the Fallout games? The Dandy boy apples, Instamash, bubblegum, and Cram? Screw em. Don't waste your carry weight on them. They may give you health, but they also give you rads, and rads (especially in early game) suck. Eat what you kill instead. This will start with radroaches, bloat flies, and blood bugs, but you'll find that gathering meat and using the cook station (every time) will not only support your health, but give you some useful boosts. The bigger the monster, the better they are to eat. And one in particular is the Radstag. Eating cooked radstag raises how much weight you can carry just long enough to get you to a place to dump your junk! So if you go over your carry limit by 2 or 3 pounds, munch a Radstag steak! I've done so well with this method, that I've only had to use stimpaks very rarely and in extreme situations. I have built up over 300 stimpaks in my inventory to carry around! I've never had to pay for a stimpak either!

Best early hunting consist of Radstag, Mutant Hounds (Mutant Hound Chops reduce your rads!), and Stingwings.

CYCLE YOUR WEAPONS: You should make sure you have at least one good weapon for each ammunition type that you can pick up. 38 is the most common ammo, but if you do it right, you'll always have just enough to kill your enemies. I carry about 3 weapons (whatever has the highest amounts of ammo at the time) while gathering up ammo I find for my other weapons. By the time my current weapons get low, I can swap them out for my others and be just fine on ammo. And the longer you play the better it gets as you add perks and whatnot.

SCAVENGING: Search everything you kill. Raiders are loaded with stimpaks and radaways along with ammunition and scrappable weapons and armor. Eventually, you may only take the ammo and health goods because you want to use your carrying weight for other goodies. I go through any location and wipe out all resistance before searching for junk. I take all the bad guys' stuff and jump back to home base with it. The I return and go through the place again and again until I've wiped out all the cool goodies I can get. Eventually, it will all respawn and you can go do it again. You'll never truly be without scrappables and junk stuff. You'll even find great hot spots for special parts.

BE A DRUG DEALER: Yeah, really. At chemistry stations you can blend things like Buffout and Jet to make Buffjet and since these are ALL OVER THE FREAKING WASTELAND, you can make decent caps off them if you find yourself wanting to purchase anything from junk dealers. I buy from shops rarely, but when I do, I walk away with what I wanted and all their caps to boot. I don't bother selling weapons. Don't have to.

Now, before I go, I want to share something funny you can do with your settlers. It's not necessary, but it's actually kind of hilarious. Give them weapons and armor. When you do, you can actually EQUIP them, but sometimes they'll do it themselves. I've given a couple of settlers miniguns and watched the fun during raider or gunner attacks. You don't have to give them ammo, that seems to come out by magic. So dress em up and arm them for deathclaws. It's fun.Make them your own personal circus. Why not?

Have fun with these tips and feel free to add your own in comments! Time for me to go play!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Duking it out! Best Fight Scenes Ever

Time for another Wildeman post! But today I'm not going to rant, no. I'm going to post about something else as you all heave a big ol sigh of relief. Today I want to talk about movies. In particular, my favorite fight/action scenes. I'm posting in no particular order, but I think you'll agree with my reasoning on these being some of the best fight scenes ever.

You that point in a movie that really gets you revved up for watching? For me it's when some creep gets his just desserts the hard way. For that I bring you my first example. A scene from the movie, Second Hand Lions:

Isn't that beautiful? Not only that, but it's simple and direct. No need for ultra fancy moves, just the right tone and action. It's an old fashioned approach and it's awesome.

Speaking of old fashioned, I have to touch on this one. This is the first fight scene that ever stuck in my memory from a movie. You'd think it would be Bruce Lee at my age and his scenes were wonderful, but they didn't add the storytelling like this.

Nope. Billy Jack will always be a favorite character of mine. I think I'll remember that foot to face line when I'm senile and drooling in my wheelchair.

Next, an action heavy hitter, Jason Statham. If you haven't seen the Transporter movies, you are missing out on some action gold. But one thing you might notice about this list, is that I'm not aiming at the one guy versus fifty dudes fight scenes. Those are awesome, but they lack something that I find endearing to the scenes I'm showing you. It's like there's more of a purpose to these fights than just pounding people into human pudding. Take this scene for example.

See what I mean by purpose? It just stands out over other fight scenes. It's also that moment when the hero is sorely underestimated and it bites the offenders in the ass hard. But if we are going to use gimmicks and tricks to drive this point home, there is recent show that I enjoyed very much. Here:

So what are some of your favorite fight scenes? Feel free to post in comments!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

So your child was just diagnosed with autism...

It just happened and the news hits you like a runaway truck. You experience a mixture of relief and shock. Relief at having a name for the thing you didn't understand and shock because you still have no idea what to do about it. Better yet, your doctor may not know what you should do either. It's bad enough that parenting doesn't come with automatic instructions, but you have far more to learn than the average parent.

Well you aren't alone and this write up is geared to give you more than one place to start.

I am an adult with autism raising a teenager with autism. I've been on your path and then some. Not only did I have to relearn everything I thought I knew about parenting, I had to relearn myself. This advice will by no means cover every thing you could face. Every child is different and how heavily they are affected by autism is vastly different. That's why it's called "the spectrum". Which leads to my first point:

Get to know your child: Sure, every parent has to do this, but you are watching for intricate details that others will take for granted. You are watching for triggers in sensory that others don't commonly react to. You are watching for extreme behaviors that demonstrate super interest or reaction or almost NO interest or reaction. These will be noteworthy to you so you can help your child interact with a loud and intense world. Look for both the things that aggravate and provide comfort. For example, if hiding under a blanket calms a meltdown, you best have a blanket with you on outings. There are three subjects that I use to teach people about autism in children. They are as follows:

-Sensory: Various sensory (your five senses) "problems" or imbalances are common in autism. Colors and lights may be super bright and overbearing. Sounds may be too loud and invasive. Textures may cause extreme discomfort. Yet, some sensory issues may do the opposite so much that your child seeks them out constantly. These can be very strange behaviors. The list is long and some behaviors can be disturbing. The good news is that your child will develop past hundreds of these behaviors. Behaviors as a toddler are by no means bound to be permanent. And by no means should you think you cannot teach your child alternate behaviors. You absolutely can.

-Routine: The order in which you do daily activities is something your child will likely become very sensitive of. Changes in routines may be met with severe resistance. This includes issues like change of wardrobe from one season to the next. As they grow, clear information on how and why of changes may help. Again, these are teaching points for you as the parent. It's simply something you will have long term work on with your child. The forms of many sensitivities will change with age. Just know, that if you teach them to brush their teeth before getting dressed and one day you switch that around, it may become a very difficult day.

-Social: Social interactions are heavily affected by sensory and some delayed maturity issues (but not just those). Social interactions have a tendency to go one of two directions; too little or way too much. Lack of eye contact or "appropriate" response to your emotions (anger or praise) are just the beginning. Clear and literal information can be of utmost importance. For example, my wife summoned my son to his messy bedroom where he had tossed dirty clothes down in his doorway. She asked him "what is wrong with this picture?". My son became very nervous because, while he saw the mess on his floor, he did not see a "picture" anywhere. If she had asked "what is wrong with these clothes?" he would have understood immediately. You're child will have to be taught very specifically what it means when you are happy with him or not. Just expressing the emotions, will likely not work the same as with a typical child. As an additional caution, never spank an autistic child. It will ignite sensory triggers, cause huge meltdowns, and teach them that it's okay to hit you and others. When I say that you will have to learn a whole different way of parenting it is not a casual reflection.

Be involved with your child: Your child needs you more than ever to help them understand how to live in our crazy world. I'm going to make a suggestion that has helped my own son in so many ways.

Play games.

Yes, games. I play and collect heroclix with my son. It's a table top game with tiny figurines of comic book super heroes played out on a map. I developed short term variations of the rules for my son to enjoy at a very young age (about 8). It helped him with social interaction, math, and problem solving. He still loves the game to this day. He has fond memories of interactions with those games. How to react to winning or losing and the random chances of the dice are incredible tools that can be integrated into teaching how the world works in real life. It's creative parenting at its best.

Finally, let me tell you that (while you are understandably shaken now) you have become the parent of a very special form of person. He or she is going to show you things about life you never thought possible. Get ready, because it's going to be quite a trip.

Monday, November 16, 2015

French Flags and Coffee Cups

What the hell is wrong with people? I wish that weren't a daily question that plagues my brain as bandwagon wars erupt across the internet over stupid things. Things like coffee cups. Just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but damn. I don't see what's wrong with it. It's red. Oh wait, I get it, someone was watching Saturday Night Live reruns and came across the Church Lady.

"The cups are not religious enough." Was said by some fool whose name I didn't bother to catch in some interview. I don't know if this dipstick ever bothered to notice this... but...

Starbucks has never claimed to be a religious entity in the first place.

Funny that, huh? No one goes to Starbucks for a sermon. They go there for overpriced coffee. It's not a church, it's a coffee house. They can make up  the design on their cups in any stinking array of colors they damn well feel like. There are no laws against it and no church has any right to tell them how to conduct their business. If you don't like the cups, don't have them. Simple as that. But no, church whackos aren't content unless they have something utterly ridiculous to cry about.

I haven't seen any of them crying over the attacks in France recently and that brings me to something equally ridiculous as the coffee cups. The French Flag movement.

Why is it ridiculous? First of all, showing your support is not ridiculous. You have the right to show your support any way you want. Go for it! What gets stupid is the battle of the bandwagons every time something like this happens. Remember all the gay pride profile pics on Facebook recently? While it was a massive show of support it immediately brought out opposition. Not just opposition for gays, but opposition for getting on a bandwagon to support them when (if true) you had nothing to do with them in the first place. Same thing is still happening with Black Lives Matter. There has to be an opposing force of All Lives Matter, that ignores the point BLM is trying to make.

So, now that people are posting French flags, there are people criticizing because they don't see all the other flags of war torn countries represented. If you are one of those people making that complaint, I have a question for you:


This is like complaining about how your neighbor mows their lawn when you never mow yours. See why it's stupid? I can see why bandwagoning is irritating, but if you are bandwagoning against bandwagoning, you are basically doing the same thing, only dumber. Let people express themselves and get over it. No one who is posting a French flag is pretending there are no other problems in the world. That's just not realistic. We all know the world has gone to hell. We haven't missed anything. I could get into all the how and why of what people do to show support, but that's a long write up.

It's just like getting bent out of shape over a coffee cup. I'm sure we all have better things to do.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

There's a Muppet with Autism and the Sky is Falling!

It's not hard to make an anti-vaccination supporter have a complete mental blowout. Their collective sanity sits on a feather ledge to begin with and they have no qualm with demonstrating it. So, when Autism Daddy and Sesame Street worked together and brought us the first muppet with autism... well...


Louder than the hurricane that recently tore into Mexico is the sound of anti-vaxxer heads exploding. Of course, they believe the only cause for autism has been vaccines (never mind that such has been thoroughly debunked over and over again). They believe if you have autism and you aren't an anti-vaxxer that you're some kind of traitor to their cause. So it's not surprising that they think Sesame Street is in cahoots with "big pharma" to push vaccines.

Of course, that's absolutely untrue. But you'll never get through the concrete fog around an anti-vaxxer's brain to show them that.

Just when I think I've seen all the sickening stunts they can pull, they do this.

I personally love the fact that there is a muppet with autism. No, she doesn't represent every single form of autism in every single person (one of their unrealistic arguments because she can talk) but she does represent autism.
Julia of Sesame Street

One of the most wonderful things about Sesame Street is their belief in INCLUSION. They believe that we are all wonderful people and everyone should be taken for who they are and accepted as such. That is the Sesame Street way. To see it as anything else takes either ignorance or a twisted mentality.

Oh, but they say there's evidence! Apparently Elmo promotes vaccine safety.

Well, that's all it takes to make AVrs hate you. Well, never mind that the two events are not connected in anyway, nor is there any proof that they are; but I just don't care. I promote vaccine safety, I accept actual science, and I know that VACCINES DON'T CAUSE AUTISM. Never have and never will.

Friday, October 2, 2015

MS Fatigue will make you PAY

This morning I'm using my cane around the house. I never use my cane around the house. Why? Because I live in a tiny house with one narrow hallway. I can usually balance myself  on walls and counters. Those aren't enough today. It's because MS fatigue is making me pay.

I had a good day yesterday. I walked my son to and from school. The extra walk for school, I was sure would hit me, but I did more than that. I also walked to find the owners of two lost dogs that wound up in my back yard. I even managed to find them! While I felt fine with all the walking and some housework, MS was keeping its own tally of my actions.

The alarm rang across the room this morning. I felt it right away. A feeling like my forehead was full of lead. I had to struggle to sit up, leaning on my bedside table. The alarm still demanded my attention. I gazed through the darkness toward the sound and wondered if I could develop telekinesis. Nope. Dear wife slept right through it and I envied her that. But then, she hasn't been feeling well lately. I had to use the bed for support as I shifted to the end and used the window sill to support me in standing. Next I had to manage two steps to the dresser without throwing myself on the floor. My knees rebelled the moment I went to stand, so this was like jumping a ravine.

Deep breath and shove off. And I made it. My knees wanted to buckle but I held on to the top of the dresser. I reached out and fumbled with the alarm clock. Finally silence. I stayed there for a couple of minutes, catching my breath from a small journey across a room that healthy people totally take for granted. Now I just had to make it 15 feet to the bed room door with nothing to support me. Oh, there's a set of plastic shelves, but I would just pull those over. If you could have seen me, you would have thought I shambled like a zombie from the Walking Dead. Still, I made it and leaned on the door or wall to take a micro-break before heading out to wake my son for school.

Mornings are always tough and off balance, but after a day of actual physical activity, it's always worse. MS, makes you pay for it. Sometimes for days. I'm glad it's Friday and everyone can sleep in tomorrow! Even then, when I get up, it's slow and easy or crash. My wife had to take kiddo to school as I can barely walk even with my coffee in me. But then, life doesn't stop for MS. My kitchen is a disaster area and I'm wearing my last pair of clean underwear. I will have to manage at least a couple of things today.

That's what Multiple Sclerosis does to you. It gives you a day of doing things really well, and then relapses you into uselessness for anywhere up to several days. You don't just get tired for the night, your body malfunctions for a lot longer in response to physical fatigue. That's what it's like. Try to imagine if you can. As food for thought, I leave you with a little ditty by Jethro Tull:

My first and last time with you
and we had some fun.
wenT walking through the trees, yeah!
And then I kissed you once.
Oh I want to see you soon
but I wonder how.
It was a new day yesterday
but it's an old day now.
Spent a long time looking
for a game to play.
My luck should be so bad now
to turn out this way.
Oh I had to leave today
just when I thought I'd found you.
It was a new day yesterday
But it's an old day now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

And yet we are blessed

This is a really tough blog to write. I'm going to explain something I haven't yet because of several reasons. As I explain this, though, I want you to understand how blessed we are because of the assistance we have had and the people who are working with my son now. Yes, we are blessed in spite of the situation.

I used to be able to order and give out free stuff in my Galaxy Zento biz. I can't now. I've told people that we are bent over a barrel and there have been some medical issues with myself and my dear wife, but I haven't explained this part of the story. Why? Because I'm not looking to bitch or sob. But I have contained this long enough that I really can't just stay shut down over it any more. I need to talk. There are names I still cannot say, so forgive that and just bear with me.

As many of you know I have a super 13 year old son with autism. He's a great kid and we are so proud of him every day. He's gone through so much. Right now he's in a "private school" that specializes in his educational needs. The reason our family has no money for any extras (and barely enough for some essentials) is that we are paying 298 dollars a month to put him through school.

It could be worse, but a wonderful, wonderful company fronted half the years tuition. So why don't we have him in public school? This is the hard part. The part where I can't name names. But it's like this; about two years ago, my son had to spend a few months in a hospital for the heavy stress related injuries caused by the school system. Without going into a ton of details, it's as simple as that.

I've been asked why I can't afford to buy copies of my own game or pay for pro artists etc, well that's why. And frankly, my son is just a little more important than how they think I should try to start my business. But that's just a side frustration. I digress.

Sue them? No. Believe it or not, that would actually hurt quite a few people. I spoke to a very good attorney who won a case for another family against the same system over 5 years ago. That system owes said family over a hundred grand and has yet to pay a single penny. Not only that, but the system will retaliate and drag my son's current school under a microscope to "see if he's getting proper education there". That would hurt every student there that this wonderful school has helped. So, the way we are doing this is the best way we possibly can.

We live by circulating credit cards, not having cable, and keeping it at the bare essentials. And it's totally worth it. My son has been helped so very much, that I love that place. I would rather be house poor than see them hurt him. Because they told me, to my face, that middle school here would not follow his IEP and they had no fear in telling me that because there is just no damned enforcement here. And my family is not the only special needs family they have done this with. They scare families away so they don't have to deal with them.

So, for you IEP warriors out there. PLEASE don't ask who they are. I won't tell you. If you find out, please don't contact them, you will hurt us and countless other families. I just needed to talk it out. I know many of you will understand.

What saddens me is how much some people don't understand (like the elitists of Kickstarter and board games who ran me off). Finding out only that I'm disabled was enough for them to say I was full of excuses and to go away. God only knows what they'd say about my son. Again, side frustration. Sorry.

But we never give up. I fight to show my son that it's always worth it to keep going. I'm so proud of his accomplishments and overcoming. And before anyone asks. We never told him to blame his school system even though he's fearful of certain people if he sees them in public. He sees his time at the hospital as something he needed to help aim in the right direction and learn important life skills. He does not consider himself a victim, rather a growing boy with his own difficulties. Now we just have to figure out what we are doing about High School once we have him caught up, because if we can't move, he will be back in that system again. Not sure what we'll do about that.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Autism and Back to School

Across the nation we are officially back to school. Maybe a few aren't, but most are. Going back to school means change in schedule and likely a few meltdowns and tantrums. I'm writing this today to touch base on a few reminders that may help you through the transition.

Remember what you learned last year and the year before that. If you've done this more than 3 or 4 times, you should be prepared for resistance. That won't make it any more fun to deal with, but better prepared thinking than not. Consider techniques you used last year and use them again this year.

Don't engage the tantrum: This is especially true with autistics. We can be a very argumentative bunch. Kids already have this angry debating skill. Do your best to stay cool and not react to the tantrum. State your expectations and then drop it. Apply consequences after you get what you want out of the situation and when everyone has calmed down.

Don't apply consequences before going to school if it only further triggers your child into a fit. I have direct experience with this. The idea is getting your child to school, hopefully in a mood that won't destroy their school day. Leave discussing their behavior and any consequences for when they get home. "Remember how you used all those swear words this morning? No video games tonight." This way, you got them to school and gave consequences at a time where you have more time and control.

Remember to reward the behaviors you want. If your kid is handling transition better than last year, tell him! Be happy with what he does right and praise it. Give rewards. A good reward system is always important, even if it isn't worth a hundred bucks. You don't have to spend lavish funds to give rewards. The simple things can be very effective.

Give down time after school. Don't expect your child to go straight to homework the second they walk through the door. He or she has spent the last 8 hours struggling to behave and jump through school hoops. A break after school is welcome and kind. Set up a routine. Offer half an hour of break time to do what ever they want (save anything they can't do because of behavior) with the knowledge that it's homework time after that. My son actually prefers to get right to it, but he always has the option of that after school break.

Hopefully, these tips help you handle the new transition that we all have to wade through. Age doesn't seem to help, so we must be vigilant parents. Have tips you'd like to share? Post them in comments!

Do you or your kids love heroes? Add the Galaxy Zento page! Books and games for ages 8 and up are available. The work of GZ is dedicated to showing our autistic youth that you CAN DO even with a few struggles. Life get's better so never give up. The GZ page is loaded with cool artwork and updates!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Minimum wage, living wage, and everyone else

First I want to point out an article I saw today that I totally agree with.


Now, go read it! Then come back and check this out.

Before MS ravaged me I was making over 16 dollars an hour as a dog cop. Animal Control, the dog catcher if you must call it that. Before you scoff, you should know that I worked tons of overtime on emergencies like a child being mauled, illegal and dangerous exotic animals, someone's lost pup hit by a car, or a family of raccoons invading a family domicile.

If the risks of those aren't enough for you, try being depended on by every other emergency support agency for any issue where an animal shows up. Warrant served on a guy with attack dogs? We had to be there. House on fire with pets? We had to be there. Armed standoff and there are pets? We had to be there. Murder scene? Yep. Suicide? Yep. Drug bust? Yep. Been on them all and more. And our officers didn't even wear bullet proof vests until the last half of my job stay. That's 6 and a half years with about 3 years open chested and being threatened every other day. Yes. We were threatened over people and their stupid animal issues.

So, do I think I deserved to be paid more than someone flipping burgers for a living? Let me explain something to you.

Fast food is the single largest job market of our economy. Biggest one, bar none. The days of it being a 'breakthrough' to the job market are gone. So let's get with the freaking times, shall we?

Here's the truth. We are all underpaid. Now back up and read that last sentence again. Keep doing that until it sinks in. I mean all of us. Every single one who isn't some corporate fat cat looking down from his pile of money laughing his ass off at all of us. Everyone who isn't a politician with three mansions and a fleet of yachts paid for with our tax dollars.

No one, from soldier or firemen to broom pushers, are being paid enough to support a family on a single income. And depending on where you live and the demographics involved you are only slightly better or worse off. Need I remind you of the practically non-existent middle class? Where did they go? And you want to bitch about what a fast food worker makes. They aren't the ones who screwed everything up. Leave them alone.

What we need to do is take a page from their playbook and put up a fight for ourselves. Stop corporations from sending all their jobs overseas. Enforce fair and competitive pay rates. And especially, especially, stop the corporate assholes from responding by jacking prices through the roof so things stay just as bad as they've ever been.

I can't believe we are up in arms over a guy wrapping a sandwich when our politicians and corporate slimeballs are the ones hoarding all the money. They are the ones who have made it so that we can't afford what even they are selling. Then, for every family they force into the poor house (with loss of homes and cars and jobs) they sneer and tell that family to get a job. You know, all those people who lost their houses because of rip off scams allowed by our own government? Do you know how many of those people have found justice and got their homes back? Maybe 1%, but I'm leaning toward NO ONE. But let's get mad at the employees over at Burger King and McDonalds while we still buy their food. Yeah, that make sense.

Isn't it amazing how the oil companies cry all year and then report that they made 65 billion dollars in new record profits? They make record profits every single year. Every single year. Get it? I wonder. Do the grunt employees get record raises every single year? I bet not. I bet Betty the paper pusher hasn't seen a raise in 10 years easy.

If you think you're having fun now, get this; you have a 50%-60% of becoming disabled before retirement age. You pay for disability insurance throughout your employed life. You know what you'll get for SSD without dependants? I get 1100 bucks a month. Divide that by 80 and you get the equivalent of 13.75 an hour. And that's money I paid for. Service I worked for and earned. It's not welfare. So go ahead and tell me I should be paid less than a burger flipper. Don't say it isn't the same thing because what you'll be missing out on is that earning a living is just that; earning a living.

It's time to see that we are all in the same leaky, crappy boat. Now what are YOU going to do about it?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Bible and being Gay

This is where the friction is. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage, there is an uprising of angry people who find being gay an abomination before God. Well, it's high time people learned something new. I'm going to set this issue on its ear. I may lose Facebook friends over this, but if it's that easy for you to walk, you likely won't be missed. Yes, this is going to be that serious and straight forward. The problem the way I see it is that people who are angry about this don't know a single thing about what it's like to be gay or why people are gay. So let us start with that.

Being gay is not a choice. It is a proven physiological orientation that cannot be helped any more than what color your eyes are or how tall you will grow to be. That is a fact. It's been proven by scientific studies over the recent decades. While I'm not gay, I was worn with a difference in wiring too. I was born with Asperger's Syndrome. Neither situation is product of a disease. Neither situation is a product of choice. So why are we holding people accountable before God for something they could not hope to choose or control? Better yet, who are any of you to be judging anyone as faulty before the eyes of God? Last I learned, that was his power alone.

Now for a history lesson. In the time the Bible was being compiled (around what, a thousand years ago?) times and beliefs were different and moreso savage. There are many practices of the Bible, still in the book that we do not practice today. Look at them and ask yourself why we don't practice them:

If a woman harms a mans "unit" she is to have her hand cut off without mercy; Deuteronomy 25:11-2

If a man's "unit" is damaged he shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven: Deuteronomy 23-1 (Too bad so sad for all those industrial accidents and cancer victims)

Women are not allowed to have any positions of authority over men. Timothy 2:11 (Look back at your history to see the same failed arguments of today for comparison. When women were given the right to vote for example)

If a woman is not a virgin when she marries she is to be stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22: 20-11

If you curse at your parents you must be killed.  Leviticus 20:9

So tell me. Why don't we follow these select portions of the bible? They did back those barbaric times and it IS the word of the Bible.  I'll tell you why. Because we know better. Because he have discovered these practices to be wrong. We have discovered that there is actually a difference in the Bible between the prehistoric beliefs of man versus the teachings of God or Jesus Christ. We don't even teach those passages in Sunday School. You never hear them preached from the pulpit in a conventional church. We've learned that a woman has the same rights as a man. So too, do all people as we hold all human beings equal (or we're supposed to).

This is where someone is likely to throw the bestiality argument or comparison in. But it's a faulty argument because we are talking about the rights of human beings on all sides. Not man to animal but human to human.

It's time to lift ourselves past this and learn like we did when it came to women's rights that this is no different. It's human rights. And we have to stop holding people accountable for how nature made them. For how they are beyond their own choice. If you really believe the good words of the Bible, you'll realize this to be true.

Now let's accept people for who and what they are and move on. There are problems in our world that have demanded our attention with far more importance than gay marriage. Homeless vets, child starvation, crime, and joblessness come to mind. Get a grip people. Get with the times. We're supposed to know better by now.

In response to a question below before anyone else asks: You can google these with ridiculous ease, but here's one to start on:   STUDY LINK.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The tale of the Texas pool party

Just before I went in for dental surgery I shared the following video to my Facebook page. At the cursory look (that I'm just as guilty of getting sucked into as anyone) I looks like Officer David Casebolt had seen too many action movies. But, like everything, there is more to the story and it begs your attention and mine. If the video below is gone, you can google it. It went more than viral enough.


This has sparked cop hatred on all levels. It's sparked demonstrations that filled the private neighborhood with over a thousand people for picketing. All anyone seems to care about is what races were present and the video gives you that slant instantly. But they all ignore some very simple basic facts of reality:

1: If you run from the police, they will chase you. FACT.
2: If you refuse to follow basic instructions in an already super tense situation, you will get taken down. FACT.

Please feel free to do your own deep research on these and I don't mean go read all the memes people make. Find the real facts.

The first thing that initially got me in the video was the whole Hollywood tuck and roll thing. But watch the vid a few times and you see staggering in his steps. He may have tripped. And with the stress he was already under, I can understand.

Second, I didn't care for the cursing and swearing out of the kids, but again, now I get where it came from. Doesn't make it right, but he is only human and I challenge any of you to go through his full day and come out grinning.

Finally, he pulled his gun at one point. When I was blinded to the facts by the infectious mob mentality that hits us all, I was astounded. I still don't think he needed to draw the weapon, but I also note that he was outnumbered at least 10 to one (by people rushing him when he had given clear instructions to LEAVE multiple times) before the other officers could move in to back him up. Once the rushers were cleared back, he put his weapon away.

His day: Here is a LINK to the article.  Now to explain directly. The two prior calls before the pool scene were as follows:

Suicide by shotgun in front of children. Do I really have to spell that out for you?

Attempted suicide by a minor girl on a rooftop. So after seeing a man with his face blown all over the room, he had to talk a young girl into living.

Now go to a scene where you're trying to sort out a massive crowd of people who aren't listening, won't follow basic directions, and even rush AT YOU while you're trying to do your job. Explain to me how you would be just peaches and cream and cool as a cucumber in the whole ordeal. Please try. I really want to see that.

It is NOT a matter of race. It is a matter of basic human stress levels. But it doesn't stop there.

Casebolt's family is under constant death threats. He resigned. The family of the bikini clad girl are running a Go Fund Me for a bruise and scrape they want to sue for. David Casebolt doesn't deserve what he's getting. He resigned, leave him the hell alone.

People, I agree that there are bad cops out there. I worry though, that people pulling out the video cameras on every single thing they see involving police is doing more harm than good. It's making us ignore what these officers live with daily. It's making us forget that they risk their lives every day and have to see the worst sides of humanity every day. Any of you who think you can do a better job, are welcome to sign up, I'm sure. We should really know better by now, but no.

So, how would you like to work a job where your every move is being dissected by someone with a video phone? How would you handle that pressure on top of everything else you have to do in one day? Have people just itching for the right time to make your whole life go viral?  And while you're doing that, you still have to get the guy with gun in his mouth to try and live again. You still better protect and serve or die trying. Because you know, you're a public servant and all.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Knowing yourself: warning of sensory overload

Stock photos
As promised, I'm going to dig into more of how a sensory/stress overload actually feels and how I work to stay ahead of them.

I mentioned in my last post that there is a prickly sensation in the back of my neck that is one warning. Another, if I'm paying attention to myself, is that I become less of a generally pleasant person to be around. I may experience feelings of anger that have no apparent trigger. I don't like feeling this way, so I've learned to recognize it most times. If I'm sick, I may need help seeing it. But then, who is pleasant when they're sick?

Trigger factors:

Stress: If a lot of things are a stressing me out, I have to be more mindful.

Heat: Thanks to my MS, heat is a threat. I can't be out in direct high  heat for a very long time. It wears me down fast and leads to other triggers.

Exhaustion: The more tired I am the more at risk I am. It's important to pace myself. But I am a stubborn man at times. It's not easy losing your independence to MS or any other condition.


Snappy disposition: If I'm getting cranky it's a sign.

Dizziness: Vertigo is not my friend. It's a sign that I'm overloaded.

Tilting vision: My view actually tilts on a weird slant to the right and happens with bursts of dizziness.

Extra tremors: The more I'm having, the more careful I need to be, but I have tremors for multiple reasons, so I have to watch for tremors that come with the rest of the issues here.

Rapid breathing: Also comes with an accelerated pulse rate that I can actually feel in my neck.

Loss of coordination: Unable to grasp things properly, dropping things, and extra stumbling beyond what I normally have with MS.

How it feels. I get hot. Really hot. Hot to the touch even. I lose cognitive function and get confused. Nothing I see, feel or hear seems right or makes sense. Fight or flight is being triggered with no physical threat apparent. My only hope is to get somewhere dark and cool.

I use a fan for two purposes. One is temperature and the other is to dull my other senses, like my crazy hearing. White noise from a fan is very helpful. I use the same to sleep at night.

People who suffer from sensory overload have a tough job/responsibility in controlling it before it controls them. In its full grip, it's a blind rage like no other where nothing makes any cognitive sense any more. Everything is closing in on you. Everything; every color, every sound, every sensation on your skin, every light, EVERYTHING.

It takes years to decades to come close to controlling it completely. Some are luckier with it than others, of course. Many never completely control it.

What seems to be a problem out in the public still today, is that this is a real medical condition. It really affects people. Once in a while, I get the chance to educate someone. We can only hope to keep educating and getting the news out that these situations are real.

If you are suffering from sensory disorders, it falls to you to have a home protocol where you can escape and destress.

If your child has a sensory disorder, it falls to you to teach your child how to develop the same home protocols. Fortunately, there are tons of tip sites and assistance growing on the internet every day. I posted links to a couple of sites on my last entry.

Remember, you are not alone. It's real. And there are more of us out there, than most people realize.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Freakout Kid is actually a sober reminder

With over 83 million views since 2009, who hasn't seen the Freakout Kid? If you haven't , take a moment to watch the video:

What you are seeing was staged. It was meant as humor. I have a dark side to me and I admit I laughed. My wife didn't find it so funny. To her, it was a sober reminder of what she's seen at the worst points of an autistic meltdown. Whether from sensory overload or acute stress, an autistic meltdown is nothing to laugh at. As an important note, it's often worse that what you see in the video. 

Here are a couple of things to remember about autistic meltdowns. Unlike throwing a fit or a simple temper tantrum, they are involuntary at many of their worst points. Studies have linked autistic meltdowns/sensory overloads to seizure-like conditions. They are a  medical issue every bit as much as they are a behavioral issue (depending on individual). 

These fits run high risk of self and bystander injury. The flailing and agony is real. The triggers can seem microscopic to the onlooker. 

Learning to live with this part of the disorder is important from early life.  Stressors have to be managed differently and more acutely than with a average person. It can take years longer to learn how to live with it and recognize your own alarm signals and that's if you're high functioning like me. There are just as many who will never learn to control the overloads in their entire lifetime. 

Here are a couple more links for extra information:

It's important to also understand that Sensory Processing Disorder does not only occur with Autism. I happens with several medical conditions and takes on several forms. ADD and Epilepsy have their own versions of the issue.

The pain is real. The condition is real. It's not just a matter of some kid being a brat. Can it be triggered by not getting his toy at the store? Yes it can, which is why therapy and firm parenting are still very important. Get what I'm saying here? I'm not saying let the kid have their way or don't use any discipline. I'm saying you have to use different approaches than with a typical child. You can't just beat them into submission. Hitting is nothing more than a sensory trigger, right along with having to hold or restrain them in the first place. 

Do I still have sensory overloads at 44 years (almost 45) of age? Yes. I am still at risk. I have had them. My wife has had to take me to my fan where I can destress and escape the sensory input that I'm being flooded with. Hard to imagine for an adult, isn't it? 

It's why I have a permanent brain injury. I've struggled with the attacks since I was 6 years old. Before I got medication to assist, I had attacks every couple of weeks, though sometimes I could stretch to a couple of months. So I'm not just talking out my rear end here. I've lived it and now I work to help my son learn to get far past it and control it for himself. I know there are many of you out there who know exactly what I'm talking about. This blog is for you.

I know what you are asking now. How do I know I'm going to have an attack? I'm pretty well practiced now at feeling what it's like before it gets here. I very rarely have to have assistance. I don't burst out in public. It starts at the nape of my neck, moves into my spine and it's a sensation across my body that I have a hard time describing. Have I been stupid and ignored the signs before. Yes, a couple of times. My wife has set me straight on that though, let me tell you (my wife is a warrior). I also have to use extra care in how my MS wears me down because fatigue is a contributing factor. But I'm getting long in this post, so I will go more into how it feels and how I know it's coming in my next entry. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Duggar Family Loses Their Show and People Go Nuts

Credit USMagazine
So people are all up in arms over the Duggar Family losing their show 19 Kids and Counting. The show went down because of news that the eldest son committed several acts of molestation when he was 14. On one hand, that might sound a bit harsh for TLC to cancel over such old news. But with reality show track records lately, it's hard to blame them.

Before I get into that, I want to address the most ridiculous argument for the family that I've heard. It's the Freedom of Speech argument and it's completely inappropriate. People need to remember that the First Amendment is to protect you from government action. It does not protect you from other consequences of saying stupid things. This situation has nothing remotely to do with any freedom of speech and everything to do with TLC trying to protect their own image. Believe it or not, they actually have the right to do that.

Now, for those who seem to think that happening when he was 14 couldn't have been so bad, I have a question: What do you really know about the details of those cases? He didn't stop at just one right? And were the victims the same age as him or were they much younger? This is information not released so far (but some has been). So how can any of you  make a realistic decision based on what you don't know? Forcing himself on girls his own age is very different than fondling say, an 8 year old when you're 14. But we have no idea, and neither does TLC. Where do you take the gamble when it comes to  your image? The same goes for everyone who calls for his forgiveness. You don't know what you're forgiving him for. (for actual case details, see the article links below)

I just wish people would use some critical thinking. I personally think that victimization of children is the most heinous and deplorable crime there is. I'm not talking about a 19 year old who got stupid with a 16 year old. I'm talking about the real monsters who aim for younger than preteens in manners I won't describe here. But I don't know the facts of this guy's case. So I really can't judge him one way or the other. I do understand TLC's actions however.

Just look at TLC's luck with this issue so far. Honey Boo Boo (horrible show) got the kick when the mom decided to have and keep a relationship with a convicted pedophile.

Then we look at Discover channel's Sons of Guns cancelled because of child molestation charges. (Discover and TLC are owned by the same people).That was Will Hayden.  Tyler Smith of Doomsday Preppers was arrested on gun charges because he's a felon and not supposed to be anywhere near guns. He's also a level 1 sex offender.

It almost looks like reality shows have a bad knack for attracting these people. If you keep all of them on, you risk making it look like your company supports that behavior. Yes, I know reality shows have all sorts of depravity, but I'm glad they draw the line somewhere.

So it really comes down to the company and their own image (no matter how ironic that may be) and has nothing to do with anyone's "rights". And whether you are defending Mr. Duggar or condemning him, you still have no idea what you are actually applying that decision to because no one knows the pertinent details of the case.

So chill out. Your show got cancelled. Hardly the end of the world. Before you go on a riff, stop and think a bit. It will do you some good.

Just to add some extra details about the accusations and cover ups for those seeking more details:



And you can google tons more. So now I leave you with one final question. If you think Josh Duggar should be forgiven and protected (which he clearly has been for some time), how do you feel about his victims?

UPDATE: Wow, just one day in and apparently someone thinks I defend pedos. Let me explain something and make it crystal freaking clear. Way back in my past psychological history, I have the label written that a pedophile is actually NOT SAFE IN MY GENERAL VICINITY. In other words, they discovered (since I'm a survivor myself) that I am likely hurt that person. On two occasions, I've made that the truth. In one, I was a teen and got in a car with one who touched me. I pulled a knife on him and made him let me out. In the second, some old creep tried to take a neighbors little girl from my driveway and found my hand firmly locked around his effing windpipe.  All I'm trying to do is get people to think for a damned minute, especially people who are defending this family and what is becoming one of the nastiest sexual abuse coverups of the decade. Go figure.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How did I get here?

At times I find myself reflecting on what I survived and how I got here. Memories don't like to stay away, but then sometimes it's important to remember. It's important to remember that I survived this long for a reason. Bigger and badder events have tried to take me down. They failed. Why should current events be any different?

Not that anything really bad is happening right now. I've had a few difficulties in recent days and struggling with MS has been nothing less than frustrating.

Yesterday I wanted to bag up some of the leaves that have been in my yard for months. I managed to pull off a bag and a half before nearly reaching collapse stage. I was furious; mostly at myself. How weak it seems that I can't bag some stupid leaves. Yes, they were wet and rotting, therefore heavier. Yes, it was 84 degrees outside and MS hates heat. But still, I wanted the work done. I still want the work done. Oh, I did also use the push mower to do the front yard (by push I mean no engine) which is a staircase of tree roots. I probably should have stopped there.

I remembered that I used to be a soldier. I used to do 50 pushups at a time. I can do 20 now, but it wipes me out for hours. I went to basic training in South Carolina where we marched in 90+ degree heat. Now I can hardly tolerate just standing in 90 degree heat.

But I'm still breathing and functioning. I'm still doing a lot of things that defy the odds. I've lived my life doing this. I've been put down and kicked while down and still got back up. So maybe I need a check list that reminds me?

Abusive alcoholic/drug addict stepmother: Survived.
Severe and violent bullying through school years: Survived
Run away from home and become a street urchin child: Survived
30 years of chaos and loss because I didn't know I had Asperger's: Survived

All that and managed to stay away from drugs, alcohol and crime. So I have a lot to be thankful and for and a lot that didn't take me down in the first place.

I know I can only hold back MS so much. I know I can only keep doing my artwork for so long. I just need to remember how I got here and what's important today. Bit by bit and piece by piece is how I have to do things. That's just the reality of it.

So maybe sometimes, the musings over the past can reflect on the present. It all depends on how I utilize those memories. Or something like that.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Facebook commentor says autistic children deserve incineration

First, you need to see this story about the Tigard family and how they were forced off a plane because of a child with autism. Oh and language warning for the quote below.

Link HERE.

Get Mrs. Tigard's full explanation of events HERE.

I want to point out that the child in question, never harmed anyone. The Tigard family were in an unfortunate set of circumstances that are not possible to fully control. Imagine being that family for just a second. Okay, try for longer than a second. Your child is headed for a meltdown and you are frantically trying to make any arrangements you can to avoid a very embarrassing and public situation. You have a special needs child. But the world doesn't stop for that. Planes still board and expect to take off on time. So when your child is refusing to eat (under the influence of their condition) and you are faced with missing your plane. What do you do? If you just spout off that you would miss your plane, you clearly don't live your life with a special needs person. And how many flights are you willing to miss?  The treatment of this family is appalling, but then you get people Josh.

Josh posted a comment on the second link above and it was as follows:

Josh comments from Houston, Texas. Note the f-bombs for extra class. Note the severe lack of empathy or understanding by calling a child 'it' and using a word like 'deserve'. I don't know where his hatred of disability comes from, but it's quite a shock to the system. It's comments of that kind that show us our job is not done when it comes to awareness for autism. Maybe Josh just likes to be a troll? Hard to say. If you look at his page, you see that he at least cares about police officers being shot.

But clearly, he has no idea what a person with autism struggles with. The lower the function of the person, the greater the struggle. Maybe our schools need to start teaching humanities? Maybe there needs to be special classes?

People like Josh, make life 10x harder out in public for special needs families. Usually because of lack of tolerance for the needs of other human beings. This is why awareness campaigns much continue. The must continue for the education of the steward and captain on the plane and bystanders like Josh.


Josh's account may be fake! First see it for yourself:  LINK.

Now, if you do an image search you will find THIS. And more because it's a stock photo being used on thousands of websites. How creepy does a person have to be?

Now this is either a stolen photo or actually his face in Wikipedia. Hard to be certain. But there are some interesting things on his FB page.

He likes the Bay City Texas, Police Dept. Which suggests he may live in Bay City instead of Houston. He like Texas A&M University and is on their AG Confessions page. He likes the Eyeworks optometry center?  HERE. Take a look.

The real name of the mug in the photo is apparently Jack Hills. Are the one and the same person. Hard to say

What this does say, is something for the apparent cowardice of people who behave like this online.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Helping the Birds

Our dryer is out in the shed. That's where several people around here have their dryer hookups. So when I do laundry, I have to take the wet clothes from the washing machine in the kitchen, and go outside to the shed in the carport. You might think that's a crazy place for a dryer until you consider that this is Louisiana. In Louisiana summer temps can break 110 with stupid ease. In tiny houses like ours, having a massive heat element inside when you're trying to keep cool is counterproductive. But then, I didn't want to go on and on about drying clothes in the shed. I want to talk to you about birds. Stupid birds. Better than that, I want to talk to you about helping them.

Yesterday, I walked into the carport and thought that the dryer had suffered a blowout. Lint was everywhere. The dryer was fine however so I dismissed the issue until later. I brought the issue up with my wife later on the phone. It wasn't a complaint, rather "hey, guess what happened to me today". That's when she informed me in casual repose that she tossed the lint out into the yard and it must have blown into the carport.

Before I go any further, let me toss one point in that will quickly become important. It's been raining here. It's been raining a lot.

Now dear wife explained to me that she avoided the trash can standing next to the dryer, took the lint out and tossed it over the backyard gate in order to help the birds. Stupid birds.

ME: Do you think the birds need your help?

HER: Well, no, but it's nice to do.

Is it now? Well folks, let me ask you; have you ever seen a pile of wet lint? I have. Just past my backyard gate, draped over one of my son's toys he left out. It looks like an 80 pound cat hawked up half its fur. It's about as pleasant to step in, I can tell you that. Feeling the mass slide under my shoe had me thinking of anything except wet lint.

Do the birds really need out help with nesting materials? Has anyone gone outside and actually looked at the ground lately? Birds don't need our help. Arguably, they get too much of it already in our super littered world. And what are these birds good for? All a bird does is eat bugs, pump out eggs and crap on cars. No, I know better than that. Don't get mad. But seriously, they don't need our help.

But then she said this: "I've seen them make nests with ribbon."

This morning as I write this I would like to point out that she is not giving them ribbons. It's hairball material from the guts of the dryer. It's hair, dirt, and clothing fragments. I know I did not step on a pile of slimy ribbon. I have yet to see the dryer regurgitate ribbons as our laundry's cast off. No. It's not ribbons. It's crap.

So, it seems I must suggest an alternative or two. 1) Give them actual ribbons maybe? 2) Toss out bird seed; it's far more entertaining than stepping slime. And it's a far better way to enjoy your birds.

I love my wife very much and she knows this is all in good humor. Be well everyone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Throw the spaghetti!

It's been a tough MS week over here. When I make spaghetti, I break the strands in half. Normally that's no problem for me, but last night I lost my grip and threw them all over the stove top. A couple caught fire and I went into panic mode. This triggered the beginning of a sensory overload because of the sudden stress and panic. Normally such an accident would be hilarious, but I wasn't seeing that at the time. My wife came to my rescue and helped me pick up all the noodles like a game of pickup sticks. Dinner wasn't ruined and we got on fine. If it weren't for a stark hatred of MS, I might of felt like laughing later, because it had to be just a little bit funny. I have these days once in a while where I go from dropping something, to immediately tripping over it, than standing up and bumping my head on a cabinet door. If anyone saw me, they wouldn't be able to help themselves in laughing. I wouldn't be feeling it though.

Several days have been rocky like this so far. Today, not so bad. I'm inking new artwork and pushing forward in my projects.

That's just how it works. It  grabs you and throws you down and you struggle to get up for a day or few. You utter some choice words as you spill and drop things or throw them all over the room because you flinched weird. It's hard to see the slapstick comedy of such accidents when they feel more like an insult from your medical condition. But there it is.

Tough MS days also come hand in hand with depression. Your enthusiasm is about as active as a dead fish. That's been mine the past couple of days. I recognize it too. I know it's happening and I'm open to admit it during the course. And I feel bad because it rubs off on others and makes the day sad for everyone. So I have an internal wrestling match, trying to cough up a chuckle or two. Sometimes it works, but it feels fake to me. And it is.

What can you do when you are having a low MS time? Not much. Ride it out. Get an extra nap in. Take a walk if you can. Watch funny movies. All the basic tools against depression as you wait for the MS tide to go back out again. When you do feel better, you best take advantage of it. Try to do those projects that you've had to put off for days on end.

Finally, you have to remember that it's not your fault. You have MS and it's a rotten demon to live with. You didn't ask for it or invite to live with you. It pushed its way through the door on its own. Keep your chin up and keep fighting the good fight.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis: What you don't see

I saw this image today on Facebook from MSstation and knew what I would be writing about today. First, let me tell you that MSstation is an educational group page on living with MS. If you live with MS and you are on Facebook, check them out. On this infographic there is a list of what we live with in MS.

Numbness and Tingling sensations are both listed and they go hand in hand. I can't sit in one position for long or my legs will give me hell. It feels like circulatory problems. According to tests, my circulation is fine. It's the MS.

Tinnitus: ringing in the ears. I don't get this one as often, but I have it about once a month.

Trigeminal Neuralgia: There's a fun one to say. It's a nerve condition that causes shooting pains in the face. I get what feels like cramps around my ears and into my jaw.

Speech and Swallowing difficulties: Oh yes. I bite myself while trying to talk and mess up words into gibberish. I also have esophageal spasms throughout the day. They make it look like I'm choking, but I'm not. They can cause actual choking if I'm trying to eat.

Optic Neuritis-Diplopia and Nystagmus: In order they are inflammation of the optic nerve, double vision and involuntary eye movements. My vision used to be awesome and it still kind of is; except when I can't focus my vision. Because this happen intermittently, glasses won't help. So my vision can come and go. May have my regular awesome vision one day, blurry the next.

Depression. Who wouldn't get depressed? I've dealt with depression all my life. This explains a lot.

Bladder Control. I definitely have to go more than I used to. I also have a stretched bladder due to my career before being disabled. Basically, I was too busy with emergencies to stop for bathroom breaks. But that's another story.

Tremors. The bane of an artist. My handwriting was never good, but it's horrid now. I used to able to write letters, but now they must be typed. I have to make a lot of adjustments for my artwork. The finer the detail I try to draw, the more it will just be a wavy mess.

Restless Leg Syndrome. My legs will kick or just shudder. Tough MS days always make this worse.

Insomnia. I definitely get sleepless nights. This can be made worse by fatigue that takes me down during the day and messes up my sleep cycle.

Nocturia. Overnight waking up to urinate. Like sleep problems weren't already an issue.

Constipation. Nuff said.

The MS 'hug'. It feels like you have a vice around your ribs and your being crushed. Mostly I just get a cramp on one side of my ribs, but it's pretty painful.

Balance issues/stumbles/trips/falls: There's a T-shirt out there that says: I'm not drunk, I have MS. Get the idea?

Dizziness/vertigo: This can be triggered by nearly anything. Sitting up, standing up, bending over, kneeling, or a jolt of physical exertion. It's hard hitting and the landscape looks and feels like it's tilting sideways for me.

Headaches and migraines. Hand in hand with everything else that happens at head level.

Cognitive Issues. I have trouble finding words and get confused over nothing at times.

Debilitating fatigue. Anything can exhaust me for no visible reason. Basic household chores have to be done in parts to make it through my day. Fatigue makes all the other problems act up worse.

A couple I'm adding:

Joint failure: Particularly in my knees. It's like having someone tap you behind them to make you dip. I've fallen a couple of times as a result. I also drop things or miss when I reach for something and smash my hand into something.

Susceptible to temperature and barometric pressure: Moderate temps are fine. Heat will sap energy fast and cold just makes everything tighten up.

Every single thing your body does is dependent on your nervous system. Without your nerves, your heart will not beat, your lungs will not breathe, your organs will not process and ultimately you will die. That's why it's important to slow the process of MS any way possible. I have injections for this and there are new medications being worked on even now.

So, for all you see on the surface, there is a war going on underneath.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sensory APP for therapy worth a look

Routine, routine, routine. If anyone is sensitive to routine, it's our autism kids. Not only that, there's a massive amount of sensory built into this. It can make your world chaos in more ways than one.

Recently I was approached through my Galaxy Zento page and told about an app that helps with schedule and sensory routines. I don't have an iphone because I'm archaic, but if you do you should check this out. LINK.

Sensory Processing Therapy is by Sensory Treat Ltd. Not only does the app have suggestions for activities but you can schedule and tailor to your child's specific needs. It boasts over 100 color coded activity illustrations. The activities are designed by occupational therapists (be sure to click on the description on the page for a very comprehensive list of possibilities).

Of course I'm posting some of the screen shots here, but if you scroll sideways on the page where the screen shots are, you will see several more.

I'm amazed at what's possible here and the suggestions for kids activities. Not only can you form a routine that works with your day and your child's needs, but they all have therapeutic value. I'm impressed.

You can put in your child's entire daily routine, enhance it and schedule the simplest of tasks or events. We all know how the littlest things have a mountain of effect on our kids. This is like having an assistant to help guide you while you spend your time redirecting and working with your child. It looks to me like an app that can help regardless of your child's functioning level.

Our kids' success is all about having the proper supports. This may just be one of them. Now it is pretty new so there aren't reviews to show. But I think they have demonstrated the possibilities very well in what you see.

One of my exact purposes in writing this blog is bringing things to my fellow autism parents that may be of help to them. I think this is worth a good look.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The great Muslim debate

Ever present in my Facebook feed, are the commentaries regarding Muslims. Some people say they want to kill every single one of us. Others say that only the extremists want to kill us. I've come to a couple points of logic on the matter.

The thoughts come to me by comparing our own Christian bible with the talking points on the Quran. I'm sure you know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that say to kill all infidels? And it's true, the Quran does say that all "enemies" or non-believers should be killed. Yet, in all fairness, our own bible does much the same thing, having roots in the same area of the world.

Take 2 Kings 2:23 for example where the Prophet Elisha called a curse down on some unruly children causing them to be mauled by bears.

Deuteronomy 25:11 where it explains that any woman who harms a mans family jewels shall have her hand cut off. Show her no mercy. So all you ladies out there who ever kicked a man in the nads, so sorry!

Deuteronomy 23:1 where it explains that any man who has had his nuts crushed or unit removed may never enter Heaven. If you want to really put this in perspective, Google Lorena Bobbitt. Never mind all us poor saps who've ever been racked in life.

But here's the thing (while some of you are fuming at me for supposed mockery), I've never been to a church service where any of these things were taught to me. Have you? I'd say I've been to a fair share of services. Not one, not a single solitary one ever taught me to cut anyone's hand off for messing with my junk. I've been to a variety of churches too!

Yes. Those things are in the Bible. Why? Historical significance. They are not there for us to teach people to do in this day and age. Funny how similar that is to the Quran. So maybe we should stop looking at the book and start looking at the people?

The way I see it now, there are two kinds of Muslim. One kind is chopping off heads and declaring that we all need to die. The other condemns this behavior. Oh wait, I've seen comments where people don't believe that. Let me show you:

Go on, check it out. And there are more gatherings just like it under #notinmyname. It's a vast movement with Muslim citizens in France, Germany, England, and yeah, even the good ol US. For some reason, they don't agree with going around beheading people. Imagine that! 

So no; not all Muslims want us dead. It's time we learned the difference.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sherri Tenpenny stirs media firestorm in Australia

Sherri Tenpenny is understandably frustrated. She's due to visit Australia in February and March with intentions on doing some public speaking on the evils of vaccines. Unfortunately for her, she's having a hard time finding a venue for her little show. The reason for this is substantial public outcry that's making local businesses think twice before accepting Tenpenny's "Get rid of SIDS" production. But, if she's so renowned, why is she having so much trouble?

The first thing she and her "company" did wrong was to mis-represent themselves. "Get rid of SIDS" is nothing but a platform for "Get rid of vaccines". Her opponents in Australia and more than one of the venues she wanted, thought her attempt seemed hoakie and dishonest in its presentation. In my opinion, Dr. Tenpenny knew exactly what the public response would be if she called it what it really was. So she veiled it and tried to pass it off as something else. No one likes underhandedness. That got the fire started.

Now her followers are hopping mad and making things worse for her. They recently compared the opposition to Tenpenny to the terrorists who killed 12 people in France this week. Does that sound like the rationale of people you'd want to let into your country? There is currently a process of decision regarding revoking Tenpenny's visa. Behavior of this kind will likely become a determining factor. Of course, causing civil unrest is a major factor already.

Before that, her followers started calling out "FREEDOM OF SPEECH!" in their demands to let her into Australia. Uh, Australia has no such amendment in their constitution. Besides that, it's their country and they can decide who gets to come in any way they damn well want. Freedom of speech is not a magic weapon that gives you access to any door you want to crash through. This is especially true when it comes to entering someone else's country. Freedom of speech, does not protect you from public backlash of what you represent. Just another area of distasteful behavior on the anti-vax side that is going to affect the decision making process.

The very fact that Tenpenny wants to go there and charge people 200 bucks a head to listen to her flap her lips about getting rid of vaccines in the guise of preventing SIDS has a moral majority of people really pissed off over there. Yes, she charges 200 dollars per person to attend her "seminar". Interestingly enough, that's the cost of a lifetime of vaccines (not including flu). But, as anti-vaxxers often say, it's all about money.

There is one more bit that's just plain sneaky. Word has it that Tenpenny is applying for a vacationing visa when she needs a business visa. If that's true she could face criminal charges in Australia. But I think getting revoked is the more likely response.

So let's add this up. Unprofessional sneakiness + rabid irrational followers+ causing civil unrest before even getting there= NO you can't come into our country. Pretty simple.

Friday, January 2, 2015

10 Reasons to stop being anti-vaccine.

Recently I was shown this brain denting article from Natural News. It's titled Ten reasons why you shouldn't vaccinate your children. Today I'm going to tear this apart and the page right along with it. I'm going to show you why the major companies backing the anti-vaccine movement are less trustworthy than Jack the Ripper. The logic is undeniable and the proof is right on the page itself. The link I posted will open a new window, so feel free to read back and forth for the comparisons. I will post what they said in their headers to make it a bit easier to follow.

Their number 1: Vaccines don't work.

Mine: VACCINES DO WORK! And decades of study and history prove it. Note that they only "evidence" they provide to back their claim is a book published by some "doctor". No peer reviewed studies are posted as evidence. Nothing to show or prove that everyone with vaccines and only people with vaccines ever get sick. Try to think about the logic in that for just a second. But then why are vaccinated people getting these diseases? Well, it's basically like this:

-Those immunizations you got as a child are not guaranteed for the rest of your life. Your immunity will wane with age.

-That's why it's important for each generation to continue getting vaccinated to help prevent the spread of these diseases to people who shouldn't have to get multiple "once in a life time shots". It's not just to protect yourself, but the very young and old and those who cannot have the shots for other reasons. I call it the chain of immunity.

-Thanks to the anti-vaccine movement, the chain has been broken. THAT is why where are outbreaks.

Their number 2: Vaccines have never been proven safe or effective.

Mine: Vaccines have been proven safe in 99,9% of persons immunized.  Here's a LINK for you. It's to the CISA ( the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment) Project. Established in 2001 (14 freaking years ago). Their job is to continuously study the safety of all our vaccines along with 7 individual research laboratories (to prevent any bias). As for the word "effective" up there; it's just a regurgitation of their number 1 because they just want you to believe the lie. But what about vaccine injury? First, be careful when it comes to believing the exaggerated numbers given by the AVM. They want you to believe the worlds ditches are just overflowing with bodies. Not true. You can find out which were found to be vaccine injuries and which weren't through VAERS. As it turns out, true vaccine injury happens in that .01% of people missing from the number above. Sadly, that cannot be prevented and I'll tell you why:

It's basic reality. It is impossible to prevent all possibility of injury in anything. I don't care what you name, there's always a possibility of injury at least at the same as vaccines. Always. You actually have far higher possibility of having a car accident or just tripping and cracking your head open. That doesn't mean that the CDC smugly finds injury acceptable; they are constantly testing for ways to improve. In the mean time, the minute possibility of vaccine injury with an even more minute possibility of actually killing you, is still far better than your chances with the diseases they are preventing.

Their number 3: The first vaccine was a complete failure, which the industry tried to cover up.

Mine: They use outdated information or outright lies.  Please name a process or invention that worked perfectly on the very first try. Go ahead, I'll wait. You have a better chance of finding a unicorn making love to a dragon in your backyard than ever finding that. It's not secret that in the 1600's, 1700's and even some of the 1800's quackery was the way to go in major ways and science hadn't developed perfectly. Nothing does. But, what did our government do when they discovered the toxicity of lead? That's right; everything they could to get it out of paint and off kids toys. Sounds like a government that wants us all dead right? How about the discovery of asbestos related cancers? Banned asbestos. Arsenic in wall papers or household items? Banned arsenic. Yep, our government just wants to control us by culling us out (no they don't). But the AVM wants you to believe this is the truth. They want to you look at the past and accept it as the norm of today. Don't you think that's just a little ridiculous? Does anything work the way it worked back then? Anything? No.

Their number 4: Vaccines are highly profitable for drug companies, which aren't held liable for damages.

Mine: The alternative health industry makes more money than vaccines could ever dream of doing. I actually love it when an AVer tells me this one. My response: "Yeah because no company should ever be paid for their products." Think about it. Funny how the AVer in questions usually shuts up after that or totally changes their approach to something else. But it gets even better. Take a look at this.

That's a screen grab from this very article on Natural News. I want you to look at it closely. Care to guess how many adds for "alternative health" I found down the side of this page? I counted 27 ads. Now, let's make a little comparison. How many doctor visits will your child have to get their childhood immunizations? About 5. We'll even add flu shots for fun, those are once a year.  Alternative health wants you to pay for their products by at least the month. How much are you paying for your health supplements every month? But look! You can get a cooker to make your own colloidal silver for about 500 bucks! You can get it by the bottle for 50 bucks each! Cure cancer at home for 5.15 a day (about 152 bucks a month)! And that's just a few examples on this page alone. So, uh, who's making the money again? It's not vaccines at this rate. 

A lifetime worth of general immunizations (not counting flu shots): Est: $200.

A year of colloidal silver from the website found: $600. (It's estimated so don't get your undies in a bunch).

Their number 5: All vaccines contain deadly chemical additives.

Mine: They want you to believe everyone is dead or dying and only from vaccines. I've said it before and I'll say it again; if vaccines were as deadly as the AVM would like us to believe, there would be no way to hide all the bodies. By their bizarre mathematics (demonstrated in number 4) at least one third of our population should be flat dead right now. But they aren't. And it gets better. They want you to think there are things in vaccines that are either a lie or already to minuscule to do anything to you. And they want to think those things are going to kill you dead. But they won't. Anything that actually is in our vaccines is already in the world around you by leaps and bounds more than a vaccine could ever hit you with. And then there's their argument to this that states:

When injected, items will bypass natural immunity filters and damage the body. This is mostly versus the flu vaccine but it's against all of them. Never mind that there is an inhaled flu vaccine now; but whoever is spouting this at you has no idea how the immune system actually works. It's all quackery to get you to buy your next month of supplements. This idea completely ignores the fact of how many diseases can go through bodily fluid contact, say via an open sore on your arm. And then there's all the diseases people could get from dirty water (but ingesting has natural filters!) like diptheria. Start looking up these diseases and how they actually get into your body and you'll see this is one of the stupidest arguments in the universe.

Their number 6: Unvaccinated children are generally healthier.

Mine: Unvaccinate children who get preventable diseases can be crippled for life or killed. The AVM wants you to believe that chicken pox, diptheria, measles, and other diseases are either nothing to worry about or don't exist. They want you to think the history of children in iron lungs is a fairy tale. Or that kids were never crippled by polio. They want you to think that you can't be choked to death by diptheria or given open bleeding lesions. They spout "go do your research on vaccines" but they don't tell you to go do your research on the diseases they prevent. Could that be because the diseases are actually 10x scarier than they pretend vaccines are? I wonder.

Their number 7: Vaccines cause lifelong incurable diseases in some children.

Mine: Refer to number 6 and 2. See how they repeat themselves in a supposed 10 list when they have nothing else to add? See how they just reword the same thing over and over again? Don't you find that questionable? We've already established the significance of vaccine injury, but they go even further to put autism back on the table. Currently there are 107 studies that have found no link between autism and vaccines. Vaccines do not cause autism. You can find a comprehensive list of all theses studies HERE. As for Guillian Barre, educate yourself on it HERE

Their number 8: Vaccines kill children and adults.

Mine: Refer to 6, 5 and 2: I'm still going just to show you that I only needed to give you 6 reasons not to be anti-vaccine. But they have to scare you and scare you good. The more times they say die in their list, the more they drive that word into your brain. That way you'll buy their supplements to protect you. Have people ever died? Yes, but seriously, that's a .01% of the .01%. You have better chances of winning the lottery and being struck by lightning in the same week. Yes, that's an exaggeration, just like what the AVM uses to make you think you're going to die and that everyone else is already dead. One day, as a fact o life, you will die. You may choke on your ice cream cone for all anyone knows. Yet, the idea is that there are some things you don't have to die from. They're preventable. Think about it.

Their number 9: Vaccine companies can't be sued if your child is harmed by vaccines.

Mine: There is a compensation fund for a reason, refer to 4 and 2.  Thanks to the insane mania that the AVM has become, if the companies didn't have some extra legal protection, the frivolous lawsuits would be at the highest rates in world history. They would cost both family and company billions in legal fees. The compensation fund is there to make sure that families with actual vaccine injury get something without having to go to court for it. Court cases are also known for taking months to years and the time would cost families and company even more. The compensation fund bypasses that too. It's an insurance policy and not a reason to believe that vaccines are wrong. Remember, I showed you above who is really making money off of this.

Their number 10: Natural exposure to the disease is the best vaccine. 

Mine: They want you to play Russian Roulette with diseases. Diseases that can mean time off work for days to weeks. Diseases that can cripple your child, blind them, or even kill them. Yep, I used the "die" method too. The difference is that documented deaths from these diseases outnumber vaccine deaths in the hundreds to one. LINK: There were 32 deaths related to the HPV vaccine from 2006 to 2008. The deaths were reviewed and none of them could be linked to the vaccine. But just to play with that number for a second and consider that millions of people every year contract some form of HPV. HPV can cause cancer of the genitals, anus and throat. Sound fun? Here's a LINK about HPV.

So. I hope you think about it. I hope you learn about the diseases and see just what nasty demons they are. We don't need them roaming free. I know what some of the excuses will be:

"I don't trust the CDC or FDA."

But you trust people that aren't being watched by anyone? Note on your health supplements where it says, "not evaluated by the FDA". You think that vaccine makers are protected from scrutiny? You don't know the half of it. Try to sue if one of their supplements hurts you. Just try. You'll discover that you took them at your own risk and it says so right on the bottle. That means there's NO law to protect you; NO compensation fund, and NO ONE looking over their shoulder. But you'll trust them over your peer reviewed doctors? People who were turned blue by colloidal silver had no legal recourse to sue. So good luck with that.