Friday, February 28, 2014

Replacing your ink cartridges

Isn't this one of the most mundane jobs ever?
We have this "new" printer and it tells me when each color needs replaced. That usually is fine and the 3 colors most often end up blowing out all at once.
Not this time...and it kind of annoyed me that the printer refused to accept the changes that I wanted to make but instead told me I was only able to change 2 colors since the other one wasn't worn out yet.

So kind of like having the junk mail in the email box, I get the feeling I am going to be stuck with an extra yellow ink cartridge until the end of time....yellow is kind of a nice color. It has never been my favorite although there are people who tell me that brunettes can wear yellow and not look washed out. Anyway this replacement thing is really bothering me. Why wouldn't the printer accept the change I wanted to make? Its not like I was doing anything wrong- but the printer is basically programed to save me $$.

In another view this same situation could be seen as stepping outside your box or comfort zone. I am not comfortable wearing yellow (Do NOT start purchasing yellow items for me- I will toss them in the bin -unless it is a Louis Vuitton)...and I don't like going outside my self determined area. The cuter half and I are discussing moving someday and I am so nervous and panicked and it hasn't even happened yet. It may not ever happen but then again it may....hard to tell. Yet I am scared...I have moved away before and ended up coming back again....I know things are different know but stepping one toe outside the box is frightening.

and here the cuter half and I are, trying to tell the boy that it is OK to step outside his box and zone and try new things. Yet I am aprehensive to move down the block? How ridiculous is that? Kind of like when the boy was small and we 3 went on a boat to check out a real lighthouse. I am fearful of boats, heights and all sorts of things....and yet here we go and before I know it I am walking around the top of a lighthouse to show the boy not to be afraid (the guard railings were little tiny metal thingys). Oddly enough the park ranger told me I was a natural and I didn't LOOK afraid....apparently I put on a good front.
Swimming too- made the boy take swimming classes so he wouldn't miss out if he were at a pool party. Earplugs at movies- and made him sit and watch the movie and not wander same with parades.....loud noises made him fall apart- those little yellow earplugs were/are a godsend. Now things are different. We use earbuds with the electronic equipment. It is up to him to keep them clean, and working. He does but we are really struggling with the cartoon thing.
I hate cartoons as much as I hate video games.

I wish for the day that cable would let me block whatever the hell I wanted to and get rid of the damn cartoon channels except for Saturday AM (in the US its a tradition- although what is programed for Sat AM cartoons now is too damn PC- awful stuff).

Anyway we are working on stepping outside our comfort zone. I think once we are there we will be fine....but the actual stepping out and doing it is another story altogether. Meeting new people has become hard for us too. We are wary, fearful; past experience makes it difficult to feel we are worth getting to know.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Penelope Trunk strikes again "How to build a career if you have Aspergers"

I like Penelope Trunk.

I do not always agree with her- she likes video games for her own Aspies and that kind of makes me a little nuts but that is OK. I am certain she would not care what others think. For me, her not really caring about what people think, is a good thing because 90% of the time I am too damn tired to give a shit about what others think. 

I digress:
At least I know that she isn't legally stupid, and she has a really great blog that does explain a lot of the up and coming business portents to me. Since we are going to be helping the boy look for a job her thoughts really do give me a lot of food for thought. I really appreciate the insight and the fact that it is likely that our resident "boy genius" is going to be running through jobs like water.

Anyhow, I already posted a link to this on my FB page but I am going to copy it here (I have a paranoia that things get taken down and I am much to lazy to go back and look for things that have moved- to me that is a waste of grey matter).
THE blog post is here- take a look at it or go to her links for the whole thing. It is well worth the read and may make a good topic of conversation.
This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for More magazine titled, Could Your Boss Have Asperger?. I was thinking that the article is so good and someone should give me a book deal from it. Then when an agent contacted me I remembered that I can’t stand having a book contract hanging over my head. But I like this article, so I’m posting an excerpt below, and you can read the whole article at More magazine.
Roughly 80 percent of adults with Asperger’s syndrome do not have full-time work, according to some studies. By the time I figured out I had the disorder, I had been fired from every job I had ever held. I had offended everyone I knew. Think of all the thoughts and judgments that go through your head that you’d never say aloud: You’re fat. You’re lazy. Your clothes don’t fit. Your office smells. I say these things because they’re true, and I’ve since built a career on saying what no one else will say—or maybe I have a career in spite of that.
The thing you would notice first if you met me at my office is that I can’t do social niceties. You might say, “Hi. It’s nice to meet you.”
I would say nothing. Because I wouldn’t be able to decide if I should say, “Thank you.” Or “It’s nice of you to come.” Or “How are you?” Or “Do you like the weather outside?”
When I say nothing, you will be thrown off guard because you have not been in this position before. But I’m in it all the time, so I can recover faster than you. While you are deciding that I must not have heard you, I will be leading you toward our meeting spot and shifting the conversation to the work at hand. And ta-da! I’ve gotten myself out of all social-skill requirements, and we are getting our work done.
If you have Asperger’s, the key to building a career is to be very good at something. People accept my quirks because I’m so good at starting companies. My inability to see the rules makes me able to think outside the box. I don’t see the box.
It is crazy to think you can start a company from nothing and build it to $100 million in revenue. Yet I am excellent at selling this sort of thing to investors. For most of the world, crazy is bad. In the start-up world, crazy is good.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Article of the day- Scientific American.

People with Asperger’s less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives

Bethany T. Heywood, a graduate student at Queens University Belfast, asked 27 people with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild type of autism that involves impaired social cognition, about significant events in their lives. Working with experimental psychologist Jesse M. Bering (author of the "Bering in Mind" blog and a frequent contributor to Scientific American MIND), she asked them to speculate about why these important events happened—for instance, why they had gone through an illness or why they met a significant other. As compared with 34 neurotypical people, those with Asperger’s syndrome were significantly less likely to invoke a teleological response—for example, saying the event was meant to unfold in a particular way or explaining that God had a hand in it. They were more likely to invoke a natural cause (such as blaming an illness on a virus they thought they were exposed to) or to give a descriptive response, explaining the event again in a different way.
In a second experiment, Heywood and Bering compared 27 people with Asperger’s with 34 neurotypical people who are atheists. The atheists, as expected, often invoked anti-teleological responses such as “there is no reason why; things just happen.” The people with Asperger’s were significantly less likely to offer such anti-teleological explanations than the atheists, indicating they were not engaged in teleological thinking at all. (The atheists, in contrast, revealed themselves to be reasoning teleologically, but then they rejected those thoughts.)
These results support the idea that seeing purpose behind life events is a result of our mind’s focus on social thinking. People whose social cognition is impaired—those with Asperger’s, in this case—are less likely to see the events in their lives as having happened for a reason. Heywood would like to test the hypothesis further by working with people who have schizophrenia or schizoid personalities. Some experts theorize that certain schizophrenia symptoms (for instance, paranoia) arise in part from a hyperactive sense of social reasoning. “I’d guess that they’d give lots of teleological answers; more than neurotypical people, and certainly far more than people with Asperger’s,” Heywood says.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Tonights post is a memorial.

One of my favorite people passed away - we found out about it today. Like most things in our lives this may have been an aside, something that others may not have viewed as a primary person or something.

To us, this person was very important.

She would write copious letters to my Dad who would write to her about what was going on and about the boy and what I was doing. Why, I don't really know because we were and are pretty boring but OK it is something to write about.... For a while it was easy, she lived near a close friend of mine and we had contact via my dad and my friend....then the internet made it easier yet....we had regular contact all the time. her comments were always uplifting, helpful- she would be so funny....her Chicago would come through and the talks about home were always good to hear....DA Bears, Cubs, White Sox, Hawks, Bulls, you name it she had her favorites and really understood the games and loved her teams. She loved to laugh.

She understood our son's aspergers. She had her own disability that had been mis-diagnosed on numerous occasions (I believe at last count she told me there were 30+ diagnosis). She got it when I expressed much frustration with a doctor, a nurse, and educator, anyone who said that they understood what we go through but don't live with it so ultimately don't grasp the whole life w/ a disability at all. When I told her that I told my son's first doc appt and the doc misdiagnosed him and i told the doc to stick it - she laughed and said her Mom did the same thing. We could talk about what the docs would tell  us and if we thought they understood or were full of garbage.

Rather than make an unkind or unnecessary comment I knew she understood what we had going on. She put up with my rants and raves and frustrations and sadness. Then she told me at every opportunity that she loved us. She loved the boy and told him she got it when he would come home and tell us he hates his Aspergers. She wrote him and although he didn't respond I know he told me that he really appreciated it because not many people understand how hard things are for him.

She was one of those people who wore her Christianity like a banner. She was the good Christian person. I always wanted to be like her but knew I couldn't (I have tried and unlike her I would wish for a sledge hammer at times I do not have the perennially happy face). I was lucky enough to be her cousin, and although for many years I didn't have much contact I can say in the 5-10 I did hear from her very regularly and I was always happy to know that she had my back.

I will miss her funny comments and her reports about the weather. I will miss her text messages reminding me to not give up, telling me I was like her Momma who was tough, strong and smart. I will miss the phone calls where she would make me laugh and tell me that I was doing it right, even when I felt like I was falling flat on my face and not being "mother of the year".  I will miss planning out what to send her this year....I will miss her.

Even her happiness with little things we would send, the joy she got out of every God-blessed thing. the anger she had when people would give the boy a bad time. The support she gave, never expecting or wanting anything in return....she got respect, love and even at times I wondered at her patience.

She was strong, brave, funny, smart and beautiful. She was my cousin and she would take me by the hand whenever we were kids together and I know she is taking me by the hand now. She is free of her disability and I am quite certain she is dancing and singing in heaven.

I will miss her dreadfully.