Wednesday, October 31, 2012


In 1985 Nintendo released the NES and then in 1988 Sharp released the first commercial LCD TV. It's been more than 20 years and the NES Zapper still can not be made to work with the typical response being to find a CRT TV which are very cheap now and just use that. Our nation entered a state of panic when the year was turning to 2000 and many many programmers rushed to reprogram vital systems and yet the people "in the know" still say to buy a CRT. Personally, I think we are facing a much greater crisis than we did in the year 2000 as more and more CRTs die and end up in the landfill and we get closer and closer to Zapageddon which will render all of our grey and orange plastic pistols worthless and ducks will fly amuck over are heads as our dogs mock us day in and day out. Not even the mayans could have predicted such a horrible catastrophe that awaits us.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dear Republican Party

Dear Republican Party,

I'm so tired of being preached to that voting for Gary Johnson means Obama will be relected. Are republicans so smug as to think my second choice would be Romney? You throw every tactic against us as Ron Paul supporters and try to make us look like fools and now you come crying to us that we are causing you pain? Grow up! I'm voting for Gary Johnson because I believe he is the best option we have right now not because I want to bring pain to you. You are only in pain because of what you brought on yourselves. This is your fault, not mine.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lonely and connected to everything

We are living in amazing times with amazing technology.  We have social networking, text messaging, communications devices that never leave our side and we know so much about what is going on in the world and with our friends.  We know everything..... everything short of being able to read our friends' minds.  When we reach that point do you think we will genuinely all be happy?

It's been nearly half a year since I got rid of Facebook and while I still feel that I am missing out on things like those new pictures of my little niece and some good discussions I've found that my life is a good bit easier and less stressful.  I do continue to use Google+ and Twitter but for different things but I know that it's really only a matter of time before Google+ becomes the detriment to my life that Facebook was.  I continue to deal with loneliness but the lack of the connections has not made me any more lonely than I ever was which makes me wonder how much social networking really truly offers us.

I grew up in the 80's and 90's and I remember times before we had all of this constant communication.  I remember when we got our first answering machine and when it was exciting to get home to listen to messages that people left us or that daily trip the mailbox to see what was there for me.  I remember when I did have a message or a letter in the mailbox how special that was -- it was certainly something that was treasured.  Now a trip to the mailbox is a chore and usually only ends with someone trying to sell you something or someone wanting money and mail for my and my room mate can stay in the box for days because, well, we just don't care about it.  When someone thinks of something they need to tell someone they just send them a text.... it's easy and doesn't even require a response half the time.  If its a little more in depth we send them an email and then that email goes right to our phones and we instantly read it (likely while distracted with something else).  We don't even have that time where we get home to check our email that is special anymore.  We truly are connected to everyone we want to be wherever we are and when we want to be so how can anyone feel lonely in this world?

One of the biggest stories in social network of this week is the story of Amanda Todd who took her own life after years of bullying.  Amanda's story started out by someone admiring how beautiful she was and asking her to flash him on a web chat.  If someone really admired her I'm sure it made her feel extremely good and she thought she could return the favor so she did.  The thing is that Amanda isn't alone.  We have numerous webcam chat sites that people go to daily and anytime you see an attractive girl you see at least one person in the chat begging to see something and completely attacking the girl.  This sex-driven world we liven seems to offer some kind of fulfillment to a big part of us that is missing and it seems that the void no one can seem to identify is loneliness.  I mean, how could that be the cause of our pain and emptiness since we're so connected?

I don't think there is a guy alive today that has not, in one way or another, struggled with pornography and I wouldn't be shocked if 3/4 of us have "sexted" with someone.  In out logical minds it is kind of weird that we would go to such extents to try to see someone naked when we could just type a keyword into Google and find all the naked girls we want.  What makes it different?  Personally I think there is a huge psychological difference and I think the focus of sexual addiction is a lot more psychological than it is carnal.  Our world is becoming lonelier by the second because even though we are so connected on a knowledge platform we are less and less connected on an emotional platform.  We know so much about people in our lives but yet its too easy to know that information and we don't have to work at it.  Many of us post onto social networking sites because we just don't have anyone to express whats going on in our lives and we hope that maybe someone, somewhere, will read it and understand.  The emotional connections to people that we used to have in the 80s and 90s are no longer important or even understood.  So what does this have to do with trying to get someone to let you see them naked vs just looking at porn on the internet?  I really believe that it is an attempt to feel an emotional connection with someone.  The fact that that person is actually showing you and not just performing makes the experience so much more "real" to you and, while it may satisfy you a little bit more than just any porn on the net, it doesn't last which means you go back for more and more and, unfortunately, people get hurt.  This isn't a guy vs girl issue but an issue that is affecting everyone equally.  While it is certainly true that the mistakes girls end up making tend to be far more detrimental to their lives the root issue is affecting the stalker and the stalkee alike.  It is very important to focus on what the actual issue is rather than trying to blame people, however, when someone brings harm to someone else they certainly should be held accountable and prosecuted according to the law.  The problem is that simply prosecuting people and trying to put an end to the bullying doesn't solve the problem in the long run.

In the past month I have been feeling loneliness that I haven't felt in an extremely long time.  I've really been trying to make connections to people but I just can't seem to do it and I'm finding that there just isn't that huge of a desire for those people to make connections with me.  If I go back a few months maybe I was guilty of the same.  One night this week I sent text messages to at least a dozen people that I knew (some being people I haven't talked to in years) and didn't receive one single reply.  It just wasn't important to them.  I can't hold them accountable though because I know that in my life I have been guilty of the same.  There have been many times in my life where I've said that I have no friends and then in response to that I get so many messages saying "I'm your friend" but that never really was the point of my statement.  Even though there are people that call me a friend these people have no real emotional connection to me and I think this is true with most of the "friendships" that exist in this nation right now.  We're slowly forgetting how to make those emotional connections and we're becoming distant from the people that we communicate with every day.  Our focus is turning inward and causing us to look our for ourselves because emotionally those other people don't matter to us and it would be too much of an inconvenience in our own lives to take some time out to have a conversation with someone we say is important to us.  We don't hurt ourselves that moment but we hurt humanity in general and fall deeper into our lonely little worlds.

We have a huge problem facing our nation and our developed world and it's one that isn't going to be fixed by more technology or a new president.  Our problem is inside each and every one of us and it's something that most of us can't even identify or acknowledge.  Loneliness is ultimately what is going to destroy us and turn us all into the self-centered monsters that we see oppressing us now.  If we don't learn how to love others and make those emotional connections then we are doomed as a human race.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Do you see it?

"You see things, you understand. You're a wallflower"

I just got back from seeing The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I still don't understand why such an amazing movie is being shown in such a limited number of theaters. For the first time in a LONG time I'm not numb.... I feel emotions.... it hurts and it's causing the shedding of a lot of tears but it's so much better than being numb.

I don't really know how to explain what I've been feeling the last few weeks... I've been in a dark emotional state where I go between numbness to feeling, well... I just don't know. I guess in a lot of ways this movie maybe helped me realize a few things about me. Picture a high school student sitting in a mental hospital and being asked what is wrong and the response is him asking the doctor if she can see it.... see all the pain.... not the pain in himself but the pain in everyone else. People have such a hard time figuring me out and the go between absolutely thinking I'm the greatest person around to trying to avoid me and I never really understood why but maybe that's the reason. Yes, I am a wallflower.... I sit at the sidelines and I watch what is going on and all I see is all of this pain that people experience... pain that hurts me just as much as it hurts the person that is experiencing it. Words can't explain how you can care so much about someone and how frustrating it is that you can't help and if you really let any of that out then you'd be labeled as, well... something. To go through life seeing so much hope in relationships only to somehow screw it up -- and screw it up by doing something that you have absolutely no idea about.... You had to have done something for that special person or that friend to want to avoid you but what was it?

"Why do I and everyone I love always pick people who treat us like we're nothing"
"We accept the love we think we deserve"

In a way I guess I really didn't want this movie to have a happy ending. I kind of felt cheated. This movie really showed the best glimpse into the way I feel that has ever been in existence but it ends happy and the assumption would be that someone who is 32 years old has already got to that happy part of their life. Can you imagine being 32 years old, having so many people tell you how great you are and how much you mean to them, and yet still never having any girl tell you they love you unprovoked? Can you even begin to imagine what that feels like? I don't have to imagine it because I feel it every day of my life. It's such a horrible feeling added to that just because so many people have told you how great of a person you actually are -- it would almost be easier to have been told you're a horrible person because then at least it would make sense on how no one could love you.

I really wouldn't want to be anyone else and if you were to ask me what the perks of being a wallflower actually are then I would have to tell you that knowing that I have the ability to care for people regardless of whether they care for me or not is a good feeling because I know that at least I am not one of the people contributing to this feeling that I live with in other's lives. I hope that sometime I will look back and finally say that someone finally did tell me they love me (and mean it) and all of a sudden all of this will make sense but for now I'll live my life the best that I can... I'll shed the tears that inevitably will be shed, sometimes daily... and I will try my best to let other people know what they mean to me and how important they are in mine, as well as others', lives.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


If we believe that we can't make everything black and white then why do we believe that we can make everything red and blue?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Friends of the Friendless: How those with ADD/ADHD struggle with friendships

Its kind of become a goal of mine to not only educate myself on ADD/ADHD but to find ways to help others understand how we think. One thing coming to mind right now is the episode of I Love Lucy where she thinks everyone forgot her birthday and then she meets the friends of the friendless. I think pretty much everyone can relate to the way Lucy felt and I don't think there would be anyone that wouldn't be overjoyed when everyone yelled happy birthday. I've been realizing in the last couple of years just how hard it is for me to make and keep friends and now that I'm doing some research I'm finding that the biggest reason is because of a lot of second guessing. When my mind has a lack of stimuli it starts second guessing everything that I have done and trying to figure out what I did wrong to cause this pain but not really understanding that the pain is more of just a lack of stimuli.

I look at my 1 yr old niece and see how she can be so upset over something but simply turning on Bubble Guppies will make it all better because that is a stimuli that she really enjoys. Many might say it's a simple issue of taking her mind off of the pain but the reality is that it literally takes the pain away and makes everything better. A child's brain is wired like this because they are in a serious learning stage and stimuli is of utmost importance. While I don't have any scientific quotes to support this I can say that, in my experience, someone with ADD/ADHD never fully leave this stage of their life. This isn't a bad thing and I think that calling ADD/ADHD a syndrome would be like calling someone who is 6'4" a syndrome. A person's height can be genetic and can give that person a pre-disposition of being great at something like basketball the same way that ADD/ADHD can be genetic and can give a good pre-disposition of being great at something as well. What makes one a syndrome/condition and the other not? Someone who is over 6' tall can try all they want to be shorter but there isn't anything that is going to change that and it's the same way with ADD/ADHD. No matter how hard I try I'm not going to be able to change the way my brain is pre-wired to behave so, like the tall person that finds that he is good at basketball, I need to find out what I am good at and how I can layout my life to work with who I am and, the same way a tall person learns quickly to duck before walking through a door, I need to learn how to avoid the same type of obstacle. The thing is, for that tall person, it often helps for someone to bring his attention to a short door that he isn't really paying attention to and an ADDer needs the same thing -- it's just more difficult because you can plainly see that someone is tall but it's really hard for someone to identify someone with ADD/ADHD. There is one additional struggle for an ADDer to avoid obstacles and that could be best compared to someone who had perfect eyesight and then had an accident and went completely blind. To someone in that scenario they know what a couch looks like, they know what a stair looks like, and they understand what these are and how to use them but they just can not see them and nothing is going to change that. For them it's about having a lot of support and learning tricks to figure out how to avoid these obstacles and, while one day they'll be able to manage just fine, it's going to take a long time of learning and above all else, lot's of support from others. Having ADD/ADHD does not mean that you don't understand what these obstacles are or even how to deal with them but it does mean that no matter how hard you try you just can not see them. We need lots of encouragement, support, and understanding but we have the potential of doing some really great things and being extremely awesome friends.

When Lucy became depressed in this episode she couldn't see that all of her friends were planning a surprise party for her and it was that lack of vision that caused her depression. While depressed she went to the park and was crying on a bench when the friends of the friendless came by and offered their support. To an ADDer this is the stimuli that is needed but it's a little different in Lucy's case because the pain was still there but it was being masked. To someone with ADD this stimuli will likely actually make everything better because we know in our hearts that all hope is not lost but because of a lack of stimuli we simply can not see this but give us stimuli and instantly our vision returns. The harder part about this scenario is that stimuli, in a distant sense, becomes like a drug to us. When the surprise party happens, our fears are totally destroyed and our stimuli and excitement boosted we, in a sense, get high. What happens is that the next day we may not have solid stimuli and we kind of have a crash -- ee go from being high to being depressed. This is why there are lots of ADDers have a really hard time on Mondays after a great weekend but after a week long vacation they are fine. It's the abrupt end to something that kills us because we don't have time to "ween ourselves off of the high".

Friendship to someone with ADD/ADHD is probably one of the most critical things in our lives followed closely by encouragement/appreciation. Unfortunately it's also one of the hardest things for us to deal with and that is mostly because our actions are interpreted by the other person in different ways. If there is a lack of stimuli for us at any given moment we frequently start trying to figure out why we are feeling so down and we start looking at what we did. If a friend forgets to call us we may know full well that these things happen but our vision of that situation isn't there... we just can not see it. Immediately we start thinking that we pissed that friend off and that's why they haven't called and the longer that this goes on the more negative we become. If the other person doesn't understand this then we run a very large risk of losing that friend simply because we just couldn't see what we already knew.

This week has been exceptionally hard for me and it doesn't make logical sense because the weekend was the best weekend I had all summer. I've been struggling to stimulate myself and, whether it's perceived or fact, I have very little friendships to support me with this. It is something that I know will pass but it always takes longer to pass when I have nothing to do and, more importantly, no one to do something with or have someone encouraging me along the way. It's a very painful place to be. If you have a friend or family member with ADD/ADHD you have a very large potential to make great things happen in someone's life and with very little effort but you first have to understand more about what ADD/ADHD is. Someday I know that I will find that one person that will truly be the greatest thing in my life (behind, of course, God) and she will be someone who will take the time to understand me and, while I know this, all I can see is that I'm 32 and still single. When it does happen I know that it will change my life forever for the better so until then I will continue to just try to be me one day at a time and try to learn better ways to make ADD/ADHD work for me. I've done it extremely well with work and I know I can do it with personal as well even if it is harder because of a lack of support.

Additional Reading:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Suzuki Samurai = 5.9 magnitude

So today I was apparently able to confirm that driving a Suzuki Samurai is, in fact, larger than a 5.9 on the richter scale. Still amazed that everyone felt it including my family a few states north and I didn't. I do have to say it was an experience getting multiple text messages from family asking if I was ok and by time I go to reply to them I have no cell signal nor do I have it for the next hour. Things seem to be getting back to normal with cell phones now and, while I know of lots of minor damages such as water main breaks in Front Royal, there doesn't seem to be anything major going on. Maybe I'll get to feel an aftershock? :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Heroic Potential

he·ro   [heer-oh]
noun, plural -roes; for 5 also -ros.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

For the past few weeks we have been doing hose testing and washing at our station. This is a project that requires many, many, hours of labor and being that we are a small department that labor is only spread across a handful of people. Because of the circumstances this project isn't one that we can do in a single day but one that has to be spread out. As I've spent these hours standing out in front of the station with a pressure washer in hand and sweat rolling down my back I see the people of Warren County driving by on the highway. I don't know anything about these people and, most likely, they don't know the first thing about me but the thing that I kept questioning in my mind is how many of those people realize that I, and the others working with me, are doing this for free. I wonder if they took the time to read the "Volunteer" part of our station's name or did they even skip a beat to think about it at all. I don't doubt that at least some of those people driving by are heroes in their own way. As I thought more about this I realized something very important -- a hero isn't a person directly but more of an attitude.

Think of someone, in your mind, that is a hero to you. Why are they a hero? Most likely it's because of something they did and it was probably something that they completely ignored himself (or herself) in order to complete that heroic act. The thing is that people are not born heroes and, in many ways, they aren't raised as heroes but, rather, they are raised with heroic tendencies. I'm not about to call myself a hero but I can tell you that I see members of our department that are certainly heroes in my book -- and they aren't always the ones that are running into a burning building. Sometimes you hear on the news how a firefighter pulled a child from a burning building and immediately they are tagged as a hero, and rightfully so, but what bothers me is you don't hear about the wife of that firefighter who willingly let her husband respond to that fire fully knowing that he could become seriously injured or killed. There are people that take positions in a fire department that they may really not want to do but they do it because they know the department needs them who you never hear about. You also never hear about the people who work hours upon hours organizing fundraisers to help a fire department raise money for a new truck, fire hose, or any other equipment that is required for that firefighter to do their job. How about the couple that barely has enough money to live but yet they drop the single $1 bill in the boot as they pass the firefighters collecting money along the road? Heroes seem to all have one thing in common -- they are so infrequently recognized and they so infrequently think of themselves. Additionally they are heroes because of what they do and not because of who they are.

In so many ways it is heartbreaking to watch people not only drive by but go through their lives with a heavy focus on themselves without even stopping to consider whether they are a hero to someone or not but, on the other hand, there is a lot of potential for those people to become heroes. It's one thing that is fairly unique to heroes -- they can be contagious. I've responded to calls where someone was injured or somehow in trouble and later they've come back to the station with a check to donate money which will then be used to assist in saving someone else's life. People don't always think about the impact they are making on other people until someone makes an impact on their life and as long as there are at least a few heroes in existence then the potential remains for a contagious outbreak of people helping people. While I watch our world fall further and further I can't help but hope and pray that people will someday start putting themselves aside and start displaying the heroic qualities that we so desperately need -- even if it's someone spending the time with a child who needs a mentor, working around a fire department, restoring a public shelter, giving money to a worthwhile organization, or even just saying hi to someone who has had a bad day.

We all have heroic potential -- let's all start using it.