Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Interesting insight.

So, yesterday, I asked my son to do something.  Something fairly small.  He was getting a drink of water, so I asked him to stay in the kitchen with me and get some things out for me to make supper because they were down low and my hips and knees were complaining about the weather and being out from under the electric blanket. 

He huffed, snarled, heaved a sigh, and got out the cookie sheet for tater tots.  Which he likes.  And I get a "Is that all?" spit in my face.  I called him (mildly) on his attitude, and asked him to also get out the big, nonstick skillet for burgers. 

And he huffed and snarled and groaned and got it out, then got snotty.  Again. 

So I called him on his attitude, and asked him where he got the idea that acting like that was okay.  Did he ever see me act like that?

Well, no.  But.  "You're Mom.  You're not supposed to act like that.  You're a girl."

Speaks volumes, doesn't it.  I don't have the influence on my son that I'd like to have.  I don't have the influence on shaping his attitudes and behaviors that I'd like to have.

Wanna know what does? 

His ADHD does--he doesn't rule his impulses, they rule him.  He KNOWS his attitude, when he acts like that, never fails to get him in trouble, but it's not something he's willing to curb in the moment.  I'm not entirely sure he's able to, yet.  I don't have him drugged into a zombie, and I won't drug him into a zombie.  Which means his impulses still rule him, despite a constant struggle for otherwise.

His peers do.  The other boys at school act like this.   Many of them are also hyper-smart ADHD kids ruled by their impulses.  He knows they get in trouble.  He knows he will get in trouble.  But since they act like that, he will, too. 

Dad does.  Dad is often as tired as Mom, but still does things.  But Dad grumbles.  Huffs.  Snarls.  I see some of the same attitude in Odysseus that I do in the imp, but it's nowhere near so pronounced in the adult as it is in the child, and unlike the child, the adult works longer hours every week, on much harder things, and comes home exhausted daily.  With no real recourse--adults' work is never done, while kids get after homework hours and weekends off. 

But. 

But...

Children don't see that.  Just as girls follow the examples their mothers set (the pixie reads, picks stuff up, helps with housework--mostly quietly and without complaining), and that their classmates and other girls set, boys follow the behavior modeled by their male role models (teachers, sports stars, fathers, men in music and TV), and by their peers. 

I hear complaints all the damn time, from all around me, about "toxic masculinity."  And I see news stories of football players raised in single parent homes where their male role models were bums and abusers being given a pass because they're stars.  I hear "music" blasted from the local university's football field denigrating women and going on about hitting them, or putting them in their place.  I see men on TV either held up as boobs saved by the really smart women in their lives, or assholes like the ones in the "music" these boys are listening to, or sports stars they're looking to for role models.  And this is the example a lot of boys are living down to.  This may, in a lot of cases, be all the role models these boys have: either be a feminized soy-boy (and who wants to be a door-mat?), or be an asshole. 

So many, many boys do not have a father.  So many, many boys who are lucky enough to have a father have a father who's not present, or who's been emasculated by his wife or by the culture. 

Real masculinity isn't toxic.  Traditional masculinity isn't toxic.*  The image of masculinity presented by our current, poisonous culture is what is toxic. 

And the APA can go fuck themselves with their lack of understanding of traditional masculinity.

*Traditional masculinity isn't demonstrated by sportsball players.  It isn't demonstrated by musicians, or actors.  Traditional masculinity is that which goes out and provides for the family.  Traditional masculinity is about offering respect in the same measure it's given.  Traditional masculinity is inner strength, brought about by determination, understanding, and purpose.  Traditional masculinity is demonstrated by the husband that works and takes care of wife and children, resisting temptations set in his way by the world to cheat, lie, or abrogate responsibilities for whatever the hell reason. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Winter weather in SWMO.

We had snow forecast for Friday night and Saturday.

We didn't get snow.  We got a bit over an inch and a half of rain, instead.  Cold rain.  Soaking cold rain, on cold days that didn't get out of the mid-thirties in either direction. 

We didn't have any snow forecast for last night.  So what did we get?

We got a dusting of snow that was still coming down while I was dropping the kids off at school.  And it keeps coming down every so often in fits and spits. 

It was supposed to get up to the mid 40s today, with the sun coming out.

It's still cloudy, and has gone from 28 degrees when I dropped the kids to 30 just a bit ago.  No sun--or even thinning clouds--in sight.  I doubt we'll see either prediction come to pass for today. 

I don't care for cold.  I actively hate wet cold, just as I hate wet heat in the summer. 

Is it any wonder at all that I sprang for an electric blanket for my recliner in the living room this morning at Walmart? 

I wonder if we're going to get sun tomorrow, like they predict, or if we're going to end up with more frozen precip that was supposed to have hit us Saturday, but didn't.   

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Better...

...still not good. 

Which sucks.  It's surprising how fast you get used to decent-to-good days. 

Since I've gotten on the Armour Thyroid, I've had good days.  I hadn't had good days in a long time--I'd had a few decent days, here and there, but no good ones.  General pain levels have been reduced to the point that I often forget to take something because the pain's at the same levels without aspirin as they've been with it in the past. 

Better yet, I've had some energy.  I've been able to do some things.  I still have CFS flareups if I do too much (and I've triggered some by doing exactly that), what "too much" is has expanded, but only a little bit, but I've been able to get some needed things done that I hadn't been doing.

Hell, I've even managed to do some of it with the migraine I developed yesterday (and still have today). 

For instance:

This morning, I got up, got the imp out of bed and eating, started the kettle, started the pixie's breakfast, then went to get her up and getting dressed.*  Came back, put her breakfast on the table, made Odysseus a 30oz travel mug of tea, cleaned the cats' box, and went back to get day clothes on.  Came back out, chivvied the kids through finishing their breakfasts and feeding the pets, (and the imp through getting dressed) while I made sandwiches (honey peanut butter for the imp, pb & Nutella for the pixie) for them to pack in their lunches.  I was done making their sandwiches before the imp was fully dressed, or the pixie finished eating four French toast sticks and four strips of thin-sliced bacon.

Oh, and picking up and discarding a used-up cat toy (i.e., a dead mouse) left on the floor in front of what we use for an entertainment center.

Usually, I unload the dishwasher while the kids are eating breakfast, but this morning, I had to make lunches.  There are more days where the kids eat what's at school. 

Besides that, I can usually manage one or two other chores (not counting fixing supper).  But not more than that, or the pain levels start creeping up, I pop a fever, and can't do anything other than the bare necessities the next day (i.e., getting kids to school, getting them home, chivvying them through homework, and making sure my family is fed). 

Yesterday, I managed to finish filling the dishwasher and running it.  I did not manage to make a decent dinner for my family--I made macaroni for the spouse and kids as a side, fed spouse and pixie leftovers, and the imp had chicken nuggets.  And that was about it. 

Because yesterday, I woke up with a sinus headache, didn't manage to get it killed in time, and it turned into a migraine.  Yes, I still have it.  No, I haven't managed to unload the dishwasher yet--there's too much light in the kitchen.  And the living room, where my bag (which holds my sunglasses) is.  I'll brave that in a little while. 

But I do have the energy to unload and reload the dishwasher, and hand-wash the things that must be hand-washed.  Not the desire (who ever really does?), but the energy.  And maybe enough to clear off the counter a bit while I'm fixing stew for supper, now that the meat has thawed.  But no more than that. 

Today's headache isn't nearly as bad as yesterday's.  And I have hope that, with enough time, meds, and caffeine,** I can kill it. 


*I've found mornings work best if the imp eats while still in his pajamas, because he's nearly done and away from the table by the time the pixie gets there if he's eating while she's dressing.  There are fewer fights that way.   He's a morning person, but she takes time to wake up and is cranky until she does.

**Caffeine: the wonder drug.  One Anacin (two is too much aspirin), one regular strength aspirin, two Midol, and two cups of Earl Grey to help deal with the mild nausea that has accompanied this migraine.  So far.  There will probably be more Earl Grey consumed.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bad timing

The kids' school started back up, yesterday.  The imp didn't start back with it.  No, he was sick with a fever on Monday.  Which meant he wasn't allowed to go to school by school rules yesterday. 

He did need the morning, at least.  He's always up by 6:30, and he didn't wake up 'til 8:30.  And was quiet until lunch, despite forgetting his "focus pill."

I did get him through all of his makeup work yesterday evening, despite his transformation into spaz-boy. 

This morning, I woke up with a sinus headache. And I still have it, despite Midol (contains an antihistamine), caffeine, aspirin, and sorta-sudafed. 

I did get some writing done yesterday, but I'm having trouble thinking today with the pain in the head. 

Why do these things (sick kids, headachy me) always have such horrible timing?  Everything would have been a lot more tolerable if they'd happened a week earlier during Christmas Break, when I was getting jack shit done anyway.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Okay, then.

I ordered a new Acer laptop on New Year's Eve.  And with it, I ordered season 2 of Night Court.  

The laptop arrived today.  The DVDs just left Texas today.  I'm sure even a little bit of snow is a major emergency for areas that really aren't used to getting snow.  And parts of Texas didn't get just a little bit. 

They got a clone of the storm that hit us in November, and had the kids out of school for a snow day.  The storm that dumped seven inches on parts of Joplin, and five on my house.

So yeah, the DVDs were delayed, but the mail carrier handed my laptop to me just before 3:00 pm.  


First thing I did was lock down my privacy settings and turn everything Cortana-related off that I could, and download Firefox.  Second was dump Norton and download AVG free.  Third was downloading iTunes (my preferred music player, by far), fourth was dump Office and download LibreOffice.   I still need to go in and set defaults for music and for documents, but...that will happen.  After I finish transferring documents, pictures, and music.

But I have a laptop to transfer files to, and one to pull files from.  And I need to get those files semi-organized.

Yes, I've already got my current writing project transferred and opened up.  Yes, I have already been working on it.

I forgot how nice it was to have a full-sized shift key, instead of a bitty little key the same size as the letters on the far side of the up arrow.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Damn it.

I have been finding that I can get about two years' worth of use out of Acer laptops.

I've had this one for less than that.  I got it toward the end of July of 2017.  And it's already breaking in a way that I won't be able to keep using it for a whole lot longer.

The plastic back, side, and corner of the top of the laptop (around the corner of the monitor) are breaking.  There's a crack extending about four inches from the edge, about an inch up from the bottom, about even with the hinge on the back.  And the side and corner of the front around the hinge are giving way and breaking.

It's been a problem, a growing, worsening problem, for about two months, now.  I haven't been closing the laptop, merely sending it to sleep.  And even with careful handling, it's still slowly getting worse.

I will not get another Lenovo laptop.  When I get another computer in a month or so (when this one breaks past being usable), it will be another Acer Aspire.* 

They last better, and I won't have to adapt for a too-small shift key on the right hand side anymore.

Update: I decided to say to hell with it and ordered the laptop, since it was gonna happen anyway.   Ordered through Amazon.  NOT Office Depot (where I got this hot mess of a fragile and inconvenient machine).

*Yes, it must be a laptop.  Sometimes the brain's capable of working when the body needs to lay down.  No, I don't want a netbook. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Unexpected, but nice.

I got some really unexpected Christmas gifts this year. 

First, another appliance from Odysseus:* a small air fryer, one just big enough to figure out if I'll like a bigger one or not.  I have been wanting one for about a year and a half, but...just never got one.  Not really in the budget for a casual purchase. 

(Now, all I need is a good french fry cutter.  I really, really want to try making sweet potato fries.)

Second, I got stuff from my mom and sister.  I wasn't expecting anything at all from them.  Yes, I gave them a brief list, but also emphasized that I didn't want them to get me anything at all, since they paid the taxes on the place where they're living (21 acres, with two houses, a chicken house, and a large barn adds up) this year.  To pay my aunt back for her paying off my mom's pickup. 

And what I got from them was really, unexpectedly awesome. 

First: I love Parker Quink Blue-Black.  And I tried to order some (bottled) from Amazon a couple years ago.  I ordered the 57mL bottle, and got (from a seller in India) two 1oz bottles of "Quink Blue" that wasn't: instead of it being like my other bottle of Quink Blue, it was...viscous.  And smelled.  It smelled like paint and paint thinner.  And wasn't returnable. 

I rinsed the bottles out and kept them because they were adorable, but I dumped the "ink" out. 

My mom and sister got me a bottle of the Parker Quink Blue-Black.  It is one of my favorite, favorite blue inks.  And now, instead of being down to my last cartridge, I have a whole bottle. 

Now, that would have been awesome enough, but that wasn't all they got me.  They also got me a set of four Wing Sung 3008 pens

I've been curious about them for a while: they're inexpensive piston-fill pens that looked like they'd hold a goodly amount of ink.  Kinda similar to TWSBI piston pens, but with some distinct differences in the ones I was given.  They look a bit like the 580 that I already have, but have a clear plastic feed instead of a black one, have a piston knob that locks, and (unlike TWSBI full-size pens) can be posted. 

Downsides, as compared to the TWSBI 580: the grip section doesn't unscrew for filling the pen with a syringe, and there's no inner cap to seal to keep the nib and feed from drying out if they're not used at least a little every day (which even TWSBI's Eco has).  

Of course, I cleaned one (with tap water), and inked it up with the Quink.  It is an incredibly smooth writer.  Very smooth.  It's also lighter than the TWSBI 580, but heavier (by a little bit) than the Eco. 

I've seen these pens offered on Amazon, with Prime shipping, for under $4/pen (remember: set of four pens).  The TWSBI Eco costs about double what the set of Wing Sung pens costs, and the 580 almost double that (it is double if you get the version with the aluminum piston knob and grip).   They are a spectacular value.  Great pens. 

Currently, I have three of the four inked: one with the Quink, one with a shade of bright green (kinda on the yellow end of green, rather than the blue end), and one with purple. 

I do like these.  I like them a lot.  (So does Odysseus, who's used the one I had loaded with blue ink this week at work). 

No, I really wouldn't recommend them for someone who just wants to try fountain pens for the first time--mostly because you have to fill from a bottle.  You cannot use a cartridge.  And bottle filling is messy.  But for someone who's used fountain pens long enough to get frustrated with the color choice of easily found cartridges (blue or black?  Or blue-black?)?  You betcha.  These are great pens for anyone with even a little experience using fountain pens.

*Again, gents, do NOT buy your other half any kind of appliance for any holiday or birthday, unless you know for a fact she won't kill you in your sleep for doing so.  I am NOT your typical wife.