Sunday, June 4, 2023

Bloody buggering hell!

 Okay. I have been TRYING to get this stupid thing done and posted for days, now. I don't know if there's something going on with Blogger (likely not, since Wordpress is being a similar pain in my ass), or my browser (more likely, considering this seems to be working at the moment...).  

Anyway. The Schrodinger Paradox: Heisenberg's Point of Observation is live, and has been since the first.  

Monday, May 8, 2023


Did you know that some schools are offering classes in how to adult for their students? It involves things their parents ought to have been teaching them all along, but haven't.  

Part of the problem there is that the parents may not have been taught by their parents.  There are a lot of different possible reasons for that. It could fuel a whole series of blog posts, finding fault. It won't fix the problem, though. 

Point of fact: adulting is hard.  It's hard if you have a good idea of what you need to be doing going in. It's even harder if you don't, and fuels all sorts of psychological issues (imposter syndrome, anyone?).  

It's almost impossible if there's executive function disorder involved.  Mostly because people with executive function disorders do not just "pick things up." They've got to have explicit instruction.

Who has executive function disorders, and what are they? 

Executive function disorders are the cornerstone of ADHD. It's a difference in the brain that makes it damn near impossible to figure out what's important, what priority the item should have, or how to even begin a fucking task

I have not been diagnosed with ADHD.  I'm almost certain I have it. Too much has added up to "probably" as I've researched what's going on in my son's brain, and how to help him learn to adult.  And I have learned a lot about how my brain works...and how to trick it into adulting when it's screaming and flailing "no...don't wanna" in the corner.  

Routines.  Routines are vital. Turning things into auto-pilot makes adulting a lot easier, especially for those of us with executive function issues.  

Routines are hacks. Except instead of "this one weird hack" being a get-rich-quick thing, it's a make-adulting-possible thing.  It's a set of leg braces so that you can walk.  

FlyLady says that there are two types of people in the world: those that are born organized* and those that aren't.  

Developing routines is a way of imposing organization on disorganized brains so that you can actually function at life.  

For a lot of us, adulting is impossible without that hack, without those braces.  

I'll do a series of posts discussing how to create the routines around things.  How to create your prosthesis system so that you can be a semi-functioning adult.  

This post?  This is just an answer to "but why do I gotta?  It's so boring it's painful."  

I know that. Setting the auto-pilot lets your brain do the interesting stuff while your body's doing the boring stuff.  

Let me show you how I hacked my  own brain.  Let me help.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023

Stand by...

We have had two weeks of unseasonably cool weather for this part of the country, and this time of year. I know a lot of people complain about the hot, but I really am looking forward to it. 

I know: it's on the way. My irises bloomed for the first time this year (yeah, only one stalk of blooms, but still). My roses are COVERED with buds, and will likely all burst into bloom within the next week.  My wild roses are about the same, and so are my blackberries.  My baby pecan trees are starting to put out leaf buds.  Things are indicating that better weather's on the way...

But we're still having early-mid March weather at the end of April.  And I'm freezing, today.  

I'm really looking forward to the hot.  

In other news, I put the first part of The Schrodinger Paradox up on Amazon.  I put it up on Monday.  Since then, it's been "in review." Which "could take up to 72 hours." 

It's...still "in review." I contacted Amazon, and they said they're "running behind" on the process, and that if it's still marked "in review" on the first (when I set it to go live), to contact them again.  

I have to wonder if they're stupid, or if they think I am. There are no live people in the process--it's an automated computer thing that has clearly glitched.  They need to fix it.  

So, I'm also waiting on that.  And, given the utter shit handed me as an excuse, my book may not make my projected publication. Stand by. 

In the's the cover art, and the back cover text.

The end is coming.

Unlucky jerk Tom Beadle was on watch at NASA when the collision alert sounded: a new asteroid, bigger than the dino-killer, headed for Earth. Big problem, but that's why we have NASA, right? Except, after decades of budget cuts, NASA has no way to shove it off course. That job has to be contracted out. Will the private sector company his best friend from college works at succeed where the government option failed? Might be best to have a backup plan, just in case…

Monday, April 10, 2023

Oh, you idiots.

So. The receptionists at the doctor's office in the local hospital systems I use? Yeah...

They're probably going to get shit-canned, sometime soon.  No more paycheck, no more awesome health insurance for working in the hospital system, no more retirement program.  Nothing.  

And they deserve every bit of it.  

As does every individual who's a "living wage minimum wage" proponent.  

Why am I saying this?  Glad y'all asked! 

The bunch screeching that the minimum wage doesn't allow enough to live on are...either union shills* or require a tiny voice beneath their ear, reminding them to breathe in, breathe out. And close your mouth, you drooling nitwit.  

Minimum wage is not, and never was, intended for people to live on.  Minimum wage was intended, from the get-go, as a racist method of preventing minorities from under-cutting what the white workers were charging for the same amount of work.  And when that passed, the white workers started demanding more, for doing the same work, and...the minorities accepted the minimum to HAVE a job.  So, in reality, the initial intent DIDN'T EVEN WORK.  

As it functions now, minimum wage jobs are...trainer-jobs.  They're the ones that are part time, dumb work geared toward the lowest skill level.  

The jobs paying minimum wage? Most of those are, and have always been, taken by teenagers.  Teens who still live at home, where they don't HAVE to worry about their living expenses.  And they get a raise if they stick with the job for 90 days. 

These workers don't need health insurance--they're still on their parents' plans**--and they're not even starting to consider retirement.  I suppose they could be offered a college savings account.  That would actually be a semi-useful benefit for part-time minimum wage jobs; however, that's the only thing  I can think of that minimum wage starting pay jobs should consider offering.  

Adults that take the minimum wage, no-skill jobs? The vast majority of them deserve that.  Or less.  They're...useless.  And they're often a drain on the employers' bottom line.  Should probably qualify as a tax break, considering the value they DON'T add, if they're minimum wage and STAY there.  

Case in point: I have had friends start minimum wage, fast food jobs as adults.  Because their physical health precluded them from taking some of the heavier factory work type jobs that (frankly) pay better.  They got a raise in two weeks. Within six weeks, they were promoted to team lead.  The store was making noises about promoting them to SHIFT manager, then STORE manager within six months.  Every promotion came fast, and with a fairly hefty pay bump. They kept getting those because they showed up, on time, ready to work, for every shift they were scheduled.  Or called if there was something that was going to prevent that. Like when they got food poisoning

That is a very low bar to clear.  Show up. Sober. On time. Do the job.  

Why does it seem so impossible for so many?  

I've noted a lot of places like that longer hiring.  Instead of paying financial drains on the company by hiring no-skilled workers that won't, they're putting in kiosks.  They're putting in robots that do the kitchen work.  The only workers they're actually hiring are IT people to maintain and troubleshoot the automation.  Maybe one or two people per shift.  

So.  As we are seeing with this, the real minimum wage wage at all.  

Back to the doctor's office.

What does the receptionist do? She answers the phone. She sets appointments. She inputs patient information, if it's not already in the patient file., she doesn't. She doesn't answer the phone: there's an idiot push-button phone tree that reads off a two minute automated shpiel that urges patients to be absolutely sure they want their primary care doctor, rather than the urgent care (number provided) or the emergency department (no, I will NOT abbreviate that, TYVM.  I already have issues with the giggles calling it the "emergency department").  And when you FINALLY wait through all that crap, you get "press one to make or reschedule an appointment" or "press two to talk to the nurse" and instructions to have the PHARMACY  contact them if you need refills, rather than doing it yourself.  Then you'd make your appointment, go check in...

...but now, you're not checking in. You've already done that with the electronic stuff that was the receptionist's job.  

I'm not sure if the receptionists whined about the tedium or what's going on, but they're not answering phones anymore.  They're not helping you figure out who you need to talk to.  They're not doing your check-in work.  They're...setting your appointments.  And...

...doesn't that sound like what fast food is doing? Adding automation and dumping the useless money drains?  

Really, the receptionists should have been balking this automation at every turn, rather than cheering the lightening of their work load.  Because like fast food, the office managers are going to look at what they're doing, and ask "Why are we paying you and paying for your health insurance, again?"

Effectively, minimum wage is none at all.  And apparently, that "minimum" is climbing the ranks of jobs that get it. 

*Union pay scale is tied to minimum wage: it's set a certain dollar amount higher automatically by position. 

**Kids are on their parents' insurance well into early adulthood, why offer insurance to minimum wage workers? Who are teenagers?

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Adventures in breadmaking

My most beloved other half recently got me a bread machine.* I used to have one, but gave it away to an aunt because I barely used it, and because I developed an allergy to wheat.  

Gluten free bread is...expensive. And most of it really isn't good enough to justify the price charged for a Walmart brand loaf of standard white sandwich bread...on sale.  Gluten free flour is expensive, but not that much more than regular flour, really.  Not enough to justify the difference in bread cost.  

I went looking for bread machines for making gluten free bread.  Because I really don't have the energy budget to just do it by hand, not really.  

I found them.  Several, at several different price points.  I put the one I thought would do in my Amazon wish list.  

It's...a bread maker.  Fairly easy to use.  Has recipes in the back for a few different basic types of bread.  Including gluten free bread.  So, I gathered up my courage and got a new jar of breadmaker yeast, and gave it a try.  

It was easy enough: measure the ingredients, and put the liquid ones in the bottom.  Mix the dry (except the yeast, and dump them on top of the liquid. Then add the yeast on top. Set the cycle, and set it going. 

It smelled...almost right.  The recipe lacked eggs, and wheat flour smells different from other types of flour. The baking cycle finished while I was getting the kids. I fished the bucket out and dumped the loaf out onto the cooling rack. 

It smelled okay, but it didn't look quite right. Granted, gluten free bread lacks what browns on normal bread, so I was expecting the very pale look of the loaf, but it was...squat. I sliced into it, and found out why. It...failed to rise.  I made the 1.5 lb loaf, and it didn't rise.  My yeast was new.  I followed instructions.  I went looking for answers about what happened online.  

As it turns out, what happened was the breadmaker.  It was programmed to do two knead cycles.  Which is one knead cycle more than gluten free bread needs.  

Normal bread, for example, has gluten in it, which provides a protein structure for the yeast to inflate.  You have to punch it down part of the way through the knead cycle, or you end up with everything overflowing.  

Gluten free flour...yeah, it'll rise, but not as well as wheat flour, and it WON'T rise again if it's knocked down.  It's wimpy like that.

Still, in spite of making a loaf with the consistency of a small rock, the bread machine's recipe was fairly good on flavor. I will be trying the recipe again, but on the quick bread setting, rather than the gluten free setting.  We'll see how that turns out.   

*Bread machine is Amazon's house brand, and was a birthday gift.