Yummy veggies, yogurt, and shredded wheat

I just invented this and it is jam-packed with healthy fat and carbs, low protein, lots of calories for those of us who need them and no added salt.

I cut up some veggies and put them in a pot. Bell peppers, mushrooms, green onions, those white round purplish tuber veggies (forget name), zucchini, garlic, and I don’t recall what else. I doused these in olive oil and let them cook a while.

Then I poured some shredded wheat into a bowl. Not the big kind of shredded wheat but the little mini-kind. I doused this with MHT oil. Yeah, MHT oil is all the rage but I think there’s some truth behind the rage. I poured some plain, organic, whole milk yogurt over the shredded wheat.

Now, I poured the entire pot of cooked, simmering hot veggies over all that, and spiked it all with fresh ground black pepper. I stirred it all together. It was very good.

What did you have for dinner?

I’ve been enjoying nuts lately. All kinds. I discovered unsalted pistachios. These are not easy to find since most are poisoned with salt and even dyed red. Ick. Real pistachios are seriously good.

Don’t eat more than two Brazil nuts a day. If you do, you will overdose on Selenium. Two is what you need! Two Brazil nuts is a perfect Selenium supplement, and is great for both your thyroid and your kidneys.

The cost of nuts is insane. Nutty. I think it’s best to mail order them rather than fight over the prices in the supermarkets. Go online and cost-compare. Maybe a food coop. If you’re lucky. Our local food coop, which is in the East End (not near here) is a snob store so I avoid it. I was really shocked when I discovered that upon my arrival in Pittsburgh. They cater to the same ole Whole Foods crowd. Fellowship Foods is even sadder. They jack up their prices way too high. $5 for a dozen eggs….. If you really want decent specialty foods you can go to the Strip and browse the Chinese shops and maybe luck out, but the last time I went to one of those, I noticed one of my items had rat bites in the package. (Later, they didn’t pass inspection, I heard.)

That said, I miss the food coop in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. That place didn’t cater to rich people. Their prices weren’t always perfectly low, but at least it wasn’t in a wealthy neighborhood and it was right in a great place to pick up the bus or subway. They bent over backwards for food stamp recipients. You could get all kinds of things in bulk. The clientele weren’t snobby and they didn’t turn up their noses at people they considered lesser than they were. I wasn’t too impressed with the produce section, but you can’t have everything you want, folks……

We don’t really have a real coop here, and I miss that about Boston. I’ve looked around and we really do not have one. We do not have one in this county at all…and if anyone thinks Fellowship Foods is a coop, they don’t know what a coop is. Fellowship Foods is a grossly overpriced food delivery service. I cannot stress more how overpricing of something as basic as food is a human rights abuse.  It’s not true that good food should cost more, or that better parents should pay more to feed their kids. This is total bullshit elitist crap.  Since when should a dozen eggs cost $5? Since when should chicken livers cost $6 per pound? No, it isn’t a mark of a better parent who is tricked into paying these prices. It is a mark of a fool. Especially when supermarket prices are much lower…..

We do have a good produce store so I go there whenever I can. I have noticed also those places called “Farmers Markets” are also overpriced. I don’t understand how they can get away with it. Maybe there are small fruit stands out in the country that don’t reflect the flashy farmer’s market prices, little holes in the wall places out of the way that I might find someday. I miss the places I used to go to in Uruguay, too. I used to fill up a bag full of veggies and bring that home. I miss that.

Same struggle, winter after winter

Every winter I struggle to stay warm. No matter how high I turn up the heat I cannot get warm enough! Do you have the same problem? It seems like the winter cold gets inside of me and won’t come out! It’s in my bones and sometimes the only solution is to curl up with Puzzle under the covers to warm up. Right now I’m wasting electricity blowing a blower on my freezing cold feet, and I haven’t even stepped outside. They’re still cold, numb, and hurting bad because of the cold. This is not arthritis, just cold, cold cold. My hands are like icicles and I often wear gloves to bed even though my heat is now working. I don’t dare take my hat off. Are you like this too? I wear a hat to bed, tied to my head. What the fuck?

I was always the cold one. Always the one who insisted that someone please turn the heat up…I’m FREEZING.  This is the case even if I go running in the morning. Two hours later, I’m freezing all over again.

What is the solution? I pray for a hot flash and I don’t even get that. When is summer coming round again? How about that global warming? I want some! Send some my way, please!

This embarrasses me, too. Those do-gooders out there who claim that people who turn up their heat are wasting planetary resources. To you who claim that, please, please, UP YOURS! How many television sets, washing machines, cars, and microwaves do you have? Go to hell and stay there!

Oh that felt good and warmed me up just to say that.

I looked for a foot-warmer at Walmart but it seems to be mis-filed on their website. They don’t really have it at my local Walmart and it’s overpriced at Amazon. Walmart’s was $20 and I refuse to pay $50 for one. It’s better to use an electric foot-warmer than to blow air on my feet which is more costly. Maybe I should burn kerosene again which actually warms the house better than the central heating. It just seems so freezing all the time. Maybe the air pressure isn’t right or the humidity is too low for the heat to distribute. It feels constantly cold in here and the heat turns on so much I fear I am throwing my money away on the central heating unnecessarily.

I’m not sure a humidifier is allowed on the lease. Even if it isn’t I can boil water on my hotplate and the steam might help the heat distribute through the air better. I read that when the humidity is too low or too high you can heat the heck out of the place for naught. Remember in Uruguay when my place was too humid in winter and the wood stove did jack shit to heat my home? That was because the humidity was too high for ideal heating conditions. I kept running the wood stove and the heat never left that corner. Ever. I think I need to run a pot of water on the hotplate and then, see if that helps.

It really is very dry here. This part of Western Pennsylvania is closer to Ohio and we’re close to Appalachia and West Virginia. People even commute from WV to Pittsburgh to go to work. It is extremely mountainous. We don’t get the Lake Effect here the way Erie does. Central and Eastern PA are much more humid, being closer to the ocean. In the higher elevations, parts of NC or the mountains of Virginia it’s so dry it’s a serious fire risk, especially in fall. I’ve noticed my clothes dry in an instant. My hair dries fast in winter, too.

I’m tired of struggling to stay warm every winter. Some days I wear my heavy winter boots all day indoors just to make sure my feet don’t freeze. If I keep only my shoes on my feet will get like icicles and I have to thaw them out. I don’t like having to do that because then my entire body gets a chill.

Well, this is trivial, so……I think I’ll go feed Puzzle which is far more important.

See you later.

Heart test you can do yourself: no-brainer

Why pay for an expensive “stress test.” This one is a no-brainer. This is how you do your own!

Get on a treadmill and walk on it. Now if you can’t keep your balance on one, try an exercise bike. These machines have heart rate monitors. You can find it by holding onto the metal parts. These metal parts sense your heart rate when you hold your thumb around the metal part. Your thumb has a pulse, so you want to hold you whole hand around the metal sensor, and hold both hands on the metal sensors. Now that will get your pulse. Some exercise machines are not accurate and this is not exactly scientific. Well? Western medicine “stress tests” are extremely expensive…so what do you expect? Try a few of these machines and you’ll find one that isn’t screwy. You can’t expect miracles, after all. A few docs are screwy, right?

Now, start going on that treadmill fast. As fast as you safely can. Please do not give yourself a heart attack. I don’t want to be sued. You want to see your heart rate go up.

Now…If your heart rate goes up over 200 and stays there, I’d say your ticker is not in very good shape. It’s time to reconsider your lifestyle and make some changes. Let’s assume for now that it doesn’t do that. It’s okay if it goes up to 200 momentarily. Just for a moment, but it shouldn’t hang there. No no no.

Now hold your fast pace for a bit, as long as you aren’t straining yourself real badly. Then, I want you to slow down. Don’t suddenly stop, but slow down from a run, or fast walk, to a slower walk. Keep monitoring your heart rate. Did it go down right away, or is it still racing at the same speed?

If it went down fast, like in a minute, I’d say you can safely forego any stress test out there. Mine does! But if it’s still racing five or (yikes!) ten minutes later I’d say you need to take care of your heart. It shouldn’t be racing like that.

Older people definitely need to COOL DOWN when exercising. You shouldn’t just suddenly stop after exercising vigorously. Gradually slow down. So when running, walk for a bit, then stop. I’m also concerned about those who start suddenly. That, too, strains people’s hearts. It might be unavoidable during times of excitement, like if you’re running a road race or if you just couldn’t help but run real fast out of the nuthouse. If you anticipate such a thing, try to warm up beforehand. Maybe secretly jog in place in the bathroom when no one’s looking before you make the big run for it.

After all, freedom’s great but we want to be alive to enjoy it!

Tests you can have done without a doctor

If you have back pain you can get your gait assessed for free! Here is how you get it done. Go to your local running store and tell the store associate you’re interested in purchasing a pair of running shoes. Which store should you go to? NOT a mall store! Not a brand store such as Nike or Reebok. You might have to go to Reddit or a runners forum to find out where the really classy running store is in your area. I would suggest going to the city. Don’t go to some rinky-dink store out in the country. Go to the classiest running specialty store in town. This store is likely to be mobbed the day of your local city marathon and thereabouts. Good! That’s the store. In Boston, it’s Marathon Sports. So you want to go to a store like that, where the store associates really know runners’ feet.

They will ask to see you walk, likely barefoot. They’ll ask you to walk back and forth and they’ll examine your gait. Congratulations, you are getting a better exam right now than you did in six years of ortho appointments, wasteful surgeries, and pain killer addiction.

The store associate is likely to tell you you have a certain type of gait which means you need a certain type of shoe. Also they’ll tell you you need a certain fit of shoe. They might tell you the source of knee and back pain is that you’re wearing the wrong shoes and have been for years…or decades.

The store associate might suggest inserts even. Take this advice very seriously. Do you want back pain and knee pain, or do you want relief? Have any of the fools you’ve seen in the past few decades even looked at what you wear on your feet (say what? high heels? Flip-flops?) and asked you to wear something healthy and sensible? Of course not! If you did, they wouldn’t be making money off of you!

Now, try on the various pairs of shoes they offer. You don’t have to purchase. Make note of the types. If they say, “support” take note of that. Memorize the model numbers and take note of what they say about your gait. This is key, the test results are in!

Do you pronate? Do you have high arches? Flatter feet? Is one foot longer than the other? All of the above will tell you why your back and knees hurt. All of these things are connected.  Congratulations. You’ve just solved your back problem.

Free test #2…..

In most states you can get your blood tested without a doctor. You can do your own sugar testing. You can purchase sugar testing equipment and it isn’t even expensive anymore. That is, if you really care about that stuff. Why bother with a doctor if you can find out for yourself! Skip the checkup and the demeaning lecture.

You can get most blood tests unless you live in certain states. I found this out. Here in PA I can get most any test I want without a prescription. Many people get drug tests so that they know ahead of their employers whether they’ll pass the screenings. Or they pay for a pregnancy test that their parents don’t find out about. I get kidney tests and I don’t want any doctor (or the local hospital system, or my insurance) knowing my creatinine level. Just use a search engine and look up “blood test without prescription” and you’ll see what I mean. If you live in one of those states that doesn’t allow it you can do this via “home testing.” I am not sure it’s as accurate, though.

I would not want to get a blood test and then suddenly get a call from the prescribing doctor demanding that I go to a hospital. That would be a privacy invasion. I would rather look at the results and make a decision for myself. You alls know what that decision would be.

Do I really want them taking away my ability to decide for myself? Do I want them giving me drugs without my consent via IV? Do I want them giving me unnecessary or dangerous drugs? Do I want them fudging my records if they make an error? I cannot risk these things, as any of these mishaps could kill me.

This is why I have blood tests done privately without a doctor. For my own use only. For my own information and access only. No one can threaten me based on these tests. I didn’t see anything about police accessing them, either, and I don’t see why the cops would care about my creatinine level…why should they?

You can get a home blood pressure monitor. Are they accurate? Some are. They make them better all the time. Now if your doctor tells you he/she wants you in for a “blood pressure check” I keep wondering why the waste! Just check it home and cancel the appointment! Save yourself some bucks.

You can weigh yourself on a bathroom scale. If your doctor insists on a “weight check,” that, too, is a waste. Weigh yourself at home and cancel the appointment. There is NO MAGIC to the doctor’s scale except the insane doctor bill. Nowadays a bathroom scale is just as accurate and you pay a lot less to use it yourself. If you want to know kilograms, use an online converter or better yet, do the math.

Know what I do when a doc schedules an appointment for me? I write it down and say nothing. Then when the reminder comes I tell them I can’t make it. “I’m sorry, I was called into work that day. Okay, I will call you and let you know when I can reschedule.” Then, I just don’t call. I’ve never had them call and pester me. They just never call again. Sometimes I return the call and tell them I relocated, which will ensure I don’t get pestered. What are they going to do? Track me down via Facebook or try to drive by my place to see if my car is in the driveway? Good luck! My car drove off some 30 years ago……

What are doctors good for? They have a few uses, so listen up. They’re really good at removing bullets and setting broken bones. If you’re ever hit by a drunk driver and you smash something, go see one and see to it that putting you back together is ALL they do! No extras. You can do without the flu shot, extra checkups, wellness tips, vaccines, lectures telling you to lose weight, drugs for your invisible illnesses you didn’t know you had, anticoagulants, antacids, muscle relaxants, antidepressants because they claim you are depressed after the accident, extra xrays, mammogram, testicle exam, sleeping pills and psychotherapy and day treatment just because it’s all covered. You’ve already been hit by a drunk driver. Do you want to be killed, too?

Point made. Good night.

Costco….boo……

I tried to join Costco. Thankfully, I stopped before I joined. You have to walk into the store to pick up your card. They don’t mail you the cards. My nearest store is totally inaccessible to anyone who does not have a vehicle, in the snobby town of Cranberry. Cranberry took down its bus system, refusing to allow bus riders to have access. That’s how snobby they are there. I have no desire to set foot in Cranberry, though I went through there once…it is very ugly there, bunch of concrete, all stores and shit.

I called up the store and they were rude and snobby. They refused to budge, saying they would not bend their policies. After all, I might be some fraudster. Of course I am! They told me I can go to Cleveland, after all! Sure I can…..

Two hours by bus into Pittsburgh, wait for that once-a-day Amtrak, then, take the Amtrak to Cleveland (how many hours is that, five or six?), go to Costco, then, pay for a hotel in Cleveland, then, take the Amtrak back, then, take a two-hour bus back home. Will Costco pay for the dog sitter, night in a hotel, Amtrak fare, and time off of work? Why doesn’t Costco pay for a bus system to Cranberry, too?

Bye, bye, Costco. Much as I hate Amazon and Walmart, I’m stuck with them. I’m looking into Target too. I hear they deliver.

Alternate use for Generic Spray ‘n Wash

I purchased generic spray-on laundry stuff from Dollar General a while back because it was on sale. I have never used it on my laundry. I don’t think I ever will. Spray ‘n Wash is likely not much more than detergent…but I’m not really sure! It depends on the brand. I have kept it around for odd cleaning chores.

Here’s an oddball use for the stuff: I discovered that it makes decent floor polish and also it’s a pee deterrent if your dog is older, as is mine. I’m not sure if all brands of Spray ‘n Wash will work like this or if this brand is particularly offensive to dogs.

Here is how you can polish your floor with the stuff. You can likely use regular liquid laundry detergent also, but please use it sparingly. (I am sure that the regular liquid does not smell the same.)

You will want to use only a few drops, very few. I have this stuff in a spray bottle and am spraying it sparingly over the clean floor. Then I take a paper towel and rub it into the floor and scrub real hard. That’s it!

I have also discovered a way to deodorize the floor if you really have to…but you have to be diligent and energetic about cleaning if you’re going to attempt this. Put some baking soda into a spice shaker and shake it all over the slightly damp floor. Then, sweep up the baking soda, mop, and then, let it dry overnight and then sweep and mop all over again until all the baking soda is gone. You don’t want your pets walking on it until you’ve got all the white powder swept up off the floor. Doing this should make a huge difference. I have heard that you can powder your carpets this way also.  Theoretically, activated charcoal would work great to get any odors out of the floor…but I would hesitate to use it for obvious reasons. You can polish with the laundry stuff after you use the baking soda to deter your dog from any repeat offenses.

That said, Puzzle turned 12 on Monday without much fanfare or to-do because I had to work on Monday. I did not work on Tuesday but all my days off have been wrecked by this real estate situation. The real estate people have been coming daily and I have been unable to leave the house due to these intrusions on my privacy.

I am not sure what to do about the real estate situation. I have tried to look into what the law says and what protections I have. If I live here, and I am on a year’s lease, then am I not protected against any willy-nilly intrusion by a real estate person and prospective buyers? This is now twice a day, people peering into my private life here, disturbing me and scaring Puzzle.

Tomorrow they are coming during a time that I will be working. My break is timed for the time of their arrival, but still I will need to end my previous shift early to ensure that there’s no overlap, and if they’re late I will miss my next shift. Yes this is highly disruptive and interferes with my work life! I don’t see why I should sacrifice my job status just so this real estate person can make a buck or two.

If I was moving, and if the understanding were that people were coming here to move in to take my place, that would be a bit more understandable, but that’s not the situation. I’m not moving. I have just renewed my lease and it’s good for another year.

What can I do but polish the floor? Maybe if I’m lucky someone will slip on it. Or see their own reflection in it. Will I be held responsible if the shiny floor cracks when they say, “Mirror mirror”? Then what? What if Puzzle decides to eat the intruders for lunch? Will that solve the problem?

Happy birthday, Puzzle……..

Decent employment advice….with my commentary

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/things-not-to-tell-hr-1917584

My commentary:

Certain lies on your resume are likely so minor that it’s not going to matter much, but I agree with the writer of the article here…If you did, don’t fess up!  What matters is going to be job performance, so you shouldn’t lie about your qualifications. If you were fired from a job 20 years ago and you end up with this question, “Have  you ever been dismissed from a job?” Please do not check the “yes” box. The new employer doesn’t care that McDonald’s fired you when you were a kid. They will care if your last employer fired you for stealing from the company…Don’t steal!

If you were fired from your last job you can a) leave it off your resume if you can do without it and cover your tracks with other, relevant positions, or b) put it on if it looks good but leave off the dates and location. You could use other positions as your last three jobs and then, say somewhere on the resume, “I have also worked for….” and list all the other ones that didn’t end up in the Top Three list.

I can’t stress enough, if you are sick don’t admit it if possible. If you went through a long illness such as cancer I would leave that out of conversation as well. Never admit to any sort of hospitalization unless you went in to have a baby. Any sort of illness or long-term injury is going to scare them into not hiring. Don’t tell them you’re allergic to common household products used in their workplace. If you are, don’t work there. As soon as you bring up special treatment even if you have what you think is a valid disability…well, it better be very valid and I would not bring it up until after you are hired. Missed days of work due to therapy appointments does not look good to an employer. Tell your therapist you need to move the appointments and if they refuse…what the heck are you doing seeing this therapist who expects you to skip work to see them?

It’s none of their business if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, family history of heart trouble, or like me, kidney disease. Do you think my employer knows I have CKD? Are you kidding? Don’t use any disease as an excuse for poor work performance or you are likely to get canned.  I know a lot of people who took too many sick days and were let go. Legal or not it is going to happen. It’s rare that anyone I knew who ended up in the nuthouse had their old job when they got out. Surprise, surprise. Not unless this was a high-skill salaried position. I know a few people who lied about their whereabouts the entire time they were in and that saved their employment status….but of course there’s no telling when they’ll set you loose from those places.

I worked 11 hours Friday, 11 hours Saturday, 7-1/2 hours Sunday, and yesterday, 11-1/2 hours. For this, I received the usual threatening email in my inbox. I keep wondering about this client, the retailer.

Are they so ungrateful toward their employees, or, rather, their contracted workers that they don’t even bother to thank us? With all the gratitude-touting around this time of year, you’d think the retailer would learn a bit of it, eh? I am so tired of the threats. These emails are ruining the job for me. I’m not alone, either.

Today I picked up another contract with another client. This is not a retailer. It is more like a tech support position. I want to see if this client treats us a little better than the selfish, capitalist retailer. We were pushed into working many, many hours and I feel satisfied about making my customers very happy….but not so happy that it feels like it was all for naught given how shitty we’ve been treated now that the weekend is over.

This is not a “toxic workplace.” DialAmerica was definitely toxic. I have no other words for it. There’s no comparison between DialAmerica and the company I work for now. None.

I was rehashing my DialAmerica memories today. I remember how the supervisor favorited certain workers who, oddly, never seemed to work at all. They yapped all during the shift and I watched them…they never picked up the phone or took a call.

I would say that the sup bullied me, looking over the definition of workplace bullying. Right away, on my very first day out of training she took me aside and belittled me until I had to ask her directly to please stop.

That’s when she said, “I’m not belittling you. I’m showing you opportunities for improvement.” By the way, that’s just a code term for, “I don’t want to admit I am treating you shitty. Just shut up.” They picked on other workers, too. The picked-on workers quit early on.

Finally I was so fed up with the way she continuously mocked me I tried to go higher up to complain. At this point, the trainer, who usually didn’t work the floors, took me aside and told me to tolerate this supervisor. “She’s really a nice person. You have to realize that she just is that way.”

Was this a sign that they planned to ditch her, eventually, too? Or force her to quit?

Because she made me sit so closely to her I overheard her make an awful lot of personal calls, one after another, when she was supposed to be working. I can’t imagine she is there still.

Anyway, my new job isn’t like that. I think they’re much more ethical. People tend to like it there. Some clients are better to work for than others. If the new client is tons better I will quit the retailer at nearest opportunity. It just isn’t the best tone to work under, when we are pushed to work more hours and then, bashed because they didn’t like the job we did. It is endless and frustrating.

Balancing haphazard vs rigid lifestyle

Many people who suffer from ED also tend to have trouble balancing rigid order vs lack of orderliness in their lives. You likely know folks on either end of the orderliness spectrum and some in-between.

Structure is a natural part of our lives. The sun rises and falls, we have darkness and light, we have change of seasons, stores open during the day and close at night and the bus system runs on a schedule. Those who are employed or who go to school have a built-in schedule also.

Outside of this, is your life orderly or haphazard, or something in-between? Is all your time scheduled or do you leave some time as “free time” when you can choose, at the moment, between a variety of activities you enjoy?  If your plans have to change unexpectedly, can you handle this okay or do you find you fall apart?

Many with ED tend to be overly rigid, or, rather, they lead a lifestyle that is more rigid than it needs to be to the point where they feel overwhelmed if anything goes amiss with the set plans they have for themselves. Still others might be the opposite and could use more orderliness and planning. They might benefit and feel more in control if they could follow through instead of breaking the commitments they make to themselves and to others. This might even spill over into how we eat, in fact, likely it does.

I am surprised that in ED “treatment” the idea of “care” means everyone is assumed to be alike and the idea is to take away the rights of all patients and force them onto an unnatural, rigid schedule that isn’t of their own design. I can’t believe such an arrangement can be considered curative at all! They are kept like that and their insurance milked dry and then, they are set loose and when they exit, told, “See you next time!” with the assumption that they are bound to return for more of the same.

So that’s supposedly “treatment.” They are set up to fail again and again. This is the idea! The grand design! Turn them into Frequent Flyers because it’s profitable and make it into a trendy little club they call “the milieu.” Ever notice it doesn’t work?

I think that realizing it doesn’t work is half the battle! Change your mind!  Try something different! It is never too late! Never!

I think it’s time we made psych (and ED) incarceration history. Don’t go back and that way, they will not be able to make any money anymore. All the nuthouses and feeding farms will close down for lack of customers. Hey, Cyber Monday, no one’s home here!

Seriously, folks……

 

Facebook’s “popularity contest”-style was responsible for upvoting Alex Jones to the top of the heap

Call Alex Jones what you want. Fake news, sensationalist, Alt-Right. Read this article below carefully:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/04/alex-jones-infowars-social-media-ban

The article doesn’t focus so much on the ban on Jones, but why he got so popular to begin with. Note: He was a money-maker for YouTube also, wasn’t he? They kept him popular, pumped him with more and more views. They didn’t care if it was real or fake news.

We have to realize that like anyone else, occasionally, Alex Jones has a few worthwhile things to say. These are the things that suck you in. Then he feeds you unfounded bullshit. I don’t think he does it deliberately. I think he isn’t using sound logic in his broadcasts.

Come to think of it, Mike Adams is about the same. Notice he strays into unfounded nonsense too much of the time.

Which brings me to the issue of Fake News. What is Fake News?

“Hilary Clinton had twins yesterday!” If you’re talking about the same Hilary everyone else is talking about I suspect this is fake news. You’d have to supply more facts than just making this announcement. How do you know? What kind of evidence is believable? A press announcement? Photograph? Maybe you saw it on TV, but which show, which station, and does it happen to be April Fool’s Day? We are likely to categorize the twins announcement as “fake news” unless the major news stations and major papers are all in consensus. Proof. Why? We didn’t see the babies first-hand.

What if your neighbor has been away all month and comes home and tells you, “You’re not going to believe where I was. A psych ward! They’re not like you see in the media. There was no therapy. The staff slept all night and we were locked into our rooms. One guy was screaming down the hall because they kept him tied to a bed with straps for days!” What will you do with this news? Fake? Or real?

Just because you don’t read this stuff in the usual media, is it fake? Just because you are uncomfortable hearing your neighbor tell this story, is it fake?

Does such “news” need to be backed by “credible sources”? NOOOOO! Why?

Do you see the distinction between the Hillary news and the first-hand experience news? First-hand experience does not need “research” to back it up. You must consider the source, consider the circumstances, and try to be an objective listener.

Does a rape victim need “sources” to “prove” that she was raped? Does she need to back her claim with statistics and studies? Does she need a doctor’s signature? Endorsement of a university? NOOOOOO! She only needs her own story.

A victim of psychiatric abuse only needs her own story. She doesn’t need a doctor to prove she is right. She doesn’t need “studies” to prove such things are possible, and she doesn’t need to show “credible evidence” that such a thing ever happened to anyone else. She doesn’t need Facebook to back her up. She doesn’t need a consensus, either.

She needs to be allowed to tell her story like anyone else. A person doesn’t need to be a doctor to tell a credible, first-hand story about a psych ward. How much time do doctors actually spend on the wards, anyway? They spend five minutes with each patient. Some spend 20 minutes a week total on the ward and still make money off the patients’ insurance. How can they possibly have a clue? Having a medical degree does not make a person an authority on the subject, either. Hardly.

I don’t give a shit about Alex Jones. I don’t think fake news helps anyone, especially if he is going to pepper his fake news with real news. When he does that he discredits the people he is helping in the real news bits in his broadcasts.

Uses for Alexa

I was just thinking of uses for Alexa besides the privacy invasion we’re likely all worried about. Wouldn’t Alexa be useful for some people with mobility issues who couldn’t get insurance to cover other sorts of automation in their homes? “Alexa, unlock my door.” “Alexa, turn on the dishwasher.” “Can you turn down the thermostat please?” Wouldn’t that be an asset and mean not having to wait for someone else to do these things?

I like doing things for myself and would feel out of control if a machine did them. The ole delegation struggle…grrr… But I suppose if my life were different I might get used to such a thing. I grew up with a manual typewriter and shake-up milk, remember?

I think Alexa is already used for home security. But what about spying on the babysitter or mother-in-law’s home health aide just in case you’ve been worried?

“Alexa, who has been drinking my whiskey?”

I’m sure psychiatry has already gotten into the act, or, perhaps, BP, Big Pharma (okay, is using that term really a symptom of paranoia? Or does it just raise eyebrows?). The Medication Reminder.

“Bob, it’s time for your Abilify.”

Quickly, Bob says back to Alexa, “Alexa, please turn down your volume.”

“Bob, it’s time for your Abilify.” This time, two notches on the dial softer.

“Male voice, please.”

“Bob, you are three minutes late. Please take your Abilify or I am calling the cops.”

“Alexa can you turn down the thermostat another degree, please.”

“I said–”

If I didn’t have to work today I would continue this odd little fantasy. Imagine having an Alexa instead of a pet such as a dog or cat….Now that’s sickening. The thought of owning one of those things creeps me out.

Have a great day.