Posted by Raul on September 21, 2013
With a big hail storm on September 14th in the area where I live, the roof in my house was damaged and water was able to get in uninvited. Because of the incline of the roof, and being the enclosure the lowest point, all the water ran into the enclosure ceiling and proceeded to create an amazing indoor rain.
I was at work at that time, so my son took pictures and the video below.
We were fortunate though; so many people lost their houses and others became isolated or evacuated, and there were even deaths! This really was one of the biggest storms in Colorado, or at least the one that did more damage.
For us is about to wait for the insurance company to call and send an adjuster to begin the construction of a new roof, while paying only the deductible; the claim is already done. We really got it easy compared with others!
So far we had a week of dry weather and it suppose to remain like that, so for most people it’ll be the opportunity to collect themselves and move forward, while for us it’ll be going back to work in all the steps in this crazy project of the enclosure. The exterior is already done, so next week would be the time to start the electrical (lights, switches, outlets, wiring, etc.), to then finish the interior.
I’ll keep you posted
Posted by Raul on September 6, 2013
I’ve heard many times that children and young adults have it so easy these days compared with us, the older generation (I’m 51). That it is a shame how they waste all the opportunities new technology brings them.
Thirty to forty years ago there were no cell phones, no internet, no computers, no ipads, etc. Records were very expensive when it came to own music, and all the information had to come from heavy encyclopedias and visits to the library. We lived sort of isolated in our own towns or cities.
Although the number of alternatives for us was much reduced, it also meant less stress when having to make a decision. Life was simple and straightforward. There was no room for dreaming big or about many possibilities when it came to profession and/or work. It was mostly about what was available around within the same town or city. Jobs were about doing something for the money to be able to get married and buy a house to repeat our parent’s lives, and not about reaching dreams, fame or fortune. We didn’t have to become important in society; just being a nice kid in the neighborhood would do it.
But today, the amount of elements a child has to deal with everyday is overwhelming! Not only when it comes to toys and games, but also when related to study materials and working tools. There is so much information available now that it is difficult to know what is useful and what is not, but even worst, what is true and what is false!
When the time comes to decide what to do with one’s life there is so much influence from TV, movies, internet, etc that at one hand is good to have the chance to choose from an extremely bigger list, but at the other makes the choice very difficult. We had trouble choosing between vanilla and pineapple when it came to ice cream…can you imagine how it must be for a sixteen years old kid having to choose between so many professions that can be available today?
And today kids are no longer limited to find a job in the neighborhood but the whole world can be considered! Also it can be a profession from cashier at the corner store, to all the many (and looking a lot more interesting) professions shown on TV programs and movies, like CSI detective, artist producer, movie director, actor, singer, dancer, even peace corp person or environmentalist, etc, etc; all things that were inexistent or completely out of the question in our time.
With so many opportunities at hand it’s no wonder children today become confused and keep changing from one idea to the next, and so many times end up nowhere and just landing any job for the so needed money for all the elements that has to be owned nowadays; becoming trapped in the cycle of generating to consume, with no end or escape.
And is not that a child could choose to live the old fashion way. Since living and striving in society implies socialization, a child cannot stay away from all the newest technology, movies, clothing and general trends that exist at his/her time without loosing the valuable connections required to obtain a place in modern society. He/she has to know about the latest movie and song in the radio in order to have a place in youngster’s conversations, and also has to carry some of the newest technology in order to “belong” with his/her peers. Unfortunately the division line between the honest and real need to carry the latest technology in order to pertain, and the desire of using the latest technology as the base for identity, differentiation from others, and self assurance reinforcement is very thin, difficult to identify and too easy to cross.
We didn’t have many choices in our time, but it also meant simplicity; we lived a simpler life. Today children have the advantage of a huge range of possibilities, but with it come the overwhelming confusion of having to make decisions without having experience yet, and I’m always surprised when I see parents that ask from their children to make decisions and start living their life in modern society at the age of eighteen, just as they did forty years ago, disregarding the huge differences that exist between the two so different times.
Posted by Raul on August 30, 2013
It’s been a while since I posted for the last time, and I’ve received several letters from people asking if I’ll keep posting or if I’m out of blogging.
What happen is that I’ve been really busy with home improvement projects that make the days go by like minutes! And there is no end in sight yet!!
What I’m doing is creating an enclosure to a roof behind the house, in the backyard. The idea is to make the area useful year round by being able to heat it up in winter and cool it down in summer. Below you can see several pictures of the area before and after (so far), but there are still lots to do, like the electric, water, inside siding, finishing the floor and the ceiling, etc.
(If you click the picture it’ll open alone and bigger, and if you click it again it’ll open it huge!)
I’ll try to keep posting in between wooden panels and nails, but I’m sure it won’t be too often since I want to get this project done before winter arrives (I haven’t even been able to watch The Bridge past the fourth chapter!).
So thank you to all of you who worried and sent me a letter asking, and please be patient while I try to get out of this mess I got myself into! And be assured that I’ll keep the blog active, especially now that it reached half a million visitors. It might not be much for a professional blogger, but for me is very rewarding.
Posted by Raul on August 16, 2013
So far I’ve seen five episodes of The Bridge and I like the TV series, but I’m not so sure about how the writers are presenting Asperger’s to the public. Diane Kruger seems to be doing a great job, but the script is not so accurate when it comes to Asperger’s.
For example, we aspies do like to go by the rules, but not to the point of letting someone die (the ambulance with the patient with heart attack). Also, if rules are important for us, having sex with a stranger would be going against the rules of caution and moral.
We might be too direct when talking, but with years we learn that we should “lie” to be polite because that is what’s expected and promotes smooth relations at work and everywhere.
It seems to me the writers are presenting more a woman with double personality instead of someone with Asperger’s. She is very normal; dark; focused; professional, and then suddenly she becomes like a stereotypical blonde that, with a lighted face, straight sitting or standing, and a lighter voice, say something completely out of logic that suppose to be the “Aspie” part of the show.
So far people can form the idea that Aspies are close minded; follow rules even if that can cost someone’s life; are sexually loose, completely impolite and with total disregard for other’s feelings and well being.
Yes, there are characteristics of Asperger’s in Sonia Cross, the Aspie character, but the way is presented seems to me that works more like the comic relief of the episode rather than a serious presentation of what Asperger’s is, how it affects us, and how normal people can get to understand and accept us more.
So my criticisms are for the writers and not to Diane as an actress; I think she does a great job, but as Diane pointed out in an interview: “writers on TV are gods”, and I’m sure they are more interested in keeping the show alive rather than advocating for Asperger’s people; and if to keep the show alive they need to use Asperger’s as the comic relief of the show (that is already violent and graphic enough), they will do it.
Now, let me explain you something about Asperger’s.
For an Aspie, our reactions to situations are completely according to that situation, just like a normal person would have an according reaction to the same situation. The problem is that we have our brains wired in a different way, so our perception of the surroundings and that situation is different from that of a normal person, so logically, we have a different reaction. Now, if you see an Aspie reaction to a given situation, it’ll look completely strange compared with your typical reaction, and if you don’t know the other person is an Aspie, or if you don’t know the differences between a normal person (you) and an Aspie, his/her reaction will look to you very strange (to say the least).
Even between two normal people; one might feel the ambient temperature is too hot, when for you it might be too cold, and if the other person runs to turn ON the AC, you would thing that person must be crazy. That is what can happen between two normal people; imagine what could happen between a normal person and an Aspie!
Bellow is a quick drawing I did to try to explain the differences. As you can see, a normal person and an Aspie have reactions according to their brain wiring.
(Click in the drawing to make it bigger)
(Click again to make it huge!)
You can see in the drawing that there are common traits between both, but there are also differences in brain wiring and so in perceptions, reactions, etc. which means there will be different reactions to the same situation, and if you only consider the reactions but not the brain wiring, or said in a different way, if you expect the other person to have your own typical reactions without considering the possibility that the other person might have a brain wired in a different way, you will think the other person must be crazy! Why is that person doing something so stupid; or illogic; or completely out of context.
Since Asperger’s is not a sickness but a “condition” (I disagree with that and I’ll explain why in another post), we do learn with time (like any normal person) to adapt our behavior to prevent confrontation. Just like a kid that used to make tantrums all the time can retain his personality when becoming an adult, but will learn to control that behavior and become a “normal” person, we also learn with time that people like and need to be said “hi” when starting a work’s day and like and need to be talked to throughout the day, and also learn to lie when we don’t like something and just say is fine.
In other words, with time we adapt to “normal” behavior, so it is very upsetting to see that the writers of the series present Sonia Cross as an Aspie who remains as a child in that aspect, forgetting (or avoiding) that we Aspies are basically normal people that live in a different spectrum, rather than being normal people like everyone else, and that have weird reactions.
In my opinion the writers are using Asperger’s as a way to have a comic relief in the TV series rather than showing a real Aspie and how they can be an important addition to society. With the way the character is presented people would consider an Aspie a problematic person rather than a possibility of a different approach to the same problem and that could bring a wider perception of the whole. If the trait of Sonia Cross is a very focused dedication to her work, that is not perceived with the dedication shown by Marco Ruiz, the other detective.
So I like the TV series as an entertaining program, but I completely disagree with the way Asperger’s is presented to the public. In my opinion it’ll bring only more distance between normal people and Aspies, while creating a bad image of what an Aspie really is.
At first I thought that this TV show could be an opportunity for my co-workers to learn more about Asperger’s and get to understand more why I am the way I am, but now no way I’ll tell them that I have Asperger’s because with the way Asperger’s is presented in this show, I could loose my job!
Posted by Raul on August 5, 2013
One of the characteristics of an Aspie is to keep things the same, so there is stability and simplicity, which makes life easier by having less worries to deal with.
At lunch time in my job I always have a home made ham sandwich. It’s been two years now and every day it is a ham sandwich prepared the same way.
At lunch time I just go to my vehicle and, while writing in the computer seated in the passenger seat (as the picture above shows), I have my sandwich and enjoy being away from people and the worries and problems of dealing with them.
By having exactly the same everyday I don’t have to worry about the differences a different meal brings in many aspects. For instance, I know how my lunch is going to taste; I know the flavor, the texture and how full I’ll be after having it. Also I know what my body reaction will be after that, and so there’ll be no changes in routines due to a meal that wasn’t received well by the stomach (as it happens some times to my colleagues).
Most people would get bored by having exactly the same lunch every working day for two years, but for me is a mood lifter to know what my lunch is going to be, especially when the day is not going very well, so I just think of the coming lunch break and what lunch is going to be, and the feeling of going back home to my inner world, away from people, by the act of having my very well known ham sandwich, helps me feel relaxed again, and the world around doesn’t affect that much anymore.