Things getting a bit out of hand lately.

I’ve done a fairly good job of relaying my experiences lately, even if I’ve left out context and other things. Better to avoid that lest anyone gets into trouble.

Today though started as a normal day. I woke up at 5am. Sat in front of the computer messing around with cpu related overclocking stuff. Then I reviewed some chemistry stuff and added to notes. Later, I went to breakfast/lunch at Townhouse.

It was a normal lunch for the most part, until around the end. Then I started hearing what sounded like a young girl saying “Your hurting me! Stop!” over and over again. Then I heard “Either stop or get kicked out” from a manager or a waitress or someone.

I’ve been called “brave” more than once by therapists and just in general. Perhaps naively so. I remember a bar fight in Auburn, NY. One guy tried to body slam another dude through a window. They had already been kicked out, but that doesn’t mean the fight stopped. It was later on that I was told these dudes were MMA fighters or something. lol

Seriously though, my hallucinations are getting exponentially worse.

Tired… but, on the nature of being RUDE.

Just a bit of background (loosely worded to remove context). I was waiting in a truck for a friend to come back from the store when two guys come up next to me (or at least I thought was two guys). They were apparently renting a trailer, or a truck and a trailer.) Anyway, they come strolling by (I didn’t notice or even see or care about them), and the second guy, who’s severely lacking mental facility, goes “is he masturbating”? Now, I was cleaning my glasses at the time, so, I can see how this might’ve happened. Anyway, he kept on going so much as to call me rude. We were parked in the “Pro” spot (read: not a trailer spot). The other guy just blurted out “If you don’t get in the truck, I’m leaving without you” and that was the end of that. This dude was so serious (about what, I have no clue), that he was going to call the cops over…what? A parking space? I don’t even know if there was a second guy, this is how inane this gets. Most importantly, why in the hell would you call the police because someone parked in a parking space? This is what we’ve come to as a society. I’ll forgo the second example, lest I get my nuts cut off.

Probably the most valuable skill I have, is ignoring things like this in the heat of the moment. That’s not when things affect me. What DOES affect me, is after the fact when my brain starts to blur the image and suddenly the emotions come.

This is a very serious problem, but I’m ultimately quite aware of it and what happens when I am triggered in this way. I have a very serious mental illness. It is not a joke. Some have said, that if I keep getting Baker Acted they’re just going to lock me away (this was not from a doctor or other “reliable” source, fyi). I doubt that would happen very much. However, the thought of becoming psychotically enraged actually really scares me. At that point, it’s not about words anymore, or losing friends, or losing the effort of the last 10 years, or even about getting fired from a job with a half-brained boss. No, I’m not talking about suicide. You just have to “know” to understand, which is half the problem with mental health because 1) there is no consistency in mental healthcare (although, moving every 6 months doesn’t help), and 2) therapy is more important than medication (of which I take a LOT).

Topic one: Does not concern mental illness

They told me if I took classes full time, it would be 2 years to earn my second bachelors before I signed on for graduate school. Not just that, but since we’re approaching finishing this project, I would also be first author on a few papers, and co-author on a few more. As always, hurry up and wait.

It has taken roughly 10 YEARS to get where we are now, working between jobs on this project in the Bio lab. 2 weeks of the 15 week semester are already gone. At this point, I’ve got to polish things up and start data collection since that is how the next module will be tested. As of right now, it should be collecting data. We’re going to [try to] set up Remote Desktop access to the boxes and (if I’m right), we’ll have to figure out how to unblock the firewall preventing me from accessing my PC from home. I dunno what’s so important about blocking RDP, but they’ve locked things down tighter than Fort Knox over here.

Topic two:

I think I can honestly say, if I am well informed enough about a subject (which means most of the time I am not), I could argue about a topic for the rest of my life and never stop going on about it. Of course, that said, part of arguing, or rather, debating, as it might more appropriately be called, requires a lot of effort and insight, but also, it requires a specific skill: LISTENING. I like arguing and debating, I do not like being put on the spot, (or) just having a bunch of opinions dropped on my head and then told to beat it. That’s barely even an attempt at an argument! Arguments (at least in theory) should be based on fact or objective information: high quality information at that (RE: statistics). In the real world, emotions are treated as facts too, so you have to be careful what and how you say things. Other than that, there’s no rules. You CAN say whatever you want, you just have to consider where and how you say it. Like, for example, yelling “FIRE!” in a theater, would generally kill you (not literally, but you’d wind up imprisoned). I think you can see my point.

I’m going to add a clause to this: Racism, hate speech, anything about intolerance just in general, drug talk, covid19 is fake, whatever. Don’t associate with it. Why? I have a relevant example: On my server I have 13 years worth of email, circa 2007ish, with automated backups daily. That’s why. You can bet there is a lot of information out there that gets captured every day and you wouldn’t. even. know it.

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent. I speak in the context of civil discourse. Anything otherwise would just be verbal abuse, really. If that’s what you want, go listen to a (c)rap album. I think I spent 3 hours writing this post, so, goodnight.

When I should have quit, but didn’t.

Back in Maryland, I was busy working away on my tasks, when it started to strike me (pun intended?) that something rather odd was going on outside weather-wise.  There’s only one window in the lab I worked in.  By the time I realized it was raining sideways, it was too late to protect the thousands of dollars worth of keysight equipment sitting on the desk for myself and my colleague to use, not to mention, prototype units of the DUT.

So, of course, as you can imagine, I immediately started unplugging things.  There wasn’t even time to safely shut things down, they wen’t unplugged right then and there.  You can hear the sound of transformers arcing outside from who knows what.

I guess my supervisor didn’t care if lightning blew up our equipment or DUTS.  The test boxes were on loan from Keysight anyway, so why should he care?  I think otherwise.  If there’s no UPS, and you have no ability to discern the weather that is coming, you’re basically throwing away money.  Which is ironic, because typically people try to avoid that sort of thing, not the other way around.

I’m sure the building, or at least the lab, was on some sort of power protection.  A brown-out can still damage a power supply.  I know from experience that power supplies in test equipment usually have to have some of the tightest tolerances in a power supply you can manufacture.  Dirty power can and will result in poor quality of measurement, for a variety of reasons.

This particular storm knocked out power all over the place.  This must’ve been a major thing for Maryland, because here in Florida we tend not to have issues like this.

After my DUT had been vibration tested, it was now receiving the “Act-of-God” test, aka HiPOT in the most visceral way possible.

For my own sake, I should’ve recognized this as a red flag.  First, you can’t work when the power is constantly on and off again.  Even if you could attempt to boot your computer, the power would fail anyway.  Second, while I understand prototypes are of limited quantity, if you’re going to take a good DUT and do vibration testing on it, what and how am I supposed to be sure that the measurements I make in my prototype software yield reliable, repeatable, accurate results?  Third, the LabVIEW API we were using to talk to the hardware was essentially a SSH terminal hidden behind the scenes, so to speak.  SSH is not meant to be used like this.  I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t have used an RS232 port, or even a RS232 to USB adapter to talk to the linux console running on the SoC.  At least then, you don’t need to pay for an SSH API from a 3rd party company.  It’s not a perfect solution either, but then, neither is GPIB, so what else is new?  Perhaps, better yet, JTAG could come in handy, but I wasn’t responsible for that so I don’t know if JTAG was used.

Anyway, yeah.  That job was ridiculous, and all because it was under the pretentious guise that since they were paying for an expert (at doing FFTs in Excel), I should’ve been done with all the code and ensuring everything was polished up nicely in about 5-6 weeks time.  I’ve worked in manufacturing.  I know what goes on in these places.  You don’t just sit down, cruise through the code, and then expect everything to work right from the start.

Add in to this the random occasional condescending attitude (not just from my supervisor), and you have the makings of the most horrible job I have ever worked.  Even putting 50 lb bags of dog food on a shelf at Target was better than this.

06:35 < intp> let me think

IRC has played a major role in my life over the past…what…16 years now?  People have come and gone, but at the core of it all, there are a select few who’ve been around since the early days (including myself, relatively speaking).  I was different back then, in a lot of ways.

Here is a photo album put together by one of the network owners: https://www.flickr.com/photos/owlgames/sets/72157635869807546/ Most of the pictures in the album now consist of people who are long gone and probably never to return because they have moved on in life.  I, on the other hand, am going in a giant circle.  Back to square one.  It’s not been a waste, but it’s been a disappointment.  People need to learn compassion.

Anyway, it’s not just that #intp and the ECNet network attracts a wide variety of diverse people, but it has a very distinct culture to it that’s formed over such a long time.  In recent months, it’s gotten even stranger.  I don’t mind; in fact I fit right in, with the exception of one of the IRCops who (now) claims he has schizophrenia.  I thought he was bipolar, but I guess he changed his mind because he’s too much of an idiot to see a real psychiatrist, so he goes to see a quack instead.

About regrets

 

I don’t really regret anything in my life.  Most of my life has not been in my control.  If you don’t have control of the things you want or need and you don’t get them, regret isn’t the word I would use to describe that situation.

This song does a reasonable job of summing things up.  Chance.  I’m not saying life is just a game of statistics, but you can’t win if you don’t play.  If you do play, at least make sure you have a strategy first.

Everyday is Saturday

Finally switched PHP versions on the server, updated WordPress, removed unused themes as suggested, changed file permissions; everything is secure at least according to WordPress.

Had a taste of what my meds can do to me when they get messed up (again).  Only this time, I weathered the storm until bed time and then took ALL my meds at once (even the morning and evening dose of Geodon together).  I petty much slept through Monday but I was in 1000x better shape the morning after.  Really glad I didn’t drop classes.  All I’m taking this semester is Chem 1a and research.  So far, it’s looking like an easy semester.  I got my financial aid decision on Monday so I’m set to continue.

Edit (5/19/20): So I’ve let this draft sit for a bit.  I got even more financial aid, and I’m just dumb enough to take all of it.  Amazing how in 2 semesters I’ve already racked up as much debt as I had in 4 years of undergrad for my engineering degree.  That’s life I guess.  They wrap you in a blanket and strap you down so you can’t move and they roll you down a dark hall to your prison cell.

Chem 1a is easy.  Mostly unit conversions and density, states of matter, etc.  I guess I should read Chapter 1 of the book, but I already read it technically speaking.  I dunno.

Hopefully all this bankruptcy stuff is coming to an end…  It’s almost June.  My therapist got laid off.

I mean, seriously.  This is how the last 5 years of my career have gone.  Maybe I’m repeating myself.  After so much bad luck, we have to have a pandemic??  Go figure.  Life gets weirder every day.

Sample review: The Price is Right Losing Horns

I’m not really sure how to describe this one, other than if you’ve never seen The Price is Right, you should dig up an old VHS with an episode recorded onto it and watch.  I mean the old episodes with Bob Barker.  The stuff I used to watch on TV during the week while mom was in the shower or doing whatever.  Somehow I have quite vivid memories of this.

Anyway, this is a classic sample, and it popped into my head for no particular reason.  It’s perfectly fitting for the state of the world right now.  Lambert and Lambert gives this two middle fingers.  Do not pass go, collect your stimulus check anyway, proceed directly to debtors prison.

Some helpful advice: If you have managed to maintain your job, and you are lucky enough that you will keep it through this pandemic, remember the principle of dollar cost averaging.  Long term benefits of DCA are very real.  Also, sunscreen, but that’s another song, so we’ll leave that for later.

A Dream, Volunteering, Trying, yadda yadda

I had a dream last night that I got approved for disability.  The DE said they would make the decision some time in May, but with the way things are going, I’m not confident that will happen.  It’s been 6 months now since I’ve applied, and I applied with the help of an attorney.  My psychiatrist however, is overprotective.  Now that I’ve found a movement disorder specialist, I’m changing psychiatrists.  I have a therapist, and where I have therapy also does psychiatry, so it will be better to have both at the same location because the therapist and psychiatrist can share notes and communicate.  It’s a government run mental clinic, so when I lose my insurance I’ll still be able to continue treatment.  Thing is, my COBRA is $700 a month, and disability will probably be barely twice that.  I’ve been on COBRA so long now that it will run out soon.  Few more months.  Then I have to figure out what’s next.

Taking classes and volunteering at church put me in a situation where, from what I have read, means that I could be gainfully employed, perhaps just not as an engineer and/or making as much money as I was before.  Whatever the case, I’m (mostly) happy right now, but I am seriously reconsidering where I want this to go.  I feel like this is a major life decision.  I suspect however, that I have time to make this decision after I get my first disability determination.  Maybe I should call my lawyer tomorrow.   Regardless, I feel like this is a losing battle.

I am trying, legitimately.  I just don’t know if I’m going to shoot myself in the foot, if I haven’t already.  I’ve tried for the last 5, maybe 6 years only to wind up nowhere.   A beautiful collection of lies and fake friends, or worse, people who don’t even try to be friends and choke on a pea the very first day you meet them at lunch.

Then comes along a world pandemic…  I don’t even need a career for my life to be so bizarre, or to keep myself busy.

I need a surprise, something unexpected, something new.  You can’t live in the fear of something that might happen to you.

How the meds work

People don’t understand how meds work.  Quite frankly, I don’t really either.  No, really, it’s a mystery.  It’s a mystery to even the best psychiatrists.  All meds are slightly different, for the most part, but have the same general effect.  However no two people are alike, so the physical symptoms that arise alongside different meds will be different.

I crashed again this morning.  This is a perfect example of WHY even the right meds, which can take years to find, still leave you with holes in your life that will never be filled.  They say meds are only part of the picture, the rest is therapy.  Even therapy can lead you down a dark path, because one’s interpretation of symptoms might be different from another’s, which can lead to misdiagnoses.  I got good sleep last night, I even went to bed early.  But around 10am I fell asleep and I’m just now getting out of bed around 7pm.

The medication keeps you stable, but your symptoms are constantly in a state of flux.  Some days are good days, some days aren’t.  The good days, you could get by without your meds, at least in theory (but never stop your meds without talking to your doctor).  The bad days you just gotta suck up and lie in bed all day and try not to think about anything negative.  The meds can’t eliminate bad days completely, they just make you have fewer of them.  Your illness is still there, just around the corner, ready to remind you of its presence.

Odd day…

I woke up around 1am, probably because I hadn’t taken my night meds.  I wound up not taking them and just staying up.  I was waiting for the squall of storms to pass.  I enjoy thunderstorms, I enjoy Florida summers which have lots of storms.

When it finally started to rain around 6:15am, I stopped what I was doing on my computer and went to lie down in bed.  This time around, it was not much of a storm.  Except for one, really close strike that sounded like a bomb went off.  A good morning to be thankful I’m not homeless.  I don’t know where the homeless people around here go, anyway, but if you’re going to be homeless in any of the 50 states, Florida is probably the best option.

Despite what you would think, there are some very helpful resources at the University which oversee the student body and make sure everyone stays safe, secure, and happy.  It seems a bit ominous, but my experience has been positive, especially now that I am connected with a therapist.  I’ve never done well with therapy, at least group therapy anyway.

This blog actually juts out like a sore thumb, I’d better be careful and cautious about what I write here.  This world is trigger happy.  Everyone has their emotional support dog.  I just have my cat, who is now an outdoor cat, and who sleeps during the day and goes out all night long.  Kinda sounds like me.

I need to write notes on what to talk about with my therapist.  There’s a lot going on right now.  I could stare at a blank wall for hours and never get bored with my own thoughts.

One thing is for sure, though… Wherever I go in my career change, as a result of going back to school, I will not leave Orlando.  Something’s on my mind and it’s bothering me.