Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March 29th

Again, I'll feed my tirade about fathers. Why are fathers so frequently idiots? I speak as a man myself, but why are fathers stupid? I work with a lot of families and I frequently hear a father telling a child, in a raised tone of voice, "Don't you raise your voice to me." Obviously what he's modeling is not what he's telling the kid. So MAYBE, (slight chance) the kid will not raise his or her voice to the parental units, but then hollers at the sibling, etc. etc. etc.
IF, for some odd chance, you think that this is not stupid, I have also seen (literally seen, not heard a story about, but literally seen!) the following scenario play out:

DAD: "Do what I tell you to do."
Child: "But ..."
DAD: "DO IT NOW" (In a slightly raised voice)
child: "but..."
DAD: "I SAID DO IT!" (Flat out hollering)
someone else: "Why are you hollering?"
DAD: "I'm not hollering" (in a perfectly normal voice)

What the heck is going through this guy's head? Seriously! I have attempted to reason with these fathers. (As an aside, this is exactly what they continually want me to do with their children, but the child is unreasonable or will not listen to reason... Hmmmmm.) There is some thing put into their brains that has convinced them that they are completely and always right. I cannot fathom this kind of callous disregard for other people's intelligence.

This leads into another philosophy that I have. Everyone knows something better than I do. You, dear reader, might know how to make a leather wallet. You might now how to brew the perfect cup of coffee. You might know how to rewire a 1978 Chevy so that it gets an extra 12 horsepower. You might know where to find the most pocket change lost in the street in any given town. There is SOMETHING that you know better than I do.
I might THINK I know more about ABA and ASD than the average person, but how do I know that you are an average person in this regard? You could have been researching Autism for the past 20 years, and have finally burned out on it an just spend all of your time drinking good coffee and playing chess. You could be an auto expert or a computer genius, and your friends might never realize it!
My point is this: Everyone has value. Everyone is work knowing and befriending. Sometimes people are more difficult to befriend than others, but that doesn't decrease their value as a human being. I have found that some people others find very difficult, just need a little attention. I have been known to befriend "mean old ladies." Turns out they respond well to me because first I find out what they are interested in. I actually listen to what people have to say, and I share their excitement. Try this with your mortal enemy at work. Befriend them, get to know what they like. Find out what they are an expert in! You might think they are incompetant at work, and they might actually factually be incompetant. That doesn't mean that they are a bad person!


Sunday, March 18, 2007

google Analytics

Just signed up for the google analytics API. We'll see if it tells me anything I don't already know. As it stands now, no one is reading this blog. And why should they (you)? It's an uninteresting, semi-esoteric eclectic connection of thoughts and ramblings. The only people who will probably be interested in this are people who shouldn't read it for health reasons. (What those health reasons my be, I'll never let on... muahahahahahahaha!)

N-Ee-weigh. I'm hoping to get a podcast going sometime soon. That'll be linked here, perhaps google hosts podcasts? we'll see...


Thursday, March 8, 2007


I have recently decided to sell Shaklee products. For those of you who are not familiar with this brand, I will let you know a little more. Shaklee is a health company; that is to say that they are interested in making people healthier. They spend a lot of money in research and development of their products and really attempt to make a good product. They have products pertaining to cleaning, nutrition, weight management and pure air/water.
Why have I decided to sell this stuff? Where is the allure for me? Two years ago I bought a Shaklee air purifier. It is a $200 air purifier that will take care of a little room for a year. I have little money and little patience for frivolities, so why did I buy this thing? I borrowed one from a Shaklee rep and it made my car smell good.
I'll tell you a little about this car. It was a 1982 (or something) Buick Skylark. Before I had it, it had been in storage for several years. Apparently smoking teens and lonely rats had taken up residence in this auto. The smell was horrendous. I could not drive the car with the windows up. A Shaklee rep told me it would make the car smell better. I said, "Whatever... I'll try it." She loaned me a purifier for a week. I put this in my car around noon and took it out around 4:00pm to take it inside for a little while. After 4 hours my car was discernibly fresher. Actually, it was pretty darn good! I was sold. If that little mug-sized purifier could do that in my car... wow.
I talked to my wife and we scraped together the cash to buy one of these marvelous little devices. We put it in the bedroom next to my side of the bed. I have always had mild allergies which give me headaches and other weird things. Well, with this thing next to my bed I had few, if any, problems. Well, like all good things, the main unit wore out. I'm getting a replacement for it, but I can definitely tell that my health is suffering. I have constant phlegm and headaches of increasing intensity. I wanted to see what would happen if I didn't have that filter running. My quality of life is down as well as my energy levels and mood.
If a product can do that much for my life, I am definitely interested in distributing it and letting others know about it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


I love playing games. Not like anti-social games where I attempt to get other people to do things to cause damage to themselves. I hate those games. They're bad. I like socializing games. Games you play with other people and have fun. You know, the kind of games we used to play in the 80's!
I work with children who have autism, and I use these games with them. Primarily, I use two games right now, but I'm working on adapting some other games. I'll let you know about these two for now.
First, I use a game called Abalone (google it). It's described as "SUMO Chess." The game is very simple, but the strategies that can be used are very complex. At least, they can be complex. When I play with my clients, I use the game to reinforce concepts that we're working on. Things like not whining and not gloating. If the client starts whining, I play harder. Same thing if they start gloating. If they display appropriate social skills, I play easier. Since the like to win at everything, this is a good arrangement.
Second I use a game called Fluxx. Fluxx is game with constantly changing rules. This game allows me to check for a client's ability to adapt to changing rules as well as reading comprehension and working with abstract concepts. To win the game you have to focus on what you actually have in your hand as opposed to what you want to have in your hand.
These Diagnostic tools are unoffensive to the persons with Autsim. The kids look at these games without prejudice and they open doors into their worlds. Just as with regularly functioning adults, children with autism do not deal well with direct input. There is just something about telling these children something directly that puts up a barrier in their brains and does not allow them to accept it. If the information is presented indirectly, the likelihood that that information will pass into the processing centers without prejudice is greatly heightened.
This brings me to my next game to tackle. I want to develop (or rather modify) an RPG system in order to put it in use with my clients. We do a lot of role playing anyway, and I want to make it a game. If you are role-playing in a psychological setting, it is very structured. There is a right and a wrong answer; that is, there are answers I want to hear. In a game setting, there are no right or wrong answers, there are only consequences. You can always start a new character, but in the game world, you'll always suffer or thrive because of your choices. If you do something monumentally wrong in a RPG town, those people will always remember you. If you do something good, they will always remember. If you do evil in the town, or are just annoying, they will still remember. Perhaps you will be run out of town when you next attempt to visit. Perhaps you will be given a parade. It all depends on what you've done in that town to deserve your reputation.
In Autism, it is very difficult to understand results of social snafu's. This is my goal in RPG and autism: To help children understand the results of their actions.