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I've gone through this semester and it's been okay so far, with a small complication with database management. Again, this is one of those courses that provides useful information, but falls outside of my main focus area. At least some programming-like stuff is involved. I just wish we would get to it faster and not spend so much time on the less useful "theory." I don't know if I'm ever personally going to need to know about 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Normal forms. How to fix SQL errors is something that is needed. At least we have written *some* SQL. I don't understand the teacher's like of the Visio product, but I'm sure her methods are useful for visual learners. (I am not a visual learner.)

I am having one problem that comes partly from carelessness and that's with the Linux server administration class. I am not bad at using Linux, but my grades so far do not reflect that. Part of the issue is the teacher's insistence on using fill in the blanks for online tests. It doesn't work for a class where there are about 3 right answers to everything!  I've pointed out some examples where I had a question right to her but the quiz software marked it wrong. I have not heard back from her about it.

As for routing and switching, I need to be careful of my  resentment of this class. Every networking class I have to take is only offered at night and I need this class broken up into smaller chunks.  It's also annoying that they offer it at a time when you can't ride the bus home, which is useful for someone who doesn't currently have their own vehicle. I don't know if it's offered online, but I know I wouldn't want to take it online. It'd be even worse than the one economics class I took that was offered at night.

As far as everything else goes, I spent last Saturday putting together a new computer. It's finally up and running.  I hurt for a few days afterwards and I was surprised by how much sweating I did when putting it together. I think this was just my chronic illness reminding me that I still have it.  I can almost forget sometimes, but that's mostly due to medication and not overdoing things. 

As for Borderlands, I can't see why people like it so much. It's a lot of unnnecesary coordination manuevers. Fallout with its VATS system is far superior, but to each their own.  

I've also encountered a game called Space Engineers, which seems to be Minecraft in space. It's still in beta, but I liked the basic concept, which is using a lot of actual physics and real engineering concepts to build things. It also seems to be set up to be a lot that you can do.  I do wish the "tutorial" missions were not so combat-oriented, and instead focused on building a base. I suppose, like Minecraft, it will develop a dedicated fan base. Minecraft, however, is written in Java and can run on many different computer types. Space Engineers is written in a completely different language.

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 I am up after sleeping a few hours for the second night in a row. I don't think it's a matter of me not getting enough sleep. I think it's just a matter of my sleep patterns being interrupted, and I can only blame myself for this. I shouldn't have gotten so caught up in the Fallout storylines, and shouldn't have thought about the way they treat the non-feral ghouls as being a statement for racism, or my live for K-L-E-0 being an anti-trans joke that backfired on the developers. (But don't worry, she only tests the weapons she sells on people that deserve it.)  It would be nice if there were more of an option for a more pacifist run, which you *can* do in Fallout New Vegas.  

In any case, I hope I can get back to sleep tonight. I've avoided playing video games tonight to try to reset my system clock, but it's not that easy. It might be easier if I were not know in front of my computer. But it seems that once again, I'm seeing the Trump administration and its continued failures at being compassionate human beings. I suppose the latest problem is the administration trying to end DACA. I just don't see the point of punishing the children for the actions -- or crimes if you want -- of the parents. The children had no choice. It's like punishing humanity forever or at least for thousands because two people ate an apple they weren't supposed to.  It's tempting to blame this on Mike Pence's influence, but I don't believe even Mike Pence is that terrible of a person. His boss, on the other hand, is definitely as bad as he seems to be.

I am getting back in the swing of things, but I have to admit I didn't do as well on a routers and switching test tonight as I would have liked. It's true I'm not interested in computer networking, but it does have some relevance for a server administrator. I think one of the classes should be replaced with C for people on the Linux path, since knowing more Cisco IOS commands isn't all that useful.  (Not Apple iOS. They are completely different things. Cisco IOS came about first.)  Laying cables will have to be a task left to someone else. I also dislike that these courses are only offered at night so I can't ride the city bus back home even if I wanted to.

Now, well, to the person worried that it's a video card problem on their Mac -- it's actually possible, but I wouldn't start with fixing that option.  But if the air duster doesn't work, it'd probably be a good idea to take it to an Apple store. It could be a problem with the power supply  or the cpu fan. 

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 http://acecake.news/index.php/2017/09/08/111/

I'm just going to link to it.  I've seen all the arguments over the past few years. While I don't like taking down confederate statues (I support putting up plaques reminding eveyone that they were put up as a racist statement during the Jim Crowe era), I am even more sick of people who think that their right to free speech resolves them of any responsibility for their actions.

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Me: [Takes fan to bedroom, plugs it in and turns it on]
Roommate: But it's not hot out tonight
Me: So?
Roommate: But it's in the high 40s.
Me: I am  sweating.  I'm not directing the fan towards you.


Also, I've seen some of my notes this year. I've been using a pen and a mechanical pencil designed to have a thicker stock. My writing is much clearer with the thicker pencil. I suppose I canh have an easier time with somethings if I acknowledge there's a disability presence.


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I'm not sure why. I hope it's just my thyroid hormones being slightly off.  I had thought it was pushing myself through finals. 
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Ever since my politics have swung a bit more to the left after seeing how people in my situation are treated, I seem to be getting interrupted a lot more by the roommate before I can finish the point.  Oddly, this happened to me in my Everquest II guild when speaking with someone who believed Alex Jones offered real news.

And sadly, there are some good points in the Google employee's manifesto, but he tried to make it about diversity and sexism, when he had ideas that Google might have been willing to try if he hadn't made it an "us vs them issue." Sadly, now that he's put his paper out there on the Internet, he's destined to become a hero of MRAs and the alt-right when at first he merely had a more conservative position
 
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There's one more week left in the summer semester. My pain levels are slightly higher, as they usually are when the classes are winding down. I have the stress of the two finals I have left. CompTIA A+'s certification test is the most important one for me. I'm sure my biology teacher would be disappointed to hear this, but I've figured out that a lot of what I learned in High school biology no longer applies. It's not just that it's paired down. It's that a lot has changed.  But, this is entirely okay, I took the class to update my knowledge of biology and because the class interested me. I'll keep the textbook and tried to read it again when I have time. I'm afraid I couldn't learn as much in a summer class as I should have. The pacing is too fast.

However, that's not what is on my mind. I've been thinking about my bizarre relationship with Otherkin. Before I learned that this group existed, I held the belief that I have a female spirit and that was the cause of my gender identity issues. When I learned what Otherkin believed, I dropped the idea because I was embarrassed by it. I was even more embarrassed when they claimed they were the only people who could understand what transgender people were going through. I did not want to associate myself with people who believed that they had the soul of a dragon, a werewolf, a vampire, or a Tolkeinesque elf.  It was even more embarassing when the Lord of the Rings came out and some of these people said the depictions of the elves matched their memories from their Elven lives.

My belief about my gender identity came from my Mormon background, where we have spiritual as well as physical bodies. It made sense to me that, for whatever reason, god would sometimes put a female spirit into a male spirt or vice versa. If you want to believe god is perfect and does not make this sort of mistake, you can shift the burden of blame to his angels. Some people reconcile this by saying god didn't make a mistake. Such placements, when they occur are deliberate.  Like many people, I wanted a cause for my suffering. It's easier to tell yourself that god is testing you when you hold beliefs like I did. (Mormon theology holds that life is a test, after all.)

If pressed on this issue in public, I would not admit to holding this belief for the reasons state above, but like it or not, it is an explanation that dovetails nicely with Mormon belief. It also dovetails nicely with what Otherkin believe.  This does not mean I am Otherkin; I associate this, -- rightly or wrongly -- with people who believe they have the soul of mythological creatures.  I also no longer hold the Mormon beliefs about the pre-existence.

Taoism offers a better explanation for this, although modern science offfers the best one. The two dovetail with each other. I am transgender because of natural processes that occurred within my mother's womb that caused my brain to develop differently from my body.  As someone whose gender fits neatly into the gender binary, I can at least fall back on this. I do not know if agender people will have a similar explanation or not later.

All of this may be interesting, but what I believe is not the important issue here. It's how I react to what other people believe. For a while I wondered if Otherkin suffered from a mental illness. I used to worry about it. (This makes sense if you know my history and understand the time when I fist encountered the Otherkin belief system.)   Eventually, I came to the conclusion that as long as the vampires otherkin aren't killing and drinking the blood of others and the werewolves aren't actively hunting down their prey, that these beliefs were harmless. This is how I'm dealing with multiples right now, or at least how I am trying to understand them. There's no harm in saying that I do not understand multiples right now. The belief that they are inhabited by multiple individuals isn't much different from me recognizing thoughst as coming from different parts of myself. The only real difference is that I never felt the need to give these parts a name.  Strangely, I've not felt that there are different parts of myself any more. Perhaps this is a side effect of transition.  I'm no longer fighting between how I present myself to the world and how I feel about myself on most days. Perhaps it is not.  Multiples who do not harm themselves or others should not be a concern for me.   If they are wrong, they have committed no worse crime than being wrong.  Heaven knows we've all done that.

P.S. I still believe in spirits and that spirits have gender. I just don't believe in the Heavenly procreation narrative the Mormons push.  

Fallout

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:24 pm
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
I could not think of any other title for this post. The only thing that involves Fallout in my life is a certain video game I've been playing. I'm still in a good mood. A lot of things have gone well.  I'm even coming up on the end of the semester. It will be nice to take the three week break before the fall semester starts. I certainly could use it at this point.  I don't know if I'll ever have the chance to take three college courses over the summer again, but if I do, I'll have to remember not to make that option.

As far as the social security decision, I am waiting for it to come in the mail. I do not know how long this will take, and I've been checking the mailbox every day. It seems like there has been no mail delivered for the past week and a half. I am starting to wonder why we have not gotten mail in this period, but I should relax. It's not unusual to have periods without mail.

In my spare time, I've been doing things like this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsWorIK--gA&t=2s


I'm sorry if this seems dull. It's just that there's a lot going on in my life right now, but there aren't the sort of things that are interesting to write about. 
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 I actually want one of these....

[A rusty blue mini refridgerator.  The words Nuka Cola Quantum are emblazoned on the front.)



The first part of the A+ certification test is today. I wish I were better prepared for it. I'm pretty sure I know the material, with the exception of memory speeds and anything involving laser printers, but I think TestOut's prep tests just love asking questions about laser printers, and they aren't a major part of the certification test.    The second part is next month.  You need to pass both tests to get the certification I'm a little nervous. (It's a bit more useful than the PC Pro certiification I already have.)

I have enjoyed parts of the Steam summer sale. I managed to pick up Red Alert 3, Final Fantasy VII, and Bioshock 2.  I had Left for Dead 2 from a previous Steam sale, but I find that one a little confusing..

Anyway, I just wish it didn't take so long to do anything in Fallout 3, although I do approve of the code that makes every character in Fallout 4 essentially pansexual. (And fortunately, the developer's one attempt at an extremely transphobic joke backfired on them.)






sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 The main character of the origianl Bioshock is linguistically programmed to do whatever the villain asks him to do so long as he prefaces it with the phrase, "Would you kindly?"  (E.g., Would you kindly go kill Andrew Ryan, the Ayn Randesque creator of Rapture?) It has now become common practice in this house that if one of us wants the other to do something we preface the request with ths same phrase.   So far, it seems to work, too.

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 I've had a busy few weeks, and this is understandable.  I think I've complained about this enough and everyone knows the reason why. I'll just have to make sure I don't do this again in the future. I do not think I need to go over all of this again.

Cathy had a migraine today. I've put up with her crankiness, in part because I understand what being in a lot of pain is like, even if I don't understand migraines from the perspective of a migrainesufferer.  I doubt I ever will, but the fact that I never will  understand what she's going through when she has one comes down to quirky genetics.  (Ironically, this is the biology chapter I am on at the moment.)  Because she needed a nap and some rest more than anything else, I went out this evening and had some fun at a local table-top gaming store. I should have spent the time doing homework, but I've been stressed out lately and getting some fun in was much needed.  I even managed to study some biology.

While I am still annoyed at the broken Dell laptop screen and their lack of customer support, I managed to get a new IdeaPad from Lenovo.  (It has replaced a ThinkPad made by IBM I owned several years ago.  It has a fair amount of graphics power compared to my other systems, and it might be good for non-strenous gaming. I'm not too sure about this, however. Gamergaters showed the dark underbelly of this hobby, and they have left a bad taste in my mouth. I should not let them prevent me from doing something I enjoy.  The one thing that might stop me from a lot of games is my poor hand-eye coordination.) 

Next week is midterms, and I will be busy. I have to do a lot of practice tests for the CompTIA A+ hardware exam. All of this culminates in the test. When this week is done, the next four weeks of the class are spent on the software portion of the test. I'm not looking forward to either of them.

All in all, it was just nice for a little break. I hope Cathy is feeling better tomorrow.   

I think I had something introspective to post tonight, but I seem to have forgotten what this was.  Maybe I will remember it later.

Also, I need to add "Oxygen not Included" to my Steam wishlist.





 




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It may be my roommate's house, but she should at least make the effort not to  listen to alt-right racist YouTubers so loudly.
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 I have learned a new rule in this house. When a movie has an obvious flaw in physics, I am supposed to listen with intent interest while my roommate, who has a bachelor's in physics, breaks down the problems with the physicis in excruiciating detail. If I find out that a movie that has excellent physics but poor biology, I am supposed to be quiet about these scientific errors and not explain them to her in excruciating detail.

As much as I like Interstellar, the movie could have spend more tiime to try to get some of the details about biology right, including trying to work out its blight so it worked a little better. The viewer is supposed to believe that whatever the blight is, it is reducing the oxygen in the air within several human generations. While early bacteria did cause a similar atmospheric change on the early Earth when they evolved to perform photosynthesis, it took place over millions of years and not a few generations. It's a darn good thing they did, too, because these early bacteria started releasing free oxygen into the atmosphere.

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This isn't really much. I came to this conclusion a while ago since my bed is simply a mattress on the floor, and it's right behind my roommate's bed. 

I just need a space I can retreat to that meets my needs. She has her space the way she likes it.I've already considered the idea of buying a shed, making some modifications to it, and putting it in the backyard. This shed modification idea is impractical for many reasons. I'm not sure the "she shed"  idea involves environmentally-friendly electricity-generating modifications to run your computing equipment.  (Screw the she shed idea. I'm going to call it the nerd's nook.)

I've also come to another conclusion. I care about keeping my house as clean as possible. (I am not a great housekeeper. Please do not get the idea that I am.) Doing what little cleaning I can will make me feel better.

Note to self:  See if you can figure out why some of the dishes you wash always seem to be greasy afterwards. Thank goodness we have a diswhasher.

I think I've gotten back up to the second tier of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.



sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 First, someone telling you you might be dyslexic was not meant to be an insult.  Do not respond to it that way, even if you subconsciously took the comment that way. This is a bit of ableism on your part. Even you, yourself, Lara, are thinking that your writing career will not go any further than it has.You're also burned out when it comes to doing certain types of writing. 

Now, it's time to take some time to calm down a little bit. Last night, I read that the FCC voted to overturn key parts of net neutrality. I also saw that the vote was mostly along party lines. Strangely, most people who are Republicans and understand net neutrality think it's a good idea.  It keeps telecommunications companies from chargine more for higher data speeds.  It also lets small time bloggeers become big if they work at it. (I'm not sure I can keep up with all the work required any more. I certainly cannot do it while attending college classes.)  

Even though every single poll shows that the American peopple overwhelmingly favor net neutrality, the big business interests appointed to the head of the FCC and the Republican members of the committe voted with them. With right-wing talk radio hosts like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh continually spreading misinformation about what net neturality is. They actually believe getting rid of net neutrality would promote free speeh.  

It is disturbing that a number of Republicans would believe such a lie, or vote against the will of the people simply to line their pockets. It is disturbing, but it is not surprising.  Is American tech education so poor that they think letting Verizon, Google, and other large companies prioritize data traffic based on how much someon can afford is a good thing?  The big companies are doing this so they can stay big! They don't want competition.

If I can easily spot such poor tehnical education, that does not bode well for how much our politicians know about science. The National Academy of Sciences has failed in its mission to keep politicians informed about issues. The United States's corporatism now means that actual facts are ignore, and a variety of "alternative facts" become accepted by many people.

I was livid last night when this news came across my radar.  I hope I've remaind calm in this post.



sinisterporpoise: (Default)
No one should be surprised by this. Coordination problems are common in Autistics and people with EDS.

I'm not sure how I should feel about being beat at a video game by someone who has been legally blind since birth.  I'm happy for her of course.(I also have no idea how much she can actually see. I only know that this particular vision problem is something that runs in her family.)

I've set this to public so anyone who feels the need to call me out for this post can do so.
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
The title of this post does not report any facts. It's just a line that came from a series of bizarre, vivid dreams I had the last night of Finals Week.  I didn't get much sleep and woke up every hour and a half or so. I have to admit that I am feeling a lot better than I was. There's still a small level of background pain, but I'm not too stressed.  I'm certain I've passed all my classes and I received the lowest grade in quantitative reasoning.

It's also been a difficult month or so to get through. I knew going back to school would be tough, but I also know if I can't handle a full time work load, returning to the work force is out, if that is my goal. The difficulties of this month caused me to engage in introspection and reflection. It also reaffirmed why I don't like the OSI networking model or computer networking much in general.  At least computer networking is related to my career field.

First, I can be reasonably certain I do not have dyslexia.  I did wonder about this, but the errors I make are errors common in many first drafts. This is why editing and revision are so important.  It's also why I'm not big on freelancing for a penny a word any more. If someone wants me to waste my time and limited energy doing something that is not an unskilled task for low pay, they better have a reason beyond wanting to make a profit.  As for dysgraphia, it remains a possibility given some of the mistakes I've made on the quantitative reasoning tests, it remains a possibility. Dyscalculia remains on the table despite my roommate's disbelief in it.  (And to be fair, missing the first 7 homework assignments in quantitative reasoning did not help. This, at least, was purely my fault for not reading the syllabus.  I had to work damn hard to get a C after that.) I consider these blog posts to be a free writing exercise. Free writing involves no revision or error correction. Even if I do have dyslexia, it would not prevent me from writing professionally again. It just means I'd have to work harder. (Piers Anthony is dyslexic.)

The end of the semester is not the only stressor removed from my life. I also had Nelnet discharge my student loads because I am, according to their ruling, "totally and permanently disabled."  It still seems weird to me to be celebrating getting that news, but it's something I knew a couple of years ago.  It's silly that I have to have the government continually affirm what I already know.  However, I'm more happy that the student loans were discharged than I am  about the Department of Education agreeing I am disabled.

Also, I finally heard from the person who will be representing me at my hearing. I have slightly more confidence in the firm now, but I still keep hearing they have a reputation for screwing up what should be easily won cases. I have no idea if my case is easily won or not. I know that my comparatively young age works against me, but the lawyer was surprised that the social security doctors had limited me to sedentary work.  I also hope he gets my point about the treatment being ongoing physical therapy taking time out of the work day frequently for my EDS. (Now, if he can get the paperwork that confirms the EDS diagnosis.)  The only thing I worry about is the constant nagging from my lawyer's office may become a source of stress in the days leading up to my hearing.

On a final note, this Sunday is Mother's Day.  My mother and I had a distant relationship at times. I had a completely different worldview and she was a very hands-off parent even during her lucid moments. The greeting card industry's insistence on celebrating this holiday will make the next few days a bit harder than they need to be. During the last year of her life, my mother spent the entire month of May in a psychiatric ward at Geisinger Hospital in Danville. She became even more distant after that, and was placed on partial hospitalization by court order.  I didn't know what else to do other than try to force her to get help at that time.  I'm not going to question the actions I took  I'm not sure I would have acted differently now, although I might not have involved the police to deal with someone suffering from a mental illness. I realized that even though it seemed unfair at the time, it was a problem I had to deal with.  My mother didn't know who was really on her side and who was not.  

I suppose this is why I still occasionally wonder about schiozphernia or schizoaffective disorder, but so far, I don't show many of the symptoms. (Other than a history of raging asexuality, which as my readers should know, is more about pathologizing asexuality than it is about being a sign of a mental illness.)

sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 The near week of feeling tired and drowsy seems to have lifted for now. I still have 3 more finals to get through, but not having to deal with an unrelieved background level of tiredness will help.

Busy day

Apr. 28th, 2017 11:58 pm
sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 In the past two days, I have walked over a mile to get to a bus stop, had an appointment with the hand specialist, completed my quantitative reasoning project, attended my Linux class, did two Linux labs, did the two tests for Linux, went to a physical therapy appointment, and cooked dinner for tonight. I also went to Wal-Mart, although this was unexpected. I still have some quantitative reasoning homework left to do.  

It may not seem like it, but I am tired. After napping tonight, I only woke up more tired. There is something I am wondering about right now after worrying about something else. Clearly, my experiences with my mother's death traumatized me. I've never questioned this. One doesn't expect a loved one to lock themselves into their room for days. No one expects a police officer to come down the stairs after a welfare check and tell them that the same loved one is dead.  Seeing behavior that reminds me of this in others causes a panicked reaction in me.  Is it possible there's some form of PTSD at work here?  (PTSD might not be the accurate term here.)  In any case, this is something I need to talk over with a therapist at some point.  Is it possible that anyone I perceive who might be in a similar situation is a trigger for me?  (Note to those who complain about trigger warnings: This is, in fact, the context in which the term trigger warning arose.  So kindly fuck off.)

Back to the original point. I have been pushing myself for the past week and a half or so to get all the work the professors try to squeeze in before the finals done.  I am going to rest tomorrow and hope my body takes the time to calm down a little bit. I have no choice to keep going at a fairly frenzied pace until after finals.  The increased number of muscle aches, cramps, and possibly even today's fatigue are a good example that my I am stressed.  (Not that tonight's incident helped this any.)

In any case, it is my goal to be off of social media in all forms for the greater portion of the day tomorrow.  My body has been letting me know it needs some time to recover for a while.

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