“Customer Service”

Might as well continue my bitching into Tuesday.Β πŸ˜’ Had to get up really early for my appointment with Dr Walter… and everything was routine until he asked me if I would be willing to be seen by a new physicians’ assistant that they have added to the office. 😳😟 I think they actually added two other doctors as well… but like he and I were discussing, ever since the big changes that were made about six months ago they’ve been struggling to try and keep up with appointments, paperwork, insurance stuff, medicare stuff, workers comp stuff, etc.

So while I’m glad (for them) to see that they’ve added some auxiliary people that will help evenly distribute the workload, it’ll definitely take a while to get used to the new guy.Β πŸ™ Dr Walter isn’t going anywhere, so if my condition changes he’ll be able to handle it, but that was his point… my condition has been relatively stable for a long time now, so my appointments are really just about prescription refills rather than treatment.Β πŸ€• That’s why he felt like I was a good candidate to go to the new guy – freeing up Dr Walter (someone with a lot of seniority) to choose appointments with patients he still has a chance of repairing. 😏 And to be honest, it could be interesting to bounce ideas off of new guy – since on most days I still struggle to just reach “okay” … so fresh ears and eyes couldΒ help me in the long run.

After that, I didn’t really feel like going to the Social Security office to handle my insurance enrollment issues… so as soon as I got home I was on the phone again. 😐 I’m not sure why it took as long as it did, but just enrolling in the dental part of my Medicare Advantage plan took over a half hour. And for me, someone who gets super twitchy if I have to be on the phone for more than a few minutes, it may as well have been three or four hours. 😣

I ended up calling it a day around 3pm, even though there was still stuff that I couldΒ (should?) have made calls about. Couldn’t get through to the hospital again, despite definitely calling during business hours, and so far they haven’t returned my calls. 😠 That’s fine though… I’m fine just sitting here and waiting until another notice for those bills arrive, and another, and another. I mean, I’ll call again, but if they don’t seem interested in dealing with it, then I’m not gonna be terribly interested either.Β πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Strangely, despite twitching out over the obscene amount of time that I spent on the phone today, I’m still feeling enough of a burst of energy that I’m gonna try to work on a few things around the house. I’ve got a couple of friends who have been hinting heavily that they’d like to come over, so I feel kind of obliged to make it look less like the house of a single guy and his white cat that’s in the process of being groomed. 😳🐱 But mostly I’m doing this stuff for myself, because the more organized and calm this place is, the more organized and calm it makes me. 😌

But after these crap days starting the week, I think tomorrow I’ll take at least half of the day off… maybe get my cameras organized and charged up, get the C64 Mini all updated, set-up, and hooked up. I dunno… Monday and Tuesday have me pretty grrr, so I really need to make tomorrow different.

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Don’t Try To Distract Me With Facts

For someone who likes observing the humans and the way they act and treat each other, Twitter has been quite the place to be recently. And like I mentioned to a couple other people I know… I realize that Twitter isn’t an accurate representation of the entire population of humans, but even with that understanding it’s still difficult for me to see so many people who operate so differently than I think people should.

Mainly what I’m talking about is people’s tendency to find a controversy, pick a side, jump to a conclusion that isn’t based in fact, logic, or critical thinking – and then scream and shout at other people who don’t share the exact same position as they do. Granted, I’m not exactly silent on a lot of issues – but I try to only speak from a position where I’ve educated myself on the topic, and saying things which (I believe) have facts and logic to back it all up. My problem: expecting the humans to function the same way, hoping that they can understand the difference between a fact and opinion or allegation.

Two “situations” where I’ve found myself trying to bring reason to conversations:

  • The allegations against Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. She has accused him of psychological and sexual abuse during their relationship, and within days his various television shows have been shelved by AMC, his name was scrubbed from the Nerdist site that he founded, and he has lost future gigs hosting various things at different comic conventions.
  • Atari has started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo to develop and create a new console called the Atari VCS… and there is a small but extremely vocal group of angry “game nerd” YouTube channels who are absolutely certain that the whole thing is a scam, and keep producing angry videos with all sorts of allegations – all in what seems to be an attempt to sabotage Atari’s console launch.

With Hardwick and Dykstra, I’m of the opinion that nobody knows what happened except for the two parties involved, so the public can’t come to a determination that’s anything more than just opinion or assumption. But on Twitter, there are thousands of posts from people who are loudly cheering that he’s lost his jobs and his reputation, despite the only “proof” being that an ex-girlfriend said some things.

These aren’t people who think that he did what she said. These are people that know, with absoluteΒ certainty, and aren’t hesitant to call him a monster and say that he’s getting exactly what he deserved. There’s a smaller group who are outright calling Dykstra a liar, and then there’s an even smaller group of folks like me who simply say that we hope that someone gets to the bottom of the situation based on the facts, and that it’s unfortunate that a man’s life is being destroyed based simply on an allegation.

For the people who are #MeToo activists, people who advocate that people “wait and see what the facts reveal” are the enemy. A majority of them make a comment supporting Dkystra, and then follow it up with “And I should know, because I’ve been through the same thing or something similar – showing that their view might be a little biased. Evidence is already popping up which conflicts with parts of her allegations, but hell… if he’s guilty, get him. But damn… the man has lost almost everything and has been declared a trash human by half of the internet – all because she said it was so.

With Atari, they put their crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo, which doesn’t require a working prototype before funding can be solicited. But angry YouTubers are screaming “THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT!” as if that’s something that should surprise anyone. Why would anyone expect them to have a nearly complete product, when that’s the point of raising the money? And Atari, for whatever reason, delayed the launch of their campaign once last year – which is another thing that the video creators say indicates a scam. As if no other successful products have ever had delays in their design or production.

What the problem actually is, is that these YouTube creators feel slighted by Atari. They feel that Atari owes it to them, to contact them and provide them more information, or answer the questions that they have about the project. Atari eventually got tired of being badmouthed by this small group of angry people and pushed back against what they were saying, which obviously hurt the feelings of these “reviewers” and caused them to make even more outlandish claims. Most of these angry folks haven’t even backed the project, nor do they intend to, but boy are they mad anyway – because how dare Atari not contact them directly and answer every damn question that they have.

Atari’s project already has nearly $3M in backing, so apparently there were plenty of people who felt like the information on the campaign page was enough. As with any hardware, it will obviously go through all sorts of slight changes before finalized, and people understand this. The angry YouTube mob is furious that Atari won’t give them more information, but why should they have to? If they’re already getting plenty of backers, and it’s obvious that speaking with the angry people won’t make a difference, why would they? Are these folks also screaming at Sony and Microsoft, demanding that they be given more about their next consoles in development?

But the more that these people shout “SCAM! DUMPSTER FIRE! FAKE! LIES!” in their videos, the more that their followers start to get nervous, and end up drinking the kool-aid and repeating the same claims that are being made in the angry videos. If the creator has 100k followers on YouTube, and is spouting whatever… there’s a good chance that their followers will start spouting the same thing in the comments and elsewhere, even if just to look like they “think just like a video creator who has 100k followers.” It’s toxic and sad.

So yeah… whether I’m trying to convince people that they should hold their venom for Hardwick until the claims against him have been proven, or if I’m pointing out that all of the “signs” that angry video creators are using against Atari are just normal things that happen in almost every crowdfunding campaign… people just continue to rage. You’re expected to either hate Dykstra or hate Hardwick. No middle ground. You’re supposed to accept that Atari is scamming $3M from people, and shouldn’t dare suggest that it might not be the case. Hardwick might be guilty, Atari’s console might be a flop or a scam… but people’s eagerness to convict others of this or that, with only assumptions or “feelings about it” to back it up… it’s just bizarre, and the amount of people getting caught up in it only seems to be growing.

I know, I shouldn’t bother… but I wanna believe that under the surface, people really are capable of unbiased, critical thinking – and I wanna say or do things that encourage that, or try to bring it out of them. Every now and then I might get one or two of ’em… heh… but not surprisingly, the irate people who claim their passion-filled opinions as fact just don’t seem interested in considering alternate views of a situation. 😏 It’s still my method of escapism though, for when I don’t feel like thinking about anything in my own life, in those moments that I’m sticking my nose into other people’s thoughts… so at least I’m getting a small benefit from it all, eh?

Weaponized Stupidity

Since I’ve taken the day off, I decided to pop over to Twitter to see if David Hogg and his anti-gun activism was still making any noise. And it is… although it’s become even more divisive, and is making even less sense. His current “thing” is to include “THE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL WIN” on almost everything that he posts. 😐 I suppose that’s an attempt to light a fire under their asses and make them feel special, but it’s also a great way to alienate everyone else from your cause. 🀨 (I often wonder if the other kids / leaders in their movement wish they had never included him, due to the drama he causes.)

Young people (18-25), just as with any demographic, do not all vote the same way. The majority of them don’t even vote at all. But the new mantra isn’t aimed at people who prefer to actually think about things. The mantra is aimed at idiots, and their replies don’t disappoint. 😏 I can’t tell you how many older Americans that I’ve seen posting replies about how their generation has let the youth down, how sorry they are for not creating a better world, how the young people are our only hope, and other similar bits of nonsense. 😣 These “self-hating adults (apologists)” who can’t wait to post and “confess” on the behalf of all adults, how awful “grown-ups” are… and ironically it’s usually the older white men who can’t stop talking about how older white men have fucked everything up. 😠 It’s truly bizarre.

In attempts to stay relevant (since he’s rarely able to get on TV anymore) Hogg will make often-incoherent posts about various Senate or House candidates and elections, which then get retweeted by his followers – without them even noticing when the posts make little to no sense. πŸ™„ Invariably there will be adults responding to those posts by asking Hogg how they should vote in this or that election. 😧 Yeah, don’t do any research on your own, because it’s always better to get your election advice from someone who uses words such as “dissagree, violance, and colledge” and still struggles with the whole “there / their / they’re” thing.

(As you can tell from the way they speak, these are obviously some top-notch interviewers)

He wants to eventually outlaw most rifles and probably many other types of guns, yet he whines that the mandated clear backpacks and security searches at school violate his rights. πŸ˜’ He arranges boycotts when someone hurts his feelings, he bragged about hanging up on the President’s phone call, and his friend is still tweeting requests for $10 donations to the MSD / Parkland victims’ fund – which already has over $8,000,000 in it. He and his sister have also already written a book about the school shooting, yet they aren’t donating the sales from their book to the victims’ fund. πŸ€” Instead, they say something vague about proceeds “helping the communities” or some shit. The whole thing stinks, yet there’s a huge group of people that can’t get enough of it. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I know, this whole post may seem petty or something that I shouldn’t even concern myself with… but it’s really just touching on the larger problem of how much “weaponized ignorance / stupidity” a person will be exposed to online, and especially on Twitter. πŸ˜’ It’s like the less sure a person is about what they’re saying, the more passionately they will say it, and the more angrily they willΒ defend it.

It’s okay though, I’m sure “the young people” will save us all from all ofΒ thatΒ as well. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Home Stretch

I’m writing this particular entry at 6:00a because yesterday kicked my ass, and I ended up falling asleep around 8:00p last night… which, honestly, I don’t even remember happening. 😏 I guess that serves as proof (?) of how I have a limited battery when it comes to certain types of activities.

Yesterday afternoon was my appointment with the estate attorney, which I hope will be one of the last times that I have to see him. He was nice as usual, and it seemed that his lack of focus on my particular needs was based more on his full plate rather than anything intentional. I’m not excusing it, the way my calls went unanswered, but I’ve made my share of mistakes or slight delays in the process as well, so it just is what it is.

Everything is going to wind down now, finally, and with the exception of a little paperwork and an appearance before the court (for Steve, not me) there’s not much else that I’m likely going to have to do. I only have to wait a few days to make sure the figures that I’ve got are kosher, and then that’ll pretty much be that.

But yesterday… heh… I thought I was gonna be able to go in there and wrap things up in like ten minutes, but of course things are never that simple when lawyers and courts are involved. πŸ™„ I didn’t think I’d have to bring all of the shit I’ve compiled over the past year and a half, so I had to also run over to the bank, run back home for some stuff, and then back there to drop off the remaining paperwork. A little more work at home, preparing some paperwork and stuff I have to mail out, and *ploop*Β … I was out. 😳😴

Rough Days

Starting to feel better. I’m able to lift my left arm again, so that’s good. 😏

  • First Stage: Oush. Mucho pain.
  • Second Stage: Pain lessens, but can’t raise my arm past my waist.
  • Third Stage: Able to raise arm again, but at the cost of pain returning.

That’s almost always how it goes, and every damn time you can bet that I’m sitting here worrying that this might be it… that this might be the time that the muscles in my shoulder crap out and just stay that way. 😟 But so far, so good. My head still feels like it weighs twice as much as normal though, whenever I tilt it from side to side. 😬 (Well then…. don’t tilt it from side to side! πŸ˜…)

Basically I’ve just been as careful as possible yesterday and today, and I’m not going to be stupid this time and try to jump back into any kind of action before I should. 😐 I’ve got nearly my entire wardrobe worth of laundry waiting to be washed, along with a handful of other things… and yeah, it’s making me twitchy that I can’t start checking it off my list yet, but I’ll just work on bills and paperwork tonight in order to feel like I’m not being worthless, and the rest can come whenever I’m actually back to good.

I haven’t really been able to reengage my social engine yet either. πŸ˜’ I was already having issues in that department for a while though, so it’s not surprising – but all the people at the concert definitely didn’t help. It’s strange sometimes… trying to figure out this weird new person that I’m becoming. 😐 I’ve got a pretty good idea of how I got here, but it’s a little too personal/lengthy to get into… just gotta keep trying to get better.

(And you’ve got to check this out: “15 Thoughts Every Introvert Who Loves Music Has At A Concert” – I only found this page just now, and holy shit is it accurate. πŸ˜… Seriously. Read this and you’ll get a slightly better understanding of how my brain works. Just magnify each bullet point by a few factors and you’re there… even number 15 nails it perfectly.)

But It’ll Be Fun

Feeling pretty miserable today. 😞 Christina’s cancer fund-raiser is this evening, but I just can’t make myself go. They’re doing it as a “bar crawl” since she used to be a bartender, and therefore has a ton of friends/acquaintances that would be likely to come out in that fashion… but me, with my twitchy social anxiety and introversion, it’s just not my scene anymore.

I feel bad, because I’d really like to be able to go and show my support, but there’s not really anything that I can do about it. I sent a message to Chelsea a bit ago, explaining why I wouldn’t be there, and I think she’ll understand for the most part. The shirts they had made for the event… it marks the third “cancer support” t-shirt that I’ve bought this summer in regards to a friend who’s fighting that battle, and that’s three shirts too many. (And that’s only my cancer-fightin’ friends who are doing that sort of fund raising.)

But like I told her, I’m not doing very good at accepting “bad” these days, and when there’s an option of being reminded of that “bad” vs. hopefully just being able to avoid the thought of that “bad” altogether and acting like it’s not real… heh… well, I think you know which option my brain chooses for me. I mean, I know they’re gonna have fun and that it will be hopeful, goofy, optimistic, etc… but right now everything just feels too heavy and I can’t be there. (And yet here I am, still feeling “bleh” about it since my brain won’t let me go. πŸ˜’ It can be frustrating being me sometimes.)

Why Am I The Way That I Am

Sometimes I get down on myself for being as screwed up as I am, often without any way for me to control it, but today I was reminded that I could be a hell of a lot worse. I don’t know if “worse” is the right word… but I sure know that I’m different than what I saw on display from so many people on Twitter and FB over the past 24 hours.

For Mom it just came naturally, but for me it takes a considerable amount of energy… but I still do it. I approach each day without judging people unfairly, and when I go into a new situation I keep an open mind and I give people a chance or the benefit of the doubt by default. And even if those people do end up letting me down or screwing me over, or if I find out that someone is pulling some bullshit on someone else, I don’t make it my absolute priority to find an outlet to shout and tell everyone what worthless pieces of shit they all are.

Look, I’m not wanting any fucking cookies or anything… but I can honestly say that I go out of my way each day to be polite, kind, considerate, respectful, empathic, helpful, forgiving, entrusting… generally just acting the way that humans are supposed to act towards each other, at least as far as my anxiety issues will allow it. That’s why it’s hard for my brain to process how the humans can be so nasty, so quickly, with so little facts, when it comes to things like that Joel Osteen issue from the past few days.

People screaming to the world, with such passion and need to do so, about something that they’re only postulating about at best. What the hell is wrong with these people? How did they get that way? Were they once like me, and just ran out of energy from trying to “act right” themselves, while getting emotionally smacked down from their own experiences along with the things that they’ve witnessed in their lifetime? As weak as I can be at times… how is it that I’m able to stay different from them?

It would probably be a lot easier if I was one of those jerky, mouthy, angry people. Where facts aren’t important, and neither are other people’s feelings or opinions. But I’m glad that’s not how I was raised. Somehow Mom and Dad prevented me from becoming just another generic asshole to encounter along the landscape and I have to think that the world is better for it, even with the extra weight that I sometimes feel from it.