Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Not a Disorder

This morning I read an article that someone posted on Facebook about ADHD and the rise in the sales of the drugs designed to "treat" it.  I say treat it in quotes, because I don't believe it is a disorder or an illness, and selling these drugs is simply laziness on the part of educators and some parents.

I read a book a few years ago that turned my life around.  It's called Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perspective.  The theory behind this book is that ADHD is not a disease or a disorder.  It is simply a trait that makes children classified as such, different.  People with ADHD have brains that are wired differently from other children.  But rather than teach these children differently - in a way that works for them, we medicate them and force them to behave in an environment that is foreign to their talents.

What makes me laugh is that America has turned into a country of addicts - legal addicts taking pharmaceuticals - and yet they don't legalize a natural plant such as marijuana. Everyday I see ads on television and in magazines about a different drug.  When I go to the doctor all she does is write out a prescription for another drug.  We need to get behind the natural talent these children have and stop becoming a nation of pushers.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thought Provoking

I have been surrounded by talks about race this week.  I attended a dramatic reading of the play "Bee-Luther-Hatchee" by Thomas Gibbons at Theater Horizon, a local theater in Norristown, on Monday which featured a talk about race relations afterwards.  I have seen many postings on Facebook about the "What Would You Do" episode about a black guy with a white girlfriend in a Harlem barbershop. Then today I saw an article about "microagressions". It is an interesting subject matter, and the last one really caught my eye, especially because sometimes I find myself saying things that I don't mean to be rude and would not have thought would be.

I have been through several diversity classes where I used to work and try to be sensitive about talking to people.  Maybe I am too sensitive because sometimes I worry that I have offended someone but don't want to bring it up because it seems like such an emotionally charged topic.  If I hear someone say something bad to me, I usually just brush it off figuring they don't know any better and I realize they really don't want to offend me, but they do.  If it is really blatant, I will speak out, but generally I don't.  Sometimes I think people just get offended too easily, and I don't want to fall into that trap.

But I wonder why things come up in batches like this.  Is this a subject I should be thinking of? Is this age of political correctness something that needs addressing? Should we even care? Should I be speaking out when I do hear things? Have race relations really changed in this country? I think the answer to that last one is no.  What about you?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Microsoft - The Great Assumer

As I blogged earlier, I recently got a new laptop with Windows 8 on it.  Microsoft, I believe in trying to make things easier for the less than computer savvy, assumes too much in my option.  My new laptop is made by Lenovo, so I expected that there would be "blow-ware" - demos of those applications they want you to try and sell.  However the basic operating system for Windows has titles on the Metro UI that are for things I don't want or need changed - more than the blow ware from the manufacturer.

Take music for example.  If you click the music tile, you get launched into a music app that takes the music from your PC and makes you sign in with our Microsoft account and presents you with a way to get more music with their app similar to Pandora.  If I wanted their app I would have installed their app, but I can't figure out how to re-program their tile to launch Pandora or my iTunes program.  I guess I will find a way, but it is frustrating to me that I have to go through all kinds of time removing stuff and then re-installing things when I could have just installed something if I wanted it.  Not everyone has the same taste in music.

I suppose Microsoft has done enough focus groups to think they can determine what people want, but I am not thoroughly convinced they pay attention to diversity. IMHO they should leave more to the user to customize their operating system to their own liking rather than assume they know what the average user wants.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Not Far from the Tree

"Okay, so I know I was in the wrong and I said I was sorry for blocking the intersection, but hey, you don't need to use the F-word in front of your little girl."  I said, but she didn't hear me through the window.  I didn't actually hear what she said except for the F-word as she practically spat it into my front windshield.  That's exactly where this stuff comes from; young kids using language that will melt paint as they walk down the street.  This is aside from the fact that she is probably not an upstanding citizen of society in her own right, but I am sorry for her offspring.  Her little girl is bound to be part of the group of children schooled in the ways of street life and sounding like it.

So maybe I am old fashioned.  I try not to curse, I take care with the language that comes out of my mouth, and I expect my son to so the same.  Yeah, well maybe that last part is a little hard to do, but I do get on him when I hear him talk like that.  I am fortunate in that my husband is not the type to swear also.  It makes you sound so...common.

Good language is hard to come by these days.  I am not talking about big words and a polished accent, I am talking about everyday speech and the absence of the F-bomb being dropped every other word. It seems as if it is lost in today's society. I don't care - it still highly offends me and I am sticking to that.  I can still hope, can't I?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Early Christmas Present

Shortly before Thanksgiving, my laptop bit the big one.  I noticed it had been getting very slow and applications were not responding.  I opened it up last week and immediately got the "blue screen of death" and then tried to recover and it would not boot.  So I figured since it was 7 years old and running Vista, it was time for a new one and since Christmas is just around the corner...  I was kind of afraid of using the new operating system because all I had seen of it was the tiled user interface that I see on the TV ads.  However, I gathered up my courage and went PC shopping right before the mad rush for Black Friday.

I found a great little Lenovo Ideabook PC at Office Max for a good price with slightly more powerful configuration that I was looking for.  I ended up buying it online and the picked it up at the store on Wednesday night.  I have been playing with it over the Thanksgiving holiday and found that Windows 8 is really not that bad. Of course Google searches on how to do things help tremendously, and I found one blog site which has a whole bunch of information on it. For example I found that the tiled screen is called the Metro UI, so now I will be able to sound at least as if I somewhat know what I am talking about.

So if you are new Windows 8 user, give the site a try.  If you are like me and just kind of jump right in and try stuff without reading the instructions, this can help reduce a great deal of the learning curve frustrations about using a new operating system. Of course, there is still some degree of frustration in using computers just due to the fact that generally Microsoft tends to think they know how you use a computer rather than leaving those decisions up to you. But that is fodder for another blog entry.