Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Month-End Retrospective

INTRODUCTION
This is my 201st entry. Hooray!!

I took a few days away from writing, as many of my fingers were experiencing pain as a result of doing too much around the house. Now that I’m back, and it’s the end of the month, it’s time for a month-end retrospective.

This is my first one, and it’s something in which I know the value before even doing it. Things like inventories or retrospectives can be kept in a journal or spreadsheet. It doesn’t have to be public.

Mine is public because I want the accountability that comes with people watching what I do, AND because I do have a handful of real-life friends who are reading this.

So let’s jump into the month of November 2022!


FACEBOOK AND DECREASED ONLINE ACTIVITY
At some point in the month, I had decided that I’d had enough of the non-social, stress-inducing thing that is social networking. Instead of deleting my profile, I made changes to how I use Facebook.

I took the Facebook app off of my phone, as well as Instagram, and I deleted my Instagram account. I also deleted most of my Facebook content.

I still have the Messenger app on my phone. Nobody ever writes messages anymore, but I kept it just in case.

I log in once in the morning, and once again in the evening, to see if there is anything that has relevance or my interest.

My Facebook usage is down to <5 minutes per day.


DIET, WEIGHT LOSS, AND BLOOD GLUCOSE
Some radical changes were made on my part, back in October 5, 2022, when I started noticing some changing in myself, such as lowered blood glucose and weight. This was around the time when I started really going after these two numbers aggressively.

Since then, I’ve lost a good deal of weight and have had some success with lowering my blood glucose.


On the left is from October 5, when I’d already made some great advances, by breaking the barrier and getting below 225. On the right is my weight from November 29, which is 0.4 pounds less than today.

I’ve also been keeping track of what I eat and how it seems to impact my blood glucose.

From Monday 11/28 to Wednesday 11/30 [today]

On Monday, I made a salad with some dressing. I eyeballed the dressing, and even then I could tell it was a bit too much.

I made note of this and remembered it when I tested the next morning, and my blood glucose was 100, instead of the 90 from the day before. So I wrote down a note – (salad dressing?) – before moving on.

I made another salad that day, but looked at the bottle first. It says that one serving has 6g of sugar, and 6g of added sugar. To give this context, one cube of sugar is 2.8g, or 1 teaspoon. I put two cubes in my coffee, which is 5.8 grams.

Two tablespoons is the suggested serving size. If one sugar cube is 2.8 grams or 1 teaspoon, and there are 3 teaspoons per tablespoon, and a serving of dressing is 2 tablespoons, then that’s like having SIX sugar cubes in your coffee.

That’s too much! So the next day, instead of going with the 2 tablespoons serving, I went with ONE tablespoon for my serving size. This is like 3 cubes in coffee, which I will sometimes do, but I typically go with two cubes.

This morning I checked, and my blood glucose was back down to 90, and my weight went up slightly by 0.4 pounds. In this scenario, my main concern was the blood glucose.

At my stage of weight loss, it’s okay to see some fluctuation up and down. I am in my final ten pounds, which I’ve heard is the most difficult. At some point, I will end up ditching the scale on a daily basis, and maybe use it weakly, or if I feel somewhat differently. But as I write this, I feel absolutely fine with regard to my physical health.


MENTAL HEALTH
My mental health has taken a surprising up-tick, considering the fact that I got 50% less therapy this month, thanks to the holidays. The same will be true of December, with the last two Fridays of the month being bound to holidays.

It happens. Sadly, depression doesn’t take a holiday or vacation. The good news this year, however, is that my depression has been parked in the barn. I still own it, and it will always be a part of my life. It will also be something that can show up and provide challenges.

Major Depressive Disorder [MDD], aka Clinical Depression, never goes away. It has to be managed, much like weight or blood glucose.

It helps a great deal that I have a really good therapist who has been effective in helping.


PUBLIC STRESS TESTING
Dealing with the public and strangers in general has always been off-putting and very difficult for me. I’ve noticed an increase in positive interactions, and a relatively low level of stress, which is not the usual.

I do feel that I am better at dealing with people in public.

This does not translate to being able to function in a workplace. With the general public, there is no commitment, no close relationship, and they pose no threat with regard to whether or not I get to eat next month.

Functioning in a workplace has always been highly difficult for me, due to office politics and artificial hierarchies. Plus, I am convinced that the only job the boss has is to be a threatening jerk the entire time.

I don’t need to be threatened to get work done, or to be productive. No threats are required. I think there are many people who work or get things done without threats hanging over their heads.

Whip-cracking is the direct result of greed, which will be another topic for another day.

Yesterday, we went out to Bi-Mart, a marketplace where all workers own a stake in the business and the success of the store. Because they’re personally vested, they put more work into it, resulting in a superior experience with regard to both shopping and personal interactions.

They have an intercom system. Most of the time, these things jolt me, to the point that I am thrust into a mental downturn.

I’m trying to shop, focus, stay out of the way of others, and everything else that comes with this experience, when all of a sudden a harsh, tinny, loud voice will broadcast over the loud speakers and echo through the entire building.

They most definitely DO NOT think of Autistic shoppers when they do this. And it’s NOT productive to yell, “Anyone available, pleases dial Sports!” If you don’t delegate, then everyone else believes that someone else will get it.

There were several announcements during our visit, which was very crowded due to extended Black Friday shopping. I’d jerk a little bit, but wouldn’t feel so much panic. They had way too many announcements, and I did just fine.

So while I don’t think I am ready for the office, and may never be, I am sensing that I am ready for the general public.


OVERALL POSITIVITY
I’d say my overall positivity has been very high. When negativity shows up, I am typically able to self-regulate very well.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
I have been more physically active, with regard to projects and cleaning. I’ve been working on a top-secret gift project for the past few weeks. I will write about it after the holidays, when I put the project in motion.

I have been doing more cleaning around the house.

I’m more physical with the cats and playtime. I get out of the apartment way more often. I take the car out of the garage more frequently to go shopping, which is something I’d typically put off for as long as possible.

I stand up more frequently at my desk. My Commodore 64 is set up in a way where it’s not convenient to get to the keyboard, and I have to stand up to load a game. Standing up more frequently is no doubt helping with any issues being brought about by excessive bouts of long sitting.


CREATIVITY
My creativity levels and activities have been increasing over the past weeks. I have been working on more music with one of the guys from Noodle Muffin, and I’ve worked on a total of 9 tracks, utilizing 3 instruments at points.

I’ve been writing more, especially in my offline journal. That writing is important, as is this blog, to me.

I’ve even gotten creative with my creative spaces. My home office has been re-vamped so that more things are easier to access, and efficiency has been increased dramatically.

I’ve even re-worked the little corner where I keep my last drum set and drum gear.

My creativity has most definitely improved by a great deal.


RELATIONSHIPS AND INTERACTIONS
Got a call last night from a friend who is not on Facebook. He’s a person I knew before I left California, and we used to go guitar shopping on weekends. We talked for just over 2 hours and 36 minutes. That’s not something I could do a few months ago.

Without getting into too much detail, I’ve sensed an improvement in relationships and interactions with friends, family, and aquaintances.

As a result, I am more likely to engage in the initiation of conversation. This is something I’d typically avoid.


HYGIENE
This never got horrible, but it has improved.

A few years ago, I would shower once every two days, so long as I didn’t get sweaty. I still brushed my teeth twice per day, so there were never any dental troubles liked to mental problems.

I always wore jammies, like the ones I’m wearing in my photo today. I’m wearing them because it’s laundry day and I have no plans to go anywhere.

The changes are subtle, yet profound.

I’ll shower every other day still, but also shave my head and face every other day. I used to do that once per week, but sometimes would not do it for a few months. I always feel better after a shave.

But there have been active days recently where I’ve had to shower twice in one day. I also wear more jeans and shirts, instead of exclusively sleepwear. I no longer go out to the store in my pajamas, as I did from before the pandemic, up to just a few months ago.

For me, it seems the better my mental health, the more I scrub and the cleaner I get. Or it could be in my head. Either way, I feel cleaner.


IN THE END
For those who have been reading recently, you’ll remember my Snickers Diet, where I’d allow myself up to 3 per day. I’d have one in the morning, then two in the evening.

I started skipping the morning one to see how I’d feel about it. In the evening, I’d have to, up until one day when I had one and put the other away.

I haven’t had any Snickers Fun Size bars in probably 5 weeks. I don’t remember the last day, but I haven’t bought any more in over a month, and my coffee can still has at least one bag of bars in it.

I still have them. Will probably get rid of them at New Year’s.

I have no cravings at all! Last night, Catheirne asked me to make her some ice cream. It’s Extreme Moose Tracks, and I added a Reese’s Christmas tree to it.

Catherine’s favorite, and I know why! Extreme Moose Tracks = really tasty!

Sometimes when I make this for her, I’ll get a pice of choclate and some ice cream and have that. It’s powerful stuff! Last night, however, I had already brushed my teeth, so I made this without tasting any myself.

And I have NO craving for any of it. This feels like having super-human strength of some kind, which requires no effort to invoke.

Since face-to-face food isn’t impacting me, it feels like junk food commercials also fly right on by, and I feel nothing for them at all.

Overall, I do like where things are headed for me, with regard to my mental health, as well as physical health with Type 2 Diabetes and weight loss.

Changing the foods I eat and doing away with cravings was helpful physically. What helped emotionally, as well as the weight loss, is activities like writing down an inventory of successes.

Yesterday, I was shopping, when I saw a dowel rod. It looked like it might fit a KONG toy that Dr. Tibo Bat loves to pay with. It had a plastic stick on the end, but he chewed it off.

I found a dowell that looked like the right size, and bought it without measuring. I just eye-balled it. Turns out, it was perfect! The wild part that I must acknowledge in this is that I didn’t second-guess myself.

This was something I found accidentally, it cost $0.87 to buy, and took 3 minutes to fix. In days gone by, I’d write this off as something easy to do that “any moron could do.”

Today, I have decided that I must view this as a success, and I must include it in my inventory. Because when you’re depressed, even little things can be difficult to do. This was something I should have done months ago.

Some might say that with all of this I have learned how tough I can be. Maybe. I most definitely know how tough Major Depressive Disorder can be, as well as Type 2 Diabetes and weight loss. The numbers don’t lie, and indicate that I am winning some of my battles.

That says it all, as do the photos below, taken today. I’m at 195 pounds, 70 pounds lost, with 10 to go!


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

Advertisement

Organizing the Drum Display Rack

This one will be short. I did so much cleaning yesterday that my right index finger hurts. Here we goooooo!

I had written an entry titled A Busy Day With Drum Gear, where I wrote about some drum gear that I sold, as well as gear that I kept. There was this photo I used in the heading and at the end.

If you look at the rack, below my elbow, there is a 10″ snare with a bunch of space above it. Next to my head is a 10″ tom with some things sitting on top of it.

To me, the whole thing looked unorganized and like a waste of space. So I ripped the entire thing apart and rebuilt it.

The TJS 13″ snare and 13″ floor tom are both at the bottom. They’re both in bags, which afford them more protection from this that happen at cat level. They are on the bottom rack for that reason.

On the second rack is the 10″ tom and 10″ snare, as well as an octagon practice pad. The practice pad is easily and conveniently accessible. Functionality came into play with this design.

The third rack involved some research. The Marshall JCM 2000 – DSL 401 British-made guitar tube amplifier weighs in at a back-breaking 50.7 pounds. As I picked it up, I imagined the rack giving out and crushing the drums below.

This is a legitimate concern, as many of the fails we see on YouTube today revolve around people not understanding the concept of load-bearing structures.

After a little bit of searching, my worries were put to rest, as I learned that this structure has capacity for 350 pounds per rack.

To the right of the Marshall is a BOSS BR-800, which used to be my computer audio interface.

I live in an apartment, and a tube amp has to be cranked a bit to generate that wonderful sound we all love. This presents a problem that I was able to solve, by running a cable from the amp’s D.I. outlet to the BR-800. Turned down the Master volume, and then set the volume for the clean channel, dirty channel, and dirty channel boost.

What this means is that I can crank the amp, regulate the output, and get what I want through the headphones. I’m sure my neighbors appreciate this. Plus, I can record something that I’m playing in the moment and transfer it to the computer later. And there’s a foot switch for the amp, so I don’t really ever have to touch it, beyond the power button.

Lastly, at the top is the prize, the TJS Custom Maple 12×20 bass drum, along with a few stick bags.

Behind are bags for cymbals and peripherals, and the 22″ orange DrumWild resonant bass drum head hangs on the wall as a souvenir. That drumhead was made by DrumART, at a time when they were changing their process. As a result, my drum head was the first made in their factory with their new process, where they print directly to the head.

Besides needing to touch up the wall paint, the light rope that I have draped around is rather pathetic looking. This thing is maybe 4-5 years old, and they fade over time. So I’ve planned to get some LED lights to make everything look better. I might even be able to illuminate the entire room with LED display lighting. It’s how I light my entire office, with LED strips behind the monitor.

It would be ideal to have the drums set up, even if I can’t play them. But the space won’t allow for it. To me, it is unacceptable to leave drums to rot in a garage or closet. I like to see them, remember them, yearn for them, and let them remind me who I am.

I’ll be checking out LED lighting systems to see what might work best.

Dr. Tibo Bat inspects the final setup. Don’t worry about the Marshall amp screen. The cats have been trained to NOT scratch with it.

If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

A Busy Day With Drum Gear

INTRODUCTION
Yesterday was really busy, and I had no idea that it was going to happen.

I had talked a week earlier with a guy at a drum shop, as I was looking to sell my Gretsch Catalina Birch sunburst drum set, as well as some extra cymblas I wasn’t using.

It was a very rainy day yesterday. I had been indoors taking care of things, when out of the blue I decided to do a FULL inventory of all of my drum gear.

I pulled the Gretsch, shown above, and wiped it down, stacking the drums to the side. Then I set up the TJS Custom Maple and made sure it was good to go. More about that kit later.

I’d found that I had two hi-hat stands, so I decided to keep the Ludwig over the DW 6000 flat-base, because it doesn’t play well with a double bass drum pedal. Also found an extra DW snare stand that is so heavy that I don’t ever want to pick it up again.

I spent two hours cleaning drums and going through stands and gear, when the phone rang. The guy was interested in the Gretsch kit. So it turns out that the work I had done was timely and necessary.


MORE ABOUT THE SOLD GEAR
Most of the drum gear that was stage for sale had some things in common. A great deal of it was gear that I had never used in the studio or on a stage. It was stuff I bought back when I wanted to have 4-5 full kits with their own everything, down to the throne.

I was gigging in multiple bands, so I needed to have a bit of redundancy for my own personal comfort. Gear gets stolen ALL the time, and it’s always sad and tragic.

Other pieces of the gear that I sold were pieces that left a bad taste for me. In particular, I had some BUZIN cymbals with no logos. This brand is now called SoulTone, and they’re not a very reputable company. I won’t write about my dealings with them here, but I will reconsider if they have anything to say about this paragraph.

The Gretsch Catalina Birch was a used kit that I bought and had a custom head made for, in case I needed a full-sized kit. This would never come to pass. Even in my final physical drum recording session with Noodle Muffin before moving from LA was a case of me using the TJS Custom Maple.

Mid-May 2019: Staging for my final physical drum recording session with Noodle Muffin.

As you can probably tell by now, the TJS Custom Maple is my favorite kit, so I’ll be getting into the details of that kit soon. It’s the keeper!


THE MENTAL HEALTH ANGLE
After I got everything organized, cleaned, and figured out, I had to take everything down the stairs to my car in the rain. Moving drums is difficult enough, but I did that.

Drove about 12 miles to deliver the drums, then ran some errands for a few hours before heading back home.

The day was something that would have normally been physically and mentally taxing, to the point that it may not have been doable even six months ago. It shows some progress.

Major Depressive Disorder is no joke! Yes, I still have it and always will. I just have a handle on it at the moment, and need to find those things that keep it that way so I can do so.

At the end of the day, even I was surprised.


TJS CUSTOM MAPLE: SPECS
My TJS Custom Maple kit was made on March 13, 2006. The configuration is as follow:

13″ Snare
10″ Rack Tom
13″ Floor Tom
12″x20″ Bass Drum

There is an additional 10″ snare, made on March 26, 2006.

For those who are curious about the hardware, this is what I am using:

2x Ludwig Flat-Base Cymbal Stands [VERY light weight]
Ludwig Hi-Hat Stand [accommodates a double pedal very well]
2x Pearl Tom Arms [for mounting 10″ tom and 10″ snare on separate stand]
3x Floor Tom Legs
Gibraltar Cymbal Arm [for ride]
Cymbal Extender and Dogbone for Zil-Bel [on one of the cymbal stands]
Hat Trick [on the hi-hat]
DW Throne


THE CYMBALS
I’ve had hundreds of cymbals over the years, most of which were either stolen or sold if they didn’t get broken. I’ll be breaking these out in greater detail. All photos include the tops and bottoms of the cymbals, with relevant close-ups.

Hi-Hat: Paiste Light Dark Hats Mark I 14″. These cymbals retailed for $475 and are discontinued. These were used in all WHIPLADS and Noodle Muffin recordings.

Circa Early October 2016: Tracking e-drums and physical cymbals with Noodle Muffin
for their pre-election release of “Morning In America.”

Crash: Sabian Canada 19″ Crash. This cymbal was put through a lathe process by Mac Sexton, the brother of Chad Sexton [drummer for 311]. He says that he got the cymbal thin enough that it will never break.

RIDE: Sabian Canada 21″ ride. Same as above, by Mac Sexton.

FX01: Sabian 18″ China. I do not recall where I got this, and it sounds more like a gong than a china. I think that it’s an AAX series, but not certain. Needs heavy-duty cleaning.

FX02: Zildjian Zil-Bel 6″. I got this in 2002 at Guitar Center Hollywood with money my mother gave me for my birthday. It was $80. Today, it sells for almost double. This can be heard on recordings by WHIPLADS and Noodle Muffin.

Pedal: I won’t be getting into photos or descriptions of hardware, but I will get into this pedal a bit. The TAMA Speed Cobra is a long-board pedal that I received as a birthday gift from my drum tech GF around the mid-2000s.


MY TJS CUSTOM MAPLE STORY
The kit was made in March 2006. By the time the drums made it to Chad Sexton’s Drum City, it was probably sometime in mid-2007 when I got them.

I remember the first time I walked into a club with these drums. It was at Paladino’s, and I heard a few people laughing about my “toy drums.” They changed their tune after hearing the drums with a mic in the bass drum hole. It pumped!

I could go on writing stories, but I am fortunate enough to have a series of photos that show the place that the TJS Custom Maple drum kit had in my life. Here are but a few:


IN THE END
My evaluation of the day is very positive. It’s not something I could have done six months ago, which is a sign of some improvement.

On a side note, I did get to keep a souvenir.

With Rascal T. Brat, Drum Guardian, the TJS Custom Maple, and the Gretsch custom drum head. I designed both of these heads, and they cost $100 each to produce. Both heads were produced by DrumART, but the orange head was the FIRST head the company made with their new process, where they print directly to the head.

I got rid of some gear I wasn’t using, which had no personal meaning to me, got a few bucks, and got things done. I got a better sense of my own self and my capabilities.

I also got a renewed sense of who I am, simply by cleaning up the drums, taking photos, logging them, and going through the history.

We tend to forget what we’ve accomplsihed, and will even go so far as to write it off as “not a big deal” or other dimsissive means when thinking of ourselves.

Sometimes we get told that we shouldn’t think too much of ourselves and our accomplishments because it might “make you a narcissist.” This is simply NOT TRUE! It’s essential to have some respsect for yourself and what you’ve been able to get done. Otherwise, it’s a case of whatever!

Inventory your day, and acknowledge your achievements and accomplishments. Stay humble, and rock on!


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

American Thanksgiving, Health News, and Another Cover Clip

AMERICAN THANKSGIVING
Today is the actual day of Thanksgiving. Being a divorced dad, I am used to doing holidays on any day other than the actual day. So yesterday was Thanksgiving for me.

The person I live with [I’ll call her “J”] works with a Native American company, and they gave her a turkey, so we got a turkey literally from Native Americans.

It’s typically a time for family. Growing up, we would always go to my grandmother’s house, in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest. Lots of bad weather and really good food.

The kids would always sit at the little card table. The older I got, the more I realized that I’d probably have to wait for someone to die in order to graduate to the adult table. That never happened. I’m still grateful for the opportunity and experience.


MY FAVORITE THANKSGIVING MEMORY
The way in which I approach Thanksgiving has morphed a great deal over the years.

My most memorable Thanksgiving was in 1998, when my son was 3.5 years old. We lived in West LA. His mother had gone to Bakersfield to be with her family, and somehow my son and I got out of it.

We decided to go to Starbucks, so he could get a “kid cocoa.” I couldn’t find the house key, so I grabbed the car keys and left the front door of the apartment unlocked. There is a HUGE security gate out front that had successfully kept most people out.

When he got his little, hot “kid cocoa,” he tried to chug it. I was surprised he didn’t burn his mouth, but a lot of it ended up on the ground in the parking lot.

When we got back home, we were dismayed to find that the electricity had gone out, and using the keypad on the security door was the only way to get in. But there was this little log that was blocking a square part of the side railing of the door, so I moved that and my son crawled through, barely making it. He then reached as high as he could and opened the door for me.

Sun On Skin
Front: John Parker, Karin Mansson, Shawna Hogan
Back: Me, and Mario.

By the time we got inside the apartment, the power came back. Just in time, for my old buddy, John Parker [RIP] to show up and make the Thanksgiving bounty.

John was the founder of the band Sun On Skin, and I was their drummer. We had become good friends. He produced early demos for WHIPLADS. Sadly, John passed a few years later.

Back to the story.

John showed up and cooked a turkey loaf, which is turkey meat without any bone. He also made some sides. I don’t recall making anything, although I bought a few things.

We sat in the dark and ate while watching movies on TV. We had a double-feature that day, watching The Exorcist and Psycho, back-to-back. We even slowed down the VHS tape to count how many stabs actually happen in the shower scene [NONE happen, it’s all fast editing!]

It was the last Thanksgiving that I would get to spend with my son in that way, thanks to an ugly break-up, and problems his mother has, which I won’t discuss here. Suffice to say, it destroyed everyhting.

That’s the thing about Thanksgiving, other holidays, or even just regular days. You don’t know when you’re experiencing the last day, in most cases. Considering that we ended up splitting up on 12/19/1998, I’d say I had an inkling that things were coming to an end.

We would have future Thanksgiving gatherings at my mother’s place, which were always nice. We all sat at the big table then, so I felt as if I had finally earned my spot at the table.


THIS YEAR’S THANKSGIVING
This year it was me, J, her adopted mother, and mother’s son. They brought some movies and we ended up watching Deadpool 2.

Our guests cooked the turkey and made a few other things, including pumpkin pie, and brought it over. I helped with my clean-as-you-go skills, so all I have left to do is take out the trash and put away clean dishes.

Rascal T. Brat came out eventually to join the party and hang out with us. However, Dr. Tibo Bat went into hiding the entire time, and we never saw him. It’s amazing how a cat so huge can hide so efficiently in a 2-bedroom apartment.

All of the food was good, but I did have my concerns. I didn’t want to over-eat, didn’t want to feel bloated in a sick way, AND I was eating late. I think we didn’t get to start eating until after 6:30pm, and I typically go to sleep between 7-8pm. I didn’t get to sleep until after 9:30pm.

All of these things can have a big negative impact on your blood-glucose readings, something of which I’ve been proud in recent weeks, along with my weight loss.

For Diabetes, things like potatoes , bread, and starches are bad news, and can serve to increase that blood-glucose number.

HEALTH NEWS
J made me a plate, keeping in mind that I could not eat all that much. On top of what is pictured here, I also had an extra spoon of mashed potatoes and one piece of pumpkin pie.

So you can imagine me in the morning, sweating about what my number would end up being. So I chugged some water and braced myself for a higher number; I was thinking maybe 135-145.

I was so very surprised and pleased to see a 99. How did I do it? Portion control and lots of water. Water is all that I drink, with the occasional exception of one cup of coffee with 3 cubes of sugar. Getting rid of as many processed foods as possible also helps.

I thought for sure that the potatoes and pie would have done me in. I didn’t even feel bloated.

This is the first Thanksgiving I’ve had, where I didn’t feel sick afterward from eating too much.

As for my weight, it went up ever-so-slightly to 198.2. I don’t let the scale bother me if it goes up slightly. I counter this by evaluating yesterday’s consumption, identifying a potential problem, and dealing with it.

In other words, Thanksgiving didn’t ruin my weight loss or blood-glucose progress.


BEING THANKFUL
I’m thankful for being relatively healthy, for having a place to live in a world where so many go without, and for the chance to write this entry.

I’m also thankful for my family members, including Rascal T. Brat and Dr. Tibo Bat.

I am thankful for the music that has moved me over the decades.

And I’m thankful for the friends in my life. Some are reading this right now. I have friends stationed all over the world. They’re musicians or otherwise creative and they bring something happy to the world.

If I have ever listened to any of your music, know that I am grateful.

Thank you!

ANOTHER COVER CLIP
The world doesn’t have patience for a full-blown music video, where I might play guitar, bass, or keyboard along with a song. Today’s world is all about shorts and clips.

I made another one yesterday, but not everyone will get to see it, thanks to our brutal and unreasonable copyright laws.

The song I covered is ABACAB by Genesis, and it’s basically an instrumental break that occurs in the song.

The problem, it seems, is that the copyright holder has decided that not everyone can see my video. Hell, even I can’t see it in some places. It shows up in my history and other playlists, but it won’t show up in Watch Later. Maybe YouTube thinks my TV lives in another region.

I’m going to post a link to it below, but be forewarned that you might not be able to watch it.

They should not be doing this to me for a clip, because nobody is going to watch this and say to themselves, “You know, I COULD go buy that song or album, or I could go listen to it on their official YouTube channel, but instead I’m just going to stay right here and listen to this 20-second clip over and over again.

That’s not how reality works, but it’s representative of how the copyright system functions.

And I’m not trying to monetize it, either! I’m just sharing my passion for the music.

The video is below. If you can or cannot see it, please do let me know, along with some idea of your general region [don’t be too specific!]. Thanks for watching! I do appreciate you being here.

It won’t even let ME view it here, so I don’t have much hope of you seeing it.


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

Dr. Tibo Bat: The Sub-Zero Ice Beast

This is for those who are interested in cats.

The colder it gets, the more Dr. Tibo Bat wants to go outside to hang out.

For those who don’t know, Dr. Tibo Bat is half-Maine Coon, and half regular orange Tabby cat. He’s got super-fluff, which makes staying cool a challenge. It’s why he always sleeps on his back.

Dr. Tibo Bat, trying to stay cool.

The down-side, of course, is that opening the door allows cold air inside. The door opens, he goes out, and I will pull the door closed without latching it. There is a shower curtain in place to try and slow down the transfer of cold air.

The colder it gets, the more he wants to be outside, and he wants to stay out there for quite a while.

I have pondered the idea of getting a door with a cat flap built in. I’m looking into it out of sheer curiosity, but I doubt that it’s a possibility in today’s world.

Ah, yes…. 27F [-2.8C]… just the way I like it!

He gets brushed regularly, and this includes using a Furminator, which goes through the undercoat and pulls away any loose hair. It helps thin things out a little bit.

I have sympathy for the little guy, so he gets to go on the patio whenever he wants. So I’ll be investigating the replacement door with a built-in cat flap, in the event that it becomes an actual reality that I can tackle.

At the very least, he will be going to the groomers in the Spring, so that he won’t get so hot. That might be a better investment.

I’ve only been out here for an hour, and it has already warmed up to 30F [-1.1C]. What gives?

If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

Exercising Self-Control

This morning, after roughly 3 days, I logged back in to Facebook for three whole minutes.

I had one friend request, was tagged in a post about cats “talking,” and one friend had uploaded about 12 images, two of which I cared about.

There were a handful of comments on my last photo, so I let them know I appreciated their suport with “likes” on their comments.

I then updated my profile image with an update:

So ya… thought ya… might like to… go to the show…

Not interacting and not attempting to be social on here has been a good thing. Further evidence that there is nothing social about this flaming turd called FB.

It is also better to stop in maybe a few times per week, tops.

Nice to not have the apps on my phone anymore.

The quest continues…


WHY POST ABOUT THIS HERE?
The reason why I post about this here is so that I can have accountability. It would be wrong to write the things that I do, and then be on FB all day anyway.

Just like with my old Fun Sized Snickers, I went in, had one, and got out. I felt no compulsion to sit there all day long.

I’m writing this very briefly brefore I run errands. It is 27F out right now. Was hoping for it to get up to at least 30F, but it’s time.

My writings in the future might be more brief and more frequent, but I will still write long-form pieces on occasion. I appreciate everyone here who reads this, who shows support, and who is up and bumping around the world today. I appreciate that you are here.


A REALIZATION
It really is time for me to accept this reality; the fact that I am the most dangerous animal to ever walk the surface of any planet in our solar system, and Facebook is merely a turd.

I am better than Facebook. So are you. It doesn’t run my life, just as Fun Size Snickers don’t run my waistline. I’m in charge of myself. I call the shots.

My MDD had always gotten in the way of this. Now that I can see it, I need to find a way to keep the MDD at check, to the side, out of the way.


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

Mental Health Therapy, Stigma, How It Works, and What to Expect

INTRODUCTION
Some will declare that this should not be written, for therapy is a very private matter and you don’t talk about it.

That’s how people die.

While I am Austic, and therefore willing to write about things the average person may consider inappropriate, I do have boundaries for this particular piece. That is, I will not be trauma dumping. In other words, neither the page nor you will become my therapist.

Today, I will be writing about therapy, what it is, how it works, the stigma associated with attending therapy, and more.

Let’s gooooooooo!!!


MY HISTORY WITH THERAPY
I first went to a therapist with my ex-wife, for couples counseling. It didn’t go well. If you’re in couples therapy, and the other person doesn’t take it seriously, then there is no hope and it’s time to bail.

Signs of not taking it seriously include things like calling at the last minute to cancel the appointment because “everything is fine,” and then calling their answering service at 2:30am because something dramatically horrible just happened, and you have to squeeze us into your schedule on an emergency basis IMMEDIATELY.

We had more emergencies than appointments.

Freedom!

I would go to individual therapy for the first time in 1993, after a carjacking incident, where the guy put the gun to my head, and pulled the trigger, but it went off later. If nothing else, an experience like this will lead you to therapy.

This therapist specialized in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD].

The next time I went was in mid-2008, when things were getting wild at MySpace. I was eating a poor diet of breads and pasta, and was probably diabetic at the time, but undiagnosed. I felt like I was losing my mind and going crazy, and I believed my co-workers were out to get me.

The session was through the EAP, which provides six sessions. That’s not enough to make any real progress. We concluded with the therapist saying that, indeed, he also believed my co-workers were out to get me, and that I should find new employment immediately.

He was right.

I saw another therapist in 2017, where I was tested and it was determined that I have High-Functioning Autism [ASD] and Major Depressive Disorder [MDD]. This therapy and therapist were helpful with regard to diagnosis. But we had a bit of a falling out, after I felt like he was being dishonest with me, and I suspected some gaslighting.

It is VERY possible to get a bad therapist, or one with whom you don’t connect. That’s when you try to find another one.

Finally, I started my recent therapy in late 2020, when my MDD was out of control and I was feeling like I might not want to live much longer. We’ve been having great success with my MDD and ASD.

These things will never, ever be cured. However, they must be dealt with professionally. The type of therapy I am currently involved with is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. Some call it “talking therapy” as well.

It is important to note that I am not a therapist or a professional. I just have lots of experience with therapy. I’ve made some mistakes, and maybe I can help others who encounter these mistakes.

Sometimes, these mistakes can lead to deadly consequences for the person seeking therapy, when they need it and then either do not get it, or they receive poor therapy.


WHAT IS THERAPY?
The type of therapy I will be covering is mental health therapy. This is a person with whom you speak, typically for one hour, on a scheduled weekly basis. The therapist will ask you questions about things you say and actively talk with you about these things you’ve said.


HOW THERAPY WORKS
For me, therapy starts a few days before the session. This is where I will write down some notes on things that I’d like to talk about.

In therapy, I run the risk of getting stuck on one topic, and I’ll end up using the entire hour for that, while forgetting about something else important I wanted to cover.

I’ll usually get the bad things out of the way first, before ending the session on a good note with my positivity report.

We spend the final few minutes talking about plans for the week, music, or even analysis of Stranger Things.

The reason why I get the bad things out of the way first is in case these things will take more work. We can skip the ending pleasantries and instead determine what I should consider for the week ahead, before the next session.

My therapy sessions are via video, thanks to efforts to keep afloat during the pandemic. We’ve not ever met in-person, and probably never will. That’s okay.

How therapy works is it gets you talking about things, and as you talk, you can be guided into a place where you are able to “re-frame” a situation so that you’re not looking at it through a fog of depression, for example.


WHAT TO EXPECT
Nothing is solved in one session. Do not expect the first appointment to be visibly helpful to you. It’s more to help the therapist understand you and your situation.

The first appointment is typically where the therapist asks you questions, with the goal of determining your own goals, as well as identifying areas where you may need assistance. This includes areas you’ve not yet considered.

Once all of the formalities are out of the way, you can settle into a weekly routine. It is VERY important that the routine be weekly. More about that later.

Sometimes you might feel worse after a therapy session. This is normal, as you’re dredging up painful things, and you will often times re-live or otherwise go through this pain again, on some level. That’s okay. The pain is what tells you that you’re healing.

There is also typically an annual review, which I’ve only learned about in the past few years. When you’re in therapy for over one year, this is what will be done to determine whether or not you need to remain in therapy.

Finally, some therapy groups have administrators who are pressuring their therapist to “graduate” people early, even when they’re not finished or haven’t reached their goals. This is dangerous, and is like rationing insulin.


THINGS TO AVOID AND POTENTIAL RED FLAGS
It might be thought that therapy is where everything goes. The truth is that there are no situations where everything goes. In therapy, what “goes” is talking about anything that will help you.

A bad therapist. One might also believe that all therapists are good at what they do, and are utter professionals. Typically, this is the case, although it is possible to get a bad therapist. This is when you have to stop and go looking for a new one. This can be difficult, especially for those with no insurance, government insurance, or anyone who lives in a rural area where your options are very slim.

Keep an eye out for how you feel about your therapist. If something isn’t quite right, you can try talking about it. You can also quietly look for someone else. Should you find another therapist, you can tell your current one that you don’t feel that things are working out.

Gaslighting. Beware of gaslighting. This is where someone will do or say something, the later deny doing or saying it, and it leaves you feeling like you’re going crazy.

My 2017 therapist was listening to me talk about how I experience the world, where there are TWO sets of rules. One set for everyone else, and a special harsh set, just for me.

He said that he’d like to test me for “something,” and asked if I’d be interested. Then he said, “You don’t LOOK Autistic.”

This is actually a MAJOR red flag, because Autism is NOT something that can be seen. So when I asked him what he meant by it when he said that, he replied with, “I didn’t say that.”

But he did. Things went downhill after this, as can be expected.

Large gaps between sessions. My sessions are typically once per week for one hour, which is expected and optimal. I had my last session yesterday and had to wait two weeks because of holidays. As of now, I’ll have to wait two weeks until my next session, thanks to more holidays.

This will happen no matter where, when there is a holiday season and offices are closed. But a large gap must not be accepted!

A great case of this is the “therapy” that Kaiser Permanente offers. In their program, they offer up one session every SIX WEEKS. This is SO unacceptable that both therapist AND patients marched in protest in front of KP in Los Angeles. The therapists feel that they are not helping anyone, and they are not because once per six weeks does nothing. The patients were protesting that they weren’t being helped appropriately.

I do not yet know what became of that protest.

Regression therapy. This may be called other things, but it’s a case of the therapist talking with you about the past, in an effort to get you to venture into the past. This type of therapy is, unfortunately, popular with psychologists and psychiatrists who are working with adults who were molested as children.

The risk in this type of therapy is that it can implant false memories. It can raise trauma, as well as false trauma. Given how unreliable human memory can be, this can be a very destructive form of therapy that is not reliable in any way at all.

It can also destroy the lives of people who may be innocent.

Instead of seeking answers, it is good to try to deal with those feelings in a more personal and immediate type of way. I have NOT been through therapy for anything like this, so I’d recommend seeking out more info from someone who has.

Finally, if you flat-out question some of the things your therapist is insisting on pushing on you, then it might be a good idea to just leave. I had a girlfriend who was seeing a therapist. The therapist kept telling her that I was an inherently bad person.

She was skeptical of the therapist, but then stopped seeing that therapist after they attempted to bill her for services not covered by the insurance. This was in spite of the fact that she had a SIGNED CONTRACT with the therapist that clearly stated that the patient WILL NOT be billed at any time, ever. She even had to call services to help this therapist with billing, and these calls were the responsibility of the therapist themselves.

That’s called a lack of ethics. Therapists are human, too, and thus subject to all of the failings and darkness that can inspire many.

Do not let any of this keep you from trying. You may find a great therapist on your first try, such as was the case for me with my PTSD therapy. But you may find one who isn’t that great, maybe they’re doing some things wrong, or maybe you just don’t have chemistry with them.

It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic, it just has to be something that gets in the way of your therapy objective(s) that inspires you to find another therapist.


THE STIGMA OF THERAPY
“I couldn’t do it. I don’t know how you can pay a stranger and then talk about personal and private matters.”

This was the response I got from an adult in my life, after telling them that I was going to therapy. This family member is older, and they grew up in a time when therapy was for “crazy” people. Please understand that using “crazy” is not only inappropriate, but it’s also a judgment call.

Stop being judgmental! If you stop being judgmental of others, it might lead you to stop being judgmental of yourself.

The stigma that is attached to therapy is mostly childish, judgmental, and mindless. It’s the idea that if you need therapy, then you are weak.

I get tired of the “weakness” arguments. There are lots of mentally unwell people who love to judge weakness. They put lots of human emotions into a box labeled “Weakness,” and I don’t know why. Here are some of the things that they consider to be weakness:

  • Being kind
  • Helping others
  • Expressing happiness
  • Asking for help
  • Admitting you need help
  • Politeness
  • Being courteous
  • Caring about the well-being of other people, especially when they’re in different tribes from your own.
  • Wanting the best for your neighbors
  • Participating in your community
  • Loving your neighbor

The list goes on, but this is a partial list of what many American adults view as signs of “weakness.”

One of these listed above, admitting you need help, is the FIRST important step to actually getting help. Saying it out loud is a most powerful exercise.

It is NOT weak to ask for help. Do you want to know what is weak?

When a person is weak, they will NOT ask for help and pretend everything is fine. They will shove hard feelings down with food, drugs, or alcohol.

A weak person holds a belief that they do everything themselves, achieve everything themselves, and they don’t need anyone else. This is delusional.

Glasses ON!

A weak person is afraid to cry or show fear, and so they bring in anger and aggression to serve as bodyguards to hide the “weak emotions.”

These people are easy to find. They wear crosses or MAGA hats, and talk obsessively about how “god” Is going to take care of everything. They have to keep telling themselves this several times per day, over and over, to suppress their concerns.

And if you don’t act like them, engage in this masking, and go along with everything they say, then they’ll more than likely want you dead, because your very presence breaks the illusion they need in order to survive.

Weak.

Strength is represented in being brave enough to declare that you need help.

If you struggle and need to feel better about seeking out therapy, you can do yourself a huge favor by stopping with the spreading of this stigma yourself. Don’t believe the hype! Don’t accept it.

You aren’t weak because you need therapy. When you need therapy, the only thing this says about you is that you need therapy. That’s it.

Go get it.

And stop caring about what the world things. It’s mostly morons.


IN THE END
Are YOU currently in therapy, working on something? Are you seeking therapy? Have you had a different experience? If you’re a professional therapist and I was wrong about anything, or if you want to get into more detail about anything, then please feel free to leave a civil comment below.

Your mental health impacts all other aspects of your health, including your physical health and your weight.

True story!

My depression and being fat was a case of a systemic issue where I’d feel more of the depression because of my weight, I’d eat more, get more depressed, eat more, get more depressed, eat more, and the cycle went on and on.

It’s a deep, dark pit of despair, where the walls are wet and slimy, and you can’t even see the light, let alone the opening of the hole.

A ladder would be nice. Something to help you get out.

Therapy is a ladder.

The picture to the right of this text is me during this holiday season in 2018, while visiting my mother.

Mom was kind enough to send me this, as a way to remind me of just how far I’ve come with my weight and mental health issues.

All of my clothes were huge. I was struggling to bend over to pet the dog, so it’s no wonder that I’ve taken to wearing Crocs and slip-ons for the past handful of years.

As I type this, I’m wearing steel-toed boots that tie up. I feel more like I’m ready to take on the day, as opposed to having the sensation that I’m perpetually sleeping in.

Again, I must stress a few things. I am NOT a therapist. Also, NONE of this is about fat-shaming or shunning those who are overweight, or a promotion of fat-phobia. Losing weight doesn’t mean you’re fat-phobic. For me, it means that my depression has less of a handle on me, AND it means that my Type 2 Diabetes is getting closer to being in control.

I mean, just look at these blood-glucose levels from this week, up to today:

For those who may not know, 100-125 is pre-diabetic. 99 and lower is “normal” or healthy. The healthier I get, the healthier I get. Funny how that works.

But I want to use these final words for encouragement for YOU. If you’re judgmental of others because they are fat, then please consider stopping, especially if YOU are fat yourself. Judging yourself doesn’t help you because it makes things worse.

Being judgmental of others is bad, because it inspires you to be self-judgmental. It also achieves nothing. If you are judgmental because it makes you feel better about yourself, then you most definitely need therapy.

Name-calling, shaming, and other 2nd grade playground garbage is not something in which mature adults should be engaging. We see lots of this online, especially in online comments. Why the negativity?

Beating yourself up makes it all worse. I don’t know how many times I can say that until it’s enough. Because I said it to myself for years on end before it finally kicked in and made sense.

Here are some things that worked for me:

  • Cut out unhealthy things, like fast food. A burger on occasion is cool, though.
  • Stop eating things like potatoes, pasta, bread, and starches.
  • Give up the candy, but keep ONE thing for yourself. For me, it was 3 Fun Sized Snickers per day, with a 3 max per day.
  • Eating 5 smaller meals instead of 2-3 bigger meals is better.
  • Chew more, and eat more slowly.
  • Make rules for yourself. I eat NOTHING at my desk, except for my breakfast or carrots. I also do not eat in front of the TV, with the exception of actual meals. NO SNACKS in front of the TV! I also stop eating after 7:00pm.
  • Give up sodas and beer, and drink water. I know, water can get boring. Not for me. Thanks, Autism. Sodas are liquid sugar.

I’m at a stage where I feel relatively bullet-proof. I have no cravings. If I want a burger, then I’ll get one. I just don’t do it every day. If I want a Fun Sized Snickers, then I’ll have one, although I haven’t had one or wanted one in about three weeks or so.

These dietary moves, no doubt, had a MAJOR impact on my mental health and aided my successes in therapy. All of it is connected.

Because of therapy, I have a better relationship with food, others around me, and myself. I had started to wonder if I was ever going to see ANY results, either with my depression or weight. I’m glad that I stuck with it, as it’s finally paying off.

Before, I used eating as a way of attempting to cope. Now, I use therapy.

Therapy has fewer calories.

On a side note, I sold some music gear that I wasn’t using, so that I could get a new wardrobe started. What I’m wearing in this photo is one of the few outfits I’ve gotten. Donations to my PayPal can help with more clothes. I also plan on visiting places like Goodwill to find relatively cheap clothes.

Thank you to everyone who reads and comments. I truly appreciate you being here.


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

More Steps Forward

Stepping away from social networking has provided a major boost in my positivity and activity. The way I measure this is by reviewing a snapshot of a typical morning.

When I would use social networking, I’d end up scrolling to see what I had missed, or see who liked or commented on whatever it was that I had posted. I wouldn’t sit there and waste a ton of time, but time was still wasted.

This morning, I got ready for the day, went through my emails, and then went outside to sweep the garage and go run some errands.

Imagine that. Sweeping the garage is more healthy and positive than scrolling through mindless posts

It’s not that Facebook won’t try to get me back. They’ve sent me a few emails telling me about who was posting. They word it in such as way as if to suggest they wrote something personally toward me or about me, when I know they actually wrote about how much they love their dog.

I appreciate that they love their dog. It just doesn’t do all that much when it comes to moving my life forward in a positive direction.

So I blocked those emails and soldiered on.

I’ve had more time to focus on other things that actually DO serve to enrich my life. There’s more time writing in my journal, book, and here. More time for piano, guitar, bass, finger drumming, and songwriting. More time to revisit those books or movies that come to mind.

There’s also more time to focus on myself.


BUT ISN’T THAT NARCISSISM?
The short answer is No! Focusing on yourself and taking care of yourself is NOT narcissims.

Narcissism is a by-product of abuse experienced in childhood. The narcissist builds an aggrandized self-image in an attempt to rise above their abuse. They end up only caring about themselves, in so far as what they can get.

A narcissist treats other humans as THINGS to be used at your pleasure, before being unceremoniously discarded like a used piece of trash.

Narcissists don’t really “love” themselves. In fact, they actively hate themselves while having even more contempt for anyone who isn’t them.

So narcissists DO NOT love themselves, and are about as far away from loving themselves as possible.

But the biggest sign that caring about yourself is NOT narcissism can be found if you’re worried that you might be a narcissist. The thing is, narcissists don’t worry about being narcissists. They don’t care about being narcissists. They don’t care about other people. They are incapable. It is impossible.

It’s okay to care about yourself. It’s okay to love yourself. It’s okay to do things for yourself or to take care of yourself. It’s okay to put myself first, followed by my family and/or those who depend on me, and so on down the hierarchy of people who are involved in my life, or otherwise in my general area.

Narcissists can’t care about their neighbors. Again, they are simply not capable.


WHAT’S IN THIS DAY?
Today is about cleaning house, laundry, grocery shopping [already done], sweeping the garage [already done], feeding and playing with the cats [done], plotting the budget, writing [partially done], and multi-instrument practice.

What is NOT in this day is sitting on Facebook, wondering about people and things, while my expectation of it being a social network is not being met.

It’s nothing against the people from my past. There are some I really like, some I truly dislike, and some I don’t care about. This is the case for everyone, and I fit into ALL of those categories, depending on who is doing the thinking about me. That’s fine.

My Facebook account still exists for them, and I might check in on occasion. I just won’t be getting in there every day, and I will NOT be getting on FB with my phone. No social networking apps are on my phone, and it will stay that way.

I like writing here. I can sit and really dedicate time and energy, as well as thought and focus. And when I’m done, I post or save, and move on with whatever else I have to do. There is no meandering or wondering what has changed.


IN THE END
Positivity is a weird thing. Some people say that you have to fake it until you make it. I can’t do that, and have tried but never succeeded.

For me, I have to go to the “make it” part. Jerking around like a fraud isn’t my bag.

People, situations, events, and platforms can all have an impact on your mental and emotional state. Some add to it, while others take away.

For me, WordPress adds to the positive, while other sites take away.

YouTube is something I’m exploring as well. I have new ideas for a new channel that I made a few months ago, after a reading friend encouraged me. Those ideas are very important to me, so I will put them out there. People will like it, and some will not. That’s cool.

What is NOT cool is me remaining quiet and allowing everyone else to bulldoze right over. Why is their word any more important or valuable than mine? Why should I discount my own thoughts and words?

If they don’t like it, why should I care? If they can make an argument that supports why they don’t like it, and why I might be wrong, then I will check that out. I’m not bull-headed.

It’s time to take on the day.

Oh, and by the way, yesterday was the 52nd anniversary of one of my most favorite live albums of all time, so I’ll be posting a link to the entire ablum below. Thanks for reading!

Elton John – Live in New York 11/17/70


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

Dear FB and FB Friends: Here is Why I Left

INTRODUCTION
If you are reading this, then either you’re a subscriber of some kind, OR you’re a Facebook friend who found my final post, got curious, went to my website, found the link to this on my website, clicked it, and now you’re reading.

Thank you for reading, and for being here.

Of course, being Autistic I was tempted to write a long-winded explanation to ensure that I wasn’t being misunderstood. But then I figured, WHY post it on Facebook, where only 3-5 people will actually read it [because it doesn’t generate engagement], when I can post it HERE, where I know that more people will read it.

Besides, the “friends” who aren’t really my friends might view it as whining, instead of explaining. Then I have to explain the difference between the two, which they won’t understand because they may not have the intelligence it takes to possess nuance.

My leaving had nothing to do with any one person, and has everything to do with the overall experience, expectations, and the inept ways of those who run Facebook. There are also general concerns related to human behavior, but again, it’s no one person in general.

LET’S GOOOOOOO!!!


OVERALL EXPERIENCE
My overall experience with the site did not live up to my expectations, which you will read about in the next segment.

The sensation that I get from Facebook is that it is cold and dead, and all about whatever the algorithm wants people to see. It is no conspiracy that the Facebook algorithm promotes engagement.

Engagement is when people are really getting into it. What achieves this better than politics? Religion, maybe? They figure out what upsets you, and then serve it to you so that you can get self-righteous and shit all over it.

This also means suppression of things that DO NOT fit into the arena of engagement. These are things that DO NOT drive up engagement, and therefore do not make the company money.

Making money is the main thing they do, and they don’t care if it destroys your lives. They want their money. Money is all that matters. Human life is coincidental to them, and ventures into the unnecessary.

Yes, we’re becoming unnecessary, but that’s for another entry.

Now, during my time there, I have put a great deal of work into being as non-controverisal as humanly possible. I’ll write more about that later, and it won’t be pretty.

But for me, Facebook is cold, dead, pointless, and does not achieve what it claims. There is nothing social about today’s social networking, or Facebook.


EXPECTATIONS
You might be wondering what I expected from a social networking platform. This is going to sound truly radical, and maybe a bit crazy, but I expected it to have a social element. I expected it to encourage social connections.

It only encourages fighting, hatred, and fear.

A lot of you who are my age may not have been online through the 90s. I was engage in lots of social networking back then, before big profits, advertising, and controlling use was not prevalent.

People had FUN! I had a blast on mIRC, ICQ, Yahoo! Chat, AIM, CompuSERVE, and other websites. I made some friends, and we actually had get-togethers and had a good time.

I even made a friend on Yahoo! Chat in 1998, we’re still friends today, and he’s reading this right now. Hi, AA! How many NEW friends have I made with social networking in the past 15 years?

None.

Facebook does not encourage new friendships, mainly because doing that would detract focus from their money-making mission, where money is the ONLY thing that matters, and society does not.

Sure, they recommend people to me. Most of those recommendations are garbage, because they’ll recommend people who are certainly going to generate some stress on my part. They’re people I work to avoid.

I expect my social networking to be social and to involve networking. Facebook offers neither.


INEPTITUDE OF FACEBOOK
In this segment, I’ll be generous and suggest that maybe I was part of the problem.

As an Autistic adult, I do have the good fortune of being able to understand, construct, and deliver sarcasm. With many Autistic people, they struggle with sarcasm, innuendo, and general speaking between the lines. I am the same with msot of it, but I am good at sarcasm.

Also, if we’re talking and you say, “Get outta here!” I’ll know that you’re being happily incredulous, and will NOT end up walking out of the room because I was told to get out of here. Autistic people will sometimes take things literally.

On the part of Facebook, their algorithm is not capable of detecting whether a person is pro-something, anti-something, or just being sarcastic. Much like a very Autistic person, it takes everything literally.

It gets as literal as possible, and then hits you in the face. It does not account for American coloquialisms, either.

I had encountered TWO specific issues during my latest return.

The first one was somewhere around mid-July 2022, when I was chatting with Scott Blake on a thread on his profile. We were talking about old high school talent show performances. He said that he wondered if the school still had them on tape. I wrote that I had NO idea that videotapes of any of that even existed.

Then, I attempted to use sarcasm as humor.

“Oh… tapes? Of the performances? Well, I guess I gotta go burn the school down now, BRB lol.”

It didn’t take long for me to get chided by Facebook about going against their “community guidelines.”

Flash forward to November 16, 2022, when someone had posted a cartoon of a Native American handing a turkey to a Pilgrim. It said something about early Americans feeding illegal aliens from Europe.

It says “undocumented,” which is WAY too kind. Tit for tat!!

My mind took the logical step from that, and engaged in some dark humor as a comment.

I wrote this because I have a BIG, big problem with the concept of “Christian Dominionism.” This is where Christians take from you and kill you, then declare that it was “manifest destiny,” because “god” told them they could steal the land and genocide the people.

Sure, we’ll punish YOU if you steal from us or commit a genocide against us. We’re GOD’S people, so you dare NOT do that. But we can do that to you ALL WE WANT, cuz GAWD said so.

Anyone who isn’t directly benefitting from this has a problem with it. So if someone is okay with it, then you know what kind of monster they truly are.

Back to my story.

Well, wouldn’t you know, THIS caught their attention. Except this time I didn’t just get a warning. I got banned from Facebook for an entire 24 hours. During that time, I couldn’t do anything. More about that later.

Okay, so I shouldn’t use dark sarcasm in my humor.

The problem is that most of my humor is dark sarcasm. I won’t be changing that, so I have to stay away from places that punish people for having a sense of humor like mine.

This means I have to stay away from Facebook, unless I want to be punished.


GENERAL BEHAVIORS AND MISC
It was very frustrating that I couldn’t post an explanation for everyone on Facebook during that 24 hour ban. I couldn’t explain myself at all. At the time, I was all caught up on my chores and didn’t have any music to work on and had no plans to do much writing in my book.

So I did something else to pass the time.

First, I deleted my Instagram account. I was basically using it to post pictures of my half-Maine Coon, Tibo Bat. I will tell you, based on first-hand experience, that it sucks when you post cat photos online — a place where cat photos typically reign supreme — and you still feel virtually invisible.

I started having that sensation that I had in mid-2014, when I first deleted my Facebook account. At that time, I had detoxed from internet addiction, and began wondering why I had ever posted anything, at any time, to be seen by anyone, for any reason.

I wondered why, and I saw no point to it. I also saw no benefit. I did, however, see it causing some damage.

Once that was deleted, I went to Facebook. But what should I do with it? I’ve deleted it before, and usually end up returning after I think it’s a good idea because I’ve forgotten how it felt.

So I decided to keep my Facebook account this time.

But I still needed some things to do, so I went about deleting all of my photos, except for ONE profile photo. I may replace it with a photo from today.

I deleted all of my posts and all of my responses to posts.

What I didn’t delete, I think, is likes and other things.

But I deleted as much as I could. I was relentless.

Eventually, I deleted the Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram apps from my phone.


IN THE END
Yes, this time I kept the Facebook profile. I may disable it, but I am not certain. But I will keep it, because I’ve invested a great deal of time actively blocking church sites and Christian memes, as well as unfollowing people I care about who are otherwise too unsufferable in their religious beliefs.

People don’t understand that it pains me to see people so deeply brainwashed that they cry and live in fear. It’s even worse when they use hatred as a bodyguard, because fear suggests weakness.

Do you know what else suggests weakness? Kindness. Being kind to others. Having something good to say. Being gentle. Having humanity. Letting someone else go ahead of you, having respect for them even if they are different.

These are human attributes that supposedly denote weakness. This is a VERY dangerous place for our society to be.

Now, I’m hearing Nazi rumblings about “useless eaters who don’t have jobs and contribute nothing except being leaches.” Do you know who they are talking about?

They’re talking about ME. I’m a burden on society because I’m Autistic, I’m disabled, and I’m not working. Never mind the fact that I worked for 36 years, which is a year more than people who retire and get a gold watch. Forget that, NOW I’m not killing myself to make someone else rich, so therefore I should be exterminated.

Knowing this, and then seeing friends supporting Republican efforts, is truly disheartening. That they claim to be my “friend,” and yet they’d throw me beneath the screeching steel wheels of a cattle car to the camp showers because “god” told them they had to exercise this hatred in order to be “true Christians” and to be “loved.”

In 2011, I asked many of my friends on Facebook who would stand up for me when Christians decide to start killing non-Christians. I got a few responses of laughter, which I can’t tell how it’s funny if I get killed. I got a few responses of, “Well, you CHOSE to hate god.” I didn’t choose to not believe, any more than you chose to believe.

It’s NOT a choice, and I try to remember that as I watch brainwashed friends struggle between their Christainity and Humanity. I root for Humanity, always.

I was also told that I was imagining things, and that I should not worry about it. Well, now it seems that this spectre is closer to the gates than ever before. It’s visible. It’s actual. It is becoming realized.

And NOBODY on Facebook who claims to be a “friend” would EVER speak up for me if I were to be destroyed for the crime of not being a Christian, being disabled, being Autistic, not being employable [thanks, ageism!], and not breaking my back to make someone else rich.

What I NEED to do is spend time with friends who actually care about me. People who actually care whether or not I’m executed for not being a Christian.

We are approaching those times, and I have Jewish friends who are also very nervous about where things are going. This is not imaginary. It has happened before. It will happen again.

And for me, it is no longer good enough for anyone to simply TELL me they are my friend. Too many people have lied to me about this in the past, and I’ve paid heavily for it every single time I believed them. It shows just how pathetic I was in that I needed to have friends so badly that I’d believe horrific people.

Yet, I did.

People who are my friends now have to SHOW me they are my friends. I have a few who do already. My bud who makes music in Mayalsia is a true friend.

There’s another bud I worked with 30 years ago. He helped me out, when I needed a place to stay. I attended his wedding in late 2016.

There are a few other friends who wrote messages to me on Facebook or email, letting me know how they felt about me, or offering up encouragement during difficult times.

There’s one friend who send me a message on Facebook to let me know that they also got bullied in school, when I had no idea. We bonded over that, among other things. She’s also probably the only Christian I know who actually DOES something with it, instead of just rattling on about it all the time. She never told me I should go to church, read the bible, or believe. She lives by example.

These are descriptions of just a few of the friends I really have; those whom I appreciate.

There are also those who are more casual, so we don’t get deep enough to have those types of connections. That’s fine, and I appreciate all people who offer kindness.

Being Autistic, I attract people who wish to exploit, and they view me as a very easy target. I used to be. My attitude is that I still am, and for that reason I must remain vigilant.

So far as my Facebook profile goes, I won’t really be using it all that much. It will probably still be there for quite some time.

I probably won’t be logging in daily, won’t be checking Messenger, and won’t be posting or otherwise interacting. I’ll just be there, as a placeholder, so that I can at least counter anyone who is pretending to be me. That can cause problems.

At any rate, if YOU are reading this, the I wish to let you know that I truly appreciate you taking time out of your day to read this, and to understand what I did and why I am doing it.

The bottom line is that Facebook is VERY toxic. It’s NOT a healthy place to be. It’s even more toxic for people like me, who have special socio-emtional frailties and susceptabilities.

Those who have my number can text or call. Those with my email can write. Those with the intelligence needed to find me are always welcome. I’ve owned drumwild.com since late 1999, and it’s searchable by my real name.

If you don’t know my real name, then I’d encourage you to read again, because it’s referenced in this entry.

Maybe we will talk again. Sadly, for most on Facebook, we never talked in the old days, and we’ve STILL not yet talked. People don’t talk on Facebook. There may be too much fear, and people aren’t comfortable talking anymore.

But there is absolutely nothing social about ANY of it.


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild

No More Facebook or Instagram

INTRODUCTION
Nothing like a spoiler in the title, but there really isn’t a decent way to do this that isn’t click-bait. Besides, no time for BS, LET’S GOOOOOOO!!!


IT WAS TENUOUS, AT BEST
My previous connection and history with Facebook was not really anything positive or entertaining.

It went bad in the past for a number of reasons for me. I had actual expectations that it would be a social network. Because it’s not a social network, but it calls itself one, I would have struggles in my head about what this was for and WHY I would use it.

I once deleted my account in mid-2014. When I tried to return in mid-2019 — FIVE YEARS LATER!! — I was forced to reactivate the old account. So they are fking LIARS when they tell you it will be permanently deleted after 30 days.

Since then, I’ve created and deleted a handful of new accounts, after haivng issues and struggles.


THE EVENT LEADING TO THE DECISION
It all started when I was scrolling through the newsfeed, when I saw a meme:

As you can guess, OF COURSE my problem with things like Thanksgiving is that it tries to dress up a situation where a group of people showed up, decided they wanted the land, and then they killed the indigenous people [genocide] and TOOK IT [theft], and they did so with the justification that “god said we could.”

This is a horrific practice known as Christian Dominionism. It’s the weird suggestion that white European Christians make to suggest that god only wants them and god only cares about them.

This is why I DEMAND that they prove their god exists. I want their god to tell ME that they’re supposed to be in charge, and I refuse to roll over and lay down so that “Christians” can be comfortable.

So I decided to leave a sarcastic comment in agreement with the sentiment.

In case you can’t tell, the screen shot presents another part of the problem. That is, their SYSTEM — which cannot identify sarcasm — decided that I am to be locked out of Facebook for 24 hours.

THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE
It happened one other time, where something I wrote got me a strike. It didn’t lock me out of my account for 24 hours, so I probably didn’t make a big deal about it. I may have written about it here, but I’m not motivated enough to go looking for it.

But this is what my account looks like now on my phone.

Both restrictions were a result of misunderstood comments. Thanks, FB.

It’s frustrating because I wasn’t spreading any hatred, lies, or conspiracies, and my sarcasm was calling our the racist hypocrisy of Christians and Christianity.


WHAT TO DO WITH THE 24 HOURS
That’s an interesting non-problem for me to have. My mornings involve doing things around the apartment, writing in my new book, writing here, writing and/or recording music, and listening to things on YouTube that serve to enrich my life.

I also spend time doing things that are not online.

Today’s FB jail sentence, however, caught me completely off-guard. I had no plans to write here or in my book. I don’t have any tracks to work on this morning. I didn’t need to run to the store or take on any other errands.

So my plan was to scroll the through FB newsfeed and maybe “interact” with my “friends.” These plans were thwarted by FB and their inability to understand sarcasm. So I found some other things to do.

I started by deleting my Instagram account. Not deactivate, but completely deleted. I was posting photos of Tibo Bat. It was mainly for fun. But I can’t use Facebook [Instagram is a FB company] to engage in “fun,” when I have nothing but ugly, bad, negative feelings about the company.

So my Instagram account is gone. According to the email, it will be deleted on December 16, 2022. They say that before then, I can log back in and stop the deletion. Knowing these liars, I am willing to bet that I could log back in five years later and it will still be there.

I have good reason to believe that, too. It’s called “experience.”

Once Instagram was deleted, I figured that I had some more time to fill before it was time to get rolling on other things the day demands of me. So I went through Facebook and deleted every comment I had ever left.

After that, I deleted every video I posted.

Then I deleted every image I’d ever uploaded, except for one.

But I still had some free time, so I deleted everything I had ever posted on my entire timeline.


WHAT NEXT?
I do have 23 more hours left in FB jail. So I’ll have to wait until THAT is lifted before I can finish my work.

Here’s what I still need to do:

  1. Delete all relevant apps: Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram are all gone, so this was already done.
  2. Change my bio info: I never filled out my bio, with information about where I live, work, family connections, etc. But I did add a link to Tibo Bat’s Instagram page, so I need to delete that. I had added a link to drumwild.com, and will leave that there. I cannot make any changes to my bio or profile until after the ban is lifted.
  3. Check for “stragglers”: While I suspect I have deleted everything, it’s possible that a few things get missed. I’ll skim through for that.
  4. POST AN UPDATE THAT I AM GONE: The update will note that I am NOT deleting my profile, but also that I will not be using it. I will encourage them to contact me via my official website instead of any method on FB. This means that nobody will contact me, as I get almost no messages on Messenger as it is. Facebook isn’t really all that social.
  5. Stay gone: I will log out, and not log back in. That’s it.

I’m leaving the profile there so that I can be found, but also as a type of placeholder. I don’t want someone else pretending to be me on FB. That never ends well.

So the profile stays.


GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
During my time back on FB, I have made some general observations. As I’ve noted before, there is nothing social about Facebook. It’s where you throw your life up on a feed, and wait for “friends” to comment on it. Most of these “friends” can’t be bothered to write a basic message or interact in any way. And too many are comfortable with engaging in harsh disagreements our outright attacks.

I did get caught up with a few people on there. Beyond that, it really wasn’t worth too much of it.

I did have some positive experiences in sharing my weight loss adventure. But I don’t really need to put that on there. Sure, it’s nice to hear that some people are happy for me about it. That’s fine. Getting kudos from someone who is actually close with me is by far more meaningful than all of that put together.

It’s like getting one of those penny tokens at a zoo or carnival. This is where you put 4 quarters into a slot, then one penny into a slot, and the machine flattens the penny into a flat, oblong thing that is imprinted with the company logo.

It’s neat and fun in the moment, but it becomes way less after a day or two.

I don’t need to put it here, either, but I do because I have real friends who read this and they actually care about what is going on.


IN THE END
It could be the positivity that I’ve been experiencing lately, but I feel like this time I’m leaving Facebook on healthy terms, and doing so in a better way by not deleting the profile and letting everyone know what happens. Since I have 113 “friends,” I suspect that 3-4 of them will actually read it.

Some will comment without understanding that I won’t see their comment, even though I will flat-out tell them in plain English that I WILL NOT SEE YOUR COMMENT ON MY POST HERE.

Reading is not the strongest suit of many of my “friends.” They’re Americans, they can’t help it. Stupidity and illiteracy is encouraged.

But I’ve been busy working on new music for Noodle Muffin, as well as some things for myself.

And my weight loss is going great! My weight recently hit a patriotic level… hehe

1976 was the American Bicentennial.

Of course, at this point I got the long-awaited problem of none of my clothes fitting. So I went and got some new threads to wear. Before I show those, here’s a photo my mother sent, to drive home my actual weight loss achievement.

This could be either Thanksgiving or Christmas 2018, when I weighed approximately 265 pounds. Mom was always concerned about the big roll around my gut, as it increases the chances of heart attack and other illnesses. My depression was out of control, and I wore slip-on shoes constantly.

Today, I have some new clothes that actually fit. It got a little bit pricey, because getting a new wardrobe can do this. So if you are able, and wish to help, please considering a few dollars to my PayPal link below, so that I may replace my fat-guy wardrobe.

I will leave you with some of my recent weight loss photos, with some showing the new clothes. I have two pair of jeans, two t-shirts, 6 pair of underwear, and 6 pair of socks, so I’m on my way to a new wardrobe.

Thank you for reading!


If you like what I write, then please consider sending a one-time donation to me via PayPal. Please use the following link and click SEND to donate, and thank you for reading! https://paypal.me/drumwild