A NEED FOR REST: Why I’m Taking One Day A Week Off From The Internet

 

One of the two tools of my work; been that way for the past nine years. Photo courtesy of Isk.me

 

THE SHORT ANSWER TO THIS…

Avoiding Burnout.

This past Sunday I decided to do something that I don’t remember doing for quite a while:

Spend a day without going online.

Being completely internet-free.

Taking the day off, as because of my duties running my sports fan blog  (here’s the link for you to check it out), http://www.SoCalSportsAnnals.Wordpress.com,

As well as following various games on the blog’s Twitter page and keeping it’s Facebook page current,

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome whose mental being is very important to me, it was wearing me down.

So I took the day off and rather enjoyed it, doing virtually nothing for the bulk of the day.

And from now on will make it a point to take one day off from the Internet a week – Sunday in my case as that’s the best day for me to do so.

 

As much as I enjoy my work, blogging and writing my book on one of these things, this picture illustrates my feelings quite well. Photo courtesy of wittyfeed.com

 

 

I reckon most folks will think, “Big Deal! People take days off all the time!” and not consider this blog entry of mine something worth paying attention to.

But I think this ought to serve as a friendly tip for those who feel that they are working too hard and are sensing a dread of doing whatever their regular duties are.

After my restful Sunday, without any intentions to preach or telling folks what to do I’m convinced once and for all that people need to take one day off a week.

God certainly knew what he was doing when after creating the world, “On the seventh day He (God) ended his work which he had made, and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He had made.” – Genesis, 2:2

SoCal Sports Annals’ Twitter and Facebook pages – where I’m usually on – can wait until Monday.

Taking Sundays off will be good for my mental and emotional well-being.

And if you can, though it doesn’t have to be on a Sunday, I hope you are able to take one day off from your work to completely rest.

Do nothing.

Be lazy, if you want to be honest.

Your mental health will appreciate it.

 

 

The other main tool of my trade; I’m on one of these up to five hours a day/night, hence my need for a day off per week. Photo courtesy of tablet-news.com

MORE IMAGES THAT SOOTH ME: Springtime Scenes

The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Photo courtesy of dreamstime.com

 

A few months ago, I posted photos on this site depicting winter scenes that give me a good feeling, photos that lessen any anxieties I have due to my being on the Autism Spectrum (Asperger’s Syndrome to be precise).

As Spring is my favorite season – not too warm, new bright green leaves budding that looks nice – I wanted to post scenes of Spring that, when I’m experiencing any negative feelings or having a bad day,

Makes me feel better, even though as much as I wish I were at these places I’m unable to.

It’s my way of getting back to nature.

Hope these pics give you a good feeling, too…

 

 

Photo courtesy of lovesphotoalbum.com

 

This is a really good image, the leaves growing on the trees and the cows grazing on the grass.

It reminds me of when I was eight years old and living in the country; I had two calves that I had fun taking care of.

 

 

Photo courtesy of beautyscenery.com

 

I’ve always liked wide open spaces like this, particularly since I live in the vicinity of the nation’s second largest city where it oftentimes feels so cramped and crowded.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of freebestwallpapers.blogspot.com

 

A classic springtime image: brightly colored flowers blooming among bright green grass in a meadow.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of keyword-suggestions.com

 

Love these budding leaves on these trees in Switzerland…

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of lifeseasons.getitguru.it

 

Check out these wildflowers with the spectacular mountain range in the background!

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of wallpaperfx.com

 

I SO wish I was at this place; it’s more or less perfect with the forest, mountains and trees bathed in all that green and blue (the sky, that is).

I guess I’m a nature person at heart.

Perhaps I’ll get to see places like these someday soon…

 

 

BEGINNING THE HOME STRETCH: The Latest Update on “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”

I’ve often felt like this little girl not only as a kid, but also in my adult life and sometimes even today due to having Asperger’s. Photo courtesy of myaspergerschild.com

 

HOW THINGS ARE GOING AS I BEGIN MY FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR SELF-PUBLICATION OF MY BOOK DESCRIBING MY LIFE ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM IN THE NON-AUTISTIC WORLD

 

To put it precisely, it’s coming along fairly well.

Since the new year began I’ve been making final edits, corrections and rewrites of my book, WALKING ON EGGSHELLS, making sure that everything is as good as I can possibly make it before I go to the self-publication sites.

Out of the ten chapters I have written, I have printed five, meaning that half of the book is, in my eyes, as ready for (self) publishing as I can make it as this is the fourth edit of this tome.

I’ve been trying to cut things, looking at different paragraphs, passages and sentences that are too wordy; things that are not needed to get my point across along with the inevitable typos and misspellings that are common with every writer.

Basically my mind-set in this process is,  “How can I make this better?”

As evidenced by the fact that I’ve done five chapters so far and am currently final editing Chapter Six, things are moving along.

My target date for WALKING ON EGGSHELLS being finished and published remains between June 1st and my 50th birthday in mid-June.

 

This, I’ve felt, describes me too, especially during my high school days; check out those other two girls (no doubt) talking crap about her. Photo courtesy of activebeat.com

 

In order to accomplish that, however, I need to keep going on the editing and printing, which will take a while as the manuscript is well over 300 pages – though it will be considerably fewer in book form; this is not WAR AND PEACE I’m writing here, nor do I want my book to be.

After all the editing and rewriting, though I know it won’t be perfect by any means, and I’m not expecting it to be any kind of big seller in the slightest, I have to say that I’m as satisfied as a first-time writer can be.

My current goal for this particular week is to have Chapter Six – which is the second part of my mostly bad times as a high school student with Asperger’s and my struggles with that in a traditional school as I had so many traumatic memories of those days, I had to split them into two large chapters – finished and printed.

And perhaps Chapter Seven, which describes my pathetic history concerning matters of the heart, focusing on one member of the opposite sex in particular, as well.

The Bottom Line: Things are coming together.

I hope they continue to.

And I really hope that people will want to read this book of mine when it’s done.

Goodness knows I’ve worked quite hard on it.

 

No pair of statements can be truer, particularly the first one in my case. Image courtesy of pinterest.com

 

How To Tell Legitimate Soliciting Charities From Scams Outside of Supermarkets

 

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Not the particular Ralphs in my neighborhood, but I have encountered many a pushy solicitor at the one I go to. Photo courtesy of immovingtola.com

 

DEALING WITH PUSHY SOLICITORS OUTSIDE OF SUPERMARKET DOORS AND PARKING LOTS

 

I’m sure everyone has encountered them.

You need some bread, chicken, juice, veggies, or whatever, so you get going to your local Ralphs, or Pavilions, or Sprouts, or Trader Joe’s.

You get what you need, go through the checkout line, and as you cross the automatic doors someone sitting at some table says something along the lines of:

“Would you donate to (whatever charity they’re part of) to help the (whoever they’re supposedly helping)…”

And sometimes in the parking lot, as you’re putting your stuff in your car, some teenage boy – they’re almost always teenage boys – comes up to you with a box of candy, chips, and other junk food and does the pushy salesman thing; one time, after I had told a young man I how I don’t buy candy, he went on this spiel about how I could buy it for my friends and how he was raising money for some field trip.

I know it sounds harsh, and I have nothing against anyone trying to raise money to do some good, but…

Even though I have donated to some of those companies, I get irritated by most of the folks trying to get me to buy or donate to whatever charity they’re working for, because when I’m shopping for food I’m trying to handle my business and go, and I don’t have time for anything else.

I’m just being honest.

There are two big exceptions to this personal sentiment, however:

 

 

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I can’t count how many boxes of cookies I have bought from this organization over the years. Photo courtesy of alpenhornnews.com

 

 

1. The Girl Scouts

It should go without saying that I love their cookies, namely the Tagalongs (the chocolate ones with the peanut butter inside) and the new S’mores. Plus I’ve been buying them for over 25 years; I remember as an elementary school P.E. teacher girls arguing over who will get to sell me their cookies.

2. The Salvation Army

Every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, whenever I see that red bucket and those bell-ringers, I’ve always put in at least a dollar; I think I donated a total of around $10 this past holiday season.

 

The thing that these organizations have in common, that have led me to donating to them on a regular basis for years?

THEY HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR AT LEAST A HUNDRED YEARS; 105 in the Girl Scouts’ case (they started in 1912), and as for the Salvation Army, they first organized in 1865!

I once joked with one of those bell ringers that when the Salvation Army began, the Civil War had just ended and the 13th Amendment, which officially ended slavery, had just passed!

 

Here’s my point:

I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me a charitable organization needs to have been around for a significant length of time –  70 years at minimum – and be well-known in America and abroad, to the tune of commercials, major websites, and the like.

The Girl Scouts, the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and numerous other charities fit those requirements quite well.

However…

There are many other charities that don’t.

I always get very suspicious if whoever is bothering me for a purchase or a donation has no website, like those kids selling candy in my supermarket’s parking lot when I asked them for the name of theirs, or if their website’s a shoddy one, or if they have only been around for a few years.

One particular charity that was VERY aggressive and pushy in my area for a couple of years – I won’t mention their name – not only had a questionable website when I checked them out,

Not only had bad things said about them when I looked them up in the Better Business Bureau,

But they were apparently shut down as I noticed that they hadn’t been outside of my supermarket, or any others in my area, for a while.

That is a clear sign of a scam.

 

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An organization that’s definitely NOT a scam, one which I’m always glad to give my money to. Photo courtesy of inthesetimes.com

 

 

Another scam that I read about on my town’s Facebook page was when teens would go door to door asking for donations for their high school sports teams, which the high school had said is not their policy.

One guy posted that he would always ask the name of their coach, and the kid would never know.

That’s when you know it’s a scam.

I would also ask what their win-loss record was, and then go on my Kindle to verify that.

 

Summing Up:

Always check out any charity that you’ve never heard of  who approaches you – often in an aggressive fashion – and asks for money.

Ask them for their website, address and phone numbers.

If they don’t have a site, or if their address is a P.O. box rather than a real brick and mortar building, or if their phone number is not in service,

Or if they are really pushy in their soliciting,

Then one word describes them:

SCAM.

The Bottom Line:  Be careful who you give your hard-earned money to.

 

pavillions

Another supermarket chain where I have seen pushy solicitors who are apparent scammers; there’s one of these around the corner from where I live. Photo courtesy of immovingtola.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2017: Just A Few Thoughts

celebrating-black-history-month

A great shot of some extremely well known people; I had the pleasure of meeting the guy with the boxing gloves in the upper left hand corner. Photo courtesy of 1966mag.com

 

MUSINGS FROM A MIDDLE AGED AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE

 

It’s my regret that I’m giving homage to Black History Month on this blog with just a few days to go in the month.

But as they say, no use crying over spilled milk.

Or better late than never; take your pick.

 

Having said that…

In light of our new President-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s regime, who’s celebrating one month in office and – as we all know – has attacked every group of people not white, male, Christian, conservative, gay, wealthy, or a combination of those six attributes,

It seems like we need events such as Black History Month more than ever.

Particularly since it seems to be a bad time to be black – or any person of color who’s not named Clarence Thomas,  Ben Carson, Omarosa Manigault, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz – right now, what with the increased racist/sexist/homophobic/Islamophobic attacks across America.

Living in California, the deepest of blue states, I’m honestly a tiny bit scared to go east of the Colorado River as while I refuse to say that every white person, or white Republican for that matter, is a bigot who feels that people who look like me are naturally inferior and  need to stay “in their place”,  it seems that too many whites have that mentality in the red states.

The comments I read from every article that talks about racial issues are an illustration of this thought, as you would think some of those folks writing such comments are carrying their Ku Klux Klan cards in their back pockets with white sheets hanging in their closets.

I feel thankful that I live in a relatively liberal area and subsequently have not seen or experienced any real, hardcore ideological or racial animosity.

At least not so far, thank God and knock wood.

 

black-history-month

A really good message that needs to always be remembered. Image courtesy of wesleyunited.org

 

Personally, I feel Black History Month is sorely needed to remind Americans of how without Black people of African descent, there wouldn’t be an America.

And not just due to the 246 years of chattel slavery as so many things that we use and take for granted, from peanut butter to potato chips to the stoplight to open heart surgery, was invented by an African-American.

Imagine if blacks – as well as women, gays, and other people of color – were celebrated every month of the year rather than merely the one designated for them (the shortest month in the case of African-Americans).

Then perhaps a guy like our new Commander-In-Chief (my personal refusal to mention his name on this blog remains in effect) would never have been elected.

And there wouldn’t be a need for groups such as Black Lives Matter.

 

The irony of all of this, from a personal standpoint:

I won’t go into any details now, but in my book describing my experiences with having Asperger’s Syndrome, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, which I’m in the final stages of editing and will begin the self-publishing process soon, there’s a chapter detailing my experiences of being black on the Autism Spectrum.

Unfortunately it hasn’t been the most fun experience, but that’s all I’m going to say at this time; you’ll just have to read chapter four of the book.

All right, I said I had just a few thoughts about this year’s Black History Month.

And I’m going to stick to that as I don’t want to ramble or go on and on save for this…

All I can do is as far as the extremely fragmented situation that this country is in is two things:

1. Hold good, optimistic thoughts,

and…

2. Be the best person I can be.

Which I reckon is all anyone could or should do.

 

 

full_pkn_20v13-064

Being the longtime baseball and softball guy that I am, this is perhaps the part of the African-American experience that I’m most proud of: The (so-called) Negro Leagues, with its two greatest stars, Satchel Paige (left) and Josh Gibson (right) featured here. I’ll be writing an article about these and the great black players from that era soon on this blog. Photo courtesy of pechakucha.org

 

VALENTINE’S DAY & ME: Not The Best Combination

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What seemingly every couple wants today. Photo courtesy of 2013-valentinesday.blogspot.com

 

HOW HAVING ASPERGER’S SYNDROME HAS MADE VALENTINE’S DAY NOT SUCH A SPECIAL DAY FOR ME OVER THE YEARS

 

I’d like to make one thing clear before I go on:

I know that there are plenty of people who are on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and have what I have, Asperger’s Syndrome, that are happily celebrating Valentine’s Day today with a significant other.

I completely understand and agree that having Asperger’s should not be an impediment toward finding love.

This is not intended as a “Poor me, no one has ever wanted to be my Valentine because I have Asperger’s” rant.

I know it’s largely my fault that I haven’t been able to do – or, for lack of a better word, have been too lazy to do – what is necessary to be attractive to the opposite gender to the point of someone who I find attractive wanting to be my Valentine or more.

But I will state this…

I think a significant reason why the only Valentines I have gotten were during my early elementary school days, when the whole class got those little cards and candy hearts, is the fact that thanks to my level on the autistic spectrum, getting and having a girlfriend was – and remains – simply too complicated and confusing for me.

Many girls thought I was nice enough throughout junior high and high school, and I did have a scant handful of dates in college.

But unfortunately girls never really found me as “boyfriend material”, or having that level of attraction necessary for them to consider me as a romantic partner.

Plus the fact that I would do and say weird and inappropriate things while interacting with my peers would kill my attractiveness factor; the worst part being that as an aspie, I found it too difficult to follow the unwritten and subtle rules of how to act in a way that would not lead females to view me negatively and say, “Ew, Derek as a boyfriend? No thanks.”

There was one young lady during my college days that I was absolutely in love with, completely perfect looks-wise with the personality to match whom I tried desperately to get to see me the same way, but like everyone else put me in a permanent “Friend Zone”, which devastated me.

I can’t remember the last time I had a date that wasn’t a “platonic, just friends” deal.

 

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This perfectly explains my feelings about this day. Image courtesy of psychologytoday.com

 

And you know the strangest thing about that?

I haven’t been upset about the lack of a significant other for quite some time as while I, like any other partner-less human, do get pangs of loneliness,

I also know that life is simpler for me without a girlfriend or a spouse as I would find myself “walking on eggshells” to avoid the conflicts that all couples experience. With my aspieness, I know I couldn’t handle them.

That’s the main reason I have no plans of ever being a husband as I have always felt and stated this:

Marriage is not for everyone. If it was, then wife-beating and abuse would not exist and the divorce rate would be zero instead of 50%.

So while I have felt sad and sorry for myself in the past for not having a Valentine, blaming Asperger’s for that, I pretty much don’t anymore, not nearly as much as I used to.

On the other hand, if anyone – not a blood relative, married or otherwise taken  – would like to be my Valentine, I certainly wouldn’t say no.

As for today, it’s another year of not having a Valentine or a significant other.

Which on the surface is too bad but when I think about it, it’s probably for the best as contrary to what they say, I don’t feel that everyone is meant to end up with someone.

Life is easier for me this way, and the last thing I want as I approach my 50th birthday is for things to be complicated, because life is too short.

Having said all of this…

I can’t predict the future; who knows? Maybe God will see it fit for me to have that someone who I’m attracted to, who understands and embraces my aspieness,  and is attracted to me to the point of us being in a beautiful relationship, find me, ending up living happily ever after.

I’m not going to worry about it; as far as I’m concerned, today’s just another day. And I’m very OK with that.

For those who do have significant others, I hope your Valentine’s Day is a good one.

 

red-roses-for-valenines-day

I like this shot; did you know that according to myth, roses were the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love? That explains a lot! Photo courtesy of theholidayspot.com

 

Concussions, CTE, & Other Debilitating Injuries: Is Football REALLY Worth It?

los-angeles-rams

Members of the reborn Los Angeles Rams, back after 21 years in St. Louis, taking the field at the Coliseum. Photo courtesy of ibtimes.co.uk

 

SOME THOUGHTS ON THIS ISSUE AS SUPER BOWL LI AND FOOTBALL SEASON IS NOW HISTORY

 

Now that the confetti’s been cleaned up and the Vince Lombardi Trophy has been awarded in Houston, with the team receiving that trophy embarking on their celebratory parade as I write this,

Over the past several years I’ve watched football games on TV and in person and – sometimes in the back of my mind, sometimes in the front of  it,

Considering all the stories of former stars and heroes who were seen as near-gods in during their time on the gridiron who are…

  • Unable to remember how to get home from the store as well as sometimes needing help remembering their oldest friends and even their own names
  • Can barely walk without significant pain
  • (In some cases) are paralyzed
  • Broke and homeless or even dead by suicide due to the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy suffered from all the hitting on the field

I have wondered if playing the game of football is worth it.

Many big names have ended up as statistics as far as CTE and other permanently painful injuries and how it ultimately ruined their lives, Super Bowl champions like Brett Favre, Jim McMahon, and Harry Carson along with ex-Tennessee Titan Frank Wycheck, who has recently stated his fear of having CTE,

As well as guys who are tragically no longer with us such as former Baltimore Colt and Lite Beer commercial legend Bubba Smith,  Oakland Raider Ken Stabler, and notably Junior Seau, the former USC and San Diego Chargers Hall of Famer who shot himself in 2012.

These are and were the athletes who, suffer from bad headaches and memory loss in addition to the sometimes excruciating pain in their joints and various other body parts.

As former New York Giant Carson described it, in his words he “…doesn’t think as clearly as I used to. Nor is my speech (and) selection of vocabulary as good as it used to be.”

To make it clear, contrary to what some may be thinking I do enjoy football, having been a fervent fan of my collegiate alma mater’s team, the UCLA Bruins, for roughly 35 years and having seen them play approximately 130 times.

 

 

san-diego-chargers-moving-to-los-angeles-youtube-thumbnail-1

Philip Rivers, the longtime San Diego Chargers QB who will as of next fall be playing his home games in Los Angeles; he’s another guy whose brain and overall health I’m praying for. Photo courtesy of wowtrending.com

 

I completely understand the appeal of football in this country, how it attracts people not only with its violent, battle-like nature and the pomp and pageantry that goes along with it, i.e., cheerleaders and marching bands (which I was involved with in both high school and at UCLA),

But – more importantly – also with the extreme sense of camaraderie that the game provides in the form of tailgating (my favorite part of football) and simply being with people similar to you as far as the team they root for.

I also completely understand the appeal of playing the game as who wouldn’t want to be adored by anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 people on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  Not to mention all the lovely young women in short mini skirts holding pom-poms showing such enthusiasm over what they are doing on the sidelines.

And the fact that injuries suffered on the gridiron are unfortunate but also an occupational hazard that is more or less inevitable.

However…

The more I hear and see all these tragedies stemming from playing football – I’m praying that newly re-crowned Super Bowl hero and the guy who everyone’s saying is the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, doesn’t end up like Carson or (even worse!) Seau with all the hits he must have taken over his nearly 20 years as a New England Patriot,

The more I’m glad I chose to play baseball as a kid and continue to play softball today, because I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the costs of being a football player.

And the more I’m convinced that in the long run, because of its level of safety, longevity (the average NFL career being four years as opposed to 7-10 years for Major League Baseball) and security (the average salary is higher in MLB than in the NFL) compared to football, baseball is the better game to play.

I suppose that’s my answer as to, as much as I still like it and understand that it’s a forever slice of Americana, if I feel football is truly worth it.

By The Way:  On a side note, I think Brady needs to retire as with all the success and accolades he has collected squatting behind the center and throwing spirals, not to mention the many millions he has earned – enough so that his great-grandchildren will be set for life – what more does he need to prove?!

 

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Two guys whose heads I’m fervently hoping and praying will ultimately be OK shaking hands after the recent Super Bowl; the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan and the Patriots’ now-five time NFL champ Tom Brady. Photo courtesy of inquisitr.com