CARTOON: Dung Beetle and Robot “Christmas 2017”

Dung Beetle and Robot “Christmas 2017”

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CARTOON: Dung Beetle & Robot No. 013-017 “Didgeridoo”

CARTOON: Dung Beetle & Robot No. 013-017 “Didgeridoo”

013-017-Dung Beetle and Robot-DIDGERIDOOBurragubba is also a social activist.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burragubba

CARTOON: Dung Beetle & Robot No. 009-012 “Zefram Cochrane”

CARTOON: Dung Beetle & Robot No. 009-012 “Zefram Cochrane”

READERS: Speaking of characters, did you read about H. M. Woggle-Bug, T.E. ? Reply in the comments!

CARTOON: Dung Beetle and Robot No. 005-008 “Dung Beetle’s Name”

Dung Beetle and Robot No. 005-008  “Dung Beetle’s Name”

Dedicated to all my trans friends who are becoming their real selves.

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CARTOON: Dung Beetle and Robot No. 004 “Purpose”

Dung Beetle and Robot No. 004: “Purpose”

TWITTER:  @AndreasBuzzing  #DungBeetleAndRobot

CARTOON: Dung Beetle and Robot No. 003 “Robot’s Design”

Dung Beetle and Robot No. 003  “Robot’s Design”

TWITTER:  @AndreasBuzzing  #DungBeetleAndRobot 

CARTOON Dung Beetle and Robot No. 001-002 “Six Legs”

This is is the first of a new cartoon series full of silliness and science,

Dung Beetle and Robot  No. 001-002  “Six Legs”

TWITTER:  @AndreasBuzzing  #DungBeetleAndRobot 

HYPERMOBILITY CARTOON: In which I come unhinged — again

I have severe Joint Hypermobility Disorder.

I dislocated my jaw chewing on a piece of baguette.
I walked a couple blocks to the dentist, did the new patient registration, and they advised me to go to A&E [Accident & Emergency]. So my husband picked me up, and four hours later my jaw had been clicked back into place, and I had a photograph of my x-ray, and some codeine.

Yeup, another datum for an Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis; pretty sure this takes me over the tipping point. Awaiting echocardiogram and visit with a geneticist.

HMS-EDS_Revenge is Sweet and Spiced-15

Cartoon title: I WAS CHEWING ON A PIECE OF BAGUETTE AND MY JAW DISLOCATED The doctor (a Black man with a beard and dreads, wearing a white coat and stethescope) is showing me my temporal-mandibular joint x-rays. (I’m a white woman with short dark hair and glasses, wearing a navy hoodie.) The doctor says to me, “That shows where the mandibular condyle of the jaw came out of the temporal bone of the skull.” I’m thinking to myself, (I’m going to turn that baguette into a nice, soft bread pudding. Revenge is sweet — and spiced!)

CAPD CARTOON: Thai Food

CAPD Central Auditory Processing Disorder

Despite excellent hearing, I misunderstand what people say all day long.

 

CAPD CARTOON_Typhoo Thai food-20

I’m standing in the kitchen next to a bulletin board full of take-away menus, waiting for the kettle to boil to make some more tea. My husband (off-panel) asks, “Is it ‘Typhoo Time’?” Experiencing yet another decoding error, I ask back, “Thai food?”

 

FACEBLIND CARTOON: Oops, Staring

FACEBLIND CARTOON_Oops-Staring-27

Cartoon of myself (a middle-aged white woman wearing glasses, a fedora and trenchcoat) and a man riding on a bus. The man has a very pronounced nose, chin, and jowls; he is wearing a coat, scarf, and cap. The caption reads: Prosopagnosia (Faceblindness) is the inability to recognise people by their faces. Sometimes having an unusual feature helps me eventually learn to identify a person. But it also means that I unintentionally tend to stare at some people.

 

CARTOON: Super Powers

Here’s my latest cartoon!
TRUE LIFE ADVENTURES
 
Description: I’m laying under a medical scanner, with a blanket on me and a display screen above. The doctor stands next to me, monitoring.
“The Nuclear Medicine doc injected me with Technetium 99 to test my gallbladder.
I was radioactive for two days but did not get ANY super powers!”
CARTOON_Technetium-7

CARTOON: QUARK

Description: Six blocks of Quark cheese, labelled Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange, Charm.

CARTOON_Quarks-3

CARTOON: GEEK FLIRTING

Geek Flirting-32

CARTOON: Heat Sink OR The Monster Under the Bed

It’s hard to get to sleep sometimes, between being too cold, warm, and my noisy imagination!

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AUTISTIC / ASPERGER’S CARTOON: Irony

Jokes-on-ceiling-fan

Cartoon of myself (a middle-aged white woman with short hair and glasses) inside a room.  I’m looking upwards with a raised eyebrow and puzzled expression.  The word IRONY has a pair of wings and swooshing lines where it flies over my head towards the ceiling fan.  The tops of the fan blades bear pile-ups of repeated, mixed words: IRONY, JOKE, and SATIRE.       My thought ballon reads, “Being autistic, sometimes irony goes right over over my head. I think it’s time to clean off the ceiling fan again.”

FACEBLIND CARTOON: Group Photographs

Prosopagnosia (faceblindness) is the inability to recognise people by their faces. That includes one’s own face. I can only identify myself in photos if the clothes are familiar and I remember the event. School photos, team photos, tour photos, departmental photos, all are landmines. I’m puzzling myself out, don’t ask me to identify the other people!

PROSOPAGNOSIA_Group-photographs-300dpi-signature

Black and white line drawing of a hand holding an old B&W school class photo. The caption written on the cartoon says:  Read one of those “How to Find Yourself” articles. Disappointed. I’d hoped it would tell me how to identify myself in large group photos.

FACEBLIND CARTOON: In the Cafeteria

Prosopagnosia (faceblindness) is the inability to recognise people by their faces. You never know when you’ve blithely walked right past a neighbour or classmate.

Even those people more familiar to you who you might be able to identify – slowly, consciously, by their hair, voice, or gait – are easily missed when they’re out of the places you associate them with, i.e. your doctor at the grocery.

It’s hard to make friends when you can’t recognise people. Worse, others make so many misassumptions about you.

PROSOPAGNOSIA_Cafeteria-300dpi-signature

Cartoon of myself at a cafeteria table, thinking, “I wonder if I know anybody here?”  At a table behind me, one woman is telling another, “… she just walked right past me, no Hello, nothing. She didn’t acknowledge she knows me! Just so rude.”

 

Thumbs Up: Life Hack for Medicine Bottle Caps

Here’s a handy life hack or all my spoonie, arthritic and / or dyspraxic friends out there who struggle to open the %$#@! medication bottles dispensed with push-down-and-turn child-safety caps (even when you don’t have young people around).

This hack works with those bottles that have a sort of sliding inside cap.
You know, the one you tried removing, only to discover that the outside cap now no longer fits on the bottle. Cut To Scene: pliers and mangled inside cap, feeble chair-arm thumping, weeping, sore hands, and tiny pills escaping everywhere.

The beauty of this approach is its simplicity. All you need are a tack and a pusher. The tack might be some thumbtacks / drawing pins; I found upholstery tacks worked better on my medicine bottles. For the pusher, either a strong thumb or spoon suffices.

Push the tack into the [outside] top of the cap, halfway between the center and the edge. That’s it.

NOTE: make sure the point of the tack is long enough to pierce well into the inside cap.

Because my thumbtacks weren’t long enough we used the upholstery tacks, which just peeked through the inside. I decided this wouldn’t be too much of a safety hazard for myself. Otherwise one could plug over the pokey bit with say, a bit of the red wax from a Gouda cheese, or Sugru™.

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Two medication bottles in front of a weekly pill-minder. The left bottle is open, with the upside-down lid showing a tack point barely poking through. The right bottle is closed, showing a tack inserted halfway between the center and edge.

This bottle-tack-hack originates from the Instructable “How to Make Evil Childproof Caps Easy to Open” by SFHandyman. His article explains how to simplify other types of caps, such as the squeeze-and-turn, line-up-arrows et cetera.

Annoying froms full of wee boxes

So, hat’s my problem wilth filling out forms? “Sure, no one’s fond of it, but it’s not that bad. Just sit down and get it done already.”

Sometimes it’s the essential tremour that makes handwriting shaky.

Someone tell me: WHY are the boxes so damn small?

Then there’s visually tracking back and froth between my pages of information and where data goes into the form. There can be column slippage: No, I don’t have 268 sweaters valued at $10. That would be quite a feat! (I hope none are the ugly Christmas sort. Then again, with 286, who cares?)

Some days it’s reading them form.

That floater smack-bad in the middle of of my left focal point has been there several years. I can mostly work around that.
But there are the days when I’m having semi-dyslexic issues.
Like today when I’m filling out a shipping form, and their Sports Equipment* list includes:
Goll Chubs
Brow Bonads
Winq Suder
Stakes
Tannins

Which often goes ahnd in hand with writing the numbers. I can read a large percentage correctly and those I know them in my head straight, but when saying or writing them they get turned inside out; 5600 is 650, or 277 is 227.

Oh sure, Just. Fill. It. Out.
Then I check it forwards. And I chcek it backwards.

QUESTION: What sort of strategies do you use?

* Those are Golf Clubs, Snow Boards, Wind Surfer, Skates, and Tennis

“I even have trouble understanding the Mondegreens.”

I mostly listen to instrumental music because I can’t understand what people are singing. One of those major effects of CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder).

*Mondegreen (noun)
“A misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of the lyrics of a song.”
~ Oxford Dictionary

Companionably Autistic

It’s a different thing being around other autistics.

Well, doubtless I’ve been around other autistics before. But when we did not know we were, there was all that stress from passing (“pretending to be normal”), so generally weren’t aware of what our sensory and other needs actually were, much less how to comfortably, genuinely, be ourselves.

Now it’s different.

(1) A little morning talk over my cuppa tea. Then he says, “Well, that’s enough social interaction for a while.”
He returns to his computer work, and I chuckle as I go out the door.

IT’S LOVELY when constant conversation or chit-chat aren’t expected.

(2) Yesterday I took a day trip to London to meet a friend from the States.
We met at the train station, where (being faceblind) I texted him my location and held a page with his name so he could find me.

After he bought his sausage roll, I suggested eating on the less-crowded, quieter mezzanine level. Together again after a long absence, we sat talking about how much less stressful it was not being in the States: him not worrying about being shot at, and myself not being awoken by gunfire. Alas, we were unsuccessful at not talking about Trump and disability and healthcare and racial and social care and environmental and- and- and- US politics Bllaarrgg. (The actual convo didn’t have many paragraphs, or rather, not spoken aloud. But I flapped a little in frustration.)

Time to move on; we brushed off the inevitable puff-pastry crumbs. I geeked over riding trains and how different cities smelled, and he reminisced about subway announcements. We started to get on the first subway car but it was too claustro’, so we caught the next. En route to the British Museum, Waterstones bookstore sucked us in; he found books he was looking for. I checked out the wee toys, feeling more 5 than 55, more child than grandmother, as I checked out the shinies and tiny things and science toys.

We ambled to the Museum, pausing as needed for him to catch his breath or for my slow knees to ascend stairs. No need to apologise; no need to hurry.

Then finally at the Museum! Get maps and —
Have a cuppa tea and figure out what to see. This was not a Must See Everything tour; we both understood having to mete out our tolerances. Made a list. He suggested started and the fifth floor and working our way down — Excellent!

Oh boy. One lift out of service, and it took a bit of searching to find the other. And … the fifth floor Japan exhibit closed. Moving along … Third floor was fascinating. We took photos. SO crowded, so many languages going on, so many Auditory Processing Disorder blips for us to chat much.

By the time we got to the room with the Egyptian mummmies, it was a crush of noisy school children in addition to all the tourists. One couldn’t walk in a straight line, and hardly much take photos.

It was overstimulating. Too much noise and too much crowds and he needed a breather. Too many smell-shapes and flavoured colours and moving sounds and I needed to sit. We glanced at each other in instant agreement; he pointed towards an adjoining room and we wended our ways out. Sat and rested by the rune stones.

At the end I lost my pal in the vast space of the museum entrance and crowded plaza, so once again, I texted him my location and held a page with his name so he could find me. It being mid-afternoon, we did the sensible thing and regained our stamina with chips and ale in the pub across from the museum. Apparently 15:30 is a good time in a pub; there weren’t many there and we could hear each other speak. Recharging time: I rocked and he doodled.

That in turn meant that we were hungry for our evening meal at Café in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields during early evening. The food was hot and fresh, and we choose a table that felt secure near a pillar, instead of exposed from people surrounding our backs.

Back on the street after dinner, he announced, “I’m running low on spoons.” We stopped to rest at Trafalgar Square. Then my train was due in an hour, so parted we ways at the Northern Line.

IT’S LOVELY not having to justify eating at a particular table, or wanting to photograph the visual texture of fractured safety glass, or why subway announcements are so endearing. Or that one is getting overwhelmed and needs to rest and stim, or is running out of spoons.

Nor did it take us twenty minutes to say Good-bye; that was enough social interaction for a while.

This Gimpy Artist Prefers GIMP

After beating my head on a wall with Adobe Illustrator CC for a month, I’ve given up and gone with GIMP and Inkscape.

Whilst GIMP has its own annoyances and quirks, I’m finding it much easier!
Granted, there was a bit of transfer-of-knowledge from AI to GIMP, which allowed me to comfortably use the latter in just a day’s time. But I was getting things done — happily, easily — getting things done, by the next day.

But Holy Ravioli folks, WHY is AI So Damn Freaking Annoying?

The good words (CC video)

Strength of Purpose: Two black women standing for rights

 

What to take from Comments

For the unfamiliar, Vi Hart makes fabulously fun-entertaining-educational Youtube videos about math & geometry, doodling, food and music. (No, you needn’t have aced calculus to understand them; my 7-year old grandson thinks they’re awesome.)

Once in a while she takes a tangent, such as this episode, Vi Hart’s Guide to Comments, where she explores ideas about why people make different kinds of negative comments, possible reasons for reacting to them, and how best to respond.

I thought one analysis was particularly insightful:

Type #2 DIRECT SHALLOW INSULT
Commenters like these are thoughtless and bored, and obviously don’t have very high self-esteem. They’ve been taught to be normal, so if anything’s different about you, well that’s not allowed in the rulebook they know.

But in the anonymous internet context, I don’t think the usual explanation of them trying to put you down to make themselves feel bigger quite cuts it. They probably don’t see you as a real, live person, and would never make the comment to your face, so it’s not about putting you down.

In fact, their comments aren’t aimed at you at all.

They comment to pretend that they are not just wasting time on the internet, but being active participants, discerning in their tastes. Their commenting justifies their watching, and just like voting in American Idol or tweeting your local news, their opinion further invests themselves into their identity as a judge, observer, consumer. They have been taught to be vocally judgemental by the people for whom judging means watching, and watching means money. Plus, other commenters might reply, refuting their insult, which proves their comment matters.

As with other types of comments, she then proposes ideas for why we react, and what to do about the comment: that is, just let your eyes glide past them and move on.

The whole video is superb! (Also, she has fun playing with wax on her fingers.)

Auto-generated CC has some glitches, as usual.

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