13 votes

What did you do this week?

As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

23 comments

  1. [5]
    Icarus
    (edited )
    Link
    I've been visiting family in my ancestral home (and where I grew up as a kid). I will divulge some personal information for this post because it has been a wild week. I grew up in a place called...
    • Exemplary

    I've been visiting family in my ancestral home (and where I grew up as a kid). I will divulge some personal information for this post because it has been a wild week. I grew up in a place called Lee County, VA. After flying into tricities airport near Johnson City, TN, the sense of dread didn't hit me until I drove into Weber City, VA. This was a place that my mother used to work, a 50 minute drive away from our home. It is strange, like driving through a Stephen King novel where the weeds are overtaking abandoned buildings and the brains of whoever is left.

    I got to my home that I grew up in and would be staying for the week with my Dad. He has had a rough 10 or so years of meth/crack addiction and bouts of bipolar disorder. The state of the house immediately caused me to worry as the amount of disrepair and grime added to the general sense of oppression. My dad found a free clinic in recent months that prescribed him lithium. Now instead of a man with many projects and a sense of drive, he only has the desire to sit in his home and watch cable TV westerns.

    The first thing I did the following morning was do grocery and general shopping. I live in California and have forgotten just how lucky I am with the quality of our grocery stores. I went to a local grocery store and their produce section was a fifth of the one that I frequent at my home. All the vegetables were in plastic containers or shrink wrapped. The meat section didn't fair much better with poor cuts of meat. The largest selection was processed food. I bought what I could of fresh foods and spent pretty much the same as I do in CA for a shopping trip. Of course, you can go to the McDonalds up the road and get two hamburgers for $3. Needless to say, there is an obesity epidemic here.

    The cashier mentioned that I wasn't from around there and when I mentioned I lived in CA, all the cashiers and shoppers in the vicinity stopped what they were doing to stare at me. Stephen King novel vibes... I continued my shopping at the local Walmart where I had to buy some things for around the house. Cleaning utensils, water filters, and such. The person in front of me at the checkout line had a basket full of stuff and the cashier said at the end of the checkout,

    "Your total is $1.50"

    "What the hell did I buy for a $1.50??? Oh yeah, my donuts."

    So that's a pretty common experience here.

    There is a certain dynamic here between the Haves and the Have-Nots. It's almost like a form of indentured servitude here where there are people who will spend the $800 of theirbdisability check and then do odd jobs for the Haves where they may get $10, a meal, and some weed for 5-6 hours of work on their properties.

    There is a disturbing lack of stimulation in this area that I can see why a lot of the people here end up drugs to fill that void. It is hot, humid, no real food options, no cheap recreation, and no hope.

    My dad has a neighbor in jail for violating a protective order that he has been trying to help by sending money. He is in the Duffield, VA jail where they house near 1,000 people and feed them just enough to survive. The local sherriff apparently had ties to the prison where they have trucks filled with sandwiches that they sell to inmates at a high mark up. At least that's the rumor. The sherriff also owns a lot of Section 8 housing (50+ homes) where a lot of these people in jail originate from. Again, this is the relationship between the Haves and Have-Nots where the select few Haves have sucked whatever they can from the Have-Nots.

    So I went to the courthouse to watch the arraignment of this neighbor which was absolutely wild. The officer presiding over the court was the high school resource officer who once pulled me into his office to see if I could torrent him Lynard Skynard songs. The first person to see the judge was a woman who had, according to my dad, wore a wire on him for the police. She was there so she and her partner could get protective orders against each other, but they could only be near each other if they weren't "abusive". The next guy getting sentenced stood in front of the judge holding his 5 year old son. He was nearly charged with contempt of court because he couldn't get a ride to court and was sleeping near the river. And then we had a prosecutor who couldn't get a cop to court because he was subpoenaed on vacation. And then another guy who had to wait on sentencing because his lawyer was late. All the people up to that point got 12 months sentences but suspended with probation. All except the neighbor who was charged with a felony. It was the most bizarre and informal court I have ever seen.

    The rest of my trip has been pretty decent but I still find this area really depressing. I have been able to do a lot of cleaning for my dad. Caught a few fish in the family pond. Have had quite a few campfires. And I have been lucky to see nearly all of my immediate family. The best part is I have seen my friends for the first time in years. Ok ready to go home though. I'm looking forward to not feeling sticky or smelling like bug spray. And I'm really ready to get back to my workout routine and diet.

    Edit: Fixed some spelling/typos. This was written all on my phone. I have no internet at my Dad's home and very limited cell service to use a hotspot. I have to often move this hotspot to random windows to get a very slow internet connection. I guess the takeaway from my post is that this is some awful poverty. There are more stories that I could share about this place if I get my memory jogging.

    16 votes
    1. [4]
      AugustusFerdinand
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This is extremely common of free clinics and state run (read: barely funded) institutions. Back when I was in state run mental health, lithium was prescribed almost by default for anyone with a...

      My dad found a free clinic in recent months that prescribed him lithium. Now instead of a man with many projects and a sense of drive, he only has the desire to sit in his home and watch cable TV westerns.

      This is extremely common of free clinics and state run (read: barely funded) institutions. Back when I was in state run mental health, lithium was prescribed almost by default for anyone with a history of addiction or expressing tendencies toward harm (be it themselves or others) as it's a common attribute of bipolar disorder. Lithium is an absolute sledgehammer of a drug that while effective, really shouldn't even be prescribed in a 1st world country as there are many medications that can provide more precise treatment without the (to put it simply) lethargic side effects of lithium. All I have to add is at least it's not thorazine...

      You're there, so you likely already realize this, but the care you're providing your father is incredibly important and vastly more effective than what he's likely to receive at the clinic. I applaud you.

      So I went to the courthouse to watch the arraignment of this neighbor which was absolutely wild. The officer presiding over the court was the high school resource officer who once pulled me into his office to see if I could torrent him Lynard Skynard songs. The first person to see the judge was a woman who had, according to my dad, wore a wire on him for the party police. She was there so she and her partner could get protective orders against each other, but they could only be near each other if they weren't "abusive". The next guy getting sentenced stood in front of the judge holding his 5 year old son. He was nearly charged with contempt of court because he couldn't get a ride to court and was sleeping near the river. And then we had a prosecutor who couldn't get a cop on court because he was subpoenaed on vacation. And then another guy who had to wait on sentencing because his lawyer was late. All the people up to that point got 12 months sentences but suspended with probation. All except the neighbor who was charged with a felony. It was the most bizarre and informal court I have ever seen.

      Isn't it fun! I absolutely love going to court just for the entertainment factor, I might need to look at some small town courts for my next outing. I wish I could bring in popcorn as there are few movies that have provided more entertainment to me than a good day spent in court. Last one I went to, I was there to fight a speeding ticket, had a guy that had refused to hire a lawyer, refused to have one appointed for him, elected to defend himself, and waived his right to a jury trial. Had a very college dude-bro attitude/demeanor and you could tell he thought he could handle it because he had just acquired his bachelor's in business and gotten a sales job at some company he thought highly of, but I'd never heard of (he mentioned all this for some reason).
      He hadn't bothered to learn any court proceedings, didn't know what each phase was for, and was frustrating the judge to no end as all he was prepared to do was to give his own testimony. During which he admitted he was guilty, but was so sure that his reason for doing so was going to get it all dismissed.
      While in town to "visit his father and celebrate his graduation and new job" he got very drunk and couldn't find anywhere to stay as his father went home while he stayed out partying, he hadn't planned that far ahead, and some "chick" he was talking up at a bar didn't take him back to her place. So at 3am he stumbled to what he believed was the apartment complex of an old friend, started banging on the apartment door that he believed to be his friend's, and when no one answered the door he drunkenly decided that he'd just get on the friend's patio and go in through the window as surely the friend was just sleeping or working or whatever and wouldn't mind.
      The apartment didn't belong to the friend.
      The apartment complex had no record of the friend ever living there.
      The person in the apartment did not appreciate someone banging on her door in the middle of the night and then attempting to break in, so she called the police.
      He was arrested for being drunk in public and trespassing.
      He thought his story would get the charges dismissed.
      He was very wrong.

      It's extra hilarious because, as happens at the start of every trial, the prosecution says something along the lines of "The state will prove that such-and-such committed the offense of whatever-the-official-name-for-the-crime-may-be as described in Texas-penal-code-number-blah-blah-blah" and then proceeds to provide their evidence, in this case they had the arresting officer do his thing on the stand amounting to reading the arrest report out loud. Then dude-bro did his song and dance (after so massively screwing up cross examination of the officer the judge stopped the proceedings to give him a tongue lashing and ask him again if he'd like to seek counsel, to which he said no and when told to continue he just murmured "no further questions judge"), admitting all the stuff was true, but thinking the context of why he was drunk in public and trespassing would make it all okay.
      Prosecution was then asked if they'd like to rebut and you could hear the shit-eating-grin on her face when the prosecutor said "I don't think that's necessary your honor."

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I really don't think that is the case. I absolutely agree that, like any medication, lithium should not be prescribed to those that don't need it, or when there is a better alternative available....

        Lithium is an absolute sledgehammer of a drug that while effective, really shouldn't even be prescribed in a 1st world country as there are many medications that can provide more precise treatment without the (to put it simply) lethargic side effects of lithium.

        I really don't think that is the case. I absolutely agree that, like any medication, lithium should not be prescribed to those that don't need it, or when there is a better alternative available. Lithium does not provoke lethargy, at least not to the amount OP is reporting. It does not have a strong anxiolytic or sedative effect as far as I know. Lithium usually causes few side effects and the ones it has are more than manageable. Weight gain is the one I have. It is also cheap, and, when correctly prescribed, extremely effective.

        I should also notice that in order to assess the correct dosage of lithium dosage, patients must make regular exams to check the lithium concentration in their blood. It is also quite possible for what one perceives as a result of lithium usage to be actually a symptom of the mental condition itself, or even the result of another medication. It is very common to prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytics in conjunction with lithium -- anxiolytics and antipsychotics, especially, can easily provoke lethargy. Anxiolytics are often addictive as well.

        Granted, I am not a medical professional, but I have been taking lithium for about 10+ years in a very high dosage. I talked about it at length with multiple doctors and psychotherapists, and also with others that make use of this drug. So, while I absolutely believe that lithium can provoke a range of adverse effects that will vary among patients, I think that your assessment is maybe a bit more catastrophic than reality allows.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          As you know lithium can be effective, but it requires careful follow up and monitoring, something not extremely common in free US clinics, and because of the limited funds these clinics have it...

          As you know lithium can be effective, but it requires careful follow up and monitoring, something not extremely common in free US clinics, and because of the limited funds these clinics have it tends to be one of the only option available. In my comment I originally had a whole sidebar about how there are a host of other drugs that would likely be better, but would require more minute treatment and diagnosis, something that the free clinic most certainly does not have the resources for, but felt it too off topic and deleted it. As a result, in my experience, it tends to be overprescribed, both in number of patients and dosage. Being the only drug given and the effects witnessed, it seems the case from this distance.

          3 votes
          1. mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Oh yeah, lithium absolutely requires continuous monitoring and it can cause problems in the absence of that. Over-prescriprion can certainly be a problem. That is also true about most if not all...

            Oh yeah, lithium absolutely requires continuous monitoring and it can cause problems in the absence of that. Over-prescriprion can certainly be a problem. That is also true about most if not all psychiatric drugs and treatments[1]. If anything, lithium is on the safer side when compared to things like barbiturates, anxiolytics, stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall, and even some antidepressants.

            Here in Brazil prescriptions for psychiatric medications are retained by the pharmacist, so they can be only used once, and doctors are not allowed to give prescriptions covering more than three months. This means that you're basically forced by government health agencies to see your psychiatrist at least once every 90 days. Sometimes I find that too stringent and impractical, but I can't say it's unreasonable.

            [1] I mean most of them don't require blood work, but you still should be under continuous clinical monitoring...

            1 vote
  2. [3]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    I sold my Miata this week. On one hand, I'm a bit sad, because it was a little shitbox I bought for $1,700 and restored over the past four years to better-than-original condition. On the other...

    I sold my Miata this week.

    On one hand, I'm a bit sad, because it was a little shitbox I bought for $1,700 and restored over the past four years to better-than-original condition.

    On the other hand, prices for NA Miatas in my area are at an all-time high, and I could really use the money to pay for college.

    Now that I have sold the Porsche and the Miata, I am without a car. I will only have a motorcycle to get around on for the next two years while I finish up my degree.

    I think that will be fine though, because I'll be living right off campus, and anywhere I need to go regularly, like to class or getting groceries, can easily be done on a bicycle. Feels incredible to be able to say that in Texas, after living in Houston for so long.

    I am... strangely excited about not having to own a vehicle.

    12 votes
    1. Wulfsta
      Link Parent
      I remember you speaking fondly about that Miata when I was looking for vehicle purchasing advice years ago, sorry to hear that you’re sad to get rid of it! Stay safe on the bike!

      I remember you speaking fondly about that Miata when I was looking for vehicle purchasing advice years ago, sorry to hear that you’re sad to get rid of it! Stay safe on the bike!

      5 votes
    2. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Nooooo, not the Miata! What Porsche did you have? What motorcycle do you have?

      Nooooo, not the Miata!

      What Porsche did you have?

      What motorcycle do you have?

      2 votes
  3. [7]
    art-vandelay
    Link
    I got a new job this week! It came as a surprise from a recruitment agency I'd pretty much given up on. I interviewed Tuesday and got an offer Wednesday, the fastest I've ever seen the process go....

    I got a new job this week! It came as a surprise from a recruitment agency I'd pretty much given up on. I interviewed Tuesday and got an offer Wednesday, the fastest I've ever seen the process go. I'd been browsing and casually applying at jobs since April, but started getting serious about my job search in late May. I've also received 2 other job offers, which figures. Nothing past interviews in the months I was actively searching, and I get multiple offers as soon as I accept one offer. Anyways, I start Monday and I'm excited!

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      ColorUserPro
      Link Parent
      That's great! Do you intend to make it a long-term career move or just as something steady until better work comes around?

      That's great! Do you intend to make it a long-term career move or just as something steady until better work comes around?

      3 votes
      1. art-vandelay
        Link Parent
        Thanks! I'm not really meaning it to be a long term career move as the work isn't completely in line with my career goals, but it's an industry that I've tried to enter before and want to see if...

        Thanks! I'm not really meaning it to be a long term career move as the work isn't completely in line with my career goals, but it's an industry that I've tried to enter before and want to see if I'll enjoy it. So far, so good!

        2 votes
    2. [4]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      I'm not surprised at all. That is only natural for an architect of your stature.

      I'm not surprised at all. That is only natural for an architect of your stature.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        art-vandelay
        Link Parent
        Actually, I'm leaving architecture for importing-exporting. Chips and matches are calling to me...

        Actually, I'm leaving architecture for importing-exporting. Chips and matches are calling to me...

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          FrillsofTilde
          Link Parent
          I thought you were giving up on the exporting and only focusing on the importing?

          I thought you were giving up on the exporting and only focusing on the importing?

          4 votes
          1. art-vandelay
            Link Parent
            I was going to, but my girlfriend convinced me the exporting is just as important as the importing. Besides, have you seen those exports? My god...

            I was going to, but my girlfriend convinced me the exporting is just as important as the importing. Besides, have you seen those exports? My god...

            4 votes
  4. mrbig
    Link
    I took my dog to get neutered and to remove tartar from his teeth. They had to remove 9 teeth from him. Before Ketchup was my dog, he used to live isolated surrounded by useless junk and unused...

    I took my dog to get neutered and to remove tartar from his teeth. They had to remove 9 teeth from him. Before Ketchup was my dog, he used to live isolated surrounded by useless junk and unused construction materials. He fucked up his teeth pretty bad chewing rocks out of stress. I'm relieved he finally underwent surgery, since tartar can be quite dangerous, but sad that he lost so many teeth. I've lost some teeth recently myself, so I guess it is true when they say dogs look like their owners.

    He also got neutered, which was mandatory since one of his balls didn't drop. It could become cancerous.

    Spent quite a bit of money, but the peace of mind is totally worth it.

    And he was super funny full of drugs from anesthesia : P

    6 votes
  5. ColorUserPro
    Link
    I interviewed for a new position at work, I'm hopeful to get it as I've filled in for empty spots in the department twice this week already. Hopefully I'll know if I get it or not next week.

    I interviewed for a new position at work, I'm hopeful to get it as I've filled in for empty spots in the department twice this week already. Hopefully I'll know if I get it or not next week.

    5 votes
  6. moocow1452
    Link
    Finished my spec script for the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship, it's a Rick and Morty episode where Rick gets kicked out of the house and ends up at a dive bar with a bunch of other Ricks kicked...

    Finished my spec script for the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship, it's a Rick and Morty episode where Rick gets kicked out of the house and ends up at a dive bar with a bunch of other Ricks kicked out of their houses, and also Jerry is there. I have no chance in hell, but it was an accomplishment to get something done.

    5 votes
  7. [4]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    I got my Ergodox-EZ, but decided I didn't like the layout it has, so made some tweaks.I'm finding I prefer the olkb approach to keyboard design that emphasizes minimal hand movement to reduce...

    I got my Ergodox-EZ, but decided I didn't like the layout it has, so made some tweaks.I'm finding I prefer the olkb approach to keyboard design that emphasizes minimal hand movement to reduce injury, so I adapted my Ergodox to facilitate that style of ergonomic improvement. A lot of the layoutalso just doesn't make much sense for me. I also got lucky ordering the Plank-EZ keycaps for an RGB Planck clone I built, so I had an extra blank and function key to tie it together (and finally a fully RGB, backlit Planck-style keyboard with backlit keys). I'm waiting on my GMMK Pro to come in, and I'm pretty much done buying keyboards: I've explored ergonomics and sizes, and will finally also have a normally set up 75% keyboard. Any other keyboard I'd had my eyes on was some variation of one of these, or something I already have.

    I just sat through a six hour class on Microsoft Azure run by my intern mentor, which was actually really interesting, and very hands on. Just after I did a practice exam, and scored fairly well on it (somewhere in the 80s, the AZ-900 needs 70+)

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Aren't you afraid of getting super comfortable with your awesome highly unique keyboard and never being able to type on anything else without feeling icky ever again?

      Aren't you afraid of getting super comfortable with your awesome highly unique keyboard and never being able to type on anything else without feeling icky ever again?

      2 votes
      1. Wulfsta
        Link Parent
        This has happened to me with the HHKB Pro JP that I have - I regularly hit Caps Lock rather than Control and feel like the row stagger on standard keyboards is wrong.

        This has happened to me with the HHKB Pro JP that I have - I regularly hit Caps Lock rather than Control and feel like the row stagger on standard keyboards is wrong.

        3 votes
      2. knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        Not really. I'm conservative about key layouts specifically to avoid having to relearn how to type too much. For me it's more about changing hand/arm/finger positioning than how my fingers are...

        Not really. I'm conservative about key layouts specifically to avoid having to relearn how to type too much. For me it's more about changing hand/arm/finger positioning than how my fingers are moving around the board. It only takes me about ten seconds to switch gears if I'm using a regular keyboard, then I'm typing as fast as ever (around 100wpm). The other thing is the switch seems to be automatic: Even with Alt and Win swapped on my custom boards, it's never an issue when I'm using a laptop.

        2 votes
  8. Kuromantis
    Link
    Since my mom needed to go to work and she couldn't cook me lunch, she decided to tell me to cook some chicken nuggets myself for lunch. However, unfortunately she lacked the time to tell me much...

    Since my mom needed to go to work and she couldn't cook me lunch, she decided to tell me to cook some chicken nuggets myself for lunch. However, unfortunately she lacked the time to tell me much about how to cook it.

    The oil was already done (she had said nuggets before I did) and so I put the nuggets in to be cooked, and generally waited for it to do so. Main thing I noticed is that cooking this makes the oil bubble and by far the least amount of oil that can spray around and burn you out of all the stuff I've ever had to cook, and I can just fiddle around with the chicken with my fork just centimeters above the oil and I'll be fine. I like the crust of the nuggets the most so I cooked it until it was fairly dark. Unfortunately it took me around 10 minutes to realize that you don't have to wait until the oil stops bubbling to take the nugget off the oil, but this didn't make my nugget burn any more than I plane so fortunately the only problem was that I wasted some time.

    4 votes