Like Spock, Alone time, and food & workout journal

Like Spock

A good way to think of me is like Mr. Spock from Star Trek, my emotions are there below the surface and very strong, but I often refuse to acknowledge or show them, many times it's because I can't describe them or perhaps I feel I'll be ridiculed or thought weak. Unfortunately, unlike Spock there is no cool death-grip and a much shorter short-term memory. Like Spock I value logic, truth, and enlightenment over the touchy feely stuff, particularly when someone’s gut feeling is wrong and nor even close. That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate or have feelings, but the other concepts of logic and truth are easier to grok.

Just like Spock, I am at my best when I embrace both my social/emotional and my logical sides. It seems this will be a life journey, especially since I went from being extremely shy to working with the public, albeit in small groups at a time. Progress is being made integrating my logical, analytical self with the side that wants to jump with joy, or weep sorrowfully. My sense of humor taps both sides already, I love a good joke, but many involving social situations aren’t funny to me and I need someone to explain these jokes to me sometimes.

Alone time

After a day "socializing" I do need alone time to regenerate (oh snap, this is like Spock's meditating) and recover. I process much of what I see of other people’s interactions, and how to react social situations using my analytical brain. My social brain skates trough life like a super spoiled kid, or a kid dropped on its head with its favorite sibling or a close friend covering for all its little mistakes.

Just like a real naïve kid, my social brain sometimes really screws things up when its champion (the sibling or understanding friend, aka my logical brain) has their back turned for a moment. An example is how I have learned most questions where a female asks me about her looks are loaded, I cannot tell which situations warrant a particular answer, and which are traps. I don’t know when to say or not to say, “oh that looks good,” and “you don't look fat”, so my default is not to answer and try to change the subject to more familiar turf.

Obviously social brain tried to answer these queries once or twice while logical brain was preoccupied with something else or logical didn't correctly flag the questions for deeper review. So now logical brain sounds the klaxon in these situations making me lock-up like a rusty mechanism, this prevents one type of harm while making me look very goofy rather than taking the time to re-analyze the situation for what type of answer is required.

Why the alone time? Logical brain uses more energy. If a typical person sits around doing math equations for hours straight, they will want to relax by vegging or socializing. Remember anytime I am socializing, I'm running figures and stats through my analytical brain, and if I was already doing mentally exhausting work, hanging out with more than one or two close friends pushes me past capacity, making me more error prone or agitated. This is the same as if a typical person is pushed just a bit too far on those same equations, they get angry and short with people, they make more mistakes on the task, and if pushed far enough, they don't socialize either, naptime.

 Wait, did I just describe a stereotypical geek? Yep, Aspies are often driven to fields like research, engineering, computer science, architecture, music, etc., though they are individuals just as varied as typical people, but it seems easier to see Aspies in these areas than others.

 Background tidbit

I didn't fit in with the normal kids and I was not truly special-ed, I was both gifted and in need of remedial organizational skills. In middle school, the teachers and my parents agreed it was best I just type everything rather than deal with the hand written stuff. You can see how much more I write with a keyboard, even the virtual keyboard on a phone.

Oh my!, this was supposed to be a quick note on the phone so I didn't forget what I ate; I'll polish the rough edges and post this.

Workout and food journal

Yesterday’s other foods 4/13

  • Snack: Sleeve of Smarties like at any party or found in a piñata.
  • Dinner: Mexican restaurant: bean burrito, cheese enchilada, beans, rice, 2 glasses of coke with restaurant typical amount of ice. Vegetarian item E, at Yucatan in Sumter.

Today’s foods and workout 4/14


  • 3 sets Speed Jacks
  • 3 sets Pushups
  • 3 Wall Sits
  • 3 sets bird-dog

172.8 pounds with 19.5% fat and 55% total body water

Breakfast: Cocoa - two sleeves of Swiss Miss

Lunch: Bottle water, Japanese vegetables, and rice plate (Osaka in Sumter) can of coke

Dinner: Three pretzels with dipping sauce, 1.75 cokes with restaurant amount of ice both today's and yesterday’s cokes were in the standard coke and restaurant co-branded plastic glasses (plastic)

Maureen and I saw “Mirror Mirror”, I enjoyed it but it felt like the story dragged in a few places and it had a good amount of funny bits.


Pami, John Robert, Gabby & I saw the new 3 Stooges movie, it was pretty funny, it probably would have been even better for someone who remembers any of the original program.

Today's "foods" were all processed junk food, this morning's weigh-in: 173.0 pounds, 19.5% fat, 55% total body water.

Kacey Green

This post brought to you from deep within the thought-stream of Tangent.

Leftie Aspie working out while writing in his journal and keeping a food log

Some Aspie traits

People with Asperger’s Syndrome are occasionally called Aspies (Ahs pees), I’d long thought my intense reaction to ice cubes touching my teeth to be indicative of sensitive teeth, but while studying Asperger’s something that came up from time to time was intense reactions to or inability to cope with certain textures or sensations (or visual or auditory sensations). I think my aversion to ice cubes is due to this, that and the vibration of the cord of hair clippers on the left or right of my lower back. Bright light transitions, like oncoming headlights, or any high beams pointed at me or my mirrors just irritate me.

Coping with the clippers cord on my back took some time, I’ve always been ticklish, but this sensation was unbearable, what I found allowed my barber or my dad to be able to effectively cut my hair was gripping my throat quite firmly with my left hand, that sensation would distract the urge to jump out of the chair just enough to get the haircut. My dad eventually learned to try and avoid letting the cord touch me while the clippers were running. It never occurred to me to tell him not to let that happen, it seemed silly and unnecessary, and I couldn’t come up with the words to describe what I wanted (not to happen). Today this sensation still drives me batty but what I do now is cross both arms so I can squeeze both biceps with the opposing hands, again the left gets the stronger grip, the seatback of the barber’s chair’s with me as an adult makes this an incredibly brief experience, the barstool dad used and the kiddie seat in the barbershop exposed my back to the vibrations of cord of the running clippers for nearly the entire time.


Why the left hand? I don’t know, I’m a lefty turned ambidextrous, I use my left hand only to write, hold a fork, eat one handed while driving, as the primary hand in a two handed catch, poking things (like a touch screen), and occasionally to operate a pair of ambidextrous scissors. I use the right hand for everything else including operating ambidextrous scissors. When confronted with a right favored tool like all the computer mice I grew up with things curved such that they only work in the right hand I’ve adapted to feeling that’s right or normal. I’d probably be a lefty mouse user if the old Microsoft mice didn’t have that ridiculous lower curve on them, I occasionally mouse with my left hand now though, usually this will happen when I’ve filled my right hand (food or a book etc.) or when using a mouse on someone else’s computer that they’ve configured in lefty mode, or just set on that side of the desk.


I’ve kept journals (the diary type) before but like many Aspies I can fall into some deep depressions occasionally and these got really dark so I stopped. The very first one was abandoned because it was in an actual paper journal, and I’m not a hand written person, thanks to my poor and labored penmanship. (Stupid computer converted my British spelling of Laboured to US style.) There’s another common Aspie trait, we often pronounce or spell words the way we remember first encountering. Dr. Tony Attwood explains this is why many British and Australian Aspies speak with an American accent despite the rest of their family speaking with a local accent.

I do adopt a local accent to better fit in, and it does shift very quickly when I travel, I currently have a mild southern accent but I often get remarks asking where I’m from because it must not be very good. The person asking always says no it sounds southern just not local to where we happen to be. I drop it as quickly as I can when I can take on a northern or western accent as those are how I prefer to pronounce my words, but it takes a few days for the dialect to shift. I really enjoy British and Australian accents and phrases, I’ve never had the opportunity to see how those come out for me to see if they’d stick around for a bit when I finish traveling. This isn’t done to be fake or even on purpose; it’s something I don’t even realize I’m doing until someone points it out. (There’s another tangent for you :) )


I have been hovering between 152-181 lbs.; bodyweight, 150.5 and 184 were both touched for a day each. My daily exercise preference has been to basically try to match calories burned to calories eaten; obviously more of the former is preferred. This morning I picked up a workout routine that I tried back in 2009, I came across it while putting some clothes up from winter (go figure that it’d be 38 degrees F this morning after hitting 90 earlier this month).

This trainer believes long workouts will never get done by normal people, and that loads of cardio are for girls and that you get resistant to it like a bad drug needing more and more to achieve the same effect.

So the scale this morning read 170.6 with 19% body fat and 55.5% body water content, which is good, it has been 171-174 and 18-22% fat, for the past two or so months, body water content is always 55.x-58%. I think the extremely stable water percentage is due to the fact that I weigh right out of the shower, but this really doesn’t concern me drinking fluids is not a problem, 170.x pounds has been seen occasionally.

This morning’s routine consisted of three sets of speed-jacks, the wall sit x3, and three sets of the bird dog. This worked up a mild sweat even though the air had a slight chill this morning. (The air inside as the air handler was idled thanks to the mild evening temperature.)

Food Log (updated throughout the day)

Today I was late leaving the house so I couldn’t have my bowl of oatmeal at home, and it was too late to make it at work without feeling like I was taking advantage of the situation. So I had an egg & cheese bagel at McDonald’s, reminding me why I always order this item without the “breakfast sauce”, that and once again setting me to wondering why they have such a hard time not burning the bagel. The bagel was washed down with a medium orange juice.

Lunch was Vegan Hot & Sour ramen with Cookies & Cream Ice cream (I’m a veggie not a vegan [yet anyway]) One bottle of water.

Update 18:09: Snacked on a chocolate chip granola bar

Update 20:11: Taco Bell Taco Locos - sub beans for the beef, add tomatoes (i'm not a fan of sour cream particularly not on these tacos, with the waythey gob it on), Small Pepsi, and another chocolate chip granola bar, organic with dark chocolate this time.

Kacey Green
This post brought to you from deep within the thought-stream of Tangent.

Origin of Tangent

I was diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) as a child; I think today all of these are classified as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). A pair of my mentors in high school (perhaps it was Junior High, my family was military and we moved quite a bit), Rich Phillips and Hunter Matheson, noticed that I’d often take a conversation to places that were only thinly related to the existing conversational thread, sometimes he could see why I veered off in a certain direction, and sometimes only I could follow the connections.

It was really more of a loving jab as many nicknames are, not meant to cause harm, more of an inside joke with them and myself. They also used it as a bit of a code word when in the company of someone who didn’t know how I operate, “*cough* TANGENT *cough*”, as a prompt to watch my conversational threads.

I do want to thank you two for taking time out of your day several times a week to help me process things and to talk shop. Go figure that a kid with a special interest in computers would take a liking to a pair of network engineers huh?

Kacey Green
This post brought to you from deep within the thought-stream of Tangent.

Loving Lampposts

I watched the documentary "Loving Lampposts" today, I felt that it was well done and it showed a mix of high and low functioning adults and children on the Autism spectrum, it also questioned the use of those labels. They showed a fair argument from the anti-vaccine crowd and explained where they are coming from without calling them crazy, it also explains quite clearly that the main piece of documentation these people use other than their own personal experiences (study samples not controlled and way too small) has been refuted and many of the authors of that paper have retracted it.

They touched on some Autism spectrum disorders like Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified).

They also did a great job questioning the intense dread the public has about people on the Autism Spectrum, the media has successfully married the word Autism to some of the more extreme cases of classic Autism, characterized it as an epidemic and made people feel fearful they've done something wrong if they end up having a child on the spectrum.

I think that I may be on the spectrum, I've been studying the disorder since early this year, and the descriptions of Asperger’s syndrome fit me like a glove. Obviously I'm not some creepy movie character that exhibits every possible symptom at the same time, some don't seem to apply to me at all (or at least not anymore now that I'm older). I think I'll go and see a specialist about a diagnosis this year, I spent up my whole childhood and early young adult life knowing I was different and not knowing why, having a label for this thing won't change anything but it will give me peace of mind, and light up a bit of a roadmap of what kind of coping strategies might help me lead a more fulfilled life.

My studies have already highlighted several of my strengths and weaknesses, I've begun to capitalize on the strengths and use strategies I learned growing up and that were pointed out during the studying to help minimize the negative effects or to better explain to someone just how I process specific stimuli. Even if I don't meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis, there's no denying I've got enough of a touch of this that some of these resources and strategies apply to me directly.

These people aren’t broken, I’m not broken, we’re different, and having different thought processes may allow us to come up with solutions that nobody has brought fourth yet.

The documentary is on Hulu at the moment.

Kacey Green
This post brought to you from deep within the thought-stream of Tangent.