r ranson

master steward & author
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since Feb 05, 2015
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books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
an insomniac misanthrope who enjoys cooking, textile arts, farming and eating delicious food.
and who almost never replies to pm's or emails.
Left Coast Canada
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Recent posts by r ranson

I am hoping that the no-gathering, even outside order is lifted in time.  

If it is, this is what we hope the holiday will look like.

Each family will cook a dish.  For example, I'll cook two chickens and carve it up and put it in separate dishes - one per family.
We meet outside for 10 min or so with everyone wearing masks.  We exchange food and gifts.
We go home and eat the meal then have some zoom time to show the annual gingerbread house decorations and gift unwraping.  

Not as much fun as normal, but it means we can still be "together" while being apart.

I think it's going to be lonely.  it's the one social gathering I look forward to all year long.

But maybe we'll have a proper gathering in June or July.  A big feast served outdoors.  
8 hours ago
One thing I can do when buying a new computer is to get it built locally.  That's what the University does when supplying their offices with computers.  They buy the components and build the machines to the needs of the user.

This isn't as awesome as building from scratch locally, but that's not really possible at this time.

But it does mean they don't get box-standard computers made for the mass market.

That's what I do when I get a computer.  I get one built and I stipulate that it be easily upgradeable as my needs change.  I just got a couple of ram chips to add to mine from a local shop.  
9 hours ago
All my life, I've lived with people with various degrees of PTSD from Serious to Life-crippling-in-and-out-of-care levels.  So much that I'm now diagnosed with mild PTSD from just living with it.

I don't understand it at all.  

But I do see the symptoms.  And the biggest symptom is that it brings out the Prey instinct in humans.  

For example, we have a wild rabbit on the farm that has become quite used to us.  Rabbits have very strong prey instinct.  Lots of things eat rabbit.  It's delicious with 'taters.  Because she's used to us, we can get quite close, and she will come to sniff our shoes or take things we give her from a foot or so away from our hand.  But we have to make sure to make the right amount of noise.  Simple calm talking and no eye contact.  If we are too noisy she won't come close.  If we are too quiet, she panics.  Any change in the environment makes the rabbit nervous.  Altering the routine makes her afraid.  

I've noticed this is how my humans are.  

If they are startled by someone quietly entering the room - that can put them out of action for days or send them into a nasty emotional spiral.  

It's made more difficult in that most of them have lost a lot of hearing.  So I make sure I have noisy shoes and even tap along the walls as I approach a blind corner so they don't get surprised.  

Another thing I've noticed is the kind of events that caused the issue.  I'm a military brat, so most of the male members of my family have served.  They have seen things that I'm not allowed to admit to knowing about.  But the ones that went through WWII had support.  They had other people that they could talk about the events and this made it easier.  They weren't alone and they felt that people could relate.  The ones that got PTSD from being bombed at home during the war also had people they could relate to.  As they lost people they could relate to, the PTSD got worse.  But it's the later generations that have the most problem.  One family member had ... a certain level of security clearance... and even if there was anyone left alive who had experienced that life, they wouldn't be allowed to talk about it.  There aren't shrinks with high enough security clearance to help.  When that person retired, they had a 6-month life expectancy, and even though it's 30 years later, the military has zero support for him because he isn't supposed to be alive.

And then there are the ones who survived horrific personal abuse as children.   Traumatic personal experiences.  That's the point.  Personal.  There aren't people out there to relate to.  But the shrinks love the retelling of the story.  Each time they retell it, they relive it.  It gets stronger.  They lose the ability to relate to the world outside their own story.  They attack and push away anyone who would try to support them.

So actual curing it?  I have no idea.  

But being kind often helps

Being consistent with routine and making the environment predictable helps tremendously!  Being able to know that when they reach for something it will be there.  It helps build up trust (lack of trust is another prey instinct).  

Working with animals can help.  But it depends on the individual.  My grandfather was abusive to the animals because that's how he thought one interacts with the world.  But others do well and like the routine of animal care.

Most calming herbs seem to make things worse.  Hypervigilance is a big symptom (prey response) so having calmness imposed from the outside tends to heighten the hypervigilance.  

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy seems to be a good starting place.  But the person has to be ready for it.  
10 hours ago
making noise so not to startle
Not making sudden changes in noise (especially if they have hearing issues)
being there when they need it
animals that need but not too needy.
21 hours ago
I've been asked to remind people that it is very, very rare to put a post on probation/almost-a-post.  

Most of the time if a post does not meet publishing standards, it VANISHES quietly, without warning, or recourse.  poof!  gone.

Very occasionally a staff member may think a post is worth saving or someone is worth a second chance.  When that happens, they put a post on probation.  
I think I'm very lucky that I didn't subscribe to many of the giants.  I suspect it's a lot easier for me to live without FB because I've never had it.  Same with not having a smartphone.  I often wonder if I should get one, but I can't imagine how having one would make my life better - or at least better enough to justify the financial burden.

But I'm of a generation that knew what it was like not to have the internet.  HTML became a real thing when I was in my teens, and for many, many years, it was hammered home that we were not to trust the world we find online.  Be very careful giving out your data because your personal data is the only thing that makes you unique on the internet.  Your personal data is the most powerful weapon that can be used against you.  Most importantly, if someone wants to give you something "free" in exchange for you using it, then there must be a reason.  We live in a capitalist centric world.  Nothing is "free" without good reason.  When a company or corporation is big enough to have that name, then be certain they are making a profit out of you using the "free" thing.  

That is the belief system that was ingrained in me as I learned to use the internet and I've been very careful to read the terms of service of any big corporation I interact with.  (have a read of the FB fine print if you ever want to lose sleep).  I do utilize some services of The Tech Giants but I'm very aware of what data I give them.  

But to be frank, most of these things cost money.  Smartphones.  Smart speakers.  I have better things to spend my money on.

Although, this is tempting

Or maybe that you can now guess my age, I should be getting something like this?

If you try the bags, let us know how it composts.

1 day ago
I've never been able to compost a compostable trash bag.  I've tried trenching, tumble composting, heat composting, and 6 years later the bags are still intact.  

I understand they need special industrial composting facilities to decompose.

If you find one that composts well in a home setting, let me know.

Or the old solution of wrapping in several layers of newspaper.  
1 day ago
If you haven't seen this yet...

The filmmaking class I'm taking recommend I watch it.  This is my favourite so far.  
2 days ago