Dale Hodgins

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since Jul 28, 2011
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Recent posts by Dale Hodgins

Yesterday, Nova talked for half an hour, about how Sonny used to be. When she was 11 or 12, she was offered a full time job that paid 1500 pesos a month. About $35. This was far more money than she had ever had. Working 7 hours a day while going to school, paid $0.25 which wasn't enough for transportation both ways and her lunch. So it was tempting. All of them started jobs when they were six years old. Sonny is 5 years older and was working full time, also earning a pittance. He strongly discouraged his sister's quitting school to work full time and he brought them money whenever he could, so that they could eat well. Nova was not to eat anything expensive like chicken or fish at her restaurant job. Instead she was expected to live on rice and whatever she could glean from the tables as she cleaned up the mess. Many times her employer wouldn't give her the 10 pesos she was owed each day. Sonny brought her food and gave her money during five years where she was essentially a slave... He was a top student and an aspiring boxer. He had friends and lots of ambitions for a guy who was raised around people who had seemingly none. Once his mental problems started , he moved back to the village with his mother, and has been with her ever since. Nova wants the old Sonny back , and I have promised to do my best.
4 years ago
Yes, nutrition is very important and nutritional knowledge almost non-existent even amongst educated Filipinos. Many believe that rice is very essential, although it's mostly empty calories. There have been many times when Sunny may have had enough calories but it was all starch. I totally understand the trigger thing. One of my brothers allowed his children to run rampant and do drugs as young as 13. They now have what is believed to be a lifelong schizophrenic condition. There's bits of mania in there but it's hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. Nova is the only member of the family who seems to have a good grasp on nutrition and on the importance of being very consistent, with medication, sleep and behavioral expectations. The others are simply into putting out fires when they come up.

We will eventually leave Sonny in the hands of his youngest sister , Isabel. The older sister is done with him.

We tried education 7 months ago and it was a complete failure. Sonny has seen enough failure in his life. That's part of why I want to come up with something simple for him, where he is likely to succeed. Once we get some land, I will put thousands of stakes in the ground and it will be his job to dig holes to a certain depth, for tree planting. It will later be his job to make sure the trees are all watered. Being paid anything will be contingent on survival.

When Sonny is thinking clearly , he has a burning desire to get a job that will allow him to get a motorcycle and to buy animals. I want to provide him with the animals to look after and once he can show that he's stable enough, he will be able to ride a motorcycle that I already own. I'd like him to get good enough at it that he can either become a farm manager for me, or we could set him up with a small acreage nearby. His sister would need to own that land, because I wouldn't want to risk him being duped out of it. Anyone with a condition like his, is easy prey for those looking to take advantage. We were in a small town on Bohol, where a guy living at the market, obviously had mental issues. The culture of this town is not so dog eat dog, as it is where Sunny is from. Everyone at the market gets that man to do little tasks, and they make sure that he is fed and clothed and has other things that he needs. It's amazing the difference in cultures one Island over, or even within the same island. My wife's family have the misfortune of coming from a village dominated by drunkards. We are seeking land in the better places, and I expect that Sonny will remain with us for quite a while. no matter where we go
4 years ago
I'm glad this thread is in the cider press. I didn't see the need for that when I first posted the thread, that was rolled into this one, but something has come up. Decisions have been made based on that. These are my decisions to make, since I'm the one paying for it all. I won't be forcing anyone to do anything, just in case someone wants to get all uptight over that. I will simply make my financial  contribution, contingent on doing as I say.
I think we may have gotten to the root of Sonny's mental condition.

Sonny appears to be a victim of religion. Catholicism specifically. A jungle version, that probably incorporates some of what was going on, in Mindanao, in prehistoric times. He was a normal functioning young man until he joined a bush cult that encouraged members to go up into the mountains on various quests. They were not to eat during this time. He was encouraged to go weeks without eating. Water was also sometimes withheld and they did drugs. Visions and apparitions were considered good things. His mission was to find a white bird, bring it back, and sacrifice it. I'm not sure what that was supposed to accomplish. This group practices crucifixion, self-flagellation, starvation and treks into the wilderness similar to the story of Jesus in the wilderness. Nova's grandmother has been a long-term member of a group like that. She hasn't seen her in five years and isn't sure if she will see her again. They have a mixture of peace and love Jesus stuff, and lots of evil spirits stuff.

Sonny has never been right since his trek. The villagers took this to mean that he had picked up a demon along the way. That's why they killed the pig in front of him, two years ago. The demon was supposed to enter the pig.

 A thinking person might conclude that it could be starvation and drug-induced psychosis. There are drugs that can help with this. During starvation events, the body can consume essential proteins that the brain needs. So we are going to pursue that.

 If he is able to get right in his head, I will make a complete abstinence from religion, a condition of further help with education, housing and everything else. It will not be allowed. It's always going to be a bit of a challenge, because the minute I turn my back on anyone except Nova, they go running right back to the Stone Age.

 I bought him a tablet last year. Sometimes he walked around the apartment chanting things that he saw on religious sites. I'm going to see what I can do, to block religious content on the internet. He needs to not involve himself in any of that. Once he's a self sustaining adult, he can decide if he wants to go back to religion.
4 years ago
Those tractors were the first to be built without a frame. The engine, transmission and rear axle are in very strong  housings, all bolted together into one giant mass. Orchard managers want them because they sit so low and can go under branches that larger tractors would hit.

I'm not sure if it was these ones or the Fordson, but one or more of the tractors put out by Henry Ford, were built to be the exact width of a railcar, in order to minimize shipping cost.
4 years ago
I find hundreds of photographs that I have put in this forum and I find many replies to various threads. Not much else since the majority of what I've ever written is within the forum. I do everything in my own name. I use my own phone number and address. I don't hide anything except for my password for my bank account.

If somebody wants to kill me, all they have to do is phone me up, and tell me they have a bunch of free building materials in some desolate location, and I will show up alone. I'm just not going to live in fear of the internet.

This stuff is all discoverable for well known celebrities and politicians , so my guess is that nut jobs, will go after them instead of me.
I often find extremely insightful answers to pressing questions, only to discover that I authored them. It's nice to find something you agree with. It can be worse than the way Facebook tailors things to fit with a person's previous activity.
4 years ago
I don't think most people are built to be giddy with happiness most of the time. If they were, I doubt that many would get much done.

Constant craving and working towards goals, is what drives progress. My dog Peggy was a Labrador Retriever and she was seemingly, happy all the time. She didn't achieve anything in her 14 years, as is expected for dogs. If a human behaved like that, we might call him lazy.

Perhaps it's better to ask ourselves, am I happy, or pleased or satisfied with how things are going in my life? I could be pleased with how the job is progressing, although portions of it may not be pleasant. Being satisfied or somewhat satisfied or just a little bit satisfied might be easier to quantify than being happy.

Happiness can be very fleeting. Children in particular will be over the top happy, if you tell them you're going somewhere where there's a ferris wheel, roller coasters and candy floss. Those same kids might be overtired on the way home, start bickering and before you know it, one of them's crying and he's forgotten all about being happy at his good fortune, of being taken on this excursion.

Some will find out that you're going on this trip and that they each get $20, and they may try to negotiate that up to 25 or $30. When this doesn't happen, they may pout, all the way to the amusement park. So for them, happiness was very fleeting. It's probably best if we ask, whether the child's needs are being met and they are getting along with others most of the time. You can't necessarily make them happy.
4 years ago
I've decided to pay a little extra to bring them back sooner. I don't know why Isabelle bought the tickets as she was leaving the terminal upon her arrival, but that's what she did. I'm bringing them back early because we don't know what will happen with Sonny.

The plan had been for Isabel to go there and monitor her brother, while being sure to administer his medicine daily. She arrived at just about the same time as her older sister. After one day, that sister , the one who is the most fed up and embarrassed by her family, headed back to the comfort of her employer's house in the city. Then, after another day, Isabel took off to visit her boyfriend's family. I don't know what was done with the medication, but the only thing that could have worked, would have been to give it to one of her aunts, so they could make sure it was taken. Within 2 days of her departure, Sonny was naked again and he had run off to visit other villages where he is not welcome. This time they rounded him up after only one day, and Isabel again administered medication. She has been with him since that time, and she's anxious to leave the hell hole of her birth.

Once he arrives in Cebu, Nova will administer medication daily. I've instructed her to make it a condition of being fed. If he won't take his pill, he is not to eat. We will see how that goes. I have no trouble being firm on something like that, but Nova has always wanted to feed the multitudes. :-)
4 years ago
Do you do this out of financial necessity, or is it just that you are highly driven?

I think sometimes it's important to look at what we're doing and ask, what would happen if I just stopped? Or what would happen if I quit this, and did something else? My guess, is that the sky wouldn't fall and that you'll be just fine. But I don't know the details of it.

Sometimes, other people's expectations get in the way. My ex-wife and one brother were very insistent that the sky would fall and my life would be destroyed, if I pursued the woman I married. I'm still here, and if you look over head , you'll see that the sky is intact.
4 years ago