anxiety, autism, changes, culture, depression, education, health, ideas, philosophy, psychology

Synchronous Societal Settings

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The New Business Model

Last weekend, a dear friend named Daniela inspired me to write a long overdue note. I believe all businesses should be open 24/7 except for schools. This may sound outlandish, but I’m there’s now a global economy. This coincides with my standpoint about banning daylight saving time and replacing it with decree time which is permanent DST. In addition, I stated we should have 48 time zones worldwide with half-hour intervals. Not everyone shared the same disposition, and that’s fine. Some counterarguments I’ve heard was that planes, trains, and other forms of transportation have different schedules. How often does one take a train or automobile into a different time zone first of all? Secondly, when do people not have to adjust their schedules after they fly to another locale? Daylight saving time creates mass confusion which is why I insist there should be decree time, half-hour time zones, and 24/7 schedules for businesses.

Overnight Deliveries

I understand the headaches working overnight causes. I’ve done it myself. My first semester in college after I was discharged from the military, I endured the overnight shift at an Exxon Tigermart from fall 2004 to the end of spring 2005. I had another gig via temp agency doing data entry at TxTag (pronounced Textag) from November 2013 to April 2014. Not only was I in the office during the least convenient times of night; I did this throughout the coldest months of the year. I remember both times having to scrape ice off my windshield while warming up the car at the crack of dawn. The worst part was that no restaurants were open amid my shift to go during lunch break except McDonald’s and Taco Cabana. Either that, or I’d have to go to 7/11 and buy junk food. The only good thing I recall from my assignment at TxTag was not having to drive to work during rush hour and coming home to see the 2014 Sochi Olympic games.

What Bad Timing

That last sentence leads me to why I support the 24/7 rule. Overall, it would relieve the headaches of rush hour traffic. Daniela, who was the genesis for this post, had car trouble one Saturday night. She was going to meet my mother, my niece, my nephew, and me for pizza at Brooklyn Pie Company. It wasn’t like Daniela to be twenty minutes late, so I called her cellphone. Her battery died, and she needed to get a new one. We had to postpone our plans because there were no automotive stores around that were open. Daniela wasn’t afforded the luxury of a 24/7 business. Nobody can calculate when bad things happen. They don’t always occur during regular working hours or the most amenable parts of the day which backs my argument further. Years ago, I had a dog who was poisoned. It happened in Boston when my mother took him to the park. The ground keepers placed strychnine in the vicinity to thwart the invasive rats. Sly, my dog, went to fetch a stick in the woods. Poor Sly didn’t know what was up, and neither did Mom. He started coughing up blood. Sadly, Sly died because there were no emergency veterinarian clinics available on Sunday evening.

Thai the Banks Down

One thing I liked about Thailand was my ability to visit the bank on Sundays. They were open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. That helped alleviate stress big-time. If Western culture is built around chivalry and accessibility, I see no reason this maxim shouldn’t be induced. People who already work the overnight like yours truly did don’t have to worry about life passing them by while all the good places are closed whenever we’re not at work, and all we can do is sleep or watch television. I’ve been there and done that. Let me tell you it wasn’t fun. I had this conversation with an acquaintance named Enrico in Saigon who thought this was ridiculous. Enrico asked what are people supposed to do if they want a plumber or carpenter to come fix their houses in the middle of the night or wee hours of the day? Are they supposed to come while others are sleeping? My response was the same thing they do when they have plumbers and carpenters arrive towards the residences of people who work overnight and sleep during the day. They act accordingly. I’ve been woken up by cable technicians installing things and had to suck it up. This would thereby entice companies to manufacture soundproof curtains, windows, and such.

A Season and a Reason

I guess this is all the reason more we should teach our children common courtesy and encourage them to be less noisy. I knew Enrico well, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Enrico stated his uncle or someone to whom he was related had a resort area in Italy. He inquired further what the man should do when it isn’t holiday season and the tourists aren’t coming. That circumstance is duly noted. I’m not saying they should have this in all instances but ones that are temporary or permanent in lieu of seasonal. Obviously, sports franchises can’t operate 24/7 or year-round; neither can farmers or certain fisherman. Most professions can, though. Most businesses in the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary sectors besides retail and manufacturing can. Administrative, governmental, and high-tech entities can adopt this practice. Heck, I’ve stood watch in the military when my shipmates were asleep whenever I had duty days. Not only would this curtail traffic and make life convenient for all as I stated previously. I’m certain it would boost the economy and decrease unemployment.

Shifting Gears and Shifting Work

In my ideal business model, the full-time people would work eight hours Monday to Thursday whereas the part-timers would toil eight hours Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Businesses can even operate by their own seven-day schedule if they feel so inclined. A full-time workweek in my mind would be 32 hours whereby part-time would be 24. Were it up to me, the part-timers would be the semi-retired, mothers returning from maternity leave, the newbies, and recent college graduates. The former could train and mentor the latter who can work their way up the corporate food chain. Each place would grant employees three 20-minute breaks so they’d have time to eat small lunches and snacks and return to work. There would also be six shifts during the day that would look something like this:

Graveyard Shift – 1 a.m. to 9 p.m.         Morning Shift – 5 a.m to 1 p.m.

Swing Shift – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.                 Afternoon Shift – 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Evening Shift – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.             Overnight Shift – 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Up All Night, Sleep All Day

Most people tend to slack off during the second halves of their shifts, so I’m certain productivity would be consistent. The question I suspect the readers are asking is when are people supposed to sleep. My response would be before said person has to go to work. Sometimes I would sleep in the middle of the day or in the afternoon when I worked overnight. Most often, I’d go to bed at noon or 1 in the afternoon and wake up at 8 or 9 in the evening. At the moment I retire around 8 p.m. because I must arise at 4 a.m. to teach children online in China six days a week. Their scheduled to be there between 7 to 9 p.m Beijing Time, and I must adapt accordingly. The bottom line is those who work regular hours Monday through Friday shouldn’t be the ones who reap all the benefits in life. They can even make accommodations for folks with albinism by having them work either the evening, overnight, or graveyard shift. Not everyone shares the same the opinions, and we sure as heck don’t all have the same circadian rhythm. Schools with the exceptions of universities should be the only ones in my book who bear that cross.

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autism, changes, culture, education, health, ideas, living abroad, politics, psychology, travel

Be Gone Daylight Saving Time

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Ben Franklin Wasn’t Always Right

As an Aspie, I’m finicky about certain things. One is time changes. Daylight Saving Time is one of my biggest pet peeves. Most people credit Benjamin Franklin with its genesis. Franklin spawned something similar, but the concept was in fact postulated by none other than George Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist. I get the purpose for which it was intended at the time, but that’s obsolete. They didn’t have streetlights most places when Ben Franklin thought this up. Those were also few and far between during the time of Hudson. Cities like New York, London, and Paris had only gaslights with limited range. Times have changed since 1895. Not only do most cities even in developing countries have sodium lights. Many are graduating unto LED’s which have greater visibility and use less wattage. If LED’s are unavailable, there’s always compact fluorescent bulbs as in the case with France. Even in Paris, they replaced every halogen bulb in the Eiffel Tower with CFL’s to conserve energy. Yes, you read this correctly. There are plentiful ways to save electricity without Daylight Saving Time.

Shine On, Shine Down

Without further ado, most people don’t live in farms or rural areas like they did in the 19th century. Even in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the rest of the developing world, most folks reside in urban areas where there are no farms. No matter the rhyme or reason, you can always make hay while the sun is shining. That’s what alarm clocks are for. The sun will always be up the same amount of time regardless of what methods are induced. Nothing we do can slow down or speed up the rotation of the earth on its axis. If parents are worried about their kids going to school in the dark, there’s no reason why the faculty can’t schedule the school day for later times. As I mentioned, that’s what streetlights and headlamps are for. So far as I know, no vehicle comes without headlights and tail lights. Even bicycles have reflectors on them. Therefore, school buses can still operate no matter the altitude of the sun.

Power to the People

One thing I love about Southeast Asia is they don’t observe Daylight Saving Time. As you can see, the economy here is red hot. As ridiculous as some of their customs seem to me, I can’t deny I’m glad they left the clocks alone. I remember when there was a power outage in California during the summer of 2001. I lived there during that crisis. I was stationed in San Francisco with the United States Coast Guard. California had to borrow energy from Arizona, the one state that doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time. Obviously, they had enough energy in the Grand Canyon State to supply their populous neighbor. Having the sun up one hour later made little to no difference in the Golden State. It was later unearthed Enron was behind that. I don’t know all the logistics, so don’t ask me. All I can say is it pertained to Enron Energy in Texas. Regardless, the neighboring state that doesn’t observed Daylight Saving Time was able to provide a service.

One Day Equals 24 Hours

The United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and a few other western countries are the only places I know that adopted DST. Neither Japan nor any other Asian or African country obliged, and they don’t consume even half the energy America does. Studies have shown Daylight Saving Time causes health detriments like depression, insomnia, and heart attacks. The likelihood of plane crashes, traffic accidents, workplace injuries, and even miscarriages increase. But what do those in favor care as long as they get what they want? This is why I have another solution. I think they should replace Daylight Saving Time permanently what I believe is called Decree Time. Not only am I an advocate of Decree Time; I think we should replace a.m. and p.m. with the 24-hour military clock. I would have noon and midnight be at 1:00 and 13:00 rather than 12:00. The days would thereby crossover at 1:00 in lieu of 0:00, which would now be 24:00. Lastly I declare there should be 48 time zones with half-hour differences to attenuate all issues caused by Daylight Saving Time. If India has its own time zone and manages fine, I don’t see why the other 195 countries can’t function as such.

Welcome Decree Time

I remember watching several Astros games on TV in Austin. It would be nightfall in Houston while it wasn’t yet sundown in Austin. I recall another time in Chicago when I was with AmeriCorps watching a Bears game. They were playing a road game against the Chiefs. It was dusk in Chicago yet broad daylight in Kansas City though they’re both on Central Time. It made no sense to me, but that’s how it was. Earlier this year, I flew to Kuala Lumpur during Tet. Malaysia is in a later time zone than Vietnam though its farther west longitude. It seemed odd to me that the sun in K.L. would set well after 7 p.m. when I was accustomed to it descending not long after 6 living in Bangkok and Saigon all these years. There was a time I liked it better when the sun went down earlier, but I’m vice versa the older I get. Thus, the reason I’m an advocate for Decree Time with either 48 time zones with half-hour intervals; 72 with 20-minute differences; or 96 with 15-minute changes. To avoid confusion, I’d go with the 48 as planes and trains have schedules to which they must tend. I’m thinking like a geographer considering the altitude of the sun and the overall health of the general public.

Good Intentions, Bad Policies

A few years ago, I had a heated debate about this with some narcissistic idiot on Facebook who always had to argue and be right about everything. She insisted we keep the current system. She tried disputing that China is the size of the United States yet has only one time zone. China is also a communist country with a human rights violation record that could stretch around the globe. Most of their population lives in on the east coast. The Chinese government also has a penchant towards marginalizing the Tibetans, Uyghurs, and the rest of their population in the western provinces. I wouldn’t place much credence towards a government that allowed 70 million citizens to starve, has children working in sweatshops, and is responsible for the greatest amount of pollution on Earth. The woman was using a strawman argument. It made no difference when I explained India does well with their own time zone. Her rationale was everyone should be on the same schedule. Finally, I lost patience and told her, “Sure, why not! Hell, while we’re at it, why don’t we all go by Greenwich Meantime worldwide? That way the sun won’t come up in Texas until noon or go down until midnight. They can even use the same schedule in Australia. That way midday in Sydney will actually be midnight while noon is the darkest part of the day. But hey! What do we care as long as the oligarchs get what they want and the whole world functions around their schedule?”

autism, culture, health, living abroad, psychology, travel

Strange Things Aspies Do

What is a Manamana?

Several years ago, an Aspie MySpace friend mentioned strange things Aspies do. One trait I recall her mentioning was that she’d sing “Doo-doo-doo-doo,” whenever someone would say the word ‘phenomenon.’ That she acquired when from The Muppets when they sang the tune Manamana. Because I found this amusing, I developed something similar. It was my senior year at Texas State University where I minored in anthropology. One of my courses entailed pre-Columbian Native American customs. My professor started discussing the Menominee Indians. So I would sing “Doo-doo-doo-doo” whenever he stated the word ‘Menominee.’ My classmates first thought that was humorous but found it annoying after awhile. I couldn’t tell they were irritated until they started rolling their eyes. I’d been trained to read people enough to realize it got on their nerves. You can’t fault me for trying to be cute.

Pocketing New Ideas

This was the same period when I wore dark clothes during the winter and lighter ones throughout the summer. Some of my wearing habits I shared in my previous note, but I have other quirks. I place my wallet in my front left pocket. I’ve always made a habit of doing this whereas I would put my keys and cellphone in the front cavity. My handkerchief I have in my back left orifice while I set an Islamic kufi beanie in my rear left. The latter two I do as cushioning for my backside whenever I must sit down for a long period. Sometimes I even place my money inside my shoes or socks or in my back pockets away from my wallet to circumvent pickpockets and corrupt police demanding bribes. I always have a cloth handy because I had seasonal allergies when I lived in Austin. It’s a necessity in Saigon and Bangkok, where I last lived, because the smog levels in both locales are ridiculous. Once in a blue moon, I wear the kufi to rebel against the Trump Administration and their anti-Islamic propaganda. The reason I don’t most times is because people in Vietnam don’t care, nor do I want to be guilty of cultural appropriation. I wouldn’t dare go there when I traveled to Kuala Lumpur during Tet after I realized Malaysia is 60-percent Muslim. Aspies get criticized for not having what most NT’s consider common sense or social sense, but we’re not as daft as everyone thinks.

From Right to Left

Between spring 2007 and fall 2013, I trained myself to be left-handed. What enticed me to do that was I learned some indigenous men injured their right arms from constant spear throwing. The same happened to former MLB pitcher Billy Wagner. The ace reliever was notorious for throwing 100 MPH fastballs. I admired him because Wagner first played for the Houston Astros. Unbeknownst to myself and others, Wagner was born right-handed. He broke his right arm twice in accidents as a kid prompting Wagner to start throwing with his left hand. In other words, I wanted the ability to do things left-handed should I ever lose use of my right hand or arm. It took awhile to become accustomed, but doing things left-handed became second nature. Eventually, I could bowl, throw, shoot basketballs, and play golf left-handed. My handwriting looked like that of my mother when I’d write left-handed as she’s a lefty, too. Meanwhile, it resembles that of my father when I scrawl right-handed. Funny how that works! In addition, I yearned to be like Barack Obama for whom I voted during the 2008 primary. I switched back to my right side in November 2013 after enduring a rough patch. A master witch friend in California helped me use natural magic to get out. I guess you can say I’m ambidextrous. Then I moved onto my next obsession with witchcraft.

Raspberries, Kittygirls, and Blueboys

Yet another thing I would do is blow raspberries on my dogs’ and cat’s bellies for affection. I grew up with animals, so I’d play songs while doing the deed. Because I’ve had this habit so long, I on occasion do the same to my pillows. They’re the softest things I can find resembling cats and dogs. Growing up, I had a tortoise shell named Stevie and a British blue named Boris. I’d always call Stevie ‘keegirl’ which is short for ‘kittygirl.’ Boris I gave the moniker ‘blueboy’ because of his fur. Sadly, Boris and Stevie passed. That didn’t prevent me from calling my cat Gracie ‘keegirl’ after I adopted her. It used to drive my mom and siblings up the wall whenever I’d do that. My mother has a habit of asking “How many years have I told you not to do that?” The answer to that query would be more than I’d been diagnosed and after I began stimming. It happens subconsciously. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

Left, Right, Right, Left

Some of the most famous who ever lived were superstitious as am I to some degree. I read somewhere the philosopher Samuel Johnson would always enter a home or building on his right foot for good luck. Henceforth, I do the same. Whenever I put on my shoes and socks, I always slip on the right sock before the left and the same with the shoes. I tie the right one first as well. The same I do when I removed either article. I want to ensure when I awake, the first foot I place on the floor is my right one just like the Ancient Romans. They believed it was bad luck to set your left foot first. That’s where the expression, ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed’ originated. Something similar I do whenever I shave and clip my nails. I first do my right hand from thumb to pinky and then my left. Then I’ll clip my right foot from my big toe little toe before doing the same with the left. Whenever I shave, I’ll do the right side of my face and work my way left. Starting with the right side has become an intrinsic part of my daily routine. Much of this is also out of spite towards the U.S. Coast Guard and military school who’d always make me start walking with my left foot. Therefore, I do the exact opposite.

Going Through the Cycle

The last thing I do is I rotate my clothes and dishes. I hang my duds the way I was taught in the Coast Guard which is with my shirts on the right side and pant pairs on the left. My garments always face to the left when I open my wardrobe. Now that I mention this, I might do the opposite. When I say I revolve them, I mean I go through the cycle. I’ll wear what’s in the front and work my way to the back. Whenever I do my laundry, I’ll place my fresh clothes in the back. I even take my stuff out of the drawers so that I may put them on top while the fresh ones go on the bottom. The idea is to pivot everything and ensure all I don is clean. I do the same with my towels, sheets, and dishes. Whenever I remove plates, glasses, bowls, and silverware from the dishwasher, I’ll clear out the others from the cabinets and drawers and place the crisp ones from on the bottom so the others get used beforehand. I don’t know if this is obsessive compulsive or more hygienic. I just remember when I worked as a dishwasher, my coworkers thought that was strange and time-consuming. Most of them would just stack the dishes on top and use the same ones repeatedly overlooking those on the bottom. Not me!

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