Monday, October 20, 2008

For Aspies, joy is elusive.

October 13, 2008 (Computerworld) The column I wrote last week, titled "Asperger's Oxymoron," offended some readers because of my contention that the contributions that Aspies can make to society are necessarily undermined by the degree to which they are withdrawn from society. My belief that isolation is detrimental to the human spirit and to the advancement of the human race isn't a particularly popular notion.

There are many dimensions to isolation. One that seems to be particularly common among Aspies is a detachment from social norms that, rather than manifesting itself as endearing nonconformity, tends to be more of an oblivious self-centeredness. The focus is inward, rather than outward. Take Richard Stallman.

I mentioned last week that Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, had referred to himself in a 2000 interview as being "borderline autistic." While he shied away from that assessment in my interview with him in July, Stallman did acknowledge that he suspected he had a "shadow" form of Asperger's.

I knew very little about the disorder at the time, but it did strike me that he appeared to be somewhat eccentric and glaringly devoid of social grace. I thought it was cool that he felt comfortable enough to meet me in his stocking feet, so that was fine. But during the course of the interview, there was an inescapable rudeness. Just little things. It's no big deal, for example, that throughout a meeting that lasted nearly two hours, he sipped from a large mug but never offered me so much as a drink of water. It's just that it clearly demonstrates an inward rather than an outward focus.

The interview, and extensive subsequent e-mail correspondence with Stallman, reinforced a conclusion I'd drawn from a 2002 biography I'd read to prepare for our discussion: Stallman is not a happy person. There was a certain melancholy that I've since observed in other people who identify themselves as Aspies. In fact, I've observed through my untrained eye that Aspies can be content in a certain environment, but real happiness seems to elude them. Is that conclusion off-base?

For a reality check, I e-mailed Barbara Bissonnette, principal at Forward Motion Coaching in West Boylston, Mass. She provides career counseling for adults with Asperger's.

"I wouldn't say they are inherently unhappy people," Bissonnette replied. "Most have had lifetimes of not fitting in, being ostracized/marginalized and hearing about everything they do 'wrong.' ... The fact that it's a hidden disability compounds the problem because people don't realize that some of the unusual behaviors of an Aspie are not intended to be rude."

That the rudeness may not be intentional doesn't make it any less off-putting. I recently received an e-mail from Roy Brander in Calgary, Alberta, who wrote that when he was president of the Calgary Unix Users Group, he invited Stallman to speak. Stallman agreed and asked to stay at a member's home rather than at a hotel.

With an estimated 40% of the world's information now residing behind a firewall, employee productivity is driven by the ability to quickly find key information no matter where it's stored across your organization. At Google, we believe in a simple premise: all of the information you need to be productive at work should be available through one search box, giving users real-time access to content across the enterprise and delivering a single, integrated, secure set of search results. "The guy who hosted him vowed, 'Never again,' " Brander wrote, adding that it's impossible to spend time with Stallman "and not think 'Asperger's syndrome.' " He noted that while Stallman's legendary inflexibility can be forgiven because it "may have hard-wired neurological roots," his intransigence is marginalizing him within the free software movement.

I'm now convinced that Stallman has far more than a "shadow" form of Asperger's. I'm also convinced that his relentless free software advocacy is driven by a personal distaste for proprietary software, rather than by any interest in advancing the well-being of others. Hence Stallman's joyless demeanor.

Whether or not the elusiveness of joy among Aspies is inherent, it remains painfully apparent. What brings true happiness is serving and uplifting other people -- looking outward rather than inward. Aspies deserve that happiness, and they should receive whatever assistance is needed to bring it about.

Don Tennant is editorial director of Computerworld and InfoWorld. Contact him at, and visit his blog at

Hillary & Obama in Orl&O FL!

Republican COlin POwell endOrses Barack Obama!

AP - Florida kicked off early voting on Monday, with record crowds heading to the polls and voters waiting hours to cast their ballots.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Up to 5769 ה'תשס"ט

Today is the most important day of the year. It is a day we reflect on the year that has just past. I will also reflect on my new era of these past 3.75 years. I am still being born, and discovering life. I finally have a home, a community, financial security, stability, consistency, and peace. I have not only discovered what a vacation means, but am experiencing a permanent one.

I have discovered the delight and relaxation of swimming, floating on my back, and looking up at the palm trees, clouds, and sunny blue sky. I have discovered that I can float on the water and breath, without moving my limbs! With my first goggles, I can see underwater! With wax, I can keep water out of my ears! Swimming is so soothing, yet invigorating! It is a great remedy to the excruciating stress at work!

After years, for the past six weeks, I have finally forced myself, and discovered that I can have the built-in pool all to myself every Monday and Tuesday late morning or noon! I am so glad I have been getting this exercise on two of my days off every week for at least the past six weeks! I found, and played with a cute frog the other week! It is amazing that it can do everything a frog can do, even though it was only the size of my thumbnail! I suppose it could live off the dead mosquitoes on the water surface. Then perhaps it would be eaten by a bird etcetera. The pool area is a pleasure since new stone flooring was put down on the cabana, veranda, spa, and pool-rim.

Burritos are my favorite food dish since lasagna! Chipolte, and my one-month Roommate Steve introduced it to me. I enjoy buying all of the ingredients, and making them fresh for myself! Even salsa was a new introduction to me three years ago as my favorite condiment!

Seven (7) years ago, I purchased my first cell phone, digital camera, and received my first Palm. Today I have a Palm device that includes and replaces all three! I also received a pair of wayfarer eye-shields seven years ago. All of four of these were from The Wiz. I have now lost these, along with my first and only two pairs of prescription eye-shields that I ever owned, during these 3.75 years.

I have progressively been feeling younger. I am the same exact age as Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Ellen Degenerous. Those are three of my favorite people. To quote NY Magazine: When Michael Jackson is 50; you know that you are old! How fitting, that NASA and AARP were first created when I was born! Now I live near NASA, and first qualify to be a member of AARP!

Bill Mahr is two years old than I, and one of my heroes. His views, beliefs, values, and attitude is nearly identical to mine! I now take 13 pills from two pillboxes each day for medical reasons! My parents lived through the Depression. One of which is still alive. I am glad to be employed during these times. Fortunately, my 401K has twenty years to recuperate. I love my new lifestyle!

Are they related?

Hillary Clinton Compares Bush TO Alfred E Neuman[snip]
"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington," Clinton said referring to the freckle-faced Mad magazine character. She drew a laugh from crowd when she described Bush's attitude toward tough issues with Neuman's catchphrase: "What, me worry?"

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tina Fey

Emmy Awards
Outstanding Writing - Variety Program2002 Saturday Night Live Outstanding Comedy Series2007 30 Rock2008 30 RockOutstanding Writing - Comedy Series2008 30 RockOutstanding Actress - Comedy2008 30 Rock
Golden Globe Awards
Best Actress - Musical or Comedy Series2008 30 Rock
Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series2008 30 Rock

Sarah Palin
On the 34th season premiere episode, aired September 13, 2008, Fey returned to SNL in the role of Republican Vice Presidential nominee
Sarah Palin, alongside Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton. Their repartee included Clinton needling Palin about her "Tina Fey glasses". It quickly became's most-watched viral video ever, with 5.7 million views by the following Wednesday.[16] The return has been speculated to be temporary, despite the potentially long-term nature of the role, should Palin be elected.[17] Palin's campaign said that Palin was amused, particularly because she had once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween,[18] though Palin later said she had seen the sketch without hearing the audio. John McCain's top economic advisor Carly Fiorina called the skit sexist.[19] During the 2008 Emmy Awards, Fey said of the vice-presidential candidate (in what may be the only known political advocacy regarding the 2008 Presidential election on Fey's part), "I want to be done playing this lady November 5. So if anyone could help me be done playing this lady November 5, that would be good for me." [20]
On September 27, 2008, she reprised her role as Palin, parodying the
CBS News interview with Katie Couric, who was played by Poehler. Portions of the skit were direct quotes and gestures from interviews with Couric on September 24, 2008.
On October 4, 2008, Tina Fey once again returned to Saturday Night Live, playing the role of Palin at the
2008 vice-presidential debate, with Jason Sudeikis playing Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden and Queen Latifah as moderator Gwen Ifill.

Monday, October 06, 2008

$375 Monthy all-inclusive Private Bath 12x11 Lake Mary

All inclusive: Internet, electricity, CATV, air, pool, spa, purified water, laundry, bus, shopping, 2 bath, 2 BR, just you & me.
Security: $300.00

Your Private 12' x 11' Room: Private full bathroom, with tub + new shower, 12' w/w closet, TV set, Laundry, Dining, Patio, Living, Kitchen, Iron, board, Linen and towel supplies, w/w carpeting, free central air conditioning, ceiling fan, bed, dressers, desk, executive chair, night table, clock radio, lamps. Unfurnished is possible for the right long-term person.

Parking: free spaces, off-street are included.

Share: New larger Front-Loading "he" Washer & Dryer, Purified Water, Dishwasher, electric broil, microwave, grill, toaster oven, Dishes, pots, pans, small appliances, & utensils.

You are female or male, straight or gay, non-smoking, 26-50, with no pets or children. I am a straight single male.

FURTHER DETAILS: I am a gentle, organized, clean, direct, open, honest, stable, calm, consistent, responsible Jewish Democrat from Long Island and NYC (age 50). I own this free and clear, & employed full-time. A live meeting in person is mandatory for consideration. I enjoy Science Channel, PBS, CNN, Metal Rock music, and South Park.

Roommate Profile Questionnaire

Please cut and paste only the following profile inquiry list into a new email (or the blank message box). Then type in the requested information, and send it back to me. I look forward to your reply.

1=Today's date:
2=Full name:
5=Which of the 24 hours to call you:
6=Reason for stay:
7=Town of, and DATES of work:
8=Date to move in:
9=Months of stay:
10=Age and Occupation:
11=Items bringing:
12=Children or Pets:
13=Describe an example of "being clean":
14=Smoke or Drink:
16=Work schedule:
17=Gender and Orientation:
18=Explain your specific attraction to this posting:

Landlord References

I need a responsible and quiet person, like myself, to rent out the other bedroom with attached bathroom. I desire a tension and stress free environment. Lake Mary is rated as the 4th best town to live in the USA by Money Magazine! Minimum stay: 3 months.

Well friend, It's time for me to move on. What started out to be a 3-month assignment, turned into nearly 2.5 years. You are a good Friend & good Landlord. I hope you feel that I was a good tenant. Dusted & vacuumed the room. If you ever in North Georgia, call me.I will be coming to Orlando once a month for the next four months. Schedule permitting, perhaps we can have lunch @ Too-Jays. Kindest Regards, Alan.

I do contract work for a major insurer. My assignments last from 30 – 180 days in cities across the U.S. When I arrived in Lake Mary, I quickly tired of hotel living because of the closed space and high cost. I found Andrew’s rental offer on Craig’s List. After a few e-mail exchanges and a face-to-face meeting, I moved in. Andrew has a beautiful two bedroom condo in a wonderful development, only one mile from my office. I found Andrew to be a person who was very private and respected my privacy. I had a bedroom (with computer cable and TV) along with a private bath. I would highly recommend this rental to anyone, male or female, desiring a reasonable, short-term place to reside. Regards, Steve Duke.

Although not seeking any living arrangements currently, I nevertheless browse the postings for entertainment/amusement value.Thank you for your posting - witty, charming, eclectic and memorable. So very few honest, entertaining and intelligent postings these days.Again, thanks and have a great weekend. Lewis Vining.