Aspergerness Failures...

Sometimes I feel like a failure trying to cope with my Aspie-ness. I try to turn a new leaf, but then I regress and think I won’t ever be able to be what neurotypicals call “normal.” Note that I wouldn’t want to be “normal” all-of-the-time because it just isn’t me. However, I would like to be able to read people better and think more thoroughly about the things that I say because I can be cruel, but I have no intention of such. It’s been a few times in the past few days, but at the time, I had no idea of the consequences of my choice of words. To those I have hurt or offended, I am sorry. I just don’t understand how others may interpret what I say. Generally, take me at face value. I generally do not get into innuendo and definitely not body language. Unless I know you very well (for a few months or so), I probably won’t interact much with you.

This week is going to stretch my boundaries considerably because I am going to an event that will be completely out of my comfot zone and I won’t have much of a safety net to fall back into. On the positive side, I come in and will meet others know have no preconcieved notions of who that I am. What will I make of this opportunity? That remains to be seen. Will I talk with people. Or will I go hide in the mountains (literally)? What will I do when I have a meltdown (my meltdowns are not typical for Aspies - I just go into sensory overload and kinda shutdown - many of you who know me have seen me when I have been zombiefied)? Will I make a complete fool of myself? It’s possible. The better question will be if I know that made a fool of myself. I hope so just for the fact that I want to learn about what I do wrong so that I don’t repeat it again.

I’ll update throughout the week on Facebook. I hope everything goes well and that I learn everything I meant to learn and more.

This post contains Music or Video files. To see the full content (including media), please click here.

This is the music from the Independence Day celebration in New Braunfels TX at the Bandstand in the Main Plaza. The music selection includes a plethora of marches and patriotic songs. As this was an outoor performance, you will hear ambient sounds from the parade while listening to the music. The music is a bit woodwind heavy due to the placement of the recorder in an out-of-the-way space...

The vocals were performed by CCB member Jacob Cantu.

If you would like to download the MP3 files for this concert, please click here.

This post contains Music or Video files. To see the full content (including media), please click here.

This is the music from the June 29, 2014 Concert held at Wesley Hall at the First United Methodist Church in New Braunfels. This was our pre-4th of July concert featuring patriotic music. This concert is given as a "thank-you" to church for allowing us to use their facilities after New Braunfels ISD shuts down for the holidays/summer. This concert is the last performance of this season with the full band. A smaller group will be playing for the 4th of July Parade in Downtown New Braunfels next Friday morning starting at 8:30 AM featuring many Sousa marches.

The singing group for the Star Spangled Banner, The Pledge of Allegiance, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the Armed Forces Salute was Suono D'Amore (FB), which was led by CCB member Jacob Cantu.

If you would like to download the MP3 files for this concert, please click here.

Network Blog Assimilated

I have made a few huge updates today to the website. Besides the tweaking of the overall look, I have assimilated my Network Blog postings onto the new Jekyll blog and will post about both on here. I brought most of the posts from the former site here - but I did do some “Spring Cleaning” by removing ones that were time-related (webchats and so forth) and kept the old URL if possible. There have been a few changes, however:

  • The URL “http://www.networkblog.net” will redirect to this site.
  • The feed URL for just the network blog is now “http://jeffreyrandow.org/netblog.xml”.
  • You can access just the network blog postings by browsing to “http://jeffreyrandow.org/netblog/”.

Why the change?

  • Jekyll is awesome and I can stop worrying about security issues with Wordpress (it wasn’t a problem, but I wanted to be a bit more secure).
  • The site is hosted on Github (Github Pages) and other content is served by a variety of CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). Thus I can post big files and use the Google CDN to serve the file in lieu of my old cable modem connection.
  • Permanence. Keeping the files here provides a sense of permanence.

What’s Coming?

Well, at work, I am currently in a middle of a big (huge for us) deployment of new laptops to all staff. I plan to post some of the MDT and WDS tidbits I’ve learned. (the deployment was on Windows 8.1 on the new boxen and Windows 7 on the old) I’m also looking into an awesome networking security product that is free (PacketFence). I’m also going to post my code for a MAPI utility that you can use to add a mailbox into someone’s Outlook Profile as a part of a logon script.

May 2014 Fitness Summary

This is my summary posting of my May 2014 fitness activities. Most of my workouts and tracking is available on the main page of this website under the Fitness Log tab. This contains my Walk/Jogging activities.

For the month of May, I tracked that I walked or jogged approximately 30 miles in monitored activities (i.e., I did a planned walking/jogging workout; this does not include the incidental walking that I do during the day). This 30 miles were a part of 19 separate workouts. The most I walked in 1 day was 2.38 miles on May 19. The least was the logged 0.65 miles from May 29 when I was walking around the downtown of Grapevine in the middle of the day. It was more a sightseeing log than an actual workout. The area around my hotel was rather dangerous so I didn’t get to do any other outings when I was in Dallas at the end of May. Note also that all of these walks/runs except for the 29th also includes my dog Rudy. So I am a bit slowed by him at time when he stops to pee on everything and to smell every fence post/mailbox/etc on the path.

During this time, I changed from Endomondo to MapMyRun and acquired a bluetooth 4 heart rate sensor that I use to check my exertion level. I also acquired running shoes because walking shoes don’t seem to cut it anymore.

Starting towards the end of May, I started working out again at the gym (LA Fitness in San Antonio) working on primarily upper arm strength. I also do a little bit of cardio depending on the availablity of machines (I did a 4 mile per hour run for 5 minutes on a treadmill or 6 floors of stairs on the Stairmaster). Gym is still a little intimidating and I don’t like when there are a lot of people in the locker room because I am very self conscious in my appearance. I need to learn the “DGAF” technique that peers have encouraged on Reddit or Nerd Fitness. This week I plan to do some of the water fitness activities - just walking laps in the pool will help build up more muscle because of the resistance.

On the gym front, I’m weighing the thought to join ResoluteFit when they open because some of their services could be beneficial to me. My problem is that I think I also need the gym in San Antonio so that I can workout after work. Once I get home, the only thing that I normally do is to walk. It is very hard to motivate me to go to somewhere like Planet Fitness to workout.

On the weight side, I will make a comparison to the end of March/beginning of April 2014 since I have accurate data only to that point. The first scale I bought is very off at times and will sometimes give me weights up to 5 pound different every time I use it. So out it went and I went back to my old scale which was consistent. Since March, I have gone from 398 down to 378 +/- a pound or two depending on what clothes I’m wearing.

I have not had my A1C recalculated yet, so no comparison there. I will have the test results back on June 11 when I have my next doctor appointment.

That’s it for now. Thanks for keeping up with me.

No MP3’s are available for this concert. I didn’t release the hold button for the first part of the concert and the second half was ruined by the sounds of the fountain. (Well, I could post them, but there would be a very loud water noise throughout the entire concert.) I don’t think there was anywhere else where I could have put the recorder to avoid it. Sorry guys. :(

The Comal Community Band will be performing for the Seguin Central Park Concert in the Park series on Sunday, June 1, 2014 starting at 7 PM Central.

For more information about where this concert is located, please check out this link from the City of Seguin Parks and Recreation Department.

The concert will be broken up into two parts - the first part is German music and the second is traditional American music.

The song list (which may change based on time):

GERMAN

  • Wurzburger Weinlese
  • Wir grussen Euch
  • Sag “Dankeschon” mit roten Rosen
  • Kannst du Knodel kochen
  • Die Musik, die geht uns ins Blut
  • Melton-Marsch
  • Egerlander Musikantenfest
  • Uns’re Blasmusik
  • Tulpen aus Amsterdam
  • Wir Musikanten

AMERICAN

  • Eagle Squadron
  • Irvin Berlin Showstoppers
  • Oklahoma
  • Georgia on My Mind
  • A Saint-sational Trio!
  • The Music Man (Lang Arr.)
  • Dixie Polka
  • Songs of Texas
  • Songs for America
  • Armed Forces - The Pride of America / The Stars and Stripes Forever

Tag Support

The theme now supports tags, tag pages, and a tag cloud. This functionality requires you to run a utility before pushing your updates to Github Pages. In order to use tags, you need to add the following information into your YAML front matter:

tags:
	- Tag Name (can be multiple words)

The tag pages will be stored in the /tags directory and the tagcloud.html file (include wherever you want to use it) is saved in the _includes directory.

To create the tag pages and tag cloud, you will need to use the new Rakefile support (see below). Running rake deploy will automatically create the tag pages before committing the changes and pushing to github.

Also, tags support the banner functionality as described. If either the banner id or the bannertitle name match the tag name, then that banner will be incorporated on that tag page.

Rakefile support:

This website supports the following rake commands:

  • rake post["title"] - Creates a post with the title “title” and saved into the _posts directory with the current date. It will then open up your text editor (specified in config.yml).
  • rake draft["title"] - Similar to post, but this will make it a draft without the post date and will not publish it.
  • rake publish - Promote a draft posting to a real posting. It will move the file from the _drafts directory to the _posts directory and will change the post date to the current date.
  • rake page["title"] - Like posts, but this time with a page. It is moved to the pages folder by default.
  • rake build - This will build the tag pages and will also build the full site, but not serve it.
  • rake watch - Builds the site and tags, then serve it. It will also regenerate on post/page/draft changes. You can also run rake watch["drafts"] which will also preview the draft postings.
  • rake preview - This will build the site/tags, then open up a web browser to preview the website.
  • rake deploy["Message"] - This will build the tag pages, add new files to the local git repository, commit the changes with the message “Message”, then push the local git repository to your origin master (likely to be github)
  • rake tags - This will just build the tag pages and tag cloud.

In order to do the post/page publishing, there are two prototype files in the root directory that are named _post.txt and _page.txt (these names can be updated by changing some variables in the _config.yml file).

5/27/14

Added an Archives Page. It still kinda sucks, but I’ll work on it.. Look under the category menu.

I’m in need of finding an Accountability Partner for multiple things (one person could satisify both needs). I need someone to kick my butt to help me keep down on the fitness path - someone who won’t take my excuses when I hurt too much or just don’t want to do the things that I need to do. I promise I’ll provide the same support to my accountability partner.

The second need is keeping more with the traditional role of the Accountability Partner. Someone who can keep me following the straight and narrow path. I have been plagued with thoughts that I should not be thinking. I have said things that I definitely should not have said. Like I’ve said before, I’m a single guy who is still incredibly weak. The problem I have is that there aren’t enough other single guys at church who can satisfy this role for me. There are married guys, but it’s hard to reciprocate as an accountability partner with some one who is married because I don’t understand or know their perspective of life.

So if you are in need of an accountability partner, feel free to contact me and we can talk.

See this for more information on what an Accountability Partner is.