Category: Personal

Two identical very different trips through the Alford Valley

Alford this past week was a string of turquoise days. Dry air and golden sunshine combined into a perfect backdrop for a couple of ambles through the Alford Valley. On two different days, I took identical routes with different forms of transportation. The first was a walk with my friend Bess, as we surveyed winter …

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There are 10 types of people in the world…

Those who understand binary, and those who don’t. In my early days as a computer programmer, I studied the RCA 501, a 2nd generation computer (in the days of vaccuum tubes, before transistors). It was an octal machine. If you ever saw any of the original Startrek TV series, the console of the Starship Enterprise was actually …

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Not just attention to detail, but fascination with detail

I guess you don’t have to be autistic to collect stamps (or coins, or bills, or anything else), but I’m sure it helps. For many years (and long before I figured out that I’m autistic), I collected stamps. More than collected, I accumulated. In the past few years, I’ve been gradually selling off my accumulation …

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It May Be that Young People have been Paying Attention

This interesting report by NPR challenges the speculation that we may be moving to a cashless society. “People seem really wary of the mistakes of their parents,” Shahani says. “There is something relieving about, you know, that it’s not lost on them that their parents were deep into debt. And people seem to carry that maybe …

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Hope for the world

At first light this morning I noticed a grazer enjoying the newly revealed fodder. Spring may be on its way after all!

Segregation in the Berkshires in the Civil Rights Era

An article today in the Berkshire Edge reminded me of my experience in the summer of 1961. I guess my heightened sense of social justice came to me early in life. Within a couple of years, I would become a vegetarian, a pacifist, and a draft resister. What was it like to be an African …

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Sensory Deprivation

I just took a long hot whirlpool bath, enhanced with Kneipp rosemary essential oil, to delight the olfactory senses, with a side benefit of helping to clear the nasal passages. It is a frigid snowy day today, with temps in the low teens. I walked through the falling snow to feed the horses, and was amazed …

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$2 Bills and other forgotten currency

I recently came across an article entitled “The Curious Case of the $2 Bill” which was written by a student of Ancient History. I’ve long been a fan of “Toms” (as they are often called, since a portrait of Thomas Jefferson appears on the face of the bills), and judging from my experience a lot …

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Growing Old Disgracefully: AS Connections 2014

Here is a blog-friendly version of remarks I prepared for delivery to the AANE Conference in Boston. I have tried to reflect some of the (less stilted, I hope) actual delivery, but not including some of the shoutouts I did to individual people who were in attendance. I have also added links to resources concerning some …

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Whose Table Is This, Anyway?

My good friend John Robison has written an important and articulate piece on autism advocacy. He says … it’s time to recognize the primacy of autistic people in the formulation of policy relating to research, education, treatment, and services for our community and our people.   We are able to express our own wishes and opinions, and …

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