Dayshift update: Nightshift soon

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night-owl-vectorA week to go. The six months of dayshift are winding down, with four shifts left before the “team” I’m on switches to nights. My previous posts have explained how I really don’t like day shifts. The fatigue has diminished as I adjusted to working days after more than 23 years on nights, but it has never gone completely away. Trying to acclimate to a work day starting at 7am has been tough. Now, just as it might be finally happening, I’ll be back on nights.

I quit the melatonin as quickly as I could, as it didn’t seem to help, and gave me “intense” (i.e. weird) dreams. My sleep has become a bit more restful, but combined with 12 hour shifts, I haven’t felt this tired, for this long, in… like ever. It’s a fatigue that just never goes completely away. I’m hoping going back to nights will be a quicker and easier transition.

And guess what? We’re losing several dispatchers in the near future. One has already quit, and others are moving on to other jobs. We’ll be short staffed. Again. That means more overtime will have to be filled (something this new schedule was supposed to cut way down on.), and I’m certain we’ll end up with assigned overtime. The solution to these problems seems simple to me, but the county doesn’t seem to think the center needs more bodies. Please stay on the line, your call will be answered by the next available operator.

So, only a few more days on days. Then 12 hour night shifts. It’s weird. So far, most of my dayshifts have had me going to work in the dark, and then coming home in the dark. Now, I’ll be going to nights, and coming to work in the daylight, working in the dark, and going home in the light. That’s not going to mess with my bio-rhythms, is it?

I used to say I loved my job. I still do, but I no longer look forward to going to work. Hurry up retirement. I’m fading fast.

 

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Your 2nd Amendment

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constitution

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Amendment 2, United States Constitution September 17, 1787

Here’s the state-of-the-art guns available to members of the militia in 1787:

1791_pistol

and

1791_rifle

A skilled user could fire off as many as two rounds in a minute. Assuming, of course, that he wasn’t running for cover, or trying to face a large number of adversaries.

Today, this is the weapon of choice among mass murderers:

ar15

This weapon was originally built to be a military weapon, designed to kill as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Simple modifications can take it from it’s semi-automatic state to what might as well be called fully automatic. Nothing like being able to fire as many bullets as rapidly as you can twitch your finger.

The NRA, which used to be a gun safety group, won’t allow regulations designed to keep weapons of war out of the hands of ordinary citizens. Even ideas they supported and even suggested, like background checks, are now challenged as “they’re coming to take all of your guns!!!!!!!!”  How do they accomplish this? Money. Gun manufacturers give money to the NRA, who then gives it to the campaigns of politicians, and threatens to work against anyone who doesn’t toe their line.

The NRA, and gun nuts in general, want you to think that the Second Amendment was designed to provide a means to overthrow a tyrannical government. Read some history, that’s not what it was all about. It was to support the hunting down and returning to their owners escaped slaves.

Really, do you think that if the government was coming for you, you’d be able to hold off a predator drone with your AR-15? Ask the ISIS guys in Afghanistan and Iraq how that works out for them.

We’ve now suffered another mass murder of children at a school. I had given up on American sanity after Sandy Hook in 2012, when it became clear that 20 first graders being mowed down wasn’t enough to make a change. Now, however, you have an unique situation: the survivors of this shooting are both articulate and educated. And are or will soon be of voting age. They are stepping up, and getting noticed. Let’s hope they aren’t drowned in the NRA and gun manufacturer’s money pile.

Oh, and just to be clear… I’m all for owning as many guns as you like. As long as they’re the kind of guns the Founders were talking about when they wrote the Constitution. After all, many 2nd Amendment supporters seem to think the Constitution should mean only what (they think) the writers thought it meant. If that’s the case, then have as many flintlocks as you like. Leave the military guns to the military.

 

How did that happen?

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civic_engagement_panel_02122018_resize

If you had told me ten years ago, or even five, that I’d be on a discussion panel up in front of a crowd of strangers, telling a bit of my story, I’d have said “you’re nuts”.  That’s not something I ever thought I’d be able to do, or that anyone would find anything I had to say interesting enough to invite me.

My, have times changed.

On Monday, February 12, 2018, I was one of five panelists for the 210 Connect presentation “Use Your Power: How To Change Your Community through Civic Engagement”. I was honored to appear with Erin Garner Ford of ACT for Women and Girls; Steven Tootle, political science professor at College of the Sequoias; Amy Shuklian, Tulare County Board of Supervisors; and Daniel O’Connell, Executive Director at Central Valley Partnership.  My connection was through my activities with The Source LGBT+ Center, and as a community activist in general.

Honestly, I felt rather out of my depth with the group on the panel.

I thought it went fairly well, though. People seemed interested in what I had to say about becoming an activist in the LGBTQ community, and I was asked a couple of interesting questions about my evolution from closeted introvert, to community activist.

Now I’ll ponder some more about it, and see what, if anything, grows out of this night’s experience. One thing is for sure, I enjoyed it. It was fun!

Once upon a time, in the future

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Fun in space.

Melatonin induced dreams – the latest

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melatonin_dreamsOne of the side effects of taking Melatonin to help you sleep is “intense dreams”. I’m discovering that “intense” for me means “really weird”, and that I remember them once I awaken. Here’s last night’s strange tale.

It starts with me sitting in my truck, a ’92 Ford Ranger, in the parking area adjacent to, but not at, a set of gas pumps at a convenience store. The engine is running. I almost never do that, just sit somewhere (other than a drive-thru) with the engine running.

ranger_w_camper

Not really my truck.

For some reason, my truck has a camper shell. In reality, my truck does not. I’ve never even considered putting a shell on the truck. Anyway, sitting in the truck, engine running.

So far, not a really weird dream. But it starts veering into, if not weird, then at least strange. And I remember it, when I usually don’t, so there’s that.

Sitting in the gas station parking lot, engine running, when a woman of indeterminate age, possibly early 20’s, maybe early 30’s, comes roaring up to the gas pumps and screeches to a stop, in an older, mid-size heap of a car. She’s dressed like…  well, there’s no real polite way to say it…

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Maybe it was something I said…

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Occasionally I re-visit Congressman Devin Nunes’ personal Twitter page, just to see if I’m still blocked.
nunes_blocked_cropped

Yep, still blocked. When I first noticed the block, I thought, being the generous sort that I am, that perhaps he kept his personal Twitter feed limited to just family and friends. Then, after my more cynical side spoke up, I decided to test that theory. I have access to a second Twitter account that I co-manage, so a test was in order.

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Some people sing in the shower. Not me.

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itsnottrek01
I don’t waste my time singing in the shower. They say everyone sounds good in there, at least to themselves, but that’s not true. I learned a long time ago not to lie to myself about that. Instead, my mind tends to wander. Today, it ruminated on Star Trek, fake Star Trek, and the Star Spangled Banner.

We’ll start with Star Trek.

Since J.J.Abrams began helming the starship Enterprise with his new movies, things have not gone well. While the movies are certainly watchable, enjoyable, and entertaining, they’re not Star Trek. Sorry, J.J., they’re just not. I’m hoping the next movie brings us back to the real thing, but I’m not holding my breath.

Star Trek Discovery has followed the same path as the movies. It’s like they’re using the words from Star Trek, without having any understanding of them. The Federation. Warp drive. Klingons. Phasers. Sarek. Vulcans.

Now, I really like that Discovery has taken the leap, following the almost-gay scene from the last movie where we get the split second shot of Sulu with his husband, and introduced a gay couple on the show. More

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