Welcome to Sunday Social

Let’s all meet up at Rachel’s as we do every week!

Rachel McKee~Illuminated Literation

Sunday Social is a place to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

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:'(

I’ve nothing to say today other than how utterly devastated I am. James Hinchcliffe, driver of the #5 Arrow Electronics Honda IndyCar for Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports (and my personal favorite driver) failed to qualify for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Due to a mechanical failure, he was unable to make the speed necessary.

Only 33 start the race. That’s the way it’s always been. With 35 entries, that meant two were going to be hung out to dry. I just never anticipated it would be any of the “full time” drivers. I was sure it would be two “Indy-only” cars (for reference, all the other races only have between 20 and 24 cars and there are only that many full-time drivers).

That said, I commend Hinch on his sportsmanship and, through his pain, he didn’t point fingers or try to pass blame. That is the mark of a true sportsman. Many professional athletes across all sports disciplines would do well to learn from his example.

Good luck in the next race, Hinch, and I’ll see you at Texas Motor Speedway soon.

Song Lyric Sunday 5/20/18 – Alone Again

OK, in what might have been the toughest Song Lyric Sunday challenge for me yet, an artist I share a name with. Holy fucking shit that was brutal! Kirst, I don’t know where you got this idea from but damn, this one was rough!!! I just spent two fucking hours trying to find something and finally I stumbled across this interesting piece.

Using both my first and last names I was batting absolute zero. Blair, though a fairly common surname, not too many of those around in the music scene and not many Lynns either (well, a few, but nothing particularly standout to me). So that’s when I decided to look for artists with my middle name (Gilbert). So I dug through and I found this Irish artist by the name Gilbert O’Sullivan.

So then here is the song “Alone Again” – I chose this song by him because, well, I am a loner at heart. It is my natural state, and beyond that the lyrics resonated with me a bit too much I think. So here we go, the best I could do this week.

In a little while from now
If I’m not feeling any less sour
I promise myself to treat myself
And visit a nearby tower

And climbing to the top
Will throw myself off
In an effort to make clear to whomever
What it’s like when you’re shattered

Left standing in the lurch
At a church where people saying
My God, that’s tough, she stood him up
No point in us remaining

We may as well go home
As I did on my own
Alone again, naturally

To think that only yesterday
I was cheerful, bright and gay
Looking forward to, well, who wouldn’t do
The role I was about to play

But as if to knock me down
Reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch
Cut me into little pieces

Leaving me to doubt
Talk about God in His mercy
Who, if He really does exist
Why did He desert me?

And in my hour of need
I truly am, indeed
Alone again, naturally

It seems to me that there are more hearts
Broken in the world that can’t be mended
Left unattended
What do we do?
What do we do?

Alone again, naturally

Now, looking back over the years
And whatever else that appears
I remember I cried when my father died
Never wishing to hide the tears

And at sixty-five years old
My mother, God rest her soul
Couldn’t understand why the only man
She had ever loved had been taken

Leaving her to start
With a heart so badly broken
Despite encouragement from me
No words were ever spoken

And when she passed away
I cried and cried all day
Alone again, naturally
Alone again, naturally
Source: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/gilbertosullivan/aloneagainnaturally.html

Well that’s it for this week. Ugh. Hopefully next week will be easier. What a nightmare that was!

Fidget Spinners, Fidget Spinners, Spinning Around!!! (WeFidget Spinners Reviews)

Yes, I know fidget spinners are so 2017, so sue me. I’ll be the first to admit when I first saw them hit the big time I thought they were the silliest thing I’d ever seen. I just saw people twirling them and I’m like “really?”

Then I noticed my boss had one on his desk that he never used. Nothing fancy – just a basic tri-spinner style. I picked it up and started messing with it and I almost fell in love. Is this real? Is what I’ve heard about them helping autists real? Well hey, my desire to flap my hands is gone! I just twirl the fidget spinner instead. How convenient! Oh, and I love the gyroscopic feeling in the hand.

So that’s when I was trying to find some place to source some for myself, but that’s when Neurodivergent Rebel did a review on a couple of spinners she had received from WeFidget.com! How convenient right? I just had to hop on and order a variety of spinners. I placed my order on Thursday and they arrived today for a quick turnaround for free shipping.

The spinners arrived very well packaged, as you can see here:

spinners1

For sure they all were well padded as to make sure to arrive to you in perfect condition.

Then of course came the unveiling and here’s where things got really awesome. As you can see here, I got a variety of spinners: a couple of traditional tri-spinners, their “Trinity” model and two of their “The Bar” models (the colors shown were a buy one get one free special):

spinners2

So they all look good and well-built, so let’s just talk about each of these models in a little more detail. We’ll go in order of the ones I personally preferred, starting from least favorite to favorite (not that any of them were bad; they were all very good indeed).

The Galaxy Tri-Spinner: A plastic tri-spinner that’s very light in the hand and spins almost silently. This would be a great option for those who like tri-spinners but prefer something a little lighter in weight. Admittedly it is a bit too light for me but was still very satisfying to spin in my hand. Spins for a long time and is damn near silent, and it looks cool! Just be careful because the little washers inside can pop out without much effort.

The Bar: I was genuinely surprised this little thing has a little bit of heft to it. It’s actually a few grams heavier than the aforementioned Galaxy. Oh, and it spins practically forever and absolutely silently! Though a little small for just sitting at my desk and twirling, it is the perfect “travel” spinner – I can stuff it in the front pockets of my “Davy” Dukes without them protruding out the bottom and anyone being the wiser. It’s small enough to spin on the fly where I won’t unduly distract anyone. It’s an awesome little thing, though for office/home use I do prefer something a bit bigger, but it was still a satisfying experience.

Now, before I move onto the next two, I decided to get a shot of them on a light background so you can really see the stunning likeness of the rainbow chromatic spinners I selected:

spinners3

Aren’t those just super attractive? Well, let’s talk about each one of those now.

The Trinity: I was truly surprised by this lovely little spinner. It’s a fair bit heavier than what you would think it would be, which makes for a great feel in the hand. Much like the bar it spins seemingly forever and is absolutely silent. The extra heft lends itself well to having a bit of a gyroscopic feeling in the hand, but it isn’t overbearing. I can definitely see why this is their most popular model and it’s well-earned. Oh, and the rainbow chromatic finish matches my rainbow barbel earrings just perfectly, let’s not forget that.

And now for my favorite: 

The Chrome Tri-Spinner: If you like a really heavy spinner this is the spinner for you. That’s why this is my favorite. It is very heavy – approximately 4 ounces by my estimate. The heft gives it a very strong gyroscopic feeling when spun, which is very satisfying to me in that it gives almost the same sensation as hand flapping. Though it doesn’t spin quite as long as the smaller models and it does take a little more effort to get going, this did give me the most tactile satisfaction. It also makes a tiny bit of noise when held close to the ear, but again, that’s a small tradeoff for the feel. This is one I’ll keep around the house as I don’t want to ever lose it. This was as close to the perfect fidget spinner as it could get for my personal taste.

No doubt I’ll definitely enjoy twirling all of these but I did have a couple of stand-outs for the ones I liked the best. They are all very well-built indeed – much higher quality than toy store, department store or convenience store fidget spinners. I can tell some engineering went into these as they are all leaps and bounds above your run of the mill spinners.

As there is no such thing as the best fidget spinner for everyone, please take my personal rankings with a grain of salt. What matters is what feels good to you and the quality of build. I fully believe that no matter which model you choose (be it one of these or any of the other models they have available) you won’t go wrong. These are quality spinners and I would recommend them to anyone.

Go check them out at WeFidget.com and pick your perfect spinner. I can wholeheartedly endorse these spinners. They really are a notch above the rest. And thanks for the recommendation, Miss NR. Greatly appreciated.

I couldn’t conclude this post without sharing the song referenced in the title of this post. It’s quite comical, though it’s not for the faint of heart of the easily offended. Enjoy, if you dare!

Song Lyric Sunday 5/13/18 – Ring of Fire

So Song Lyric Sunday is once again upon us, and our theme this week is “heart.” I thought of a number of ways I could have taken the theme, then I was reminded of a particular song with one instance of that lyric and figured I could take this in my own direction in more ways than one.

So the lyric that popped into mind was “the taste of love is sweet when hearts like ours meet.” Which, of course, is a reference to the song “Ring of Fire” written by June Carter, originally recorded by Anita Carter but made famous by the legendary Johnny Cash. OK, well that’s all fine and good, we know and love the song. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it duplicated.

So, since it went over so well (only half sarcastic here – I did have a few haters but mostly support) last time I did this, I’m doing it again – I’m covering my selection for this theme. I do take a little bit of artistic liberty so my lyrics might not match the posted or official lyrics perfectly, but nonetheless, please be nice. It’s frightening enough to make oneself vulnerable like this. Also, please excuse the audio quality – I don’t have any professional recording equipment and had to use my laptop’s built-in mic; and also excuse any occasional sniffling and/or throat clearing – allergies kicking my ass lately.

Well, here goes nothing…

Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring.
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire.

|: I fell into a burning ring of fire,
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire. : |

The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet.
I fell for you like a child,
Oh, but the fire went wild.

I fell into a burning ring of fire,
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

I fell into a burning ring of fire,
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.

And it burns, burns, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire.
Source: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnnycash/ringoffire.html

Well, hope I didn’t make your ears bleed (though I’m sure I made a few of yours!) but there you go. Please either be kind or just move along. I know I’m not the greatest. You don’t have to tell me that, LOL!!!

“Erasable” Tattoo Ink???

So I saw this YouTube video on my artist’s Facebook page and found it quite interesting.

Apparently this ink is applied just like indelible ink but it’s designed to break down quickly – after about a year or so, compared with indelible ink that, although does break down to a certain degree over time, will never completely fade away. Admittedly I don’t even understand the science behind this but it is an interesting concept that I have mixed feelings about.

Let me first say that this does not appeal to me in any way, shape or form. I think most tattoo enthusiasts would agree. When I get a tattoo I do so with the intention of it being with me forever. I spend weeks to months with my artist doing sketches and modifications to get it exactly where I want it. It has to be perfect in my eye before the needle ever touches my skin. As most of my tattoos have some sort of personal significance or symbolism that is largely static, I definitely prefer for it to be with me permanently. It is something you should consider if you are thinking about getting a tattoo anyway – how will you feel about it 5, 10, 20, etc. years from now? It’s a long-term investment. All of these do need to be pondered.

That said, whereas most have seemed to shit all over this idea, I actually see some value to it. Those horrible tattoo mistakes people make all the time – tribal tattoos, significant others’ names, trendy “flash” art, getting tattooed while drunk? This would be a good option I think, not only for clients but artists. It can definitely save some regret later for life circumstances that can change (divorce being the most notable example). It can also be used by artists for people who are not “all there” and get tattooed on a whim to save someone some major regret and either painful removal or cover-up later. I even see it as an advantage for artists to use on themselves to show off a variety of their own work (yes, many artists do in fact tattoo themselves). Above all, I see this as an awesome option for shows like Ink Master – how many shit tattoos have been done on that show and how many angry canvases return a year or two later? There’s no guarantee the canvases will get the tattoo they want. This could save a lot of heartache for them.

We all have a limited amount of canvas. As part of tattoo culture is the process and you can only repeat it so much before you’re “full,” so one does have to choose carefully. Of course, tattoos need to be touched up and sometimes completely re-done at times so one will never completely remove oneself from it, but that’s another consideration.

Anyway, although I doubt I would ever use this option on me and I doubt many people will opt for it, I think it’s a good tool to have in the arsenal. What do you all think?

PS: I’m totally itching for some new ink. I just don’t have a clear vision for my next piece yet.

My Autism And Current Events

(Warning: political content ahead).

It’s been almost 1.5 years since Cheeto-Hitler, Pussy-Grabber or whatever the fuck you want to call that subhuman piece of monkey shit assumed the throne due to the inequitable way we elect presidents in this country. Not that the alternative was much better mind you, but I remained somewhat optimistic that tRump wouldn’t be as bad as many of us had feared. I think it’s safe to say he’s much worse than we all feared.

With the recent dealings with Syria and now Iran, anyone who claims we aren’t on the brink of another world war is blind. It’s going to happen sometime very soon, and with that comes resuming a highly unconstitutional practice: military drafting.

Yes, I’ll admit I registered with the Selective Service when I was young and stupid. Luckily for me though I never had any chance at being drafted. My risks were zero. The reason? I’m on the autism spectrum. Autism spectrum disorders are an automatic disqualification from military service in the US.

Of course, being 31 years old now I’ve exceeded the age of liability (26), but the point remains that if for whatever reason the age of liability were increased (it used to be as high as 50 years old!!!) I have an out and I could still never be drafted and forced to fight in a war I do not support. For that, I’m actually relieved. For once being on the autism spectrum worked to my benefit.

I can, however, see the other side of the argument. Should autistic individuals be automatically precluded from military service? One can argue the fairness of that but I would say that the military would be a toxic environment for nearly all of us. As such, I might break rank and say this preclusion is probably fair, and not just because I’ve benefited from it, but because I don’t see how anyone on the spectrum could thrive in that environment. By all means I am willing to entertain that debate so please comment your thoughts on that.

As it is right now there is no draft. There is no push to reactivate the draft, but if things continue as they are it will happen. If we get into WW3 then you better believe it will happen.

If I had known then what I know now, I would have refused to register, not because I have any risk of being drafted (obviously) but just out of principle. Conscription is unconstitutional in the US, regardless of what legal and mental gymnastics are used to justify the Selective Service. A strict interpretation of the constitution of the United States makes it clear that conscription is not consistent with its contents. I would have dealt with not qualifying for financial aid and made it work. The Feds have shown they don’t really have an interest in prosecuting refusals to register anyway. Nobody has been prosecuted for it since the 1980s and you know there are many who don’t register today.

With talk of requiring women to register in the name of gender equality, I say the truly fair and equitable solution is to abolish the Selective Service. I am for gender equality and therefore I am against forced military service for all genders.

Until then though, I can rest easy knowing no matter what happens I can never be drafted, and that’s a peace of mind none of my neurotypical male friends can have, and I feel sorry for you. I truly hope for your sake the draft never resumes but in our current global political landscape one can never be sure of that.