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May the HR-V rest in peace…

October 20, 2022, 8:32 AM

In the early morning on October 9, I was involved in a car accident on the way home from work.  At the intersection of Montgomery Village Avenue and Christopher Avenue/Lost Knife Road in Gaithersburg, the driver of a red Nissan Pathfinder on Christopher Avenue ran a red light at what appeared to be full speed as I was going through the intersection, and despite my slamming on the brakes, there just wasn’t enough space to stop in order to avoid a collision.  As a result, my car got T-boned on the left side on the front fender and the driver’s door, with enough force to deploy the side curtain airbags and knock my car about 150 feet before it came to rest next to a curb.

After the impact, I remember that I was sitting in the car and noticed that the airbags had gone off, and also noticed that the windshield was shatered at the bottom left.  Then I remember hearing a male voice telling me that I needed to get out of the car.  I quickly realized that would probably be a good idea, because considering that the car had just gone through a pretty hard collision, for all I knew, it might be on fire.  I tried to open my door, but I couldn’t get it open, so I ended up climbing out through the passenger side door.  I was quite shaken, I was bleeding above my left eye, my left knee felt sore like it had been scraped, and I wasn’t wearing my glasses anymore for some reason, but nonetheless, I had managed to walk away from it.  Then I saw the person who had been telling me that I needed to get out of the car.  It was a gentleman wearing black eye makeup (kind of like what the band Kiss does) from an event that he had been at earlier from who was also an EMT, and who had witnessed the entire thing.  He also quickly told me that the accident was absolutely not my fault, which I appreciated hearing.  There was also a woman present who had witnessed the accident, who also agreed that I was not at fault.  One of them must have also called 911, because I certainly didn’t, but the police and EMS were there pretty quickly.

When EMS arrived, they quickly took care of me, wrapping some gauze around my head for the bleeding, and taking my blood pressure.  Yes, they took my blood pressure.  I’m standing on the side of the road next to my now-wrecked car, visibly shaking from the accident, and then the guy tells me that my blood pressure is “kind of high”, coming in at 172/116.  I did not need to be told that.  I’m usually pretty nice, but I just shot back, in a pretty sarcastic tone, “Gee, I wonder why.”  He removed the blood pressure cuff from my arm and went away.  Yeah, I just survived a pretty major car accident, got hit by an airbag, had to crawl out the other side of my car, was bleeding from my head, had no glasses, and was shaking.  My blood pressure is high?  No kidding.  I would have been more surprised if it was 120/80 right then rather than some astronomical amount.  I refused transport, feeling that it was unnecessary.  Then the cops got my information, and took my statement.  I also let Elyse know what had happened, and she quickly got an Uber to take her to the scene.

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When I learned the answer, I was not at all surprised…

October 10, 2022, 9:20 AM

Recently, a question that I had been wondering about for a long time was answered definitively.  For many years, I had suspected that I had some form of autism spectrum disorder, and over the summer, I took myself in to be evaluated in order to finally get an answer to that question.  And the answer is yes, I have Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 1, which was formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome.  I kind of knew this all along, but I really didn’t want to self-diagnose and then act based on a self-diagnosis.  I’m not an expert here, after all, and for something like this, I wanted to do it the right way.  I never really discussed it much on here, but just about all of my friends who are autistic had suspected that I was autistic as well.  They knew what they were looking at, and they saw it in me.

It certainly took me long enough to get around to getting diagnosed, though.  I had wondered if I was on the autism spectrum for quite a number of years, and I had found Dr. Kara Goobic, a doctor who diagnosed autism in adults, about three years ago.  I then kind of mentally filed it away for a while, as I had other things going on, though I did ask about other people’s experiences with Dr. Goobic on Reddit one time in a comment and got no response.  Then this past spring, my curiosity about the autism question finally got the best of me, and I began communication with Dr. Goobic via email.  We discussed what the process would entail, we determined that her practice was able to take my insurance, and we scheduled appointments around my work schedule.  The first two sessions discussed my history growing up and as an adult, I completed some questionnaires (Elyse also completed one questionnaire asking about her experience with me), and then the third session was feedback and discussion.  The appointments were great.  Dr. Goobic and I got along quite well, and the various sessions went smoothly.  And in the end, on the third session, which was feedback, I got a lot of different resources and such to check out, and overall, it was a very positive experience.  I went into the sessions with Dr. Goobic with the assumption that I was doing this primarily for my own edification, and that from a functional/practical standpoint, having a diagnosis would change nothing for me other than making me a more informed person, and therefore, I had nothing to lose from it, and everything to gain.

The diagnosis confirmed what a lot of us had already suspected, so my reaction was something along the lines of, “Well, there you go.”  That was exactly the diagnosis that I was expecting, so I was not surprised at all.  A surprise would have been if the process had completed and it had turned out that I wasn’t autistic in some way.  Regardless, it’s good to know what the name of the thing is, because when you know what it’s called, then you can do some research on the thing based on its name, and get a better understanding of what it is.

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A little adventure in Virginia, mostly in the woods…

October 6, 2022, 8:06 AM

From September 13-15, Elyse and I had a little weekend adventure in Virginia, where we went down to Augusta County stayed in Staunton like we usually do.  This one was a little different than most because it was partly a solo adventure.  Prior to this trip, Elyse had been down in Roanoke attending to business related to a nonprofit that she volunteers with, so she traveled up from there on Amtrak, and we met up in Charlottesville.  My original plan was to go the easterly route down, taking I-95 to Fredericksburg and then taking Route 3, Route 20, US 15, and a few other routes that would take me through Locust Grove, Orange, and Gordonsville.  However, at the last minute, I had a change of heart, deciding that (A) I didn’t feel like wading through traffic on the Beltway or 95, (B) that easterly track would get me to Charlottesville far too early, meaning that I would have to kill time before Elyse would arrive, and (C) I had ideas that necessitated taking other routes.  So I took the westernmost route, which primarily utilizes I-81, and took the “alternate” version of that, which goes through Harpers Ferry and Charles Town in West Virginia via US 340, and then taking Route 7 to meet I-81 in Winchester.  Yes, I’m going north to head south, but the distance and time for going out to Harpers Ferry is almost the same as it is to go through Northern Virginia on I-66, so it works.

My first point of interest was a relatively obscure sign in the middle of a field in Verona:


Image: Google Street View

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