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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

"No Mike. It's Too Expensive."
The Sociopath's Economic Insight

"Your mother doesn't know the cost of things."
— My Blushing Bride, Conceptual Video Artist F. Bonita Hatcher

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

Monday, April 2, 2018

Gaeta, Italy, Spring 1971

The US Navy operated a tiny little convenience store in the basement of the converted apartment building where my sister and I went to elementary school - Joshua Barney School. That entire store wasn't a whole lot bigger than a bedroom in a typical suburban America house.

Only military personnel, civilian staff such as my schoolteachers as well as military dependents such as myself were permitted to shop there. Among my most-cherished possessions is my official Naval identification card, it looks just like my Naval Officer father's but I looked just like Donny Osmond when I was ten years old. Younger than that and and the Marine Corps sentries and government subsidized retail store employees are expected to recognize me by sight alone.

That is, at Concord Naval Weapons Station I could have walked through either gate without flashing my ID provided I were nine years old or younger. At ten years old I had to show government-issued Photo ID just to buy a ticket to the Saturday afternoon matinee.

I remember very well shopping for candy all by myself, for the very first time one day after school at that Naval convenience store. I had a quarter I think. I expect the Tooth Fairy left it under my pillow.

(One time I caught my father filling in for him when the Tooth Fairy took a day of sick leave but I didn't let on that I knew.)

"How much is this Hershey Bar?"

"Thirty-five cents."

I dig through my pockets, no only twenty five cents so I politely put the Hershey bar back.

"How much is this Snicker's bar?"

"Thirty five cents."

One by one, patiently and thoughtfully I selected each type of candy in order of what I liked most to what I liked least until I had exhausted every last one of them.

"How much are these Tic-Tacs."

"Thirty-five cents."

Polite, thoughtful, patient. He never once pointed out that they all cost thirty five cents, I had a reasonable question so he provided a correct answer.

Formia, Italy, Spring, 1971

Just a few days later I read an entire Hardy Boy's Mystery all the way through in six hours while lying on my back on the living room couch.

Later that afternoon I asked Mom if I could have an allowance. Prior to that I only had the Tooth Fairy.

I was screaming and crying, overcome with grief desperately struggling to convince my own mother to permit me to purchase a candy bar roughly every week and a half with money I'd earned myself.

Mom eventually relented, said I could get my twenty-five cents per week allowance.

The following Saturday:

"Mom, my I have my allowance?"

"What allowance?"

"Twenty-five cents. My allowance is twenty-five cents per week."

"You don't get an allowance at all."

Screaming and crying, completely overcome with grief. Mom eventually managed to extract a quarter from her coin purse.

I never asked for my allowance ever, ever again.

Moscow, Idaho, Spring 1976

When I was twelve I had this Jesus Big paper route all over the University of Idaho' campus as well as Moscow's residential neighborhood next to the campus.

"Mike? You don't have enough money collected to pay for your papers this month. Have you collected from all your subscribers yet?"


"Then what did you do with all that money?"

"I bought my own candy bars."

Mom and Dad were always happy to use their own money to buy me candy, ice cream and soda pop but in my entire life my mother has moved Heaven and Earth to prevent me from managing my own financial affairs.

This despite that I billed $120.00 well after the Dot-Com Crash hit. My salary for 2009 was $150,000.00.

Concord, California, January 1972

My sister and I started going to movies together - without either parent - when I was seven. "Mom? Can I have the money to pay for our tickets?"

"No Mike."

"You're too young to handle money. Jean is much older than you. Your sister knows how to handle money responsibly."

I was down with that I was only a little boy.

"Hey Mom. I just turned ten. Can I buy the tickets to the matinee today?"

"No Mike."

"You're too young to handle money. Jean is much older than you so she knows how to handle money responsibly."

Salmon Creek, Washington, Summer 2013

At the age of forty-nine:

"WHAT'S THAT THING? Can I throw it in the trash?

"The Hell you talking about? That's my camera tripod! Set me back seventy bucks!"


As if I'd knocked over a liquor store

Salmon Creek, California, November 2013

"Mike, please don't fall asleep with your electric heater running. It could burn the house down."

"No Mom, that's my Xeon box."

"Mike, your electric heater was running when I got home from dining out on phenomenally expensive gourmet cuisine with my sorority this evening. You left it running again when you walked to Starbucks."

"No Mom, that's actually my Engineering Workstation."

Get This:

"Mike, could you tell me how to perform an orderly shutdown of your space heater?"



So I carefully walk her through logging me off then clicking the Shutdown button. Mom just absolutely loves to dote of me, she really does. Whenever I ever fall asleep on the living room couch she will cover me with her father's army blanket then turn out all the lights.

So after that if I get too tired to work on my Core Quad 16 GB FB-DIMM 2.5 TB AMCC 3ware 9690SA hardware RAID with battery backup to enable write caching, Mom will quietly step into my room, turn out all the lights, cover me gently with my grandfather's olive drab Army blanket then perform an orderly shutdown of my space heater.

"That's not actually a space heater Mom. It's just that it generates a lot of heat because it is a very, very powereful computer. I built it from components that I carefully selected myself. It cost me $4,500.00"


"From my job, Mom. I'm a Computer Programmer." When I bought all those components each I carefully selected that might combine them all into a quite powerful computer but not so incredibly powerful as to be as well fantastically expense...

... I was a Principle Software Engineer writing RAID Host Bus Adapters Device Drivers for AMCC's 3ware storage products division.

While Mom is happy to lend me three or four dollars each day so I can walk to Starbucks pay for my table and WiFi by purchasing a Grande Drip, she will not permit me to pay thirty dollars a month for a Comcast cable modem with my own money. At a bare minimum my coffees are ninety dollars per month but there are other expenses such as bus fare, sometimes I have to pay for my lunch and so on. Mom is always completely cool to fund my high-tech startup for just one day because she knows that fast Internet is important to me.

"Mom, I left most of the tools of my trade in storage in San Jose. I have to borrow a hundred dollars from you every month to pay for my locker. So far that's come to three thousand dollars that I have to pay back to you somehow, but I have no hope of ever doing so because the tools of my trade are all in San Jose. I could go there, rent a U-Haul Truck then drive it back here for $1,600.00. I'd have a good client in a heartbeat, I could pay you back in a week or two then move out of your guest room into my own house in Portland in a month. Once I had my own house I could make quite a lot more money than that."

"No Mike. It's too expensive."

"But Mom! My computers!"

Mom knows very well that "My computers" are the products of my own mental illness because I have my MacBook Pro with me here in Salmon Creek.

"My file cabinet! My business records! My technical books! My cables!".

I even have a Motherfucking BeBox. I Am Absolutely Not Fucking Kidding: dual 133 MHz 603, I don't recall how much memory or hard disk.

Mom once wrote a check to lend me some money to pay my vendors but I forget to deposit it before I returned to California to fetch just my Fedora box. I got it all the way back to Portland on the Santa Cruz and San Jose busses, and Amtrack. All together the train and bus fare came to about ninety dollars.

"Mom, could you please find that check that you wrote? The one I'm going to pay you back for?"

"Please deposit it in my bank over by Burgerville. If you can't find the check please write a new one. You or I will eventually find your first check. I'll void it then return it to you."

"If you don't, my account will be overdrawn then closed so I won't be able to pay my consultancy's expenses this month."

"I would lose everything I have ever worked for since 1984."

I remember like it was yesterday that on Wednesday, December 12th 1984 around eleven at night that three big, burly Caltech security guards beat the living crap out of me, hurled me bodily down a flight of stairs then all three sat on top of me until the Pasadena Police arrived, demanded they get the Hell off me then after she quietly, thoughfully, suggested I ride in her patrol to the the downtown Pasadena Police Station I quite angrily discovered that the '84-'85's school year's Master Of Student Housing - Professor of Mechanical Engineering Christopher Earls "Chris" Brennan - a perhaps five after a woman I have loved as if she were my own mother the very instant I spotted a young, long blonde haired woman dressed in every city's official Law Enforcement Officers regulation deep-blue uniform - County Sheriff's and their Deputies mostly wear a somewhat dark shade of brown but some where a darker shade of green, bearing a bright, shiny badge that I only many years later learned is designed then expertly carved from square blocks of silver about half again as thick as a slice of bread...

... in such a way that it is Damn near impossible for anyone other than that specific city's sworn Law Enforcement Officers to actually obtain them.

My simplest contemplation of Portland State University's request to I think the State Of Oregon but maybe it was Multnomah County to swear in the PSU's Campus Police Officers that they might legally carry guns as well as the strictly legal not the right but more accurately the license to kill people for reasons that anyone other than a sworn cop would be doing at least five years, most commonly seven with ten, twenty years as well as what I regard as civilized society's very most rational choice to protect its society's citizens as well as its society's continued existence as a civilization rather than what we all romanticize as the profoundly and moral upright knights in shining armor who in reality were throught the several centuries of the Medieval period's existence in any way different other than always taking care to appear at meals, go out in public and so on quite tastefully well-dressed that at during America's Prohibition period quite similarly but in the modern style of mens' business suits always quite tastefully well-dressed gangsters whose complete control over trade in The Demon Liquor in the undisputed central parts of a somewhat large neighborhood in a big city like Chicago was for that neighborhood's residents just about always a Yuge Pain In The Ass but at least that their neighborhood local alcholic beverage supplier really was largely undisputed led the central part of that neighborhood to at least be peaceful.

That the disputed turf that every last gangster boss regarded himself as being quite reasonably his own personal property overlapped by a few blocks each surrounding neighborhood's own gangster boss' conceptualization of his own personal property led to constant outbreaks of violence between just a few I expect quite well-paid employees of one neighbood's gangster boss an just a few of their neighor's men.

From time to time one or the other bosses stepped well outside the boundaries of polite social discourse with the offending boss' being shown the error's his ways being for example the murder of a member of that boss' gang murdering a police officer's with specific way that boss was shown that one of his members' murder of not just perfectly but at that age a proundly innocent little boy was indeed an error on the part of that offending boss being expected to completely control the violent urges every gang member is required to posses that they might actually qualify to work in every gangster boss' firm. I don't know much about the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre other than it being widely thought to have been carried out by a few Chicago Police Officers in cooperation with a few members of few former members of St. Louis Missouri went on to receive offers for jobs with Chicago's Al Capone syndicate who I expect did not know who actually killed that little boy but that they were confident was a member of or an associate of Chicago's North Side Gang so on 1929's Holiday Just For Lover's they just rounded up seven of them, lined then up against a wall in a garage in Chicago's North Side Lincoln Park Community then shot them all dead.

That anyone with any insight whatsoever into a gangland killing doesn't talk for fear of their own death or the death of a loved one I expect is widely overestimated by the general public. I know from my own experience that everyone who in any significant way is connected to anyone involved in what in 1929 was the illegal alcohol trade but commencing in 1965 illegal drug trade regarded as a transparently-obvious tacet assumption that saying anything at all other than what you absolutely must say to anyone outside of your own close, personal circle of trusted friends as well as trusted business associates was nothing more than a simple means by which going about one's every day of one's entire life was nothing more then a quite reasonable way to live.

LSD was outlawed after ten thousand people simultaneously dropped acid along Berkeley and Oakland, California's Telegraph Avenue quickly led to greatly increasing the popularity of other already-outlawed recreational pharmaceuticals with the resulting arrests, prosecutions and imprisonment of what most would agree for the most part really engaged in the underground trade in illegal drugs.

TODO: Citation Needed.

This continued until well before I moved from San Jose, California to Salmon Creek, an unincorporated community immediately North of Vancouver, Washington to find myself deeply saddened when I read somewhere that what I regarded as the Bright, Shining Prototypically Modern Techologically Creative City Of Portland, Oregon that any neighborhood other than Downtown Portland or the Bright Shining, Modern Technologically Creative Neighborhood that I regarded as quite well-deserving of its name "The Pearl District" was in reality the very worst kind of avaricious neighborhood bought up what at the time was quite a large, long disused railway switchyard at firesale prices then... uh... "invested" fifty million dollars that I have no doubt whatsoever that pulled right out not from his wallet but has fat, hairy ass then went on not to earn but to obtain quite strictly legally due to this Miscreant's having the wherewithal to hire the most expert and so expensive counsel of an individual lawyers to have keep on retainer an entire firm composed of nothing other than a bunch of expert and so as a group astronomically expensive legal advise could turn up in just one quite pleasant afternoon wandering around every American County and Federal Courthouse wide-open to the publicly and carefully kept well-stock law library.

Try reading any random United States Supreme Court Opinion. Everyone who has the Deep Insight Into The Nature Of What Manner Of Malevolent Demons possession of our state and federal legislators that lead them to right the vastly wide variety of profoundly batshit crazy ill-advised laws that been on our States's or our Nations' books for decades without anyone ever so much as lifting a finger to get any of these laws repealed by laws that supercede them sometime in the future just absolutely has to be every ultimately bench-bound lawyer's ability not just to read this shit but to actually understand it also I am quite certain leads them all not just be any advanced manner of writer.


Every last judge who wins appointment to such life-long seats as the United States Supreme Court are as for judges in most if not actually all County Courts standing for re-election every variously two or four years and who actually is so re-elected in any really consistent was are such carefully and lucidly clear, simple writer than anyone with a junior high school education could read every last one of these fine, upstanding mens' and women's opinions and actually understand.

Time for a Break! Back atchya in a few and I'll continue.

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