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January 18th, 2016

02:48 pm - 2008 Prius

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June 7th, 2015

09:18 am - Yesterday
Kayaking down Darby Creek yesterday... lunch outside with old and new friends... pirate melodrama theater at Schiller Park. My kind of day.

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April 29th, 2014

09:18 pm - New job
I am leaving my current job (Scioto Paint Valley MHC) in 3 1/2 weeks, and starting a new job shortly afterwards. I've been at my current job 6 years, which is the longest stretch in my life. It has gone through a lot of changes, some of them for the better, and will go through others without me.
I am looking forward to being relieved of certain responsibilities, foremost among which is driving an hour to and from work five days a week. But handling termination with some clients will be real work.
Will miss being at the same agency with some like-minded folks like Jeanette Lynn Melanie Swisher Jim Hagen Chrissy Beck etc. And I'll kinda miss the boondocks. Y'all take care now, ya hear? I'll drop in some time if the good lawd willin and the crick don't rise.
PS: If anyone knows a Master's-level social worker willing to work in Chillicothe, Ohio, put them in touch with me.

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April 17th, 2014

10:20 pm - Geek Social Fallacies
I've had to remind myself of Geek Social Fallacy #1 quite often lately...


I find the Geek Social Fallacies list very useful, even enlightening. You should take a look, even if you're not a geek and never have been.

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10:18 pm - Dad
The following is attributed, not necessarily accurately, to Mark Twain:
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

Likewise, as an adolescent, I tolerated my dad poorly. I presented a problem he couldn't solve, no matter how hard he tried. Today, I feel very lucky about how good of a conversation I can have with him, and how he can get to the root of a problem and provide a helpful perspective. He is a scientist and I'm a clinical social worker, but I think asking useful questions is central to both jobs.

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January 2nd, 2014

09:27 pm - Snow; Matt
For some reason, today's snow, and doing a lot of driving in the snow, brought up memories of my first winter with my driver's license. I was 17, in Indianapolis, and I think it was an especially snowy winter. I couldn't drive worth shit. My residential neighborhood was never plowed.
I remember getting stuck in the snow several times. Each time, or at least those I can remember, I had my best friend Matt with me. Matt never had a car and I don't think he ever got his license, so I was always the one driving. Anyway, Matt was HUGE. This really came in handy, because Matt would hop out, walk behind the car, give it one push, and I'd be unstuck.
Matt died at about age 28. I think his being extremely overweight had something to do with it; Matt would happily help anyone, except for himself. I think about him once in a while. I hope his widow and children are well.

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August 27th, 2013

10:07 pm - Odd job offer
Showed up in my email today...

If you’ve thought about taking your career in a new direction, the Army Reserve may be the ideal opportunity. As a Social Worker in the Army Reserve, you will serve part time one weekend a month and two weeks a year. From day one, your career will be anything but ordinary.

As a Social Worker in the U.S. Army Reserve, you’ll experience rewards unlike any you’ll find in the civilian world. You’ll have opportunities to participate in humanitarian missions, attend conferences and seminars, and work at some of the world’s most advanced facilities like Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii or Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Because you’ll automatically enter as an officer, you won’t have to attend “boot camp.” You will, however, gain the experience of a lifetime and bring knowledge, experience and tales of adventure back to your practice at home.

Find out more about becoming an officer in the Army Reserve. For your free copy of an Army Reserve Health Care Team brochure call 877-565-0648 or visit healthcare.goarmy.com. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you.


SSG Gustavo Gallegos
US Army Health Care Counselor
1335 Dublin Rd Suite 207B
Columbus, OH 43215

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August 2nd, 2013

08:33 am - Friends list
Thinking of drastically chopping my LJ friends list for privacy purposes, as I think there is some pretty personal stuff I've f-locked on here over the last 10 years. If you are on my flist and definitely do NOT want to be chopped, please comment.

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July 9th, 2013

08:43 am - "Dr."
I was thinking about my strong inclination to call people with PhDs or MDs "Doctor," even when I've been given permission to do otherwise. A psychiatrist at the hospital has told me "call me Mary," and a psychologist with whom I work says "call me Jim," but my first impulse is still to say "Dr. so-and-so". Exceptions are made for people I never knew by title in the first place, e.g. Scott Hickey Adam Wolfe Chris Gaspar or of course dad whom I call dad.
Maybe it's because I have special respect for them due to having briefly considered working toward a PhD but knowing that my academic work ethic was not up to the task. You can't write your dissertation the night before it's due.

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April 3rd, 2013

09:37 pm - Open letter to the NASW
Jeane W. Anastas, PhD, LMSW
President, National Association of Social Workers

Dear Dr. Anastas,

I'm writing to express my opinion on NASW's excessive membership rates of $125/year for a Bachelor's-level social worker, and $190/year for Master's-level or above. I don't think I'll say anything original in this letter, as I'm surely neither the first to complain nor the last.

It may be that the NASW board members and leadership staff consider $190 to be a reasonable yearly membership cost. If so, I ask them to consider the situation of members of social work's "99%" such as myself. I wonder if NASW leaders who are relatively well-paid as tenured professors, successful private practitioners, and agency administrators would be surprised to learn that my first full-time job with my MSW, just ten years ago, paid $13 an hour.

Every time I get a membership solicitation from the NASW, I ask myself whether it would be worth the cost to join. I'm not currently in need of liability insurance, I have access to free or very affordable electronic continuing education, and I already get more magazines, email newsletters, etc., than I have time to read. That leaves issue advocacy. While I would love to be a member of an organization that stands up for social workers and their clients (even with no direct personal benefit), I can't justify the dues when other nonprofits I support welcome me as a member for $25, $35 or $40 a year.

I hope that NASW will consider lowering its dues, which, even if it were to lead to lower revenue in the short term, would likely pay for itself in the end due to attracting many new members who think as I do.

Jeff Dubin, MSW, LISW-S
Columbus, Ohio

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February 15th, 2013

03:32 pm - Grandma
My maternal grandmother, Estelle Brown, died painlessly twelve years ago yesterday in Indianapolis, IN. She was born in New York City in the 1910s. זיכרונה לברכה. (may her memory be a blessing)

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October 20th, 2012

08:34 am - The cloud vs physical reality
"Big web-based companies in particular seem to enjoy hiding within 'the cloud.' They are frequently cagey about where they keep your data, sometimes even pretending not to be entirely sure about it themselves. ...generally speaking, the cloud asks us to believe that our data is an abstraction, not a physical reality... What frustrates me is that feigned obscurity becomes a malignant advantage of the cloud, a condescending purr of 'we'll take care of that for you' that in its plea of ignorance reminds me of slaughterhouses."

--Andrew Blum, "Tubes: A Journey To The Center Of The Internet"

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August 14th, 2012

10:46 pm - I feel bad about not updating LJ for so long
LJ has been a part of my life for many years; so long, that it overlaps with a text file journal I kept on my own computer from circa 2002-2004. I don't want to give it up. Facebook is NOT an adequate alternative. How to motivate myself to get back to LJ when so many people have abandoned it for FB is the difficult question.

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May 24th, 2012

06:07 pm - VA jobs
I've read that the Veterans Administration health system is hiring thousands of mental health professionals in order to meet the needs of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, there are Zero social worker jobs posted for the sizable outpatient clinic in Columbus.

Maybe they need to hire thousands of HR people just to post all of those openings and process the applications? Something is wrong here.

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May 21st, 2012

09:51 pm - talking to dad
So I was talking to my dad yesterday morning and referred to a certain commercial I'd seen a while back. I was about to say "there's this teenager, about 14, and this old guy, about 70" and then I realized that my dad is 71. So I said, "...and this old guy, about 80." When do I switch the "old guy" age to 90? When he's 75, maybe?

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May 14th, 2012

07:21 am - To do today
After pedaling 50 constantly rainy miles back from Portsmouth to Chillicothe yesterday, I didn't feel like doing much. Showered, ate, read, slept. So a lot is on my plate today.

--Cat to vet at 11
--Clean out car
--Donate blood?
--Put stuff away
--Take out trash/compost

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May 4th, 2012

08:46 pm - Putting this on LJ to remember
...As opposed to on Facebook where everything goes off into the ether.

From now on, spray-on sunscreen is riding with me on my bike at all times, just like hex wrenches.

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April 29th, 2012

08:54 pm - Note to self
Get back to writing in this journal.
A month in between = too long.

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March 23rd, 2012

12:10 pm - Reason rally packing list
Rain jacket, sweater
Usual overnight change of clothes
Toothbrush etc
Small trash bag to protect my stuff from rain
Large trash bag for sitting/cleanup
Snacks/food (extra to share?)
1st aid kit
Duct tape
Hand sanitizer
mp3 player (for bus)
Backup celly battery charger

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11:02 am - roommate
I'm just about ready to look for a new roommate. Just a few criteria...

--Non-smoker. Unless it's crack.
--Responsible enough with money to always pay the rent on time, even if he or she has to go out and rob someone at gunpoint to do so. Note the rent may NOT be paid in jacked cars.
--If any felony on criminal record, there'd better be a really good story.
--Must clean up more thoroughly than the Cleaner from La Femme Nikita.

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February 28th, 2012

08:05 am - I sent this email to the presenter at a training I attended last week
(The training was a three-hour evening event on Ethics in Senior Care for social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, etc.)

I was left frustrated and confused by some of the digressions in your talk.

Don't get me wrong, I like a good laugh, and I like to discuss controversial social or political topics with my friends. But it became hard to keep track of which statements were a)jokes, b)statements of opinion on a controversial issue which you were willing to defend, c)"test balloons" on which you weren't really expressing an opinion either way, or d)controversial statements that (I hope) you weren't really looking to spend time discussing because they were so far off topic. An example of D would be when you said, "There's no difference between Obama and Romney," or something to that effect.

Also, it's easy to toss around supposed statistics and other facts without having available information to back them up. You might have heard the saying, "90% of statistics are made up on the spot." If a statement is really relevant to the topic, for instance that married men are happier than single men and that they tend to remarry right after their wives die, you should cite sources. If it's not relevant, well...

I'm sure I'd have a great time exploring ethical questions over a cup of coffee with you, but I walked away from a three-hour training thinking that only about one hour was actually about Ethics In Senior Care.

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February 24th, 2012

04:50 pm - Hitchens/Luxemburg/Jew stuff
Christopher Hitchens, whose mother is of Jewish ethnicity, quotes Rosa Luxemburg thusly:

"What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball... I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears."

This reflects much of my thinking. A few years ago, I walked through the Hasidic neighborhood of Brooklyn, and felt no more cultural connection than if I were walking through Chinatown.

That being said, I'm aware that if my maternal grandfather hadn't been a Jew, he might have found Poland to be a perfectly acceptable place to spend his life. Possibly also true for my dad's grandparents, about whom I know nothing.

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04:44 pm - My answers to questions about Humanism and HCCO
What does HCCO do?
What is a humanist? Is this just another term for an atheist or how do these relate? Is it appropriate to call a humanist an atheists?
Do you have certain views or beliefs? Are there certain values that perhaps you would raise your children with?
I can answer all of these together. HCCO is a community of, by, and for, Secular Humanists in Central Ohio. It offers social, educational, activist and service events to support Humanism. As the American Humanism puts it, "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity." Assuming that God is a supernatural being, Humanists are without belief in God, thus they are atheistic. Some, for various reasons, do not prefer to use that term.
Many of our members are interested in imparting Humanist values to their children. HCCO has recently been offering more and more programming for children and families, such as Family Game Night. Another locally based organization, Camp Quest, offers a weeklong summer camp with emphasis on critical thinking in addition to traditional, fun activities.
A lot of people say that if you do not believe in a god you will not have morals, how do you address this?
Definitions of "morals" and "ethics" are complicated. Humanists ascribe to consequence-based ethics, i.e., they make decisions based on their effect on oneself and others as opposed to divine command or pastoral authority. Humanist Manifesto III states, "Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience... We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility." One could go into a lot more detail; individual Humanists have a wide variety of opinions on tough ethical problems.
Do most people grow up with these beliefs or do they come to HCCO later in life as adults?
Great question! I know some of both. Many Humanists grew up in conservative religious backgrounds. They may have been doubting since childhood, or much later in life; young adulthood is a common time to question the beliefs of one's upbringing. Others grew up in more moderate/liberal traditions, or even in secular households.
What are some resources for people who are atheists or humanists in Columbus?
By far the best resource for atheists and Humanists in Columbus is the Humanist Community of Central Ohio. There are other similar groups around, such as Students for Freethought at OSU, and we have friendly relationships with several of them. Columbus also has a huge university and a nice public library system, and a great deal of cultural diversity. Many of us enjoy festivals such as Comfest at which we can share our worldview and learn about others.
As you probably know religion can be a strength when working with clients, how can atheism or humanism be used as a strength?
Religion CAN be a strength, but I think it sometimes harms my clients as well. But to answer your question, clients who are able to reason skeptically have a head start on challenging their own irrational beliefs and assumptions, such as we do in cognitive therapy. Ability to question a belief or test a hypothesis is psychologically beneficial. I could go on further if need be.
Do you think it is a replacement for a religion or lack of religion? I have heard both arguments.
For some people, Humanism does replace the community aspect of religion, in addition to describing a framework for making decisions.
Are there services like churches will have services on Sunday, or is it more informal meetings?
Another good question. Yes and no. The most formal aspects of HCCO are our monthly program, which is often based upon a presentation by an internal or guest speaker, and our yearly Winter Solstice Banquet. Even at these times, humor is often part of our group interactions. None of these events would look at all like a church service, in that there are neither hymns, nor prayers, nor clergy reading from a divinely inspired scripture. Some Humanists do have an interest in ritual, and whether we should have more ritual has been a point of intense discussion within our movement.
Let me know if there is anything else you think that would be helpful to understanding humanists or this culture.
I think your idea of checking out an event in person is a good one. You also might like to visit Students for Freethought at OSU.
Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it.
Glad to help!

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February 20th, 2012

10:07 pm - Skiing
Skiing today, I (unintentionally) attempted my first-ever black diamond area, i.e. moguls, and promptly wiped out. I shed my skis and poles and slid, prone, into one of the chairlift poles. I was back up and skiing again before long, but with a sore leg. It's still sore, especially when I go up stairs. Corey took a worse fall than mine, at the same time and for the same reason.

On the positive side, I (intentionally) went faster, and on steeper slopes, than I had ever done before, and that without falling. I have a better sense of how to turn, and am confident about pointing whichever way I want as long as I'm not at high speed. Sharp, parallel-skis turns are still to come.

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09:31 pm - Test please ignore
To determine if the problem is my connection, or both my web browsers.

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