Depression Paradoxes: Isolation

Last night, I was reading something on the self-defeating things we do when we have depressive episodes.  Today’s topic is isolating; one of the several things we do which seem to be contradictory to our desired outcome.  I don’t know why people with depression do this, or more specifically me.  Here’s what I do know, but it barely scratches the surface.

There’s a feeling inside that it’s not OK to be down, and that I can drag other people down.  I read something yesterday where the person said, “you’re better off without me…I’m an inconvenience or nuisance to you”.  Some truth there.

There’s a sense of looking for an external cause, and maybe it’s other people, so eliminate the “problem” by eliminating the person.  Don’t take offence, I also see as potential external causes the things that used to bring joy: exercise, artistic pursuits, being in nature.  Well, part of that is that there is that thinking about “should I go do this” makes me think, well, that’s not going to help.  So I remove these things from my life too.  But partly, I think, I, in my depressed state, see those pursuits as possibly the external cause for this feeling.  A side effect of removing things that used to be pleasureful is that that it leads to further withdrawing from life, i.e. more isolation.

And having to face people who don’t understand, and can’t possibly understand, but who act as if they think they understand.  Or worse yet, there’s the potential of getting criticism, even from friends.  Criticism can take the form of a friend’s comments such as “If I have a positive attitude and take positive actions…. blah blah blah”.  Preachiness is not welcome.  At all.  At least to me.  Ever.


I know I’m excessively self-involved when in a depressive episode.  It’s the nature of the beast… living inside my head.  So a conversation with a friend may be too much about me, and really, I have a little trouble even hearing the problems of others during these times.  That makes for a crappy friend, I think…. and so I avoid talking to people because I’m just involved in my own stuff.

And sometimes I just don’t feel like talking to anyone.

That’s not the half of why I isolate.  I’m just speculating at some of this.  I don’t know why I isolate.  I think it’s just simply a symptom of depression.

The article went on to say that social support is one of the things that we MOST need in order to cope and get past this.  So, armed with that knowledge,  though my brain says, I just want to recede into the background when around people, I chose to make an effort today.  Enough pushing people away.  It’s gotta stop.  Push hard enough, and they will go.  So, despite what my depressed brain wants, I go and say hi, greet a few people.  And you know what, I’m glad I did.

I was thinking the last few days, “I may not look like I want to be around people, make no attempt to acknowledge you, and even appear to ignore you, but it’s important that you are there, and it brings me a lot of comfort that you are just present.”.    I can’t stress that enough.  I said I can’t stress that enough.

What I don’t want is anyone offering solutions, because, quite frankly, I don’t think anyone has anything that can help to the least.  People may be well-meaning but the efforts, sometimes, are not helpful.  The exception to this would be someone who has suffered from depression for decades and will continue to suffer from depression for decades.

I’m a little angry at these things I read that say “1 in 4 will suffer depression at some time…”.  That’s not depression.  That’s sadness.  That’s grief.  That’s loss.  Yes, even if they are on medication for 2 years, they may think they qualify.  Sorry.  Not in my book.   Different ballgame altogether.  Too bad the word “depression” is so overused.

Here’s something I found in an article “Whenever I seem to want the most space is usually when I need the most support.”.  Well support for me is a hug.  That’s all.   To me, this quote means, when I’m at my worst, that’s the time I need the feeling that people care.” I think the person who posted this said they didn’t want to hear “are you OK?”.  I probably don’t either.  But it’s important I know you are there for me, and will continue to be there, and that you are thinking about me.  Usually, that can all be accomplished without saying anything.  Sometimes less is more.

I edited the picture here, and removed some stuff that wouldn’t work for me, but I’ll leave you with what to say to someone depressed:


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How To Read The Contents of Program Memory using AVR Assembler

A program which reads itself using the LPM instruction.

Why? What Do Instructions Look Like in the AVR Microcontroller

In the days of Commodore 8 bit computers, I created a little assembler/disassembler program.  So I was driven to know exactly what the instructions look like in memory, and exactly what gets stored in program memory when a program is uploaded to the microcontroller.

I suppose I’m thinking about trying to upload my own code my own way using my own assembler.

I’m using AVR Studio version 4.15 Build 623.  You can use Atmel Studio, but my computer was too slow for the newer version, and this old version really flies, has debugging, shows ports and registers too.

The Solution: The LPM Instruction

The code is in the description.  The secret sauce is the LPM instruction.  Here it is in the datasheet Instruction Set Summary:

The data sheet shows what happens during this LPM instruction:

Which means the contents at address Z get put into a register.  Then Address Z is incremented.  Here is the description:

How We Use the LPM Instruction

To use this, we must load register Z with address 0, the first location of our program on an Arduino chip.

To load register Z with an address, we can load its low byte and then its high byte.  Remember memory addresses are 2 bytes long, which is of course needed because there are so many of them.

The clr instruction is possible because we are setting both values to zero, it’s possible to use LDI but this seems more succinct.

The Main Loop to Read from Program Memory

Now there are two things to do, and they are in the following links:

1. AVR Asembler: Reading From Program Memory Using AVR Studio Debugger and Assembler

2. AVR Assembler: Comparing The Contents of Program Memory with the Hex Output File, and the Documentation.

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Brokerage Fees, GST, Duties, Customs, Taxes to Canada

Shipping Raspberry PI from Hong Kong to Canada with no Brokerage Fees

NONE!  None whatsoever.  No hidden charges, no brokerage fees, no charges asked by the post office, no GST, nothing.

I bought my PI 2 from and paid $57.43CDN, exactly as it says in (well it’s probably cheaper by now).  When I went to check out, there were no hidden charges, and my paypal amount was $57.43.

I ordered on February 1st and it arrived February 18th.  (17 days later).  It came to my front door from the Canada Post guy who asked for a signature, then handed over the parcel.  No brokerage fees, no GST, no duties, no nothing.

The envelope it came in was postmarked Germany (I don’t know why.   The store is in Hong Kong).  The Customs Declaration affixed to the back of the envelope read:

  • Merchandise
  • Raspberry Pi 2 – Model B. 1GB RAM.  Qty: 1   Value: 25
  • Total: .198lbs USD 25

I am not affiliated with this seller.  They don’t know I’m posting this.  I just wanted to share.

If you find this useful, share the luv, and give me a comment of thanks. 🙂


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Installing Arch Linux on Raspberry Pi 2

I installed Arch Linux on my new Raspberry Pi following these install instructions.

What to expect when the Raspberry PI 2 is booting

  • While trying to boot,  if no lights are blinking, it means the PI is not booting.
  • Red light is always on for power
  • Blinking green light twice then…
  • Alternating blinking of red and green light then…
  • Then network port lights go on and that’s a good sign!

Power Supply for Raspberry Pi 2

  • My charger is pretty much the same as many phone chargers
  • cable on charger has a USB large end and a USB small end.
  • Plug one end into the computer, the other into my PI.  Works fine.

My Problems with installing Arch Linux was a 32MB Sandisk

  • My 32GB Sandisk  attempt at booting was just showing a green light and a disturbing red light.
  • I found the lack of a light on the network port to be very peculiar
  • I expected a network light to be on regardless, as I often see a light on the Network card on my PC when it’s switched off.
  • But I was wrong.  The network light requires a system that is ALREADY BOOTED.
  • Also the DISTURBING RED LIGHT is supposed to ALWAYS BE ON,  as long as there is power.  It doesn’t matter if you haven’t booted yet, are booting, or have done booting, it’s always on.
  • The green light is SUPPOSED TO GO OFF once it is booted.
  • I replaced my 32 GB Sandisk with a 4 GB slower Sandisk, and followed Arch linux instructions (see first line of this posting), and it worked FIRST TIME!

Is this article useful?  Share some luv and leave a thanks for a comment 🙂


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TCNT1 Number must be positive and less than 64 solution

AVR Assembler Arduino

To store zero in TCNT1 using OUT won’t work.  To set the TCNT1 bits requires this technique.  First, you have to write to TCNT1H then TCNT1L but you can’t use OUT.  Here is the proper way to use assembly language to set TCNT1:

STS TCNT1H, 0x00
STS TCNT1L, 0x00

You, of course can also load those values into R16 then do


If you used this, send some luv and leave a reply! 🙂

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1400 hours, One seventh of the way to 10,000 hours of Piano practice

I’ve been counting.  And I track my hours every day.  On average, I have practice 160 minutes per day since I started. 

Today I exceeded 1400 hours, which is 1/7th the way to 10,000.

The computer forecasted that I will finish on January 1st, 2023.  (Yes that actual date, just by coincidence).

If that’s true, I will not even be 60 yet, far from it!  I may still have brain cells left.  ( I will be be just over 58)

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The Power Supply of Behringer Xenyx 802 and Eurorack UB802, UB502, UB1002, 502, 1002

Here are the specs: USA/Canada model: 18.5VACX2 250mA.   Here are the pinouts with diagram and voltages.

My PSU measurements are in AC volts, there is a negligible voltage between the metal connector and any pin, and I checked for DC voltages in all combinations, and found none.  These are AC voltages!  Also note, that the power supply says something about a 3V 100 mA output, but there is absolutely no evidence of it.


My power supply came with my Xenyx802 and it is labeled “Eurorack power supply”.  I found that a bit odd.  Here are the other labels:

INPUT: 120V~60Hz 14W
OUTPUT 1: 18.5V~ X2 250mA
OUTPUT 2: 3V~ 100mA

The voltages are :left pin to center pin: 20.7VAC
right pin to center pin: 20.7VAC
left pin to right pin: 41.9VAC
(no other measurable voltages anywhere).

I own both a Eurorack UB802 and a Behringer Xenyx 802, and the PSU which is pictured above, says on it MXUL3 (this is not a typo), is from the Xenyx 802, and works on either mixer.

Here is what the user manual to the Xenyx 802 says about the Power supply:

—————– >8  user manual start ——————

Power consumption 13 W

Adapter: Behringer PSU MX3UL (yes, this is not a typo)
mains voltage 120V~,60Hz

Adapter Behringer PSU MX3EU
Mains voltage 230V~, 50Hz.

—————– >8  user manual end ——————

Here are a few weird things I have noticed.

1. There really is no 3V rail that is used on the power supply

2. There are many variations of power supplies out there, some say 3V, others leave it off, some say 13W

3. With a Eurorack with no power supply, I have great interest in creating one.  One day I plugged an 18 Volt AC supply into two pins, and the Eurorack seemed to function.  My guess is the other two pins are for the phantom supply.  When I say “seemed to function”, it seemed to mix all channels to the main mix bus, with no problems, and no noticeable distortion.

3. I was tired of a mixer with only two pre-amps so I connected the two mixers together using only one power supply.  It was a simple matter of connecting the power supply line from one mixer’s preamp to the same place on the other mixer.  The reading on the first pre-amp was about 23 or 24 volts DC.  I used only two wires, one for positive, other for negative.  The funny thing is that the 2nd mixer works beautifully, and I tried ALL its functions, except phantom power, and the interesting thing is that the 2nd mixer’s heatsink was very very cool.  So my guess is that there is a circuit which creates the phantom power that accounts for almost all of the heat generated by these little mixers.  Just an interesting observation.

4. Noting item 4 above, my guess is a similarly connected 24 volt DC supply might possibly power one of these machines, and bypass all that circuitry that makes things hot.

5. If you read this, please leave a thanks, share the luv!  🙂

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