Happy Turkey Day

Ok so this one is a bit late.

Happy Thanksgiving anyway. I hope that you and your family had a lovely dinner.

Happy Black Friday then!

For those of you heading out to begin your Christmas Shopping…

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May God have mercy on your soul!

I used to enjoy going to Malls on Black Friday. I’d go with friends and we’d shop the day away, it was a good time and while crowded, it was just the right amount of crowding.

Then about a decade or so ago, Black Friday shopping crossed a threshold where it simply wasn’t any fun anymore. People aren’t into the holiday spirit, they’re into finding the deals FOR THEM. No-one says Merry Christmas anymore, they say Happy Holidays or Thank you and that’s it.

Christmas decorations have become more and more “Politically Correct” and protesters of various stripes are to be seen at shopping centers. The combination has bled all the fun right out of the season.

I used to like going to malls during this season to see how each mall decorated. Their creativity or whimsy was a joy to see, and much like the old Macy’s / Gimbels rivalry, attracted people to the malls to shop and enjoy the decorations.

Now, it’s all homogenous. Everything looks the same, one mall is like another so what’s the point of making a trek to a mall that’s 20 miles away when the one that’s 5 miles away is exactly the same. It probably doesn’t help that many of the malls are owned by the same consortium. 

My point is, politics, special interests, and “Political Correctness” has taken what used to be a fun season and turned it into a hollow, insincere, boring, and in some cases tasteless, version of itself. I am less and less interested in the season and even now one day one, I look forward to it being over.

Last year, most of what little Holiday Shopping I did was done online. I tried shopping once at a mall, not on Black Friday and it was so awful with parking, crowds, and bad tempered people that I simply left the place empty handed. Spending money shouldn’t be a scrimmage line activity, it should be a pleasurable experience.

WMacys herald square black friday opening eb732ec2430ce78chen you give a gift you should be thinking about the joy it will give someone, not the nasty people you had to endure to obtain the gift.

I think that’s why so much commerce is being done onlline. It may not be about the deals, it’s about not having to interact with assholes. 

Shopping in front of my computer is a hell of a lot easier than fighting for parking. (I also don’t have to get up early, get dressed, or deal with traffic.)

Which brings me to my second point. In a season that’s supposed to be about peace on earth and good will towards men (generically meaning mankind, everyone, all homo sapiens) we’re separated by commerce and our technology instead of being happy and uniting.

I suspect this means in the future we’ll see much more bad behavior, simply because we’re all forgetting how to interact in a reasonable way with each other. 

I honestly don’t know what the solution is. If you stopped e-commerce there would surely be riots at malls across the country. However, it appears that as I’m writing this mini-riots are breaking out over children’s toys.

Post Apocalypse Christmas

I know it’s a kinda of a dystopian view but I’m calling it as I see it.

So if you’re out shopping, try to enjoy yourself. Remember that you’ve got about a month to find that perfect gift in the store, and failing that, you can sit naked in front of your computer and have that perfect gift drop shipped from China directly to the recipients door.

Try to enjoy the people you’ve chosen to be with this holiday weekend.

Remember, This season is supposed to be about kindness, and family.

Just my two cents…

Doc says I’ll live a while longer…

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Results of my annual physical are in.

By all the usual standards, I’m alive!

Nice to know that.

I like my doctor, I hate going to the doctor. I dread the day he comes back with the result of some test or other and tells me really bad news. I have no ideal how I’ll respond to it.

Oh sure… the 7 stages and all that; but what does it really mean to me as a person? Will I embrace the reality and fight? Or will I choose to live in blissful ignorance and simply forget to wake up one day?

Burning man.jpeg

There are pluses and minuses to each course of action.

If it’s serious and you fight, you could easily find yourself living in a tight little circle running from appointment to appointment at medical facilities for the rest of your days. I hate the smell of antiseptic in the morning!

On the other hand, if you choose to live in ignorant bliss you could simply live a happy if short span. If you go that route, you have to opportunity to do all the things you might have been afraid to do. Imagine the freedom of being able to do any drugs, have any kind of crazy ass sexual escapades, jump out of planes, climb mountains, live life homeless wandering the world. 

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Suddenly, albeit perhaps briefly the world really is your oyster. What penalty could conventional law place on you? Arrest? If you’re imprisoned, they provide you free health care. If the law allows you to go you simply go back to doing what you want.

When I’m confronted with my mortality I find myself thinking like this. The concept of no boundaries appeals to me in a very fundamental way.

The idea that nothing, no matter how dangerous really matters is alluring. I suspect the very first thing I’d try is something like peyote or the drug from that tribe in South America that’s been called the “god” drug. Supposedly, this stuff allows you to take a journey to the center of your being and commune with the universe. 

Why haven’t I done these things? Laws, Conventions, Rules, Expectations.  

In other words… FEAR.

Fear of consequences, punishment, loss of freedom, or simply people not liking me.

Consumer Society

It’s ironic because in a very real way I gave up absolute freedom to live in and be a part of a society that I no longer recognize. I guess I’m at that age now where I wonder; What If?

Down that road lies the potential for despair. Not bad to occasionally think about it… Very bad to dwell there.

So what’s the alternative?

Look forward. Remember that all it takes to change the future is to choose the future you want. 

That’s where I’m at. Yep I’ll live another few days, months, years, decades, whatever, but the future is as yet unwritten. Since I’m the one doing the writing I have to remember not to let the past have too much control over what I write next.

I think I’m at a place where I want to experience some of the things I’ve denied myself for no other reason than I wanted to fit in, to be accepted, liked, and thought of as doing what was expected.

I supposed I should say, “Thanks Doc, see ya next year.” maybe I will the next time I talk to him.

Until then… I’m setting a blank piece of paper and a fresh new pen on that desk in my head. I’ll start writing something new.

Boring Day… Random thoughts about Tech Support.

Under normal circumstances I’d like a little boredom at work.

But there is too much of a good thing.

Today’s been one of those kinda days. Too much boredom, just about the time I start something I’m interested in, the phone rings and I have to reconfigure my brain to filter all the useless flotsam and jetsam that someone feels they need to tell me and boil it down to the essentials of what the problem is.

Then explain why someone doesn’t need 2 grand worth of new shit when the problem is that they need to turn on, the 2 grand of shit they already have. Some people, a lot of people, actually are absolute idiots!

It’s the Millennials who are often the worst! My god! It’s terrifying that these people are the folks that will running things in a very few years. More terrifying is that they’re reproducing!

It’s like watching Idiocracy developing in real life.

Oddly old people are usually pretty easy to deal with. At least they know what they don’t know. They follow instructions verbal and written, and aren’t prone to thrashing about flipping shit on & off at random. Also once you explain something to them, they get it, if you can explain it in terms they can wrap their heads around.

Oh don’t get me wrong, idiots and assholes exist in all the types of people that I talk to. But the Millennials are among the worst, and don’t even get me started on Canadian Millennials! WOW! Arrogance and stupidity have combined in them, creating a horribly toxic stew of smugness and elitism.

The funniest thing someone can do when calling a tech support line is threaten to take their business elsewhere.

I mean really? Do you honestly think that your threat (empty or not) is going to move any technical support person to see things your way? Tech support folks are generally shat upon by everyone! The corporation that they work for, the customers they talk to, and virtually everyone from the janitorial staff to executive management will take every opportunity to fuck with them. So yeah, take your business elsewhere, please!

Go ahead, ask to speak to my supervisor! It would be the first time in a month the fat bastard actually did anything, aside from waddling his fat ass to a meeting to tell everyone what a shitty job they’re doing. Not that he or she would know, because they’re hiding in their offices all day.

You want good service from a tech support rep? Be Nice! Have a sense of humor, don’t be a jackass and suddenly things will happen that aren’t even supposed to happen. Yeah, Tech support people know how to work the system. There’s a lot of tweaking that a TS person can do if they’re motivated because they liked you, or your attitude. Especially if that TS person can place orders directly. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not likely to give away the store, but they’re likely to help you out if you’re in a jam.

I digress, Sundays are either really good days or really bad days. There’s no middle ground. Either all the phone calls are jackasses or the phone calls are nice people who are relaxed and happy to be able to take care of business without trying to squeeze it between meetings, or on their lunch hour.

By the way, most tech support reps are lucky to get a 1/2 hour for lunch. So don’t talk to them about how difficult it is for you to talk to them on your lunch hour when they’re lucky if they got to eat their dry sandwich and take a shit in two separate places. Yeah, think about that one… Not a good idea to bitch about taking time out of your lunch hour to spend 10 minutes placing a call, when the guy you’re calling has two sick kids, a wife who’s filed for divorce, and he has to decide which of the following things he has to sacrifice on his 1/2 hour lunch break speak to attorney, eat a shitty sandwich (when he hasn’t eaten in 2 days… gave his food to his kids), or take a piss.

Guess how he’s going to react to your petty whining? Yep, he’s not going to be impressed.

Anyhow, this is the stuff I think about on a slow day.

Well that, and stuff like: When you’re dying and your life flashes before your eyes… Is that a data upload to God?

Be glad you’re not in my head all the time… It’s a very weird place.

Hope you had a great Weekend.

Gonna give this a try

Trying something new.

Going to try blogging from the Nebo application. This is a nifty handwriting recognition program that may allow me to write while I’m sitting at my desk listening to somebody yak, telling in their life story (all of which is irrelevant to the problem they’re having.) Anyway while listening for my opportunity to actually ask the questions that I need to ask.

I’m wondering if I can keep up with my writing while being bored out of my mind.

I dont know how this is going to work but it’s worth the effort. After all I want to get some use out of this fancy Apple Pencil.

I’m wondering if it would be practical to continue writing portions of my books using this method as well.

I suppose time will tell and of course practice with the application and the pencil. I wish the pencil tip had a bit more drag against the screen. that would lead to a more realistic Pencil / Paper experience.

Maybe a screen protector on the ipad with a bit more texture, would help.

I’m also curious about the  iPad Power and lifespan if I’m writing all day on it.

Thus far it’s worked pretty well for this little short post.

OK So yesterday wasn’t so Quiet…

Doctor

Got done at the Doc’s.

(No Happy Ending!)

Apparently I was alive enough for the Doc to be confident that I wasn’t going to drop dead in his office.

Yesterday was the first time that my Doc mentioned anything about politics. Apparently, he’s still hopping mad about Trump. I told him I don’t watch the News anymore, and joked, that it’s obviously helped my blood pressure.

He asked how I stayed informed. I told him I read the news because it’s a lot easier to limit my exposure to shit that pissed me off. He said what about Trump? I told him I thought Trump was simply the latest in a long line of politicians who as my grandfather used to say, “are all crooks and liars.” 

My Doc said he loved Obama… 

I said I didn’t love any of our politicians, because they all too easily forgot their job was to be in service to all the people. I’d be happier if they said what they mean, did what they said, and always put the needs of all the people who elected them, first.

There was an uncomfortable silence and we moved back into the professional comfort of the Doctor, Patient relationship.

Traffic

I was glad, because on Obama and the Democratic party, my Doctor and I are poles apart. That doesn’t mean I think my Doctor is a bad guy, or necessarily completely wrong.  I was however, suddenly concerned that he might just be so angry about the current state of our political system, that he might lose sight of the fact that I’m not a bad guy either.

In all honesty, we’re both probably operating from misinformation and the truth is somewhere between our two points of view. More importantly, he’s a good doctor and someone that I value having in my life.

I guess I valued the relationship we’ve built over the years more than the desire to swing him over to my opinion. I suspect that he may have reached the same conclusion.

FLU SHOT

All I can say is that I’m really glad that my hunger hadn’t reached the point that I wasn’t thinking. Otherwise the situation could have gone badly.

I’m really sad that the political polarization in our country is permeating into every aspect of daily life. Politics used to be something you bitched about in a bar with your friends, half drunk. Now it’s almost everywhere and 24/7. I mean who gives a fuck? Those assholes in Washington and the Statehouses across the nation are more than likely in someone’s pocket. The only voice we have is voting and that voice is growing weaker each election cycle. It’s been demonstrated that elections can be affected, not only by foreign governments, but also by a media who is not adhering to good journalistic practices. Thank goodness I thought this instead of speaking it.

Flu

By the time I was done, I was starving. So I thought I’d head out to get something to eat immediately. Traffic was a nightmare!  After sitting on the freeway, (Thats a mis-named thing if ever there was one) for about 45 minutes I noticed I was close to a place I used to have my hair cut. I figured, “What the hell,” and pulled in. They had an opening and soon I was in the chair having my mop cropped. Still very, very, hungry.  

WOW! The prices had gone up… Should’ve checked that before I sat in the chair. A couple of years ago the prices were obscene, NOW, the prices are astronomical! Grrr!

Why is it that you can’t get a decent haircut at a reasonable price anymore? I don’t want anything fancy, I just want consistent.  I’ve tried many places in Escondido & San Diego and you’re lucky if the same person is working at the place from month to month. The phenomena isn’t limited to San Diego, it’s everywhere. I was noticing it long before I moved out of the OC / Riverside area. I don’t like clipper cuts, I like scissor cuts. Clipper cuts accentuate the cowlicks I have and frankly, I could probably give myself a clipper cut. 

Iu

Anyhow, the stylist did a pretty good job, at least it’s workable. Maybe I can find a hairburner in San Diego that can maintain the cut. If that fails, I’m going to be heading to a stylist in Beverly Hills that comes highly recommended by several friends.  Who, believe it or not… is cheaper than the place I was at yesterday.

Still hungry, I get back on the misnamed road called a freeway. Traffic was better and the further I got out of southern OC the better it got. Pretty soon, I could see the mountains I call home. 

Got in the door, started wolfing down junk food, then started laundry.

Shutting down the irrigation system had to wait until today. 

However, I’m moving very slow today. Maybe the flushot I got yesterday. Not that I feel sick, but I do feel super tired. That’s probably the immune response kicking in, creating antibodies to fight off the faux infection. It’ll pass in the next day or two.

Gotta get a move on, the day is passing and I’m done with the weeks laundry.

Have a great weekend.

To Quiet days

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It’s my weekend. 

I slept soundly, and late for me. It was 5:00 when I finally woke up.

I lay there in bed enjoying the contrast between the cool air in the room and the warmth of my bed. My morning wood put a smile on my face, it was nice to just “Be” for a while. 

I’d silenced all the electronics the night before, so there was nothing of the modern world to drag me into my day.

I dozed off & on until about 5:30 then got up made coffee and took a long satisfying morning piss. That’s a highly under-rated experience that we often miss in our rush to get ready for work and get out the door. 

As I get older and the world gets more complex, I find that I’m appreciating the simple things in life. 

I don’t have to be anywhere until my annual physical at 11:20 am. That’s the good news, the bad news is that I can’t have anything to eat, and no sugar in my coffee until afterwards… Grrrr. I’m going to have to work very hard to not be “Hangry”.

By the time I’m finished at the Docs office it will be the middle of the lunch time rush and I’ll be ravenous. The Doc usually has some kind of munchies around his office maybe i’ll make do with something from his place until after the rush then stop for a civilized meal.

A civilized lunch is something I rarely get these days, so I’m looking forward to that.

Iu

I have mixed feelings about seeing the Doc. On the one hand I don’t see him that often and am generally healthy, so our visits are pretty mellow.

On the other hand…

Well he’s gonna do the ol finger up my butt trick. Meh, gotta be done. I just feel like it should have a “Happy Ending”. I mean he’s gonna push and prod a part of my anatomy that is involved in happy endings, so I figure In (ahem) for a penny, in for a pound.

At least I’d leave with a smile on my face!

I don’t mean that disrespectfully toward my Doctor, I just feel like the indignity of the situation should have an up side.

From there, the plan is to meander home to the mountain where I’ll do a mountain of laundry, and shut down the irrigation system for the winter. The irrigation system shutdown shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.

After that I’ll probably nap. The laundry won’t need me hovering over it. I’ll set the computer to do most of the monthly maintenance on the home network automatically. It’ll ask me for help if it encounters anything out of the ordinary. The washer and dryer will do their thing and beep at me when they’re done. So I can put on some favorite music and just relax.

Friday, I’ll slug my way 100 miles back down to San Diego and get ready to start the work week. But that’s still a day away, so I’m not going to think about it.

Have a good day