Ahh My Weekend.

Yeah, my weekend is probably not your weekend. But my Thursday mornings are sacred to me.

I sleep late, have a civilized breakfast, sit quietly over my first cup of coffee, and write.

Sometimes I write here, but often I’m writing other things, stuff that I’m passionate about, and it lets me take a break from working on the insanity of living.

My life is more complicated than I’d like…

My Thursday morning is my take a breath day. I highly recommend it. Get a cup of coffee, sit naked on your couch and just BREATHE.

Don’t bother with the TV, radio, or music. Just sit, enjoy the silence and sip on your morning beverage. I can tell you from experience that all the bullshit happening in the world… Will still be happening when you decide to tune back in.

You could check out for six months and when you come back, the soap opera will still be going on, and you’ll not have missed a damn thing.

So take some time for yourself. You’ll feel better. I promise.

Have a great day.

OK, I drank the Kool-Aid

So I love my Rolex. It’s one of my favorite things.

However, lately more and more people have been taking notice of it. Granted if I lived in a better area it probably wouldn’t be a big deal but I don’t live in a better area…

I live in an area where there are a lot of seemingly desperate people and there are a lot of homeless people. A recent event catalyzed the decision I made yesterday.

I was coming out of a grocery store Wednesday, and there was a homeless guy asking for money. He said, “A white dude with a Rolex can afford to give me 5 bucks…”

Defenses came right up and I decided that my beautiful Rolex was perhaps a little too ostentatious for the area in which I reside. $5 Bucks? How soon before it becomes $100, or $1000?

This isn’t the first time… I’ve had one guy pull my sleeve up while waiting in line at a convenience store and say stuff like, “NIIIICCCEEE, what’d that cost?” Another time a cashier at a food joint fixated on my Rolex and announced to the entire room, “We got a guy here who can buy all our lunches.”

This latest incident is the most threatening, and one of the many reasons we as a society can’t have nice things…

Soooo, I’d been considering an Apple watch, and decided as I briskly walked away from the homeless guy, it was time to buy one.

My lovely Rolex will be put in a safe place and I’ll enjoy the benefits of a watch that I have to recharge daily. Sigh!

As always the guy at the Apple Store was very nice and helpful. I got what I wanted and it came in a nice black box.

I have to admit there are some things that may prove useful about having a computer on my wrist.

I can change the face to match my mood.

Currently, Micky Mouse is tapping his foot on my wrist.

I’ll have better information about my walks and reminders to get up and stretch will be welcome during my work day. Having the ability to place and receive calls ala Dick Tracy Might not be something I’m actually going to like, but if it’s an emergency situation that might not be such a bad thing.

I guess this is a sign of the times.

Being White has become a liability. Having worked your ass off is no longer something to be respected, (regardless of your skin color) but instead, means you’re a target for people who absolutely believe they are entitled to your shit because if you’ve got money, you’ve surely got money to give to them simply because they happen to be breathing.

Increasingly, I find that I don’t much like the world we live in.

The set up on the watch was pretty easy. I was finished before my lunch arrived at my table. Everything that is, except the cellular part of the setup.

it was then, I got sucked down the rabbit hole of technology. Turns out that my cell phone carrier can’t verify my actual billing address.

THANK YOU GOOGLE!

Yep The old Google screw-up (Ongoing for the past decade) bit me in the ass yet again.

Apparently, when Google was driving around taking pictures of our homes and neighborhoods, without our permission I might add, they made mistakes. NO! NOT The Google!!!!

They drove into my rural town and promptly listed my physical address as being in a neighboring town almost 10 miles away. But they maintained the correct zip code. This created a disconnect between the ZIP code registry and the Township. Effectively rendering all the addresses Google mapped on that day invalid, nobody except Google can fix it, and at this point, the error has been propagated across so many databases, it will likely not be fixed in the data.

Instead someone in the town council will simply cede our end of town to the neighboring town because it’s easier. People have had to rent boxes in neighboring towns just so they can get medications and Amazon packages.

We’ve been trying to get Google to revise this mistake for over 10 years. No Luck! Google is too big and too powerful and because they’re rarely wrong… It means that the general perception is that they’re infallible.  Another decade or so, and Google will be elected Pope!

All this meant; for me to actually enable the cell phone functionality, on the  watch required 3 hours on the phone with my cell phone carrier instead of simply being able to enable the technology with my phone. The first 1.5 hours was with a lady in God only knows where, who obviously had no idea about first world problems.

She did however alter my billing plan such that she tripled my monthly bill.

Ahem…

The second call, early this morning resulted in my having to reset the watch (losing all the configuration data I’d put in), resulting in being able to see that I had an account and that the watch connectivity was actually available. The third call, finally put me in contact with a guy who knew what was going on and was able to actually make the connection between their services and the communication unit in the watch.

What should have been a simple thing turned into a clusterfuck.

I now have 13 days left to return the Apple Watch if I don’t “Just Love” it. I like it thus far, but I don’t know if I “Love” it. My Rolex I absolutely “Love” and have loved since the day I bought it.

Time will tell I suppose. But I like the idea of my Rolex sitting in a safe, out of reach of the people I’m forced to live around here in San Diego. Alternatively I’d prefer to feel like I could wear my shit without worrying about getting bashed in the head by some asshole who thought what I had… should be his.

Call me old fashioned.

My brother is right…

I need to get the hell out of Kalifornia and move somewhere a bit more like his neck of the woods. Somewhere more like Mayberry.

No Matter how many times I say it…

I’m ignored.

I’ve been maintaining a few Web sites for folks. It’s not a big deal, I have the tools necessary to do it. But it takes time…

Generally not a lot of time, and often I can tweak things on the fly from my iPad or even my phone. But I kinda need the data that folks want me to put into their website. I’m after all not a mind reader and with my work schedule, the people I deal with every day, and being pretty much exhausted all the time I have little patience for uncooperative people.

One of the folks whose site I maintain, has been planning a move, from one location to another. They sent out a notification to everyone on their mailing list in late September or early October. 

Fortunately, I was on their mailing list.

When I read the notice from them, I sent an email and said “You’re going to need to update the web site, send me all the information as soon as you can so that I can get ahead of your move and the website is up-to date”

I got a reply, “Yep, we’ll send you the info.” 

Then nothing…

UNTIL an email the day before Thanksgiving, again to the general mailing list that their shop would be closed Thanksgiving through Dec 1.

I sent another message, “OK I’ve got the new address from your email notification. I’ll update the basics Over the Thanksgiving holiday.” Silence…

I updated the website based on the information I had. I sent a link to my sandbox so they could verify the information is good. Still silence.

4PM on Black Friday, OH we want to add a whole new page can we do that?

I sent back a message, yes we can do that, what do you want the page to contain?

Silence.

Then, early in the week I get an email that has two JPEG images of their brochure. No other explanation, just a typing chore for me to transcribe the text from a photograph into something that I can even begin to incorporate into a web page.

Gee… THANKS!

It’s not like there’s only a small amount of text this brochure is so text dense that I was reminded of war & peace, or The Dead Sea Scrolls!

It would be nice to know what it most important and what could be left out. 

I’d haCbe68874ve run OCR on the photo, except that the copy they sent me had a bunch of marks on it making it look like a “Captcha”. This rendered OCR almost completely useless.

Again… THANKS!

I’ve finally got most everything into a usable format and now it’s about wrangling the text into some kind of organization and onto a page. Given that today is my one day off this week… I’m not a happy camper because this is not what I’d like to be doing today.

I’d like to be writing, and napping, having sex… Instead of sitting in front of a fucking computer doing someone else’s shit which is what I do all day long, every day at work.

This probably wouldn’t annoy me all that much except that these are “Friends” (Apparently I’m not on their Christmas list) and by the way THEY DON’T PAY ME. Taking advantage of your friends is the surest way to not have friends anymore.

Yep, This started out as a One-off to help them get their business running and now 3 – 4 years down the road I’m still doing it for nothing.

Grrrrr.

I guarantee that if they were paying me even 25 an hour, I’d have all sorts of pictures, and word files to put in their site. I also know exactly what they wanted and how they wanted it. Instead of working from something that is almost completely useless. 6 to 8 hours paid time would be “Too Expensive” I can hear the whining about the cost now.

Oh and I’d probably have had the time to do it in an organized way, instead of their usual method… PANIC MODE!

I’m thinking it’s time for me to put all their files on a thumb drive and mail it to them with a nice letter explaining how to transfer their domain to another location. Reminding them that failure to pay for their domain renewal will result in the loss of their website and rights to their domain.

Yeah, I’ve been handling the backend stuff for them too.

I think the time has come to cut my losses. Whatever happens after that it would be on them.

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…

Walmart black friday store shoot abdccf1c9cbc2f30

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…

Doctor cigarette header3459162096

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. 

173669 peyote8

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.

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.