Quick-ish Check-In

Having a bleh few days lately. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ ย Waiting ’til the end of the week before I get my scan results, thinking about eventually having to deal with other neck and spine stuff, not getting my energy back as quick as I thought after the month off thyroid meds and radioactive iodine dose – then just other random crappy stuff going on with various friends and family… I dunno, it’s just been a lot lately.

I just have to remind myself that I don’t have to do anything today… it’s just tough when I’m backed up on laundry and shopping and all that sorta stuff from when I was out of commission for a while there, and part of me is anxious to get things back into some kind of order. ๐Ÿ˜’ But not today. I wanna try to take a day off… not worrying about my shit, not worrying about anyone else’s shit… and at least I have Maven’s grooming almost completely done and she seems pretty happy about that, so…

It’s a weird thing when you’re sick or have something health-related going on. Of course friends and family are going to care, and they’re gonna want to reach out and ask about it or talk about it – when the last thing I want to do right now is talk to anyone about it.ย  People care, which is great, but man would it be nice if I didn’t have to think about it for at least a day, ya know? That’s actually how I let a few people know about my neck stuff… let them know that some new stuff will eventually be going on, but that I didn’t really wanna talk about it, and that’s basically working.

But I picked today as a “nothing” day because tomorrow can’t be… ‘cuz all of my cupboards and the fridge are nearly empty, as is the container of beast food, so I have no choice but to go out tomorrow and do some real shopping. My physical oomph is still returning at some kind of pace, so that shouldn’t be a problem… it’s just mentally getting up, going out, and doing the trivial things when my brain’s kinda full… bleh.

So yeah, I’m okay here… just feeling a little sorry for myself, a little sorry for other people, and reassuring myself that it’s okay to feel bad for a while when there’s so much to feel bad about, ya know? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ And going “ugh” that I can’t make excuses for not going out tomorrow to shop… heh… because sometimes you just need to sit and feel how you need to feel for a while, so you can get past it and on with things.

EDIT:ย LightningMaps is also giving me a good excuse to not go out today as well. But it does give me a reason to charge up my phone, in case I feel time-lapsey. Except it looks like it’s headed north of here…

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More Test Time-Lapse

I actually haven’t even looked at these yet, just upped to YouTube to check on TV eventually…

(Playing at 60fps, 1 frame taken per second, 60 second “light trail” exposure)

(Playing at 60fps, 1 frame taken per second, 90 second “light trail” exposure)

Rough Night, Rough Day

Not a great day today. Was only able to get about three or four hours of sleep, and during those few hours I had two distinctly awful nightmares. First one had me inside a somewhat empty mall that was having its grand opening during the middle of the night. Everything was high tech, including the bathrooms – which for some reason, had circular, computerized urinals that all the guys had to share in the middle of the room.

This is gross, but it’s all just dream fodder, so yeah… for whatever reason, I ended up pissing blood, freaking out everyone else in the bathroom, to the point where alarms started going off as if I had done something wrong and someone was coming to get me. I left the restrooms and went into the main area of the mall, which was still mostly empty, so I could look for a doctor’s office or urgent care center. While I was doing this, I noticed that mall employees were following me – and sometimes actually running ahead of me, like they were making sure that I didn’t touch or contaminate any of the new things in the new stores in their new mall. One guy even said so. He said he was supposed to make sure that I just left the property, but that he wasn’t going to force me.

Woke up around that point for about a half hour, but when I fell back to sleep it basically picked back up with the same general plot and activities. Instead of a mall, it was now a fancy “state park” type lodge, the alarms were still going off, and every elevator that I tried to get onto was already filled with people who were fleeing the building. I was able to find a service elevator though, despite it only being big enough for one person to stand in, so I was at least able to make it to the ground floor and out into the park.

It was still the middle of the night, so the parking lots were the only areas that were dimly lit by creepy, flickering, florescent lightning. But all of the cars had been towed away for some reason. As I stood in the empty parking lot, the distance between me and the lodge began to expand… and before I knew it I was alone in the middle of the woods and the only thing I could make of the lodge was a few lights far off in the distance. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear people shouting for their kids, wondering where everyone went… and then I woke up from that one as well.

And yeah, I know there’s no way to ever describe your dreams in a way that can make other people “see” or feel what you were experiencing… but they were shitty dreams, just take my word for it. So I woke up early, my mood was shit, my energy was shot, but I could see that the beast was visibly annoyed by some itchin’ on her butt – so I used my little bit of energy to brush her out, comb out a few fleas, and then start grooming her with the shaver – this time, sans guard.

I had already made a nekkid spot on her neck to put the flea treatment, but to give them as little area to hide as possible I decided to go ahead and start trimming her shorter than I ever have before. She still loves the attention, and I think she knows and appreciates what I’m trying to do for her. (It’ll still be a couple day process though.) And even knowing that, I still had to take an unwanted nap in the afternoon.

.camtemp-1

But since she does have some fleas, and flea dirt – each time she lets me spend a few minutes erasing big sections of fur, I then have to sweep it all up with the broom, and then vacuum the rest up with the vacuum (which is working again, yay) so I can eliminate as many of the little buggers as I can. It sounds like nothing, but it’s using up every drop of energy that I’ve had today. And of course getting her back, chest, and neck is pretty easy – so that’s what I’ve hit first – but I’ve still got belly, legs, and butt yet to go… and I just don’t think I’ve got the oomph to finish it all tonight.

.camtemp-2

Hopefully sleep will come easier, and she’s already happier with what I’ve gotten done so far, so she’ll be fine waiting for tomorrow for the rest of it… if tomorrow is even enough time. Depends on what kind of mood she’s in and what kind of night I have tonight. But if that’s the worst of my complaints for today, I guess that’s not too bad. Meh. Unrelated question, as I watch the end of the Bristol truck race tonight… did they even sell tickets to this thing? Just noticed as they were taking the checkered flag that the place looked literally absolutely empty in the areas of the stands I was seeing.

Enough Justification?

From The Tampa Bay Times, re: Burger King’s Impossible Whopper:

“Nutritionally, the two burgers are almost identical. The Impossible
Whopper will save you about 30 calories and a gram of saturated fat.
Itโ€™s got nine more grams of carbohydrates and one more gram of sugar.
With 25 grams of protein, the Impossible Whopper has just three grams
fewer than the original. Additionally, an Impossible Burger also doesnโ€™t
contain the same antibiotics or hormones as ground beef. At $5.29 a sandwich,
the Impossible Whopper will run you $1 more than the original.”

Accidentally ran across some of the facts I had been wondering about, after trying that Impossible Whopper the other day.ย I shouldn’t have assumed that it was healthier, just because it is plant based, because it doesn’t appear that it is. In the same way the flavor and texture is basically a draw, it seems the same is true for its “health” attributes. ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ” The only big benefit, mentioned later in the article, is that itย uses 95% less land and 74% less water to make than the beef patty, with 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. ๐Ÿค” So, yeah… not sure if that changes how I feel about it or not. There’s probably more detailed health comparisons somewhere more scientific, but yeah… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Ranting To Feel Better

(This entry will be stupid-long. I’d advise just skipping it. I just need to let some stuff out…)

Even when I don’t have the oomph to get on Facebook to socialize or even browse to see what my friends have been up to, I’ll still often open up my Twitter app so I can (in theory) stay on top of current events – not only for our country, but all parts of the world. Sure, you’ll be able to find links to useful articles, and random people posting random actual facts here and there – but generally, Twitter, when used for more than just talking with friends, is probably one of the most vile, dishonest, spin-filled, shit-smeared corners of the internet. ๐Ÿ˜’ And when political figures or talking heads are being honest, they’re saying some of the most awful things that usually never even enter people’s thoughts – let alone get spoken out loud or typed into a tweet for the entire world to hear. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

The foolish, but well-intentioned folks among us… we inevitably end up replying to much of that garbage, thinking, or at least hoping, that our words will make people stop and truly think about what they are reading, believing, and supporting. In real life conversations, face to face with other humans, you can do that sort of thing and it works. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Conversation. ๐Ÿ˜ Agreeing, disagreeing, offering opinions, hearing otherย people’s opinions, using logic in a friendly but useful debate of a topic, and even the potential for people to change how they think based on new information given to them. But the “I have the microphone so you will listen to every damn word that I have to say!” nature of Twitter, combined with anonymity and physical distance between people in any given conversation – it changes the way the humans act, preventing useful conversation and instead providing an echo chamber that most people use to “confirm” that they’re always 100% right and that anyone who says anything otherwise is an asshole. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

So it’s no surprise that when anyone and everyone can say and do whatever they want, you’re going to see things said and done there that you’d never experience in your normal, everyday “real life” interactions with people. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And yes, I know that your experience on Twitter will be heavily influenced by the people that you choose to follow… but you’d think, you know, that following the President of The United States would be something that could (or should) benefit anyone living in the United States. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But my gosh… Donald Trump is one of the biggest shit-posters on the platform, and it’s honestly hard to tell if it’s “by design” or if he’s just truly “like that” and thinks that there’s nothing wrong with it.

I’m not even going to try to cover his individual tweets in detail, but jump over there yourself and just take a look at the last two or three weeks of his tweets. Then remind yourself that, yes, these are official statements from the current President of the USA. ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿ˜ข Lying, bragging, gas-lighting, blatant ignorance, projecting, supporting “enemies” of the USA while belittling our allies, desperation to be loved / respected – especially by dictators, spreading murder conspiracies, various levels of racism, live tweeting TV shows that he hates and always claims not to watch, retweeting people at random for simply praising him – even when those people have racist ties, claiming credit for everything good (whether he was responsible or not) while always shifting blame for the bad things, mixed messaging (possibly just confusion or ignorance) regarding military, trade, or just general foreign relations… it just goes on, and on, and on, and on… ๐Ÿ˜ž

So it’s quite safe to say that following the current US President on Twitter is not comforting or reassuring. ๐Ÿ™„ Because I’ll see people that appear to believe his lies, that trust his words, and I want to help those people open their eyes. Because for me, and many people like me, it’s not even that we’re asking anyone to “switch sides” but to just recognize when bullshit is bullshit, so there will be at least a few less suckers in the world. One obvious problem, especially for the folks who championed him from the beginning, is that they’re “all in” at this point. They have to support everything he says or does, because if they don’t – that means they’d be admitting in public that they may have been wrong about him. And of allย of the traits of Trump’s “hardcore” base, admitting fault, admitting mistakes, admitting being wrong… just like Trump himself… it’s something they can’t allow themselves to do. ๐Ÿ˜ 

So when you see Trump tweet about handing out tens of billions of dollars in welfare to farmers because China will no longer buy their products due to the Trump tariffs… when he says how big of a “win” that is for the American people – and you see his devoted followers cheering, praising him, and echoing those claims – you know that they know it’s a load of horse shit, but they’re all in… and that’s that. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I can’t even tell you how many people responded positively to the 800 point drop in the stock market today, saying it’s all just part of his plan as the master negotiator and businessman that he is. ๐Ÿคจ

It’s truly Bizarro World over there most of the time. ๐Ÿ˜ณ But I digress… finally… ๐Ÿ˜

It’s the same reason that I’ve dipped out of Twitter and stopped following most political and news based accounts before. The original intent upon following them was to stay informed, to see that the adults have everything under control, and to get a sense of security that even though the world often seems fucked – our country is in good hands and there’s nothing to worry about. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Obviously (yet again) that’s not the vibe that I’m getting from my Twitter experience. And I can admit, I’m a dumbass for continuing to use the site for as long as I have – in a way that almost guarantees anxiety, disbelief, and lack of faith in humanity. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‘ So next time that I’m over there, as I browse my feed, I’ll be doing away with anything or anyone that makes the experience more bad than good.

As for “staying informed” about current events… Google News is actually a great place to get the articles and facts that matter, you can select what topics you want (or don’t want) to see, and they can even provide a surprising amount of local news content. (Somewhat surprising for the rural-ish area in which I currently live.) But as I’ve mentioned around here more than a few times… I’m already seeing way more negative than positive things in the world directly around me, my friends, and my family… ๐Ÿฅบ and how stupid would it be for me to continue subjecting myself to even more of that feeling on a shit-posting site, just in the hopes of getting the occasional reassurance that things don’t suck as much as it feels like like they do. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Roll With The Changes

So I tried the Impossible Whopper on my way home from my workers comp doctor appointment today. It’s strange… I don’t know exactly what to say about it. ๐Ÿค” It was different than a normal Whopper, which you’d assume, but not in a way that made it any worse or any better than the traditional kind. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I suppose the only thing that I’d have even noticed, if someone had just brought it to me and let me think it was a regular Whopper, was that it was a little dry / less greasy.

But by the time the cheese, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, etc is added – it’s honestly hard to notice any difference. And if it is legitimately more healthy (or at least less un-healthy)… something which I never bothered to Google… then yeah, I’d probably always order it over the “normal meat” Whopper. I think White Castle has the same kind of “fake meat” in a version of their sliders, so I might have to give those a try sometime as well. I’ve got no problem reducing my meat consumption as long as it tastes basically the same and isn’t detrimental to my health. ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿค ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

As for my appointment today, again I suppose that I just took for granted that it wouldn’t be much different than any of my other visits with the workers comp doctor. But since it was with his PA (also a “real” doctor, of course) there was a set of “fresh eyes” on all my info. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ”Ž He actually did that because the first time I saw him, many months ago, when I was originally going to be moved mostly to his schedule, I wrote a summary letter for the past decade and said I’d appreciate hearing if anything jumped out at him which may not have been something that me and my original doctor had been addressing.

Be careful what you ask for, though…ย ๐Ÿ˜ It’s nothing bad bad, but having new xrays and scans of the area from fairly recently – he took a good long look at them in comparison to the ones from before / recently after my original surgery, as well as whatever few that have been done between then and now. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ’ป It’s nothing that I’ll have to address any time soon, but as always expected… after over a decade of three of my vertebrae being fused, the one above it is just showing signs of eventually needing attention as well. ๐Ÿ˜• Nothing horrible, nothing urgent… and since it’s something that I was already aware of as an eventual and likely possibility, having him remark about it honestly just rattled me because it hasn’t been one of the things on my mindย lately… not because it’s an “Oh no, a new surprise thing” thing.

But I like this doctor… I mean, time will tell if I like him as much as Dr Walter… but he talked with me a long time today, despite knowing that I’m still somewhat radioactive, and in detail that let me know he’s aware (or at least assumes) that I’m able to understand more than the average patient. ๐Ÿค“ย I think he’s even older than Dr Walter, so I’m not sure why he’s got a PA position there. It could be he does his “real” doctor-in’ on all the other days when he’s not at this particular office. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But yeah, it’s fine… and if anything, I still think the “fresh eyes” are good… especially since he might end up having to write some reports that explain how my original work injury / surgery is what has caused this newer potential issue – because you can bet your ass that I’m going to do everything that I can to get it included into my current claim for wheneverย I might have to start doing things that involve it. ๐Ÿคจ