Shitter’s Full

There’s an RV show going on at the convention center in Columbus this weekend, and I’m supposed to meet my friend Jim there so we can check out the latest and greatest offerings. πŸ€“πŸšŒπŸ˜Ž Dad and I used to go to an RV / boat / travel show decades ago, and until I googled for information just a few moments ago I assumed that this was the same production, just years later. πŸ€” But nope… the one we went to is still going on, now in its 40th year, but it’s held at the fairgrounds expo center.

It’ll be neat, looking at everything, but neither of us are going there with any intent of buying anything. It’s more of a research mission for Jim, since when he eventually retires he’s planning on downsizing his life even further (if necessary) and living like a hippie. πŸ˜… I joke, but he actually has put a lot of thought into the logistics of it. Living in a small RV, at an appropriate park or campground… one that’s meant for semi-permanent folks such as himself, so he’ll be able to have electric, plumbing, internet, etc. πŸ•οΈπŸš

The footprint of his daily life is already so small, I bet it won’t even feel like he’s “giving up” that much. In fact, he’ll probably feel (and rightly so) like he’s gaining freedom, the ability to pick up and go somewhere else if the mood hits, etc. 😊 He’s even considering off-grid solar power with battery storage, since that setup should provide more than enough electricity for his needs. His ambitions may seem lofty, and there will be unknown / unexpected things along the way, but I’d give even odds that he’ll end up doing it. πŸ™‚

He already knows that the prices of new, current model RVs (from the smallest “pop-up” campers to giant transforming motorhomes) will be at “pants crapping” levels… 😏 but it’ll allow him to see what might be available used, at much more reasonable prices, once he is ready to make the jump years from now. And it’s not just about the RVs. It’s also about all of the stuff that goes along with them. 🧐 Solar, battery storage, satellite TV / internet, food prep / storage, plumbing / septic options, security needs, locations, info about true costs of living, etc. It might not be that kind of expo, but hopefully all of the niche industries that deal in the products that compliment “RV life” will be represented there. πŸ™‚

EDIT: And now, after talking about all of this, it makes me wish that some sort of “AutoRama” type show would come to town next. I’ve got pics of me as a kid, standing in front of The General Lee, sitting in KITT from Knight Rider… but I’d love to learn of a touring car show with all of the greatest TV / movie cars from over the past 50 years or so. 😊

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

Fell asleep early yesterday, woke up at 3am, then fell asleep around 9am and slept through 2p. 😐

Yeah, so anyway… how about that Tesla stock, eh? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

I swear, there’s been so many things that I took a look at when they were really low. Whether it was eBay, PayPal, Bitcoin… it’s a little frustrating to be able to say “Man, I actually pondered getting in on that.” now that all of those things have gone through the roof at some point. πŸ€”πŸ˜’

I’ve never been a stock investor and likely never will be, in part because my history with silver isn’t great. It’s silly to let one investment chase me away from the idea of investing in something else, especially when it’s not like I’m doing bad. Silver is pretty damn low right now, although there seems to be a really small recover curve going on… but my investment in that, my purchased averaged out – I need it to be at around $22 an ounce before I can even break even. 🀨 I’ll be holding on to that for a while, it seems…

If we could only predict the future. And while I get why there is hype behind the company and their products, there’s no reason the stock should be this high. πŸ˜… Their financials are a bit of a mess, Elon is a wildcard with all of his antics and sometimes-questionable investment choices, so to see the stock go from the $200 range to the $900 range in six months’ time… it’s kinda ridiculous. 😯😧

tesla

Model 3 production rates have helped, along with the excitement (and sometimes confusion) about the CyberTruck, and with China being almost 15% of their market it was a smart choice to build their most recent GigaFactory there. But even though they tout the $35k starting price for a base-spec Model 3 as being an “entry level” price, I don’t think things will really blow up until their market segment includes shlubs like me.

The early Roadster was their sports car, then the Model S came along as their near-luxury sedan, followed by the Model X to serve as a crossover, and then the Model 3 (basically a smaller Model S) for the mass market. Vehicles coming down the pipeline are the Model Y which is an updated crossover, the CyberTruck for the pickup segment, and then the semi. πŸ€” Now, I understand why he’d go after the transport industry, injecting a bunch of money into the company to further whatever “the next thing” will be, but it’s disappointing that Tesla is not yet able to provide a small, $25k range subcompact hatch.

If Elon and crew can ramp up the production lines to where they can really produce on the Y and CyberTruck, that’s when investors need to start looking for hints about the next vehicle. First hint is China. New factory in China, lots of people there wanting to buy, and cities outside of the United States have a lot of roads that aren’t built for bigger cars – or they are dominated by mass transit. πŸ€“ So not only would customers benefit from the lower price, a smaller car would also be infinitely more practical and, therefore, marketable. πŸ€‘

Meh… don’t mind me, this is just one of the thousands of things that come and go from my brain at any given point during the week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ I kinda wonder how it has the room or processing cycles sometimes.

Move/Buy/Sell/Apartment/Hotel

In the relatively small circle of folks that I talk to (along with those who I might not talk to, but still kinda know their business) there’s been a lot of thinking about, talking about, or actual “moving” going on. One cousin already moved from where he was, aunt and uncle are selling their original house now that they’ve moved into their “retirement” house, and then me and a couple other cousins are feeling just restless enough with our own situations that the thought of moving does pop up now and then. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Oh, and I almost forgot yet another cousin and her hubby who recently purchased their first place together on the edge of town.

Then there are other folks who are considering or planning to move, even though it might not have been in their original plans. Whether job situations change, family situations change, relationship situations change, or the neighborhood itself changes enough where folks just want out… yeah, it’s become a common topic among a whole bunch of us. 😟 Even a couple friends in NJ have been taking a “serious, but not that serious yet” look at other potential homes around their area. It’s like a seed has been planted in all of our brains. πŸ˜‹

I’m not gonna get into “all that” much more right now, other than expanding on the reason why I started this entry in the first place. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Now, this is something that I’ve heard of happening in bigger cities, but I wouldn’t have thought that my relatively small town would have been affected by it already. 🀨 But investors will swoop in and buy up all the “cool” apartment properties, do a little bit of renovating, and then rather than living in them or renting them out in a traditional manner – they use those properties as short term, almost “vacation-like” quasi-hotel type rentals. 😠

In particular I can see that this has happened to many of the downtown apartments that used to be available above businesses, retail, restaurants, etc. A few years ago you would see a couple of them become available every few months, but now the majority of what I see are listings by folks who rent them by the week, weekend, or even sometimes by the night. πŸ˜•Β And in a way, you can’t blame them. Why rent a place out for $900 a month when you could average $100 a night by renting it out as an AirBNB or similar-type destination for well-off folks who only come to town for a few nights? πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ“ˆπŸ€‘

It’s exactly what already-expensive rental markets in bigger cities are experiencing. Locals, who actually want a home, who want to rent via traditional terms, are priced out of the market by the influx of investors who buy up apartments for higher priced, short term rentals. 😯 I guess in some cities on the west coast, more than 50% of the apartment market has been gobbled up in that way – and the only thing that might be able to stop the practice is if local ordinances are put in place to prevent it. πŸ€” But, to me, short-term renters would probably sound appealing to a city council, since that type of traffic would also be the type that would be spending money while they’re staying in their nifty vintage loft, or at least more so than a regular monthly tenant probably would be.

But yeah, all of this rambling just comes from one evening of quickly browsing through a few different apartment search type sites – so I may be assuming too much without having done enough research. 😏 But after that hour or so of browsing, when the net result is “Well… that seems like some bullshit.” πŸ˜… it only makes sense that it would also end up here in the blog, eh?

Tired of This Shit

I’m not sure how this month’s appointment with the WC doctors is gonna go. πŸ˜• I think I’m actually seeing Dr Walter this time, when it was the new guy that I had the in-depth discussion with about the state of my treatment last month. Regardless, since the WC insurer is coming at me with the shenanigans again, the conversation will have to revolve around that rather than the stuff that I started bringing up last month.

I’ve got to be careful, because it almost feels like a “trap” that WC could use against me, but this month I have to start discussing possible alternatives for the meds that I’m taking right now. Because if they are somehow able to weasel out of paying for what I’m currently taking, the cost of two of those medications would simply be too much for me to continue taking them long term. πŸ™ That’s where the “trap” part comes in.

When I start discussing more affordable potential alternatives for the meds I’m currently taking, I want it to be clear with my doctors and in my records that I have no desire or intention to make any changes now… and that the research and discussion is really just to act as my parachute if I get pushed out of the plane. But I can see where my fear of being forced to pay for my own meds, which has made me research cheaper (but likely less effective) alternatives, means that I nowΒ know that there are cheaper alternatives, so they’ll probably think that they have the right to force me to change to them – despite my preference to keep taking the ones that I’ve been taking. 😏 Heh… I know, that sounds a bit convoluted, but it basically make sense, no?

But until I’m able to discuss this with them, I know that I’m just taking barely-educated shots in the dark when it comes to what might or might not be suitable replacements. 🎯😎 I mean, even though I know that Lyrica has very specific actions – at its most basic level I know that it is considered an anti-seizure / anti-convulsant medication… so that’s where I start looking. πŸ€“πŸ“š And now I have four or five medications that I think could be good replacements… but for all I know, even though they’re anti-seizure, they may have totally different actions – and ones that aren’t even close to being applicable to my situation. πŸ˜’

So for now that’s all I can really do… look for “close” meds and make sure there are more positive side effects than negative. Then I’ll just hope that I’m actually on to something, and that information can be put in my back pocket until it is needed. Between now and then I just have to figure out how to condense all of this crap down into a tolerable three to four minutes. πŸ˜³β±πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ Gotta impress the importance of this on him, while also not rambling so much that my point gets lost in the noise. I’m better at that than you’d think, actually… it just doesn’t seem that way here because I know I can go on and on about something and it doesn’t matter, since hardly anyone reads this blog anyway. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I Am The Eye In The Sky

Had a bit of a setback with my back yesterday. πŸ˜₯ The pain woke me up around 4am, and a quick trip to the bathroom made me realize that the strength/ability in my right leg wasn’t really there. I probably just slept on something wrong, but rather than dwell on it and get upset about it, I decided to devote the first half of the day to staying in bed, watching movies, and eating a few boxes of that ready-to-make chicken salad and crackers. πŸ– I could still find certain ways to lay that would alleviate the pain, so I just did that and totally plucked myself from what would have been my “normal” routine, and plopped myself into this “being a potato in bed” zone that was outside of my normal timeline. πŸ§™πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ My weird way of trying to explain it anyway… but it worked… that half day of removing myself from everything but Netflix and the cat actually helped – and I was able to get up and around by the early afternoon.

As I was lying there though, I started pondering my various aches, pains, and disabilities… wondering which ones will get better, if any of them are starting to just stayΒ with me, and how I’m gonna be as I get older and have to deal with compounding issues like this. 😟 Like I told Dad, I ended up coming to the conclusion that I’m only complaining as much as I have been because I still feel like I can recover or at least improve. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ If the “bleh” feels temporary, it’s easy to bitch about it when it’s slow going… but honestly, and my neck is proof of this, I can learn to live with pain and disability – to the point where eventually it’s “just there”, sucking, but something I can compartmentalize for the most part. 😐 For the most part… ‘cuz there’s always super painful exceptions. Summarized, my bitching will eventually slow. 😏

In the evening I went in town to deliver those two Yi security cameras to my cousin. I’m obviously more excited about any kind of A/V tech than they would be, but I could still tell that she was having fun playing around with the one as she went through the setup process. πŸ“ΉπŸ‘©πŸ» Matt’s already running through the possible installation locations, so as soon as they get a couple little memory cards they’ll be ready to roll. It’s crazy how even just five or ten years ago, creating any kind of home video security system was expensive and a pain in the ass. There’s no way that Yi makes any money off of these cameras. 🀨 I’m guessing they’re banking on people like me to sign up for the monthly cloud storage fee – which I don’t mind doing at all.

So anyway, despite feeling pretty rotten for the first half, it actually wasn’t that bad of a day overall – and it definitely made me happy to gift those cameras to Toni and Matt. ☺ I really hope that they never have any bad reason that they’ll need any of the footage that they record… but I’m glad that they’ll have those cameras just in case they do.

180 Minutes

As usual, knowing that I have things that I want to do today, my brain decided to screw my sleep last night. πŸ˜’πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Strangely enough, even after getting only three hours of sleep this morning, I actually woke up without much pain and feeling pretty good. πŸ˜§πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Perhaps it was a positive product of not being in pain when I went toΒ sleep as well… and the early rising was likely due to my subconscious thoughts being all “BLARGHARRGGH STUFF TO DO TOMORROW ARGGHHBLAHH” thanks to the plans floating around in my head.

I’m not mad though… I mean, there’s not much I can do about it anyway. 🀨 I’m not even feeling stressed, so I don’t know why my brain decided to cut my sleep short, but I’m actually glad that it did. Because, first,Β I plan to spend all of this morning and some of the afternoon just being lazy, while also working on some bills – and second, it should work wonders for getting me on the right schedule for my upcoming appointment with my neck doctor. β˜ΊπŸ‘πŸ» I’m sure I’d feel differently if I hadn’t been gifted this inexplicable yet reasonably good mood upon opening my eyes.

While I’ve been sitting here at the laptop, I used the time to download several different RTL-SDR programs for use with the NESDR SMArt USB tuner that arrived the other day. πŸ€“ I’m still amazed that it, along with a handful of antennas, only sets a buyer back twenty-five bucks shipped. 😯 The build on this thing feels solid, too… with them having spent the extra money to put these things into brushed aluminumΒ housingsΒ rather than using cheap plastic. The drivers installed without issue when I plugged it up to the laptop, so as soon as I’ve got an hour or so of uninterrupted time ahead of me I’m gonna start figuring out what all she can do. 😎

Now, if I was smart I would use this extra “awake time” to stop by my doctor’s office and make an appointment regarding my thyroid. But, at least for today, I’m not claiming to be smart. πŸ˜” I’m already planning to stop by and see Mom and Dad late in the afternoon, and I don’t really wanna drop the “unknown” of scheduling an appointment to find out what’s wrong. πŸ€• I know, making an appointment todayΒ wouldn’t mean I’d be seen any sooner than in a couple of weeks, but I’d rather just not plop it in with today’s events – especially when I’m feeling better than average at the moment. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Okay, I better get my ass off of here and get busy chilling. (And bills. Don’t forget the bills. 😏)