Phil Collins: Not Dead Yet

Last night was concert night in Columbus, seeing Phil Collins with my friends Jim and Adam at Nationwide Arena.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š I was already nervous the day before, thinking of the handful of things that could make my day difficult, and despite doing my best to screw it up from the start – waking up at 4am and not being able to fall back to sleep – everything ended up alright and the show was great.

For anyone that’s a fan, it’s common knowledge that Phil is pretty gimped up from a failed back surgery and a “fucked foot” as he put it, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ But despite remaining seated for almost all of the performance, he seemed to get along reasonably well with a cane, so it didn’t feel as… um… I guess I was just worried that it would feel a little “Wheel the old man out and make him sing.” but that wasn’t the case at all.ย ๐ŸŽค๐Ÿ‘ดย It was a relatively long show too, playing his stuff and some Genesis songs, and he seemed to be enjoying it all. (And another “bucket list” concert checked off for me.)

Since he’s unable to play the drums, his son Nic filled in for him.ย ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ˜Ž The kid is pretty amazing… he’s 17 now, he was 16 when the tour started in the UK, which means he was probably learning and perfecting all of his dad’s songs by the time he was 14 years old… knowing that he’d eventually be going on a huge tour like this.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฏย (Oh, and he plays piano too ๐Ÿ™„) It was all the way back in May of 1992 that I saw Genesisย in The Shoe at OSUย (26 years ago… holy shitballs)ย but I never thought that I’d get to see him perform his own songs solo, since he swore quite a while ago that he’d never tour again.

Jim’s an awesome friend, surprising me and Adam both by getting us all tickets.ย ๐Ÿ˜ƒย (Five years ago this month we were in Kansas thanks to him as well) And like I told him, I have enough “concerns” about myself that I wouldn’t have even thought about buying a ticket for myself if he hadn’t. The neck and shoulder pain, the thyroid stuff, the random back stuff, the anxiety that comes in times and ways of its own choosing… I don’t think I would have trusted myself to be able to go – but when a friend makes not going not an option, you just put your head down and keep moving forward.

Oh, there were moments that I still wasn’t sure… even up until the point that I was standing in line, waiting to get in…ย ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ญ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ญย … but I’m absolutely glad that I went.

I’ve been a mess since getting home last night around midnight though.ย ๐Ÿ˜• The “post-concert buzz” ended up keeping me awake until about 5am, and man did I hurt.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ข It’s mostly better now, but between the cold, the sitting, the standing, the singing, the recording of video, the crowds, the traffic… as usual, my body and brain eventually weren’t having any of that nonsense, and they let me know as soon as the show ended.ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I think Jim and Adam could see it in me once the lights came up, so we all sat for a bit and let the crowd clear. After we left the arena they walked along at my pace until we parted ways at the parking garage. Luckily Jim gets me though, so he knows that all of that “beat-up old man” stuff doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do it all over again.ย ๐Ÿ™‚

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Turning The Corner

Well, the last day of the three-day weekend went by a little too quickly. ๐Ÿ˜• Got some stuff done around the house, but just as importantly, got the number of a repair guy to come look at the AC unit outside. Rick and Amy used them when they had central air installed in their house, and they’re based on Bauman Hill – not too far from where we lived when I was a kid. I can’t believe it’s still been near or in the 80s during the first week of October. ๐Ÿ˜“ Thought for sure that I’d be fine waiting…

So tomorrow morning I get to call the AC guy, the pharmacy (of course), the endocrinologist’s office, and Ricart. I have three recalls on my car, including the one that says my steering wheel could fall off, so it’s about time to get all of that looked at. ๐Ÿ˜ง I might also see about having them repair the cracked plastic around the mirror housing on the driver’s side. But yeah, lots of calls.ย Yay. ๐Ÿ™ Oh, and I almost forgot the billing office for my WC doctor, since they accidentally billed me for my last appointment. (As if I haven’t been going there on WC’s dime for over a decade… heh… wth)

Talking with Bri yesterday, she asked if I was going to be going to the fair at all this week. Jim G is already coming down on Friday, so I was planning on at least making an appearance there with him… but now it looks like I might be making a sooner-than-expected trip to the fair tomorrow with her. It’s not a done deal, but if she’s not doing anything else I know she wants to go. And between my stuff, her stuff, her mom’s stuff… we’ve got plenty to catch up on. I just hope I’m up for all the walking.

If I do end up going, I’ll probably take the new camera with me. We were talking about just looking at critters and eating shitty food, but I’m sure I can find something worth covertly recording. ๐Ÿ˜Ž A viewer request has asked for a comparison between “as shot / true 360”, “standard HD with focus points / target tracking”, and “little planet” modes. One of these days I’ll even do the “bullet time” mode, even though I think I’m gonna look goofy. I guess there’s also a hyperlapse mode somewhere in there as well… this camera really is amazing compared to my first 360 camera. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I dunno… just trying to get back to feeling “normal” and not dwelling on medical stuff each day. ๐Ÿ˜ I’m feeling better now that I’ve gotten the house straightened up some and got the bills all done up, so now I’ve just gotta keep doing the normal adulting that’s required and just hang out until I know what the next step’s gonna be. ๐Ÿ˜” And whatever “big” stuff that I’ve got to do… I’d rather just get to it. ๐Ÿ™„ This waiting isn’t doing my brain any favors.

Willfully Ignorant / Indignant

The overwhelming amount of ignorance surrounding the shooting at Stoneman Douglas and the resulting activism… it’s simply staggering. ๐Ÿ˜‘ It falls anywhere on the spectrum from people just not realizing that they’ve been misled, to people who are straight up morons. And most of them are really angry as well… like, so angry that even when people are expressing sentiments that are supportive of the students and their security, they’ll still attack those people if the thoughts don’t exactly parrot what they or the students are saying. ๐Ÿ˜  Free thinking has already become a much lacking trait in society, and boy does this movement demonstrate that over and over again.

I’m sure that I’m like a lot of people who generally support the things the students have been asking for, but who is also growing tired of being attacked by the people that we’re trying to support… so much so that their activism now feels more like a bunch of kids complaining and making noise, but not actually seeking solutions to the problems at the center of it all.

The point where the kids started to lose me was when a slew of new security measures were put in place at their school, to provide additional protections while the students continued to strive for bigger changes via gun control laws. Limited access points to the school buildings, student IDs, increased security personnel, new backpack/bag rules, etc. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Not only did the students not appreciate these changes, but they actively rebelled against them – and are still doing so to this day. Most of the complaints revolve around the bag rules, which prohibit anyone from coming into the building with bags or backpacks that weren’t issued by the school. And because they are clear backpacks, the kids and their supporters have lost their damn minds. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

A woman on Twitter, when I said that I supported the clear backpack rule and noted that Nikolas Cruz used a duffel bag to bring his rifle into the school, just replied to me: “Umm… then maybe ban bringing DUFFEL bags into the school??? An AR15 will NOT fit in a backpack. Good grief!”ย This is an example of that angry stupidity. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The school is now banning people from carrying in bags other than the school-provided ones… something that could have prevented Cruz from even making it past the gate if the rule was in place back then. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But this woman was mad that I pointed it out, then called for duffel bags to be banned (which they are), and followed it up with a “Good grief” as if my logic was exhausting her.

But yeah, the kids are mocking the backpacks, saying that the increased law enforcement presence makes them scared, equating having to carry student IDs to being in prison, complaining that additional fences and barriers only give the appearance of security, saying their 4th amendment rights are being violated and people will be able to see their tampons in their bags now, and bitching because they have to show up to school a little earlier to get through security. ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป All the while complaining that none of those changes do anything to protect them, with several of them going so far as to say that all of these new measures should be removed – leaving their school in exactly the same state as when they were originally attacked. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

None of those changes, in their minds, provide any additional security. Instead, their minds are laser focused on banning “assault rifles” as the change that is needed. In interview after interview, you can see that these kids don’t even know what guns the term “assault” rifle should include, with some of them not even knowing the difference between a semi-automatic and automatic gun. I’m not faulting them for this, since they’re just kids, but these are also the people that we should be listening to for answers, according to their movement. The kids who reject any and all security measures as being a “false sense of security” while also believing that banning some semi-automatic rifles will make them completely safe.

In trying to have discussions with the humans on Twitter, I’ve learned that if you want to “be a supporter” of these kids and their goal of more safety, you can’t say any of the following: ๐Ÿ™Š

  • You can’t suggest that they try to understand that the new security measures are “better than nothing” while they continue to fight for gun control. They don’t accept the increased school security, so neither can people who claim to support them.
  • You can’t point out that the clear backpack rule, if in place when the shooting happened, could/would have prevented the shooting from happening since Cruz and his bags wouldn’t have been allowed through security. You’ll be told that an AR-15 can’t fit into a duffel bag. (It can.) You’ll be told that he’d have found a way in anyway. (So all security measures should be just thrown out as being worthless?)
  • You can’t tell them that mocking the new security measures may be off-putting to people who want to support them. You’ll be told that they don’t want or need your support then. They’ll say that they didn’t ask for the new security. They’ll say that nobody has a right to say anything to the students about their opinions. (YOU WEREN’T THERE! THEY WERE!)
  • Their goal, when it comes to gun control, is to ban assault rifles. But you can’t question anything about that goal. I support some of what they’re trying to achieve, but I don’t believe that banning one particular type of gun will make them that much safer than they are now. But to support them, you have to support their goal of banning a small subset of guns, because they believe they’ll be safer.
  • And even when you are suggesting things that could help them achieve their goals, you’ll usually be told that your input isn’t needed… not by the kids, but by other supporters. “I don’t remember her asking you for your opinion!” “He seems to be doing just fine without your help!” “Your generation didn’t help when it had the chance, and we don’t need it now!” And they wonder why they’re getting less support, less media coverage, and a more apathetic response from the public in general.

One more thing to mention… they love using the age of the student activists to manipulate the whole situation. When people are dismissive of what the students are saying because of their age, hordes of people will come forth and comment how they are almost adults, almost able to vote, almost able to join the army, and are more mature than most “grown-ups” are these days. But if you disagree with something the students have said, or just appear to disagree, you’ll be blasted with post after post of people being “shocked” and “horrified” that adults would bully these children, that you can’t expect them to not act like kids sometimes because that’s what they are, and that people should be ashamed for how they are treating someone’s child. Yeah, it doesn’t matter if they’ve thrust themselves onto the public stage, and it doesn’t matter how foul-mouthed and insulting they can be… people attempt to portray them as untouchable. โ™ฟ Like a kid in a wheelchair who verbally bullies his classmates, because “Nobody will hit a kid in a wheelchair.”

I even had people get mad at me the other day because I commented about the school newspaper putting out a memorial issue, featuring the names and stories of the 17 people that died that day. I said that it was great to finally have a resource like that with all of the information in one place, because despite the activist students being on TV almost non-stop for a while, I rarely heard them mention the names of the people who were killed or get to talk about them. Part of that is because there is a limited amount of time in a TV segment, so it logistically just couldn’t fit most of the time… but yeah, I was praising the students who produced the memorial issue. One fella just wouldn’t let it go. He was legitimately mad, despite me praising the newspaper and being happy that I could learn more about the people who were killed. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I imagine it was because he doesn’t like when something potentially makes “the people that he supports” look uncaring or whatever. So despite talking about something that 99.9% would agree with – being happy to learn more about the fallen… he just kept replying and replying, pointing out that the kids said the names of the dead at the march in DC. Yeah. They did. That’s fine. I’m glad they did. But as I pointed out to him – I didn’t say they never mentioned the people that died, I just said it was rare enough that weeks later I still didn’t know much about them. I’m surprised he didn’t start sharing YouTube clips where their names were said, or demand that I share clips where they didn’t. People are just fucking nuts, man…

I’ve never seen a group of people that actively tries to eat their own as much as this bunch of humans. ๐ŸงŸ๐ŸงŸ๏ธ Half of the people barely know what they are talking about, and half of them don’t even care if they are wrong as long as they are being loud and people are hearing them. ๐Ÿคฌ The whole goal of student safety / safety for humans in general has been lost in the cult of personality, with movement leaders wasting time on boycotts when someone hurts their feelings – even when not related to gun control or the shooting… and then when security measures are put in place to protect them, they reject it – and in a way that magnifies how immature they really are, while they shout at the world that “WE TOLD YOU TO LISTEN TO US!” etc. I know they’ve had all kinds of behind-the-scenes help when it comes to PR, finances, and organizing things, but someone is dropping the ball right now – and something that could have produced real, positive changes has a chance of being forgotten like every other tragedy. ๐Ÿ˜”

It Works For Me

Today was really nice. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I know, it’s not over yet, so it could still get all fuckered up… heh… but this was the most relaxed and carefree that I’ve felt in a good long while. It’s amusing though, that I had to useย most of the previous dayย to set myself up for it, so that today would go down properly. ๐Ÿ˜ But hey, I’m making progress – even if it’s just a day at a time.

I spent the afternoon watching the NASCAR race from Kansas, and now I’m getting ready to watch the season eight premiere of The Walking Dead. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Along with that frivolous time spent, I’ve also started working on a “to do” list of things that I seriously need to accomplish before fall sets in, ranging from personal health issues to random landscaping tasks that I’ll need to hire someone to handle for me.

But along with a “responsibilities” list, I’m also thinking about doing what I’ve done a couple times in the past – where I make a long list of all of the memorable toys and goodies that I’ve owned when I was as young as a toddler, so I can then look them all up on eBay to see how much they’re worth now. ๐Ÿ˜„ I thought I actually saved the list the last time I typed it up and did this, but apparently it got lost between owning my last laptop and this one.

But it’s just a fun possible side project… and while it can be surprising how much some of the things can be worth now, it’s not like it’s a depressing exercise where I’m wishing that I had saved them all or kept all of my toys sealed in their packages, never to be played with – because what kind of boring childhood would I have had then, if I never played with the stuff that was meant to be played with? ๐Ÿ˜‹

But yeah, I’m hoping that I can hold on to this positive mood into tomorrow… or at least long enough for me to go in town and get a haircut. That’s another thing that has a surprisingly positive effect on me, when I no longer feel like a hobo and can come across as quite presentable if I so choose. ๐Ÿ˜Ž But for now, here’s to more days like this one.

Original Recipe or Extra Crispy?

While I was cleaning this afternoon I came across my Windows 10 tablet, which I hadn’t used in many months. So I figured I’d plug it in, charge it up, and then download whatever updates it asked for. ๐Ÿค“ It was a solid plan on paper, but within a few minutes of connecting the power I began to smell the familiar aroma of burning electronic components. ๐Ÿ˜ณ I’m glad that what I was working on kept me in the same room, otherwise it’s hard to tell what might have happened.

I’m pleased with the amount of stuff that I got done today though. The living room is clean, the last little bit of laundry is clean and waiting for me to fold it, and then I sorted through some more stuff and added to the “sale/auction” boxes stacked in the extra bedroom. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I did it all at a very “cautious” pace though… ‘cuz my brain is still being unpredictable, and I didn’t wanna push my luck too much. ๐Ÿ˜

The accidental hour-long nap that I took this afternoon is gonna fuck me though. ๐Ÿ˜’ Not that I had a healthy/normal sleep schedule going on yet anyway, but yeah… I know I’ve got a few hours before I’m gonna evenย possibly feel sleepy. Guess that means I won’t have an excuse to not fold all these clothes before I sack out, eh?

An Awful Human Being

Over the past many months we’ve all become somewhat numb to the (insert negative adjective) things that come out of Donald Trump’s damaged old brain, but it’s like he has a superpower… the power to blurt out or do something even worseย than the week before, which shocks, saddens, and angers the majority of the people in the USA and world despite the understandable Trump fatigue. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Like a majority of the voters in the last election, I was one of theย 65,844,610 people who knew ahead of time what we were going to get if he got elected. But even with all of the expected (and unexpected) awfulness that has come from him so far (whether through intention, indifference, or ignorance), waking up today and seeing what he’s tweeted… how can anyone not see him as anything but a horrible, irredeemable waste of flesh after today?

Through his own admission, which oddly sounded like boasting, Trump has accurately described the devastation to Puerto Rico from the recent hurricane. He’s talked about the destruction in a way where you can tell he doesn’t even really think it’s worth or able to be repaired or rebuilt, while (for some reason) talking about the billions and billions of dollars of debt the island has. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ง So, the scale of the tragedy is not in question, even by him.

Any news channel that you turn to, you see the nightmare. No power grid, hospitals unable to help or relying on generators with little fuel, food and water shortages, gas shortage, no AC, etc… you can obviously go on and on. The federal government has a lot of resources and people in place, and they’re doing what they can, but the mayor of San Juan has literally been begging for more help any time she’s been given the chance… because that’s what you do when you don’t want people to die.

But Donald Trump woke up in an apparent rage about it, and decided to attack her on Twitter. Claiming the problem isn’t a lack of resources or logistics to get it to the people, but because of her poor leadership abilities. ๐Ÿ˜ But he didn’t stop with just attacking her. ๐Ÿ˜‘ He praised his part of the response, the federal first responders, but then berated the people of Puerto Rico who are suffering – saying that they weren’t willing to help with the work, and that they wanted everything to be done for them. ๐Ÿ˜ง

He continued to whine the she was “nasty” to him, which he said “the democrats” had told her to do, and then did his normal “fake news” complaints, apparently trying to make people believe that we aren’t seeing all of the things that we are seeing on all of the news programs. This is a sick, sick man. No joke. Sick. He’s tweeting these things from the comfort of his luxury golf club, while the mayor of San Juan has literally been walking through sewage-filled flood waters as they continue to look for stranded people.

The federal response was slow rolling out, he barely had anything to say about the hurricane damage for days after it hit, and once he did start talking about it – it wasn’t in the same “come together” way that he spoke about Texas and Florida. You could feel it… it was more like “Wait, they’re Americans? Fuck. I guess I won’t be able to get out of fixing up this third-world island for all of these poor brown people.”ย  He keeps bringing up their debt, he keeps talking about passports and visas for some reason… like he almost thinks they’re going to become undocumented immigrants or something. ๐Ÿค” Everything about his response has been disgusting.

An island with over 3 million people living on it has been nearly destroyed. People have died… people are still dying… and “our President” attacks them, their leaders, and pretty much everything about who they are. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Oh, and he wants it both ways. On one hand he wants everyone to think that the roll-out of disaster relief is going perfectly, and what we’re seeing on the news is all fake somehow… but on the other hand he’s admitting that the situation is a giant clusterfuck, by trying to put the blame on the leadership in San Juan and the unwillingness of their people to work or help themselves. I wish I had more eloquent words, but it’s just fucking astounding. ๐Ÿ˜” I didn’t think I could have less respect for that man, but boy was I wrong.