Lengthy Grumpy Ramble

I’m glad that I don’t have anything on the agenda for the rest of the week, since that allows me to take the things that I wanted to do today and move them to tomorrow. I must have slept funny or rough last night, because man did I wake up feeling beat up today. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ It looks like I’m going to have to actually go in to the pharmacy to deal with two of my WC prescriptions, since I’m gonna have to get some printouts proving that they’re unwilling to pay this month. ๐Ÿ˜’ But with my knees and neck acting up today – tomorrow just seems like the better option. (Stress can add to my physical pain, so I don’t need the BS at the pharmacy to pile on today…)

The insurance crap that I was gonna work on… that didn’t go anywhere today, since they needed all kinds of specific info that I didn’t have handy when I made the call. I figured since a bunch of paperwork had already been sent in, giving them the account number along with my name would have been enough. But nope, gotta get into my files and dig out the little notebook with a few dates and some other specifics that I need.

So I dunno… I guess the little bits that I accomplished today will serve as the “getting ready” for tomorrow, when I’ll hopefully conclude things with both of those situations. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป My mood is shit today anyway, so waiting until tomorrow will probably help me when it comes to not barking at the people who are trying to help me, since they aren’t the folks who are making things difficult. ๐Ÿ˜ Those call center / customer service jobs must be awful, since most folks aren’t as considerate to their lack of power or responsibility when it comes to any given account or situation. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Oh, speaking of crappy jobs… I guess Jim felt like he wasn’t gonna be able to cut it at the Whirlpool factory where he recently started working. ๐Ÿ˜• He’s worked in stocking type positions most of his life, sometimes also driving a forklift – sometimes not, so when he’s basically worked one type of job for most of his adult life – you could imagine how his first taste of assembly line work would feel intimidating. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

The difference between his job and my former job… the line at Whirlpool is controlled by the machines, where my line was controlled by the people. Plus, even though we worked at a ridiculous pace (that did end up eventually damaging me) we didn’t have parts that weighed upwards of 40 pounds to deal with. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ It’s also concerning when he tells me that he hurt his neck, and that it also caused his shoulder and arm to hurt… ‘cuz that sounds way too familiar. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค•

It just sucks that after years of being able to switch stores and jobs if he wanted to, and having an excellent employee / work record, he’s hit a phase where nobody wants him for those positions now. I mean, he didn’t “job hop” a lot, so I don’t think it’s that… so I’m wondering if it comes down to employers seeing his age on the applications. Glowing work histories don’t help if you can’t get past the HR people who see “47” and throw his application on the “nope” pile.

I was trying to think of what to say to him to keep his optimism up and his twichy-ness down, but it’s difficult when life seems to constantly bag tag a person. ๐Ÿ˜ It sucks that he lives so far north of Columbus now, because I have a friend that could probably get him into Jiffy Lube almost immediately. But after I described the job to Jim, pointing out the ways it would be so much easier than a factory, he just replied that he doesn’t know how to work on cars, so the job wouldn’t be for him. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿค”

It’s frustrating, because he’s almost always good at whatever job he’s working at… and you don’t have to know how to “work on cars” to work at a Jiffy Lube. Not to mention the fact that they’ll obviously train you before letting you loose on customer cars. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿš˜ For example, if he started off working in the pit, under the floor, he wouldn’t have to do much more than locate the oil plug, drain the oil, plug it back up, and perhaps change some oil filters on the cars that have them more easily accessed from the bottom.

I hate to see him not working and struggling, but I think the anxiety from all of the things that have happened… it’s got him to a point where he’s questioning his own abilities, and thinking that he’s not good enough for even basic “some skill required” type jobs. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And I get not being a “car guy” but employee training will give a person the skillz required for any given position. ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Meh… he’s a good d00d, and he’s done a lot of good things for other people who were struggling at various points in his life, so it just sucks watching life doing its best to chew up yet another friend who doesn’t deserve it.

Rambling Catch-Up

I’ve seen a few more articles recently saying that Ohio’s flu season is now “widespread” based on whatever numbers they use. I’ve gotta wait a couple days until I consider getting mine though, because I’ve got a bit of a chest cold right now. ๐Ÿ˜ท I don’t feel that bad, but I spent yesterday afternoon throwing up every other time that I’d cough up a bunch of “yuck” and it would get stuck in the back of my throat. ๐Ÿคฎ So I just took a nighttime cold med in the early evening and slept all the way through the night, thankfully.

It’s hard to get geared up for all of the early-January stuff I’ve got coming when I feel like this, so I’ll stick to soup and drink a bunch of water today and hopefully that’ll help. But I’ve got a doctor appointment coming up, a service date for the recall notices on my Fusion, paperwork yet to finish up for the Industrial Commission hearing, then continued work when it comes to the Supreme Court stuff. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Bleh. ๐Ÿ˜ Plus I definitely need to get a haircut before the IC hearing so that I’ll be looking my best.

I wasn’t on my phone after yesterday morning, due to feeling like ass, so this morning after that long sleep I woke up to messages from two different people thinking that I was upset at them for something. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s a problem of the current era’s “always connected” assumptions. Most of the time it’s true… folks are rarely separated from their phones… so the times when people do turn off or set aside their phone, you can see why people might think that they’re being ignored for whatever reason. But nah, I’m just trying to handle my things that need handled, and giving my body a break while I fight this congestion.

But as for the hearing, my attorneys should have everything that they need. There have been some recent changes in the medications that my doctor has prescribed for me, so I actually went up to Columbus and dropped off all that new information in person. It’s crazy… I started off my WC “fight” years ago with a single attorney in one of their satellite offices here in town, and now I’m visiting their entire floor of attorneys in downtown Columbus, since those are the folks who are now doing the heavy lifting. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I can’t even imagine what rent would be on the entire 10th floor of a building downtown.

And when I’m at the Ford dealership for the recall repairs, I’m gonna talk to them about the way the transmission is acting up. ๐Ÿ˜  I know how to reset the PCM/TCM to let the adaptive learning essentially start from scratch, learning the best idle point, shift points, etc… but I also know that they have the ability to flash the TCM with the most updated firmware, so I do wanna find out if there’s an updated version available for my car – and how much of a deal they’d cut me on that service if I also get my transmission fluid flushed / changed at their service department. ๐Ÿ˜

But the most recent hearing / court related mail that I’ve received, in their numbered list of notable “stuff” on the back, one of them specifically says that they do want to hear from the injured worker in their own words, and how that testimony is taken into consideration just as seriously as any other fact evidence that is presented. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I’ve already got a good start on the single-paged letter for the hearing, although I need to go through and remove anything that repeats itself or is “more emotion” than fact based… but when it comes to the Supreme Court, I’ve yet to get much instruction on what I may or may not have to do. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It could very well be that the evidence will speak for itself, much like when it was going through Franklin county’s court system. (You should see the organized piles of papers for this shit on my couch… heh)

It kinda sucks… I know that most folks around me don’t have any idea about all of the stuff that I’m doing “behind the scenes” with all of this various crap, and many of them probably think all of my time is just free time – because why wouldn’t they? They know I’m not working, they know I’m not in a relationship that would be taking up my time, they know I’m rarely out visiting any friends, etc… but yeah, it ends up being a problem sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜• People are so used to me being almost instantly accessible, or able to help them with whatever “thing” they need help with… but like this week, I’ve had to keep one of my cousins on pause all week while I handle my own stuff, and while I hate to do it (he wants me to help him with a resume) my stuff has to take priority. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But at least he’s already aware how a lot of my crap has settled in to the first half of January, so he probably understands.

So yeah, if people can’t reach me right away, or don’t hear from me as often or as quickly as they think they should… I hope they can keep it in the back of their mind that it’s probably because something else is taking up my time, and not because I’m just sitting here ghosting everyone “just because.” I swear, this is probably half the reason I keep as few close friends as I do, just because I know I don’t always have the time or energy to devote to them (in communication or in person) as they’d deserve or expect. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I disappoint the least amount of people this way. ๐Ÿ˜ Okay, unfortunately I’ve got some shit to do…

Two Good Stops

I waited and saved my Christmas visiting until the day after Christmas. First stop was at Pizza Cottage to pick up a pizza for me and Dad. We’ve been texting a lot, but since I’ve been sick for the past week and a half it’s been a while since I had been in for a visit. He got himself a new set of wheels, much better than the last one… took it for a test drive and it handles good and has a comfy seat for my crappy back. ๐Ÿ˜

After a couple hours there I had to take off so I could make it over to Bri’s and have some time there before it got dark. When I got there, Bri let me in and told me that the kids were out back in the playground / courtyard area, and as soon as I walked out the back door Brantley saw me and said “Hey Uncle Bobby, come watch me skate!” as if he had seen me just yesterday. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Last time he saw me in person was at his birthday in July, and before that… well, it had been quite a while… probably like a year and a half. ๐Ÿ˜•

The first three years of his life, I was around all the time. (Including his birth.) In fact, it was in my front yard that he learned to walk. ๐Ÿ˜Œ (Safer out there with nothing to run into, and mooshy grass for whenever he stumbled.) Plus, the Easter Bunny left clues and eggs and a basket here at my house for him, and he followed them all and found his way to the basket. There’s too much to mention – but it went from three years of me being around, then poof, he was with his dad for quite a while. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Now that he’s back home with his mom, I thought for sure that he would have forgotten all the time he and his mom spent with me.

But I went out to where he was skating… and falling… a lot… ๐Ÿ˜… and I said “Grab my arm if you want me to help hold you up.” and he replied “No, I can do it…” as he continued falling. ๐Ÿ˜„ But he was having a good time, and was proud of the little bits he was able to skate. Then we went to the basketball hoop and threw the ball around some. Two of his little girlfriends also came over to play, and those kids were sinking shot after shot, granny style. Shooting with my good arm and continuously missing, one of the girls said “You suck.” and I agreed. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She wasn’t being jerky, she said it in a funny way…

I had my iPad with me, so we went back to the porch where Bri was still sitting and started watching some of the videos of him from when he was here at the house doing this and that, and he really did seem to remember most of the stuff he was seeing. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I wasn’t sure that 5-year-old brain would have memories of 2 to 3-year-old brain stuff, but it seems like it did. He opened the gift that I got him, and then helped open his little brother’s gift since Bryson is only 8 months old and would probably take a few hours. ๐Ÿ˜

It was nice though… he took to me as if no time had passed at all. I guess everything I did when he was younger made a good enough impression, so that makes me happy. We looked at some more old pictures on the iPad, he showed me his tablet that he got, and he was playing a game that I actually have on my phone – so we got to sit and try to figure out some puzzles together. ๐Ÿ™‚ Granted, it’s Christmas, but still… he seems really happy there, and the fact that he remembers so much about me makes me happy too.

After watching the videos, he asked if they could all come back out to my house sometime. Heh… poor kid, my house is boring as shit… ๐Ÿ˜ but I’m glad that he liked it here enough back then that he’d wanna come back out now. Maybe I’ll straighten the place up a bit and have them over some evening to watch a movie or something. Oh, and I do have my shelf of collectibles (aka “toys“) to get into if he gets too bored. ๐Ÿ˜

Don’t Sweat The Uncontrollable

I’m glad the weather was nice this afternoon, because I had to go into Menard’s and order my garage door. Rick did all the measurements and research to figure out exactly what was needed, and at the lowest price possible… so that’s all good – but it’s still stressful to go out and deal with the weekend crowd, going to the counter and ordering something that I know nothing about, and swiping the credit card to begin the wait until it is finally delivered. ๐Ÿ˜• I can’t help it… it’s just one of those things that I can’t do myself, where I just have to hope it doesn’t end up being a hassle for Rick, when now that we’ve gotten started on it – I’m really wanting it to just be done.

The door itself wasn’t that expensive, but then of course the labor for taking the old one out and putting the new one in is where it’s gonna get me. Obviously Rick’s not gonna screw me over… I mean, the “patchwork” stuff we tried first, he hasn’t even charged me for any of his time or effort on all that… so it’s just the sitting here and wondering if it’ll go exactly as it should, easy peasy, or if random shit will pop up to make it a pain in the ass. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So going in town and ordering the door was about the extent of my plans for the day, and I’m gonna spend the rest of the afternoon and evening mostly away from the electronicals, watching football and trying not to stress about something that I’ve got no control over.

Gotta get caught up on the mail tonight, plus I’m actually looking forward to grabbing my notebook so I can start making a more official list of stuff that I either want or need to do sometime in the near future. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ““ Not just the mandatory responsibilities like the upcoming doctor appointment, hearing prep, and work on the couple of things around the house – but also stuff that I just sorta want to do in order to keep things feeling like they’re moving forward. ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Like, I had a pretty good phase where I was packing and sorting stuff for a theoretical / eventual move from this place, and I’d sorta like to get back into the habit of doing a little bit more towards that each day.

I also haven’t done much of anything “just for fun” lately, so I wanna inventory whatever goodies I’ve got that I haven’t taken advantage of just yet and hopefully get them on the schedule. ๐Ÿ™‚ (You know, hobbies… like normal people have.) For example, Genesee got me two different gifts last Christmas that I haven’t put to use like I’ve wanted to… one being a music box where you can punch holes in a strip of paper to create your own songs, and the second being a ViewMaster type photo slide-reel viewer from a place that will turn your own photos into reels to view. I actually have a 3D digital camera, so I could make true 3D reels for that thing – but I’ve felt so buried by other stuff that I’ve just never allowed myself the time to just go shoot some pictures and make some reels. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

But the “cancer concern” stuff is basically on an extended pause at the moment, so once the furnace is confirmed 100%, once the garage door is replaced and working with the new opener, and once I get through the upcoming workers comp hearing (yet to be scheduled / whether I win or lose) … once I get through some of those “heavier” things I wanna have an idea of what lighter, fun stuff I might wanna spend some time on. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know there’s always gonna be something heavy, whether it’s my stuff, a friend’s stuff, family’s stuff… so getting organized in a way where I can still allow time for some of that frivolous stuff anyway – it’s something that I have to keep working on when it comes to myself.

But there’s a good game coming on at 4p, then the OSU game later in the evening, and between watching those two, doing up the bills, and working on a couple different to-do lists of varying importance – honestly I’m hoping to be comfy in bed (and possibly even falling asleep) before the Buckeyes game is over… at long as they’ve got a comfortable enough lead. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ve noticed that the days following the nights where I’ve gotten a ton of sleep actually do seem to be a little easier, so I’ve tried to make that the norm rather than the exception over the past several weekends.

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. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‹

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. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿคจ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 

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. ๐Ÿ˜•ย 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? ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿค‘

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ 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. ๐Ÿค” 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. ๐Ÿ˜ But after that hour or so of browsing, when the net result is “Well… that seems like some bullshit.” ๐Ÿ˜… it only makes sense that it would also end up here in the blog, eh?

Phones: Everything’s Easier

Speaking of the holidays… over the past couple of days I’ve been trying to get my phone loaded up with all of our familiar family Christmas songs. Most of them are everyone else’s family songs as well, sung by old favorites, and those are pretty easily found on Spotify. ๐Ÿ˜‹๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽถ So I just pick the ones that I want and add them to a playlist. The good cheezy 70s sounding ones though, the ones on obscure albums or even records that Firestone and Goodyear would give away each year… those are a bit more difficult to come by.

Terry Baxter and His Orchestra… I had to go on Amazon a few years ago and buy one particular album in MP3 format, which I now have to actually copy over to my phone – rather than just streaming them like the others on Spotify. And it’s funny, there are a few albums that were released under that artist’s name – but upon googling to find out what he looked like, or just more about him in general… it turns out that it was likely just a name that the record company put on albums of similar sound, when they were really just performed by a house band or even different folks. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

(In the upper right corner of this video you can select from 42 songs in the playlist for this album.)

Doesn’t make any difference to me… but still, that’s an interesting thing to find out about 40 years later. But now I’ve got all the happy ones, some sad ones, 8-bit / chiptune Christmas covers, and even a few from the South Park / Mr Hankey Christmas episode ready to go. ๐Ÿ˜‹ I’m doing all this now, while I’m in a decent mood, because I wanna try a little harder this year to not let the whole season just blow by me. For various reasons over the past several years, the “holiday mood” has been harder to come by – but being able to play these songs as I fart around the house or drive in town for food or whatever… it’ll help.

I still need to find a good version of “Christmas Chimes are Calling” from one of my favorite specials:

Now I have to look in the basement at some point and see if I still have a tree. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿง

The Day After

“What are you thankful for?” Well, at this moment, I’m thankful that I had absolutely zero desire to go out and do any shopping with the Black Friday crowd – and that I can sit at home and regenerate from the past several days of stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing bad has been going on really, I’ve just used up all of my social juju over the past few days – so the long weekend will be even more appreciated.

I know that I’m always invited to the family gatherings, which is technically just Aunt Sharon’s clan usually, but there’s still a bunch of people if everyone shows up. And everyone showed up yesterday… including me, since Toni invited me again a couple days earlier. It had just been so long since I’ve been to even a cookout, so even though I knew I was low on energy I still wanted to go and at least pop in and say hi to everyone at once.

Dad knew ahead of time that it would likely zap my energy if I stopped by at the dinner, so he didn’t mind that I wasn’t able to make it over there yesterday, since I’ll be able to sometime else here soon when I’ll be far less twitchy. But I’m glad that I went… it was nice… but I got home around 4:30p and was sound asleep about an hour later. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Woke up after midnight, decided to eat the leftovers that Genesee had dropped off for me, and fell back to sleep around 4am. Slept in until about 11am, so sleep-wise I’m actually doing okay I think.

But yeah, there used to be a time where I’d at least be considering going out and doing some shopping… but I’m recovering too nicely today by just sitting on my ass and watching random stuff on YouTube. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hell, next year could be different and I might be right back out there with the crazy shoppers… ‘cuz sometimes it’s just fun to watch people scramble for what they want… but today, this is right where I need to be.