Well, I’ve Got The Extra Hour

Body’s tired and feeling a little beat up, but my brain isn’t ready to go to sleep I guess. It’s a little after 2am on Sunday morning… πŸ€” Oh, wait a minute… πŸ˜… no it’s not. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Just looked down at my phone to see the exact time – and hooray for “fall back” tonight, eh? Still being awake at 1am doesn’t feel nearly as bad as still being awake at 2am. 😏 Heh… it’s just that typical thing that happens after vacation. In this case the vacation came to me, but you know what I mean – you get the nice distraction from reality for a while, then when vacation is over and things have to go back to normal, it just takes a little while to adjust. 😟

It’s silly, but because I don’t generally do a heck of a lot with my time… I mean, when it comes to going out and doing things… so when Gen was here, even if I wasn’t necessarily part of all of the plans for the day, I still felt like I was “doing something” with my day. πŸ™‚Β It’s just been a while since I’ve had to coordinate a few of my days with anyone else, whether that coordinating involved me doing something or involved me avoiding it instead. πŸ˜… Granted, my lack of “doing stuff” is usually because I’m either hurting or wanting to avoid hurting… but with the right company, I don’t mind it quite as much for a couple of days. But yeah, Sunday… Monday… πŸ€” they’ll probably be a couple of “nothing” days so I can regenerate from the visit and get my thoughts back on track when it comes to the stuff I want or need to do. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

On Friday she woke up early to do something with friends in Logan, but then once she got back here we went out and picked up Bri and Bryson to go in town for a bit. Stopped off at Walmart, and as we were all checking out (and this happens more than you’d think) the cashier lady mistook me for Bryson’s dad. 😁 I was standing behind the cart, entertaining him so he wouldn’t fuss until we left, but when I moved to the front of the line to pay for my stuff – he started crying… and cashier lady said “Aww, see he wants his daddy.” 😏 I just played along, joking that she was right and that Bryson wasn’t a mama’s boy. It actually caught me off guard this time though, ‘cuz I wasn’t shaved, and I’m pretty sure I was lookin’ my actual age… 😊 but it’s still amusing.

That evening Gen made plans to meet with Toni, Matt, and Anna for dinner, but I just didn’t have the oomph for it… and that was before I found out Wendi and her Matt were there as well. 😯 I kinda felt bad for dipping out, but I just didn’t have that couple hours of “social” in me that late. (I did appreciate her bringing a cheeseburger and fries home for me right before midnight though.)Β Despite needing to get up stupid early the next day, she wasn’t sleepy yet due to all the socializing so we squeezed in another episode of Doctor Who before she hit the sack. πŸ€“πŸ“ΊπŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈ That made four episodes since she got here – which should be enough to either hook her, or to know that it’s not her kinda thing. 😏 I always try to convert people.

Saturday morning… she was up and out shortly after the crack of dawn, on her way to some horseback riding near Moonville with a friend, and not only did I not wake up when she left – but I didn’t even fully wake up until noon. 😐 There’s a chatty cat that comes to visit (outside) and tries to play on my emotions as it’s getting colder around here, so I agreed with her suggestion of making a little “kitty house” out of a big ol’Β Rubbermaid tub from the basement – so that was my mini-project for the afternoon. Time was starting to get tight though, so rather than fussing with the mailboxes or the bags of gravel, we decided to go out and visit Dad for a bit before it started to get dark. πŸ™‚ OutsideKitty had vanished by then though, but that’s good… gives me a little more time to finish up the tub and find some suitable soft stuff to use as the base for when I put it out on the back porch for him. πŸ˜ΊπŸ™„

Dad seemed like he felt better today. Like half the people I know though, he’s been fighting a shitty cough and “bleh” feeling, but it’s either starting to get better or our visit was just a nice distraction from thinking about it. 😁 Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there too long, ‘cuz I had to get Genesee up to Columbus (to Chad and Shannon’s place) and try to get back home before it was dark dark. 😳 Sounds like an “old person thing” but I just prefer to not drive at night with these “backup pair of a backup pair” glasses that I’m currently stuck with. πŸ˜• I can cheat during the daytime with my Rx shades that are one prescription “more current” at least.

But yeah, as quickly as she arrived, she’s now up there and will be heading home in a few hours. 😟 (So glad that Chad can help with getting her to the airport at 4am today. Oy.) She was busy nearly the entire time she was in town, not including the house downtime for watching Doctor Who, looking at old pics/vids, etc… but I definitely envy the way she was able to tackle her self-imposed schedule. 😊 I suppose it’s easier when it’s stuff that a person actually wants to do… but she can wake up and be out the door, ready to go, in minutes – while I need an hour just to wake up enough to decide that I’m about ready to wake up. πŸ˜‹Β (Actually, it’s more about letting the morning meds kick in, so I can at least partially function like a human being…) But it was nice to see that even with the limited time here, she still managed to do most of the stuff that she planned.

Weather Complications

Gen’s trip to Ohio ended up being a bit of an adventure. ✈️ The original plan had her taking off from NJ, landing in NC with a half-hour to catch her connecting flight, and then onto Columbus. But for whatever reason, their plane landed in Charlotte only a couple of minutes before the connecting flight took off… so anyone that was continuing to Ohio missed their flight. πŸ˜ŸπŸ˜•πŸ˜ πŸ˜ πŸ˜πŸ˜ŸΒ πŸ›« American Airlines obviously knew they screwed up, and had everyone quickly booked on the next flight out to Columbus, but the result was that she ended up getting here about an hour and a half later than anticipated.

It was almost 4pm by the time we were leaving the airport, and that’s when the flag placement ceremony was supposed to beginΒ – so we didn’t even really try to hurry, assuming that we were just gonna miss it. (And that was the main reason that she was coming to visit.) But as we were heading to Lancaster, she was texting with Toni (who was already there) and we learned that the crappy weather and other “opening remarks” type stuff had kept everyone inside one of the buildings at the fairgrounds πŸ˜―πŸ€”πŸ˜ƒ and that we’d possibly be able to make it in time for the flag placement after all.

The first couple of flags had already been handed out by the time we were pulling in, but it worked out so that they called Dad’s name just as we had parked and joined everyone standing there. πŸ™‚πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Couldn’t have cut it any closer. 😎 They go alphabetically, so that meant there was still plenty of time before Uncle Rick, Grandpa Shepherd, and Genesee’s dad’s names were called. Any other year that would have been great, but this year… whoothe weather, man. πŸ˜―πŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈπŸ’¨πŸ˜£

Ominous dark clouds, half drizzle, half sleet, freezing winds gusting so hard that people were struggling to hold their flags… it was just awful. 😟 (They had a huge eagle on hand as well, and he wasn’t too thrilled about things either.) πŸ¦… And as much as I’d have liked for Dad to have been able to go… at least when we were talking about it in the daysΒ prior… I’m glad that he decided not to. With the flight delays, getting there late, mother nature going crazy, and him not feeling that great over the past few days anyway – he definitely made the right choice. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Other years that I’ve gone, loads of people would sit in the stands, listening to the names, ranks, wars, etc as they waited for their person’s name to be called. But there was no sitting this time. The bleachers were cold and wet, so everyone just huddled together… enduring the weather until they could place their flag and then flee to their car. πŸš™πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈ I don’t blame anyone… it was just unfortunate that this year’s event didn’t have the same “feel” as previous years because of all that other crap. πŸ˜•

We did end up going back through there the next day though, when the weather was much nicer, to see how many flags were displayed – and to pay the proper respect to the whole thing that none of us were really able to give the day before. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ§πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ§πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ We did take a handful of pictures on the actual placement day, and boy do they not convey what the experience was actually like. 😏 (But of course once everything was overΒ the weather calmed down considerably.) We’re still fortunate to have made it though, since this is the first year that we had flags for Dad and Gen’s dad – so it would have sucked if we weren’t able to place them ourselves.

Okay, it’s been a busy couple days, so I’ll follow up soon with an entry covering anything else worth mentioning from Gen’s stay.Β I didn’t even do half as much as her… but I’m out of juice. πŸ™„πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Mini-Vacation Visitor

Disregarding how the entry below this one probably sounds, things haven’t been that bad around here lately. The way that all of my “shit” usually finds a way to land on my schedule all around the same time, this time it’s the opposite – and I’ve found myself with a chunk of time where I’ve got no doctor appointments, no WC stuff to work on, no immediate need for attorney communications, none of my few friends needing anything from me, etc. πŸ™‚ I’m glad it worked out that way, because Genesee is gonna be in town for a few days starting tomorrow and it’ll be nice to not have to work around any other obligations while she’s here.

The weather isn’t looking ideal for it, but she’s visiting so she can attend the Freedom’s Never Free ceremony tomorrow at the fairgrounds. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ In past years I’ve gone with Toni and her family since they had a flag to place in remembrance of Uncle Rick’s service as well as one for Grandpa Shepherd. But this year, Genesee ordered a flag for her dad, and helped me get one to place for / with my dad as well. 😊 It’s a very inclusive thing… for any branch of the military, it doesn’t matter if the person is alive or has passed, and I think they even said that flags can be ordered and placed for “first responders” like firefighters, police, EMTs, etc.

Hopefully the weather will be tolerable enough that Dad will want to go, but the alternate plan is that me and Gen will still go, take some video, place the flags, and then go visit with him afterwards. And once the flags are purchased, they stay with the organization and are used again in each of the following years’ ceremonies. It’s amazing how many flags are added each year, and I think that even for the folks who don’t care to think about / talk about their service time, it still must be a nice feeling to get some recognition for what they did – even if multiple decades have passed since then.

(Especially for Vietnam vets, considering the reaction from the public that many of them got upon returning home… something that I didn’t truly understand the awful extent of until a handful of years ago.)

But she’ll be in Ohio until Sunday, and we’ve got a couple of small plans for things that we want to do, and then she’s got plans with other Ohio friends as well, but all of it will have to be played by ear due to the weather and the relatively short amount of time she’ll be around compared to her other visits. 😯⏰ But it’s nice that this visit is for something good, and not because of someone passing away, or because I’m recovering from a surgery and need babysitting or whatever. 😏

And I’m a little jealous that she’s getting to fly here and back home. I’ve been watching so many different airline / pilot themed YouTube channels lately… (Mentour Pilot, Captain Joe, VasAviation ATC, 74 Gear, CargoSpotter, etc.) giving myself the itch to take a cheap day-flight down to Florida and back or something, basically just a joyride… but between those videos and having not been on a plane since Jim and I went to Kansas years ago… hopefully she gets a window seat so she can use ReLive to record the path of her flight. πŸ€“Β (Not sure how it’ll handle the speed / altitude as it tries to plot the path on its animated map.)

So today I’m just taking it easy. Not gonna even do any light work around here, ‘cuz a lot of times it doesn’t take much for me to unintentionally screw up my neck, shoulder, or knee to various degrees. πŸ˜• It’s only a few days, so I wanna do what I can to make sure I’m good and can keep up with whatever we end up doing. In fact, she’s actually gonna help me dump the small bags of gravel out by the mailbox, as well as help me take the old mailbox off the post and get the new one installed. πŸ™‚ I could probably manage both of those things by myself eventually, but since she offered… I guess I’ll take the help. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I gotta get better at that. Accepting help. Because I’m at the point now, more than ever, where I actually do need help with a lot of things… and more often than I’m currently willing to admit to others and even myself. 😟 Stupid pride. 😏

MS Flight Simulator 2020

When I was in my late teens, one of the first things that got me interested in PC gaming (after “growing up Commodore” with a VIC-20, C64, and various Amiga computers) were the advertisements I’d see in the PC magazines for various flight simulators. Because on those pages, the screenshots from some of those flight sims made them look potentially amazing. But of course in the early 1990s, no matter how good of a computer you had, there weren’t really any flight sims that looked or performed as you’d really want.

I’m not gonna ramble much… yet… so I’ll just let this guy’s video speak for itself. Almost 30 years later, and it looks like there’s finally a flight simulator coming out that will not only amaze folks like me – but which also even impresses the actual airline pilots who do this shit for a living. This is just one of many videos posted by the select few that were invited to Microsoft’s preview event a couple of weeks ago.

If there ends up being an XBOX One version, even though it would likely be watered-down, it might actually give me a reason to turn it on and start playing games again. It’s crazy how long it’s been since I’ve really cared about console gaming, even with some decent titles sitting here waiting for me. With all the other stuff going on over the past couple of years, it’s just kinda slipped away from me… but this thing looks gorgeous.

Just Keep Swimming

Had my 30-day appointment with my neck doctor today, ran into Amy in the parking lot, and was in and out of there pretty quickly. He and I discussed our different concert experiences, and I showed him a video of the recent Skillet concert so he could understand why I’d be understandably dying afterwards and for the next few days. 😏 He doesn’t know Skillet, but he did mention seeing Aerosmith at Polaris so at least he gets it.

I had to wait several hours to pick up my prescription today though, because I insisted that the workers comp insurer pay for it like they are supposed to. 😐 I’ve been paying cash for many months now… 1) because it really isn’t that much, and 2) for some reason whenever they ran it through the insurance it would always require a pre-authorization that would never go through. Meh… I actually don’t understand that whole process, I just know it can be a pain in the ass. πŸ˜’

My workers comp lawyers are busy doing their thing, and I’m hoping they can come up with a decent settlement so I don’t end up having to go through the court proceedings. 😬 Not just because it will be yet another pain in my ass, but because I’m worried that it will affect my travel plans. Cassi has never been on a plane, so I waited for a “90% off” sale and managed to get two round-trip tickets to Orlando for a hundred bucks. 😯

It’s not a vacation… basically we’re just taking a ride. Flying down there in the morning (in the dark, giddyup), kicking it around the terminal for a while, and then flying back that afternoon. I know that probably sounds pointless to a lot of people, but I like doing “new stuff” with/for people that I care about… so I’m hoping that Cassi’s new job and my court stuff don’t end up effing up that little day trip. 🀞🏻