Well, Sure Didn’t Expect That

Slept most of the day away again, since I didn’t get to sleep until around dawn, but when I woke up I decided that I was really gonna take the day off and try to find something actually fun to do. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t remember the last time I did something where I was like “This is a good time…” ๐Ÿ˜

As I was going through all of my mail last night, I noticed that I got a thing from Hollywood that said I had $55 in free slot play today. ๐Ÿค” So I messaged Cassi to see if she’d want to meet me there when she got off work, and I’d let her play the free stuff while I’d take $100 from my surprise insurance check. Figured that would get us both out of our houses for a while, and let us play whatever new machines they installed since the last time I was there, forever ago.

I couldn’t believe it when on my second pull of this Monopoly machine, I hit this bonus wheel game… ๐Ÿ˜ง

It’s kinda funny, ‘cuz the light was burned out on the wheel, so it was hard to tell what the arrow was aiming at – and for a moment I grumbled as it passed the “1000” and landed on the question mark. ๐Ÿ˜„ Not knowing what the bonus round was, I just stood there and watched as the money bags lined up. (Man, if it had only stopped on all three of them on that last reel, eh?) ๐Ÿ˜ƒ But yeah, before she had even gotten there – the first $20 that I played, just to kill time ’til she arrived… crazy stuff. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I had them deduct the taxes from it before giving it to me, that way when I file at the end of the year I’ll get it all back as kind of a secondary surprise. ๐Ÿ™‚ But that initial jackpot let us play a whole lot more than we would have otherwise, and me and her both ended up leaving with a good chunk of change. ๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿ˜Ž It was crazy how we both had such good luck right there at the start, and then it pretty much continued through the rest of the time we spent there. That hardly ever happens, and is probably why I hadn’t been back in a while.

But between the two of us, we left with as much as that jackpot gave me… and then like I said, the $400-ish that they took out for all the taxes will be back in my pocket in a few months. Really good trip there this time, and hopefully we avoided touching anything with the ‘rona. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿ˜ท (We did use the hand sanitizing stations whenever we saw them.) Speaking of that, even with that concern floating around… literally… it was still really crowded. ๐Ÿ˜ณ I mean, I can’t talk, since I was there too… but yeah, it was surprising.

But it makes me feel good to be able to do something that not only distracted Cassi for the evening, but then to also have it wind up being a big financial help too. ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m big on karma… I feel like if I wouldn’t have shared, I wouldn’t have done as well as I did. I am still more nervous than your average Joe about COVID though, so I really hope that going out for the first time in a long time didn’t end up pushing my luck. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ™‚

Where’d That Come From?

I’ve had my current dash cam for probably two years now, and it’s been a great little camera… and then the other day DDPai updated the firmware and app, and it acts like a whole new beast. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I mean, yeah, they’re mostly just cosmetic changes – in both the app and the resulting videos – but still, having some new visual bells and whistles sorta gives you the same feeling you get after having a new spoiler, grill, and splitter installed onto your car. ๐Ÿ˜ It just gives it that “ooh, yay” feeling that typically starts fading away almost immediately after purchasing any type of product. ๐Ÿ˜

Today’s trip in town was not awesome though. ๐Ÿ˜• I had to go to the Liberty Center to drop off my ballot, and then on the way back home I stopped at Dollar General to get some pop and cat supplies. I’m not sure what it was about being out today, but my brain was not happy. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ My breathing even got a little weird when I pulled into the full parking lot, so I got in and out as quickly as possible. I dunno… something about all the maskless people bothered me more than usual today. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ž

I actually had to sit in my car for a few minutes before I left, due to feeling overheated and a little lightheaded. ๐Ÿ˜’ It’s been a while since I’ve had that “panic attack” feeling during a shopping trip – but that’s also because I haven’t done hardly any “shopping trips” this year. ๐Ÿ˜ I guess I’m just a bit rattled since I wasn’t expecting it. But after hurrying home to get back inside my bubble, all seems to be well. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I dunno… the weather is super crappy today due to the rain blowing up from the hurricane that hit Louisiana a couple days ago, so I know that didn’t help. It’s frustrating though. Sitting here, going back over everything around my trip into town… ๐Ÿค” I can’t point out what it was that was so different today than other days. (Which also means I can never predict when it is or isn’t gonna happen.) Meh… not gonna dwell on it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Time to unpack my bags before I get lazy.

Night Flight

It’s a little after midnight and I’m still wide awake. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ I kinda figured that’s how this night would go though, since after getting only a little bit of sleep last night and then off-and-on naps during the day… it was pretty much a sure thing that bedtime wouldn’t come at a reasonable hour tonight. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ That’s okay though, since at this particular moment I’m feeling a heck of a lot better than I’ve felt over the past couple of days.

Like I mentioned, I kept to myself over the weekend… doing the “sick cat” thing, where when I’m not feeling good I just try to find a secluded place to not feel good and just wait to feel better or worse, whichever the case may be. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜ด With my neck and shoulder already sucking, it just really takes it out of me if I start feeling sick or lethargic on top of that.

But it was also nice to catch up with everyone late last evening once I decided that I did have enough social energy to engage with people. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป Ended up talking with Dad for a good bit, along with Amy, Genesee, Toni, and Cassi. ๐Ÿ™‚ It helped that everyone sounded like they were in reasonably good spirits, with a few of them letting me know that they definitely get it – the reason that I did my best potato impression on Saturday and Sunday. ๐Ÿ˜

But yeah, if I end up being awake until two or three in the morning, that’ll actually be fine. My appointment is in the afternoon, and I definitely wouldn’t mind sleeping in until right before I’ve gotta leave. ๐Ÿ˜Š I’ve an old man hobo beard coming in right now, and even though I got some “Just For Men color” for it… I’m waiting a few more days before I give that a try, so thankfully I’ll be wearing a mandatory mask tomorrow that will cover that shit up. ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜…

(This is me, trying to put on my optimistic face, trying to let my thoughts clear out for the night so I can hopefully get some solid sleep. Who knows, maybe getting out and blowing some stink off tomorrow will help as well.)

Bizzaro World Rant

(This entry ended up being way, way, way too long… heh… so I’m gonna skip most of the italics, bold, and emojis. You can probably figure out where I’d have normally stuck a smirk, shocked, or scowling yellow little face.)

Okay, so what’s been going on the past three weeks or so?

Some of us did end up meeting up at Rising Park for Jim’s birthday. In his tradition of always doing stuff for his friends for his own birthday, he brought pizza and subs from Pizza Crossing and we were able to hang out in the main shelter house for about an hour before him and Brad had to leave to go up and see their Dad. Oh, and he even gave me a couple Switch games to get me started. I got him a Nintendo eShop gift card, that way we could both buy Mario Kart 8 and eventually play online. Flashing back to the era when we were roommates and played Battle Kart on the Nintendo 64 almost every day.

I’m surprised that in the middle of the day, one day before the 4th, nobody even came up and even acted like they were hoping to have the shelter house for their gathering or event or whatever. The mood in the town, approaching the holiday, was rather “meh” though since the planned fireworks display was trimmed down to three minutes’ worth, shot only from Mt Pleasant, to avoid motivating people to gather.

Speaking of COVID, while our county still has relatively low case numbers, apparently the rate of transmission made a big enough spike to where we were labeled a “red” county and therefore masks are mandated by the governor / health department when in public and unable to socially distance. In response to that you’ve got folks who started wearing them or who were already wearing them, you’ve got the ones who quietly refuse to wear one, and then of course you have an oddly angry, vocal group who refuse to wear one for any number of reasons. The virus is a hoax, the virus dies when it’s 70 degrees, the virus was released by the government (of the world?) to kill and / or control its citizens, and then the more common “The government won’t tell ME what to do!” and “I’m an American! I have rights!” crowd.

And what’s weird is that people are really choosing that hill to die on, when it comes to relationships with friends and family. Now, I’ve worn a mask when around people in public both because I’d like to lessen my chance of catching it, but also because if I happened to be an asymptomatic carrier – I obviously wanna reduce the chance that I’d unintentionally spread it to anyone else that may not be able to fight it off. I just think it is the considerate thing to do, and something that could greatly reduce the spread if most people would do the same. But without even interacting with my cousin about any of it, I know from his countless posts on Facebook that he thinks I’m a sheep. So, okay…

His mom is old, my dad is old, plenty of people in our family aren’t in tip top shape when it comes to health concerns… but okay, my wanting to reduce the chance that they (and anyone else) be exposed to a virus that can still make someone extremely sick, even if they don’t die, is viewed by him as being weak or just following orders. Almost all the posts he has made in the past several months have been various conspiracy theories or “proud American” type puffery, so there’s no sense in trying to convince him otherwise. It’s just weird that just because you don’t want to wear a mask that you’d alienate your friends and family that do. But looking at his posts as a whole, it seems like the world is an even scarier place for him, where the hospitals, media, and government are all out to get you, despite him having a particular fondness for Donald Trump. Meh… I don’t get it, but he’s made his opinion clear.

His sister seems to share a similar belief, although my only exposure to her is on Twitter. She replied to one of my tweets where I mocked Trump for being proud that covid deaths had become “slow and steady” and was told, among other things, that I should look into Agenda 21, that the hospitals are lying about covid, that it’s the same as the flu, and that I can’t live in fear. It’s weird how the ones who believe all that stuff seem to be the ones who make the most noise and seem the most fearful. I pointed out that I also wear a seatbelt because I “fear” being ejected in a car wreck, that I wash my hands after using public bathrooms because I “fear” most people are dirty asses and I don’t want their germs on my hands, and that I even get a flu shot each year because I “fear” getting sick and spending a week moving only between the bed and the toilet. Putting on my mask when I get out of the car has become almost as subconscious as latching my seatbelt or washing my hands. It’s such a “non-thing” to me now, and it’s what I choose to do. Their “side” almost seems like it doesn’t even have a choice, because even if they wanted to wear a mask, that would make them a sheep, or controlled, or whatever sinister thing the wearing of a mask is supposed to represent.

One of my mom friends said it’s basically the same thing she has to deal with when she feeds her young kids. They’re required to eat what’s on their plate, but if there is something the kids don’t like they’ll play with their food and whine and complain, even though she makes it clear to them that the longer they object and stall, the longer it will take before they’ll be allowed to leave the table and get back to whatever they were wanting to do. And it makes sense… anti-mask people want life to be “normal” but the more of them that refuse to wear masks, the longer it will take to get backย  to anything resembling normal. And it’s actually win-win for them, because if they wear it and the virus drops to manageable levels, they’ll get their “normal” back. But alternatively, if they all wore masks for several weeks and there was no noticeable decline in the virus, then they could wave that fact in everyone’s faces to show that they were right.

We’re into Bizzaro World territory these days though. For example, the BLM protest in Portland has been going on for over fifty days straight now, with protesting during the day and rioting at night… but all of the people in power there have decided that they’re just going to allow violence and destruction to happen, not wanting the criminals to face any type of law enforcement opposition. There has been a ridiculous amount of property damage, law enforcement attacked even when they weren’t engaging anyone, any security fences are torn down and piled against the court house, fires are set in the street, cars have been burned, attempts to burn police buildings as well… but the mayor won’t do anything. In fact, when federal officers came to the city to at least protect the federal properties – when those officers started identifying and rounding up people who were assaulting officers or damaging federal buildings, the mayor and governor had an absolute shit fit. They won’t curb the lawlessness themselves, and now that someone else is trying to do so, they’re actually suing to make the feds stop enforcing laws. And that plays into Trump’s hands, since he can legitimately say he sent help to the “normal” people of Portland and they were told to leave.

It’s no wonder that there are a record amount of people who are registered as independent or non-partisan voters these days. When the official Democrat position (at least in Oregon) is to look the other way when riots happen and cities fall into violent chaos each night… and that the “bad guys” in this situation are the one law enforcement entity that’s trying to restore order… I mean, how can anyone really get behind that idea? People look at it in a detached way, rather than thinking how they would feel if the same protests were happening in their own neighborhoods, and it was their house that was getting spray painted, windows smashed, and sometimes set on fire. I’d bet money that folks would want law enforcement to do something about it then. Heh… it’s irritating that those particular Dems have gone so far off the rails that I’ve no other choice than to side with Donald Trump. Bleh…

There’s no honesty in discussions anymore, either. A day or two ago the protesters got together and were all singing a song, in a video that was suited for propaganda. Now, it’s great that there were so many gathering peacefully, but of course all of the anti-police people post that video to Twitter with some sort of variant on “THESE are the ‘violent anarchists’ that the police have been brutalizing for the past six weeks. Scary, huh?” Meanwhile, all of these disingenuous fucks know that the police aren’t hassling the peaceful folks… and they know that there is a criminal element that’s causing widespread destruction and violence… but rather than acknowledge any of that, they’ll say whatever they have to say to make their side seem like the “moral right.” As with conspiracy theory anti-maskers, there’s no talking to those people either. If they’re willing to lie and craft a false narrative from one of the few positive videos, they’re certainly not gonna admit that there’s a lawless element in their cause.

Democrats are almost certainly making their decisions based on what they think will benefit them most at the polls, rather than what’s best for the city or just the rule of law in general, but I don’t think they realize how much of a minority it is that they’re bowing to. Minority in numbers, I mean. They’re extremely loud, and they obviously get a lot of attention as they attempt to destroy the federal court house, but do you think the average person agrees that endless violence and destruction each night should just be tolerated or even encouraged? I doubt it. And do they think that allowing the protesters to destroy things will earn them any favor from that same crowd? They’ve been protesting against police violence for almost two months, protesting the city and mayor that have made it clear that they aren’t going to “sic” the police on them for anything that they do. It seems like that would remove a big reason for the protest being as extreme as it has been… but no, it doesn’t matter that the police aren’t being violent to them, they’re still there, protesting about how bad the police are. What’s the winning “play” for the mayor when they don’t even care that they have gotten the very thing that they are protesting for.

Meh… I guess if they wanna let their city burn, so be it. Everywhere that this sort of thing has been happening, and where the city leaders take the side of the violent protesters, property is being destroyed, new businesses won’t go there, current businesses are leaving, and even the citizens are packing up and moving the fuck away from the craziness. If your local government won’t do anything to ensure the safety of its citizens, they shouldn’t be surprised when folks scatter and the tax base is lost. Things turned somewhat violent in Columbus at times, but once the protesters got that attention and talked with leaders about what they wanted… I dunno, there was a bit of civility in the violence. It didn’t just go on and on, with neither side talking to the other, with no sign of any goals to all of it. But even that was sorta scary, with downtown being a no-go zone for a few weeks – unless you were sorta lookin’ for trouble.

But there’s a certain element of humans that, if given free reign to be loud and “fuck stuff up” then that’s exactly what they’ll do. Look at the makeup of that crowd. Young, entitled, angry, apparently no jobs that they need to go to… they’re just not representative of your average citizen, yet people in power act as if they’re speaking for the entire population. I’m certainly not a fan of the idea of a second term for Donald Trump, so I worry that whatever these Democrats are trying to do is going to backfire on the entire party in November. Because just as they think the protesters represent all people, people are going to assume those few “leave the criminals alone” Democrats represent the views of the party as a whole.

At least when you go out into town here, other than a few grumbling anti-mask folks, it still feels like people are normal. The shows that we’re seeing in Portland and Chicago and Seattle, the way that the politicians and protesters are acting… it’s not typical of what actually goes on in daily life in southeastern Ohio, thankfully. The only thing even close to all that craziness is when our mayor decided to go on record with the paper, saying that a mask mandate is counterproductive. Masks. Counterproductive to reducing the virus in the area. This is a small town, so I don’t think people really give a shit what our dinky mayor says, and besides – people have already decided how they feel about all that. So, yeah, I’m glad that’s the biggest social controversy of our little city, at least for the moment.

I’m Ready

It’s approaching midnight on Friday, and I think that I’m finally ready to face this week. So, these next couple of hours better watch out, because I’m not feeling too bad at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜ Heh… but seriously, this week has felt more “challenging” than usual. Although, as I’m sitting here trying to explain why, I can’t even really think of anything specific that should have made it feel that way. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I dunno… I think all the “get ready, we’re opening” talk / news has just made my brain tired and my sleep shitty, which made every other small or “normal” thing feel that much more laborious. (I still got some chores done and got out of the house once or twice.)

But I’m not gonna sit here and try to remember all of the things from the past week that made it suck, ‘cuz I might end up damaging my calm. But yeah, this week… it definitely took me the entire week to be ready for whatever comes – and for the most part, nothing came. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So now that the weekend is here I’m much more prepared for it than I was the current week. ๐Ÿค“ Hopefully that makes sense.

Ahh, I do know one thing that has improved my mood over the week… getting my two cats to tolerate each other. ๐Ÿ˜ Yeah, I’ve officially adopted Maggie – a cat that I was formerly just babysitting – so it’s been a week of anxiously hoping that her and Maven didn’t feel the need to murder each other. ๐Ÿ˜พ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜พ Thankfully, possibly because they’re both too old to be bothered with such things, they don’t seem to have any desire to fight or be a pain in each other’s asses. (Although Maven does grump at her every now and then.)

They’re not even close to being buddy buddy, but they at least tolerate each other. In fact, I think they both actually like that there’s one “other critter” around, even if they don’t necessarily want to interact with that other critter. ๐Ÿ˜ I have a short video of them simply sitting upright next to each other, no more than a foot apart, but neither one of them wanting to look at or acknowledge the other… ๐Ÿ˜ … but both of them seeming to enjoy the moment in some way. (Purposely “ignoring” each other while making sure the other noticed.)

It would be too much to explain here in the blog, how I ended up with Maggie, but basically I was watching her while her previous owner was moving – but with things not going as planned there, the environment wouldn’t have been great for a kitty who’s already anxious and nervous all of the time. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ On her first day upstairs she went around the house looking for her former roommates, but once she realized they weren’t here – it’s almost like she felt relieved, because she started actually acting like a cat again rather than just hiding all the time and trying to avoid anything and anyone. ๐Ÿฅบ๐Ÿ˜Š

Maven and I lead a pretty tame life here in the house, and that’s exactly the kind of life that Maggie needs right now… so it just made sense for me to adopt her officially. It all depended on Maven being okay with it though, and since she hasn’t really done anything to indicate that she objects – it looks like this is a done deal. ๐Ÿ™‚ See, just typing about the situation has made me smile… so hopefully I’ll hang on to that feeling through the weekend too. (As long as these two buttholes continue to play nice.)

Slightly Uneasy

Wasn’t really excited to go to my monthly doctor appointment for my neck and shoulder today, but despite knowing that I was going to get some funny looks – I did wear one of the extra little paper masks (that Cassi gave me several weeks ago) while I was inside the building, since it also houses several other doctors and emergency room services where people might be hacking and coughing. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ท

Luckily the place was the least crowded that I had ever seen it. I waited until right before my appointment time to walk in, so I didn’t have to mill around in the waiting area with the humans for long. ๐Ÿ˜’ (Plus it’s super big, and wide open… lots of room to stay away from people.) Not many clients in my own doctor’s office either, so it ended up being in-and-out without too much interaction with anyone.

And I know, people under 50 have a relatively low chance of having a severe or fatal reaction if they are infected by SARS-CoV-2, so not only was I being careful in order to hopefully avoid an annoying illness for myself – but also because I don’t wanna end up being someone who barely has a reaction to it yet unintentionally spreads it to someone else. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ (Mostly thinking about whenever I might go to visit Dad in the foreseeable future.)

Appointment went well, and my doctor took plenty of time talking with me about the topics that I’d bring up, just like usual. ๐Ÿ™‚ Things are still up in the air, but I gave him the basics about what’s going on with my WC claim and what changes might be coming in the next visit or two. It’s nice to be able to spitball some ideas with him and know that it’ll actually lead to something.

Meh… anyway… here’s some HD clouds from yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

All I Have To Give

I’m finally sending up the white flag and giving in to this nerve twinge thing that I’ve got going on. After talking to Dad, Cassi, and Genesee about it, and after suffering with this infuriating pain for the better part of a week, I’ve decided that I better go get it checked out. ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Gen worked at a local doctor’s office when she was still living around here, so she’s possibly got an “in” with a couple different chiropractors. She’s gonna call tomorrow and see if she can get something worked out for me… oh, and I decided to try a chiropractor before the ER for a number of reasons. ๐Ÿคจ Besides, the ER is still there if it turns out that a back doctor can’t help me.

Rather than sitting around all day and letting my frustration and anger build, I’ve decided to just stay in a comfortable seated position on the floor and get some work done… while watching a bunch of YouTube videos about stuff that gives me the “goody” feels. ๐Ÿ˜ (History about Atari, Sega, Samantha Fox, Commodore, Jane Child, Nintendo, Klonoa, etc.) As for the “work” part… just a few minutes ago I printed out the final versions of my will, living will, health care directive, final arrangements, and a durable power of attorney for my finances. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿค“

Heh… no… I don’t expect to be going anywhere anytime soon, but I’ve had all these documents about 90% done for a while now. ๐Ÿง So I just had to check the details and make a few tweaks, and now I just need to seek out a couple of witnesses and visit the notary at my bank. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Oh, and there will be no more sleeping in my bed until I get this nerve problem sorted. ๐Ÿ™„ My dumb ass… I knew it was a trap… but my bed can be so comfortable, and I wanted a good night of sleep so badly… but nope, constant pressure on that area = a bad idea, so it looks like I’ll be sleeping in the recliner until further notice.

I keep reminding myself how much worse it could be. ๐Ÿ˜ณ I try to put myself in the shoes of the folks who still have to go to their jobs and put in a full eight hours while dealing with this pain. Sure, a TENS device helps mask the pain, but that’s no way to spend your day… working for “the man” while worrying about a) nerve pain randomly zapping you, and b) the TENS unit randomly zapping you. โšก๐Ÿ˜ฃโšกย So, yeah… just trying to make the best of the day.