Paying For Yesterday

I’m right in the middle of a “spell” with my lower back. πŸ™ It happens a couple times a year, and I’ve even been to the ER once (several years ago) while it was happening – and the scan or x-ray or whatever that they did, it didn’t reveal any damage or specific thing that could be causing it. (Because of course it didn’t. 😠) So, even though I woke up today essentially unable to walk or take steps due to the unpredictable random jolts of pain – I’m still planning on waiting it out, and then theΒ next time that I feel this coming on I’ll make plans to go to the ER again to see if I can get some answers.

It’s hard to describe the pain and that effect that it has if you haven’t experienced something similar. Cautiously and slowly taking each step, being unable to predict what movement is going to cause a jolt of pain that would knock me over if I didn’t have a wall to grab on to. 😳😒 Even just getting out of bed required five minutes of rolling, twisting, sliding, bending – all to find the one way that allowed me to sit up. And I do mean allowed. Because no matter how much pain that I was determined to accept, there’s a point where pain dictates what the body does, and when it doesn’t wanna allow you to put your weight on one leg, it’ll be happy to let you fall to the ground to avoid it. πŸ˜”

But anyway, today is the price that I’m paying for yesterday’s activities. I went up to Columbus to take Cassi to her doctor appointment, and it was actually helpful to spend so much time sitting in my comfortable car seat with the heating elements set to max. β™¨πŸ˜‹ I think that’s actually what allowed me to function as well as I was during the moments when we were out of the car. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I also gritted my teefs and made a bunch of phone calls to handle appointments and things that I’ve been needing to take care of. πŸ“žπŸ˜¬

I had $80 in free slot play, and $30 in dining credit, so after her appointment we went over to Hollywood Casino. By the time we got there we were both starving, so we opted for the buffet and absolutely poofed ourselves before we played. πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ•πŸ—πŸ₯™πŸ”πŸ₯©πŸ₯“πŸŸπŸ₯—πŸ– I let her play on my free money, and I took the same amount in cash to play along side of her. By the time we left she had won over $240, and I was ableΒ to (again)Β walk away with the same amount that I took, which is absolutely fine with me. 😁 So that “Meh… why not?” side trip ended up being a good experience for both of us.

We then went to the huge thrift store across the way from the casino, and she picked up a handful of new black pants for use with her work uniform, along with some extra shorts and tops thanks to the unexpected winnings. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I found a couple of shirts that I liked, but no jeans. πŸ˜’ I’ve finally started looking for jeans that have a waistband that’s one size up from the ones that I’ve been wearing for the past many years… not something I’m too excited about… and I’m hoping there’s still a medical explanation that can eventually be fixed so I can stick with my normal “almost fat” sized pants.

So yeah, even though I felt miserable, and feel even more miserable today, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. πŸ™‚ I like when I can do something fun with a friend and it ends up actually really helping them out at just the right time. And when I got home… I was still hurting, but no worse than I had throughout the day… so I certainly wasn’t expecting this when I woke up today. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ I’m going to be taking it super, super easy for the next couple of days though, so I can give it some time to hopefully recover a bit. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™πŸ» I mean, I know I’ll get better – because I always have – but it’s still scary when your ability to walk becomes questionable at best.

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Shufflin’

I’m sort of feeling guilty for taking a day off when I was feeling good, because today I had to take the day off because my back is fucking killing me. 😣 I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about, because it seems to happen every couple of months, but I do have to be careful how I sleep tonight so that I don’t aggravate it. 😳 Odds are good that I’ll just sack out in the recliner, which rarely fails to give me a decent night sleep… at least in so far as it doesn’t injure me during the middle of the night.

I just got back from Aunt Sharon’s though, because I told her that I’d go over there tonight to work on her PC a bit. πŸ–¨πŸ–₯πŸ”πŸ€“ Someone gifted her a spare printer, so I took one of my extra USB cables over for her – and then her BIOS was reporting that one of her fans wasn’t working, so I took it all apart to check the boards and connections. Nothing looked burnt or broken, but the rear exhaust fan simply won’t spin up. πŸ€” There’s an additional exhaust fan on the front, and one mounted directly to the heat sink on the CPU, so as long as she doesn’t leave it running day and night I think she’ll be okay.

I’m walking all gimpy due to my back, and I think it accidentally made her feel bad for having me come over in that condition… but it’s not a big deal. It’s one of those pains that I’m used to having every now and then, so at least on “day one” it hasn’t got me feeling too twitchy yet. πŸ€ͺ Now that I’m back home and settling in I’m gonna grab the heating pad and start working on a to-do list of what I want to accomplish tomorrow. πŸ““πŸ–ŠπŸ€¨ It’s almost all stuff regarding medical stuff, appointments, medication approvals and such – and I’ll have time to do all of that while I sit in my car and wait for Cassi at her doctor appointment.

I know this one is falling pretty close to her mama’s appointment, but this is her first time back after quite a while – since she got her insurance activated again and wants to make the most of it. Something that I definitely encourage. πŸ‘©πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ I’m also sitting here looking at the list of “free slot play” on the calendar that Hollywood sent me, and it works out that a few of them combine to be a decent amount tomorrow, so I think I’ll take her there afterwards to play. πŸ˜ƒπŸŽ°πŸŽ°πŸŽ° Plus we can use up the $30 in food credit that I’ve got as well. πŸ˜€πŸ”πŸŸ That should make the drive up to Columbus feel less like a “have to” and more like a “want to” hopefully.

Don’t Try To Distract Me With Facts

For someone who likes observing the humans and the way they act and treat each other, Twitter has been quite the place to be recently. And like I mentioned to a couple other people I know… I realize that Twitter isn’t an accurate representation of the entire population of humans, but even with that understanding it’s still difficult for me to see so many people who operate so differently than I think people should.

Mainly what I’m talking about is people’s tendency to find a controversy, pick a side, jump to a conclusion that isn’t based in fact, logic, or critical thinking – and then scream and shout at other people who don’t share the exact same position as they do. Granted, I’m not exactly silent on a lot of issues – but I try to only speak from a position where I’ve educated myself on the topic, and saying things which (I believe) have facts and logic to back it all up. My problem: expecting the humans to function the same way, hoping that they can understand the difference between a fact and opinion or allegation.

Two “situations” where I’ve found myself trying to bring reason to conversations:

  • The allegations against Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. She has accused him of psychological and sexual abuse during their relationship, and within days his various television shows have been shelved by AMC, his name was scrubbed from the Nerdist site that he founded, and he has lost future gigs hosting various things at different comic conventions.
  • Atari has started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo to develop and create a new console called the Atari VCS… and there is a small but extremely vocal group of angry “game nerd” YouTube channels who are absolutely certain that the whole thing is a scam, and keep producing angry videos with all sorts of allegations – all in what seems to be an attempt to sabotage Atari’s console launch.

With Hardwick and Dykstra, I’m of the opinion that nobody knows what happened except for the two parties involved, so the public can’t come to a determination that’s anything more than just opinion or assumption. But on Twitter, there are thousands of posts from people who are loudly cheering that he’s lost his jobs and his reputation, despite the only “proof” being that an ex-girlfriend said some things.

These aren’t people who think that he did what she said. These are people that know, with absoluteΒ certainty, and aren’t hesitant to call him a monster and say that he’s getting exactly what he deserved. There’s a smaller group who are outright calling Dykstra a liar, and then there’s an even smaller group of folks like me who simply say that we hope that someone gets to the bottom of the situation based on the facts, and that it’s unfortunate that a man’s life is being destroyed based simply on an allegation.

For the people who are #MeToo activists, people who advocate that people “wait and see what the facts reveal” are the enemy. A majority of them make a comment supporting Dkystra, and then follow it up with “And I should know, because I’ve been through the same thing or something similar – showing that their view might be a little biased. Evidence is already popping up which conflicts with parts of her allegations, but hell… if he’s guilty, get him. But damn… the man has lost almost everything and has been declared a trash human by half of the internet – all because she said it was so.

With Atari, they put their crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo, which doesn’t require a working prototype before funding can be solicited. But angry YouTubers are screaming “THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT!” as if that’s something that should surprise anyone. Why would anyone expect them to have a nearly complete product, when that’s the point of raising the money? And Atari, for whatever reason, delayed the launch of their campaign once last year – which is another thing that the video creators say indicates a scam. As if no other successful products have ever had delays in their design or production.

What the problem actually is, is that these YouTube creators feel slighted by Atari. They feel that Atari owes it to them, to contact them and provide them more information, or answer the questions that they have about the project. Atari eventually got tired of being badmouthed by this small group of angry people and pushed back against what they were saying, which obviously hurt the feelings of these “reviewers” and caused them to make even more outlandish claims. Most of these angry folks haven’t even backed the project, nor do they intend to, but boy are they mad anyway – because how dare Atari not contact them directly and answer every damn question that they have.

Atari’s project already has nearly $3M in backing, so apparently there were plenty of people who felt like the information on the campaign page was enough. As with any hardware, it will obviously go through all sorts of slight changes before finalized, and people understand this. The angry YouTube mob is furious that Atari won’t give them more information, but why should they have to? If they’re already getting plenty of backers, and it’s obvious that speaking with the angry people won’t make a difference, why would they? Are these folks also screaming at Sony and Microsoft, demanding that they be given more about their next consoles in development?

But the more that these people shout “SCAM! DUMPSTER FIRE! FAKE! LIES!” in their videos, the more that their followers start to get nervous, and end up drinking the kool-aid and repeating the same claims that are being made in the angry videos. If the creator has 100k followers on YouTube, and is spouting whatever… there’s a good chance that their followers will start spouting the same thing in the comments and elsewhere, even if just to look like they “think just like a video creator who has 100k followers.” It’s toxic and sad.

So yeah… whether I’m trying to convince people that they should hold their venom for Hardwick until the claims against him have been proven, or if I’m pointing out that all of the “signs” that angry video creators are using against Atari are just normal things that happen in almost every crowdfunding campaign… people just continue to rage. You’re expected to either hate Dykstra or hate Hardwick. No middle ground. You’re supposed to accept that Atari is scamming $3M from people, and shouldn’t dare suggest that it might not be the case. Hardwick might be guilty, Atari’s console might be a flop or a scam… but people’s eagerness to convict others of this or that, with only assumptions or “feelings about it” to back it up… it’s just bizarre, and the amount of people getting caught up in it only seems to be growing.

I know, I shouldn’t bother… but I wanna believe that under the surface, people really are capable of unbiased, critical thinking – and I wanna say or do things that encourage that, or try to bring it out of them. Every now and then I might get one or two of ’em… heh… but not surprisingly, the irate people who claim their passion-filled opinions as fact just don’t seem interested in considering alternate views of a situation. 😏 It’s still my method of escapism though, for when I don’t feel like thinking about anything in my own life, in those moments that I’m sticking my nose into other people’s thoughts… so at least I’m getting a small benefit from it all, eh?

Trip Report: Extended Edition

This trip to ‘da boat was one of the better ones that I’ve had in recent memory, at least since the times when me, Mom, and Dad all used to go together. πŸ™‚ Great weather on the way down and back (which is more important than you’d think), awesome lightning over the Ohio River during the couple of evening thunderstorms while we were there, and Cassi and I were able to play and play and play – and I still came home with the same amount that I took to spend, andΒ she was able to go home over $200 ahead and with some comp’d jewelry and goodies from the gift shop. πŸ˜ƒ

Oh, and of course we poofed ourselves on the awesome brunch buffet. Mmm… 🀀 not just theΒ regular buffet food, but also all of the important breakfast stuff at the same time. 😁 They must be doing alright, because the entire place is in the middle of renovations. From the giant entry way, to the lobby, to the hallways, to the rooms… everything is getting cosmetic updates. 😯 They’re still in the middle of ripping up all of the faux “stone” flooring in the giant common area and laying down “wood” strips… and for the rest of the hotel, the entire color scheme has changed. The only inconvenience in all of that was that the updated WiFi wasn’t working yet. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Our time on the actual boat was limited the first day, because the machines kicked our asses. πŸ™„πŸŽ° That was okay though, because the trip was as much about “just getting away” as it was for gambling. We got one of the nicer rooms with probably the best view of all of them, looking right out onto the boat, the river, and the outdoor patio area for the indoor pool. 😎🚒 And, as it often goes, we took our swimsuits but couldn’t muster the “oomph” required to go down and actually swim with the larger-than-normal amount of assholes already in the pool. 😏 (For some of them, I think it doubled for their weekly bath.)

Day two on the actual boat was much better. πŸ˜€ I hit a big enough bonus that I was able to set back (to take home) the amount that I took with me to lose, and still have enough to keep playing and to share with Cassi so she could do the same. πŸ€‘ And it wasn’t just that one win. (I missed catching all the winning “sevens” in that video… meh) But both of us kept hitting nice “little-big” amounts that kept us going for the better part of the day. It felt like a totally different experience than the day before. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽ‰πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŽˆ

It sucked to wake up after that second night, knowing that we had to head back home, but the winning came at a time and in a way that it let us both come home with a decent amount money, so we sure couldn’t complain. Besides, we were both anxious to get home to our kitties… especially me, since I knew that Maven was all by herself and probably wondering if I had permanently disappeared. 😿 She was happy to see me when I got home of course, but she didn’t even act grumpy… so perhaps I wasn’t as missed as I had presumed. πŸ˜„Β We absolutely had a good time on this trip… the last one we might be able to take for a while… but it was sure nice to be home again too.

Surveying

Almost screwed up today. Well, maybe I did screw up a little. Opened the garage door to take some boxes and trash out to the buggy, then decided to sit outside for a couple of minutes since it was sunny and almost warm. But then I decided to take a walk to around the back of the house to check out the condition of things. See, I had someone mowing my grass all last summer, and I honestly never even really looked out back. I can see the bushes at the back through the various windows, but it is really only in passing.

First thing I noticed was that one of the flower tree things had died and rotted during the winter. 😐 I was actually able to easily break off many of the limbs and also push over most of the base of it that was still in the ground. It’s not completely gone yet, but it was nice to do something that noticeable without pushing my limits. And the hedges at the back that I mentioned… they’re overgrown and have other sorts of trees growing up in random spots within them, so I won’t be able to put them off for another season.

The other big-ish things that will have to be dealt with are all of the evergreen bushes that surround the house, and the strangely large tree that has grown up inside of the huge pine tree out front. 😳 The bushes in the rear and on the north side are probably small enough that I will (or would) be able to take care of them, but the others are way beyond my ability. And thankfully they did a good job weed whacking the flower gardens (and just mowing over the stuff that I told them to mow over) so they don’t look that bad.

So here’s where I’m at. I know there are quite a few things that I’d be able to do, but I would really only be able to do small bits at a time, over a span of several days for each of the things… so is that really worth it? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Cringing each day as I go out to do the small amount of work that I can do before it fucks my shoulders and neck, and hoping that I never bump up against that point. 😬 Doesn’t sound like an awesome way to spend my spring, and it risks stealing a bunch of days that might otherwise be days that I’d feel like leaving the house. So I guess I’ve made my decision. 😟

As much as I hate spending money when I feel like I don’t absolutely have to, this is a situation where the right call is to just hire some d00ds to do it. Why should I spend (likely) several days trimming the smaller bushes, when a full time landscaper type person will probably come and bust through all of them in a couple of hours – whether I’ve trimmed anything or not. πŸ˜’ There are a couple more examples of that same scenario but with different stuff in the yard, so I just have to suck it up and accept that I can’t do it and get someone who can. That’s a hard thing to admit. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

The one thing that has saved me from getting too twitchy about this today is the thought that even if I have someone come in and do everything that needs to be done… the amount I’m gonna have to pay is still gonna be less than one month’s rent in a decent apartment. And then, other than mowing, none of it will really need to be done again until the same time next year – or even longer if I have someone chop the bushes on the property line down to nubs. 🀨 So I’m gonna make a list of what I need to have done and what I’d like to have done, and then probably call my uncle after the weekend to talk to him about it and see if he has any d00ds that he can recommend.

Not being in constant miserable pain > swallowing my pride / being a tightwad

Mob Mentality

It’s frustrating to go on Twitter and see the digital lynch mob going after Joel Osteen and his church over the past 24 hours. Apparently part of the facility was flooded, as is much of Houston and the surrounding areas, and several of their own staff had to be rescued from their homes due to the rising water – so it wasn’t until yesterday that they were able to open up the church to anyone that might be needing shelter.

But none of that mattered to the angry cavemen. It doesn’t matter that he’s hosted charity concerts thereΒ to raise money for flood victims. It doesn’t matter that the church was offered and used as a shelter for Tropical Storm Allison victims. It doesn’t matter what “good” the church has done for the people of that community, because the outrage junkies caught word that the doors weren’t open for some reason, and they were out for blood.

There was a “re-tweet campaign” that was demanding that Osteen open the doors. Demanding. That’s the word they chose. “Why aren’t you helping?” “Are you going to donate your millions of dollars?” “This shows how much of a Christian you aren’t!” “Fake Joel Osteen, you’re a crook and a liar!” “The false prophet bows to pressure on Twitter” “Opening your church now is only PR damage control!” “(insert any flavor of cursing and name calling here)”Β and some asshole even went down to the church himself to film an “AH HAH!” video, showing that the church wasn’t flooded, even though he didn’t go inside to actually see one way or the other.

Good going, guy. You’re making a fuss about someone not doing enough for the victims, but you are using your time and energy doing this – rather than something productive to help people. 🀦🏻 And when the doors opened, it’s not like there was a huge queue of people waiting to get in. In fact, maintenance people inside the church said that the facility was open for quite a while before anyone even showed up. See, we don’t even know the state of affairs down there… like, are all of the other shelters full? Have people been forced to sleep in the streets because Osteen’s church couldn’t open until yesterday? Or are people just being pissed off for the sake of being pissed off?

A staggering amount of people are using this as a trigger to attack religion and Christianity specifically. They’re ranting about how false the mega-church pastors are, how it’s not about God and only about money, and using it as a “SEEEEE?!?!” moment – where they can feel vindicated in their thoughts about Osteen being a hypocrite and only in it for the cash and fame. It’s an amazing(ly sad) thing to watch. 😒

  • “I can’t open the church yet. It’s a bit flooded and staff can’t make it in.”
  • YOU’RE FULL OF SHIT YOU LYING BASTARD! FUCK YOU!!!
  • “Hey, we got it cleaned up enough and have some air mattresses now, c’mon down.”
  • YOU’RE ONLY OPENING BECAUSE WE MADE YOU! FUCK YOU!!!

*sigh*

Someone get me off of this planet. πŸ˜’

EDIT: Click here for a more in-depth version of the story from the Osteen’s side of it.