Variety Week

I actually thought about making an entry over the weekend, but the prior few days were pretty eventful, and I knew today could be as well… so yeah, I basically actually just treated my weekend as a weekend, other than finally cleaning the kitchen and doing up all my bills.

Bri had her baby on Wednesday. 😊 I didn’t make it in there at 6am like she had to do, but I was there a few hours later and stayed several more hours… taking a break to go home, since I could tell it was gonna take a while. And in that time I was able to help Dad get his car back from the repair shop after getting the AC serviced. (Hmm… AC serviced… we’ll come back to that.) As I was ready to head back to my house after that, Bri messaged me that she finally had him (9 hours of labor… yikes…) and she wanted me to come back to the hospital.

Of course I went back in the next day as well to visit them… and as you may know, whenever I do an extensive amount of “stuff” sometimes my body’s like “Okay, that’s enough out of you” and I kind of crap out. 😏 And that’s pretty much what happened. But it didn’t end there. Later in the evening, Cassi called in a mild freak-out, because her cat was getting ready to deliver her kittens and seemed to be having trouble and was making all kinds of awful sounding noises – so she wanted me to come up, just in case we had to take her to an emergency vet.

You know, they may have actually been Friday. πŸ€” That’s how frazzled my brain was. I dunno, it was late in the evening and it was on a day where the last thing I wanted to do was to “do anything” at that point. Hence taking the weekend off for the most part. But I slept well last night, had a comforting dream… which of course I remember zero details from… but woke up feeling good enough to go out and use the hand trimmer to clear up the tiny branches growing out of the trunks of my crabapple (I think)Β trees so the mowers aren’t at risk of losing an eye around them… along with cutting out some other “trying to grow” baby trees popping up in weird places in the yard.

That wasn’t an intended part of the day though, so I’m just taking that as a bonus, because today was when the AC repair guys came to check out the furnace and AC. 😐 Long story short, I went ahead and opted to have a new one installed. 😣 The current unit is about 20 years old, any replacement parts (the compressor, specifically) would have to be a used part, the refrigerant used isn’t available anymore… just lots of things that made replacement the smarter (yet more expensive) decision. Whether I live here until I die, or if I sell the house in a year and move into an apartment or whatever… it’s just the better, yet painful choice. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

He gave me the estimate, but is gonna officially type it all up and send me an itemized version later this afternoon for me to sign. So I’m a little twitchy right now, but really, I’m not even paying for it. πŸ™‚ When Mom passed, her and Dad made sure that she left me some money, so technically Mom is going to be buying a new central AC system for me. That makes it a heck of a lot easier to think about. Okay… I need to give my head a break for a bit, but should be checking emails later this evening.

Advertisements

Gap

I know it’s been a good chunk of time since my last entry, but I’m not even gonna bother going back to catch up on what I’ve already written… because honestly not a whole hell of a lot has been different, so I don’t have that much to write about. We’ve had a couple decent snow storms, and a couple days where the temps were in the negativesΒ in the morning, so that’s managed to keep me at home just as much as my normal anxiety issues usually do. 😏

One out of the ordinary thing… I did take a trip to ‘Da Boat with Bri for two nights last week. 😊 We’ve talked about it for months, and have had it in the planning stages for the past several weeks – so we were relieved to have pulled it off, considering that both of us have any number of things that could have popped up to wreck the plan. 😳 Last time she was down there with me was years ago when Dezzy also came along, and they couldn’t even get onto the boat back then.

So of course that’s why we were really looking forward to this trip, since she could see and do everything along with me this time. We took a bunch of outfits and props and shit, just in case we decided to do baby belly photos, but it was too easy to just be lazy in the room or going up to the boat to have fun… so very few pics were actually taken, and that was absolutely fine with us. πŸ˜‹ Our luck would come and go, but it was good enough at times that I could actively see the gambling bug taking hold of her brain right before my very eyes. πŸ˜… Heh… it wasn’t really like that, but she did have a good time and played enough to where she developed favorite machines and everything.

This past week or so has been nice… not having any appointments, not forcing myself to worry about any responsibility stuff. 😐 Heh… that sounds bad. I just mean that I let myself take a break from all of the adulting for a while, although I’m picking back up where I left off here in a bit. (Catching up on the bills that have been stacking up in the mean time) Oh… I do have another “since our last episode” story that I almost forgot about. It’ll be coming up a bit later, if I manage to get through all the bills this evening…

But this trip… I dunno… the more that I think about my medical stuff, the more that I want to do stuff with my friends while I still can. πŸ€’ I have no reason to think that I won’t be able to do things for years to come – but just in case, ya know? Even Dad, a while back, reiterated that point to me a few times… that I need to stop worrying so much, and sometimes just do the fun thing while not worrying about anything else. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

“Customer Service”

Might as well continue my bitching into Tuesday.Β πŸ˜’ Had to get up really early for my appointment with Dr Walter… and everything was routine until he asked me if I would be willing to be seen by a new physicians’ assistant that they have added to the office. 😳😟 I think they actually added two other doctors as well… but like he and I were discussing, ever since the big changes that were made about six months ago they’ve been struggling to try and keep up with appointments, paperwork, insurance stuff, medicare stuff, workers comp stuff, etc.

So while I’m glad (for them) to see that they’ve added some auxiliary people that will help evenly distribute the workload, it’ll definitely take a while to get used to the new guy.Β πŸ™ Dr Walter isn’t going anywhere, so if my condition changes he’ll be able to handle it, but that was his point… my condition has been relatively stable for a long time now, so my appointments are really just about prescription refills rather than treatment.Β πŸ€• That’s why he felt like I was a good candidate to go to the new guy – freeing up Dr Walter (someone with a lot of seniority) to choose appointments with patients he still has a chance of repairing. 😏 And to be honest, it could be interesting to bounce ideas off of new guy – since on most days I still struggle to just reach “okay” … so fresh ears and eyes couldΒ help me in the long run.

After that, I didn’t really feel like going to the Social Security office to handle my insurance enrollment issues… so as soon as I got home I was on the phone again. 😐 I’m not sure why it took as long as it did, but just enrolling in the dental part of my Medicare Advantage plan took over a half hour. And for me, someone who gets super twitchy if I have to be on the phone for more than a few minutes, it may as well have been three or four hours. 😣

I ended up calling it a day around 3pm, even though there was still stuff that I couldΒ (should?) have made calls about. Couldn’t get through to the hospital again, despite definitely calling during business hours, and so far they haven’t returned my calls. 😠 That’s fine though… I’m fine just sitting here and waiting until another notice for those bills arrive, and another, and another. I mean, I’ll call again, but if they don’t seem interested in dealing with it, then I’m not gonna be terribly interested either.Β πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Strangely, despite twitching out over the obscene amount of time that I spent on the phone today, I’m still feeling enough of a burst of energy that I’m gonna try to work on a few things around the house. I’ve got a couple of friends who have been hinting heavily that they’d like to come over, so I feel kind of obliged to make it look less like the house of a single guy and his white cat that’s in the process of being groomed. 😳🐱 But mostly I’m doing this stuff for myself, because the more organized and calm this place is, the more organized and calm it makes me. 😌

But after these crap days starting the week, I think tomorrow I’ll take at least half of the day off… maybe get my cameras organized and charged up, get the C64 Mini all updated, set-up, and hooked up. I dunno… Monday and Tuesday have me pretty grrr, so I really need to make tomorrow different.

Mundane Monday

Today has been very Monday.Β πŸ˜• Ordered something online last night and woke up to a fraud alert on my phone, where the company – and it’s one of the main, big-name ones – had attempted to charge my card five times for the one order. 😧 So that was the first bit of “customer service” shit that I had to deal with. Just to be safe I had them cancel all of the charges, which allowed me to just create the order again from scratch. So far no alerts, so I guess that all got sorted.

Then I had to get online to sign up for new Medicare Advantage insurance, and of course I ran into glitches during the process. 😠 I swear, with the way that some sites seem cobbled together and barely hanging on to their functionality – it’s a wonder that big entities like this don’t collapse in on themselves in a flaming pile of data loss.Β πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ–¨πŸ–₯πŸ’ΎπŸ”₯πŸ”₯Β I could have called to get this issue fixed, but you know how I am with phone calls… so “online chat” was the way I went.Β πŸ“žπŸ˜¬β˜Ž The lady was helpful, seemed to give only 50% (or so) canned responses, and despite not really fixing anything – she said everything that needed to be in their system was in their system, so there shouldn’t be any issues.

And the third thing, which I’m still in the process of dealing with, is getting these couple of rogue hospital bills figured out. One bill is for an appointment with my workers comp doctor, which are the same every thirty days and always billed to workers comp. 🧐 And then the other one, well, it’s a big enough amount that I need to investigate – to find out if that’s the amount due even after the financial aid has been applied, or if I just need to wait it out until it eventually goes away.Β πŸ₯πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈπŸ€•πŸ’Έ Still waiting on a call back from those folks.

So, I’ve been dealing with this crap pretty much from the moment I woke up.Β πŸ˜΄πŸ˜’ My brain hasn’t started getting twitchy about it (yet), mainly because everyone I’ve spoken to or chatted with – they’ve been helpful… and if not actually helpful, they’ve been nice and have given me confidence with their “Everything looks fine.” type shpeal.Β πŸ™‚ And since I’m somewhat in the flow of all this bullshit, there’s a couple other things that I need to tend to as well – so I’ve probably got just as many calls to make after this blog entry as I did before.Β πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

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.

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?