Just Rambling

It ain’t over ’til it’s over… that should be the motto of my life when it comes to all of the workers comp garbage. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ I think there’s an R&B song from the early 90s with something close to that title. ๐Ÿค” Meh… anyway… it’s been a day full of working on that stuff, reading mail, working on new forms as much as I can – without any of my attorneys being across the table to help me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But much like everything else that I’ve had to fight for, there’s still some fighting left to be done before the medical portion is gonna be settled.

It’s a bit before midnight now, so I’ve lost most of the emotional energy that was powering me through it all, so I don’t even have the oomph to really rant about any of it tonight. ๐Ÿ˜ I mean, things should be fine eventually… it’s just the typical “Surprise, this isn’t gonna go how you thought it was gonna go.” stuff that plagues every person in the system and keeps things progressing at a snail’s pace. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŒ But my attorney says we should remain optimistic, and he’s good at selling me on that idea… ๐Ÿ˜ so, that’s what I shall do.

But man, even today I’m feeling the effects of how the whole thing has changed me. It simply sucks the energy out of me when I have to work on stressful stuff and make phone calls regarding it all. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜ฃ I mean, that’s what started my “phone anxiety” back in the beginning of the process. All calls seemed to be doctors, lawyers, social security, etc… and all of them were stressful. ๐Ÿ˜  I hate using the word “trigger” but that’s what a ringing phone became to me, and then the same for picking up and trying to make a call. It’s embarrassing.

But just like back then, today I felt that effect… not in a super bad way, and I wasn’t even feeling overly stressed or upset or anything… but that still didn’t stop it from sucking away my energy and sending me into a couple unplanned naps. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ด Heh… they’re hard to describe. They usually start with, “Ugh, this sucks… I need to take 10 minutes to rest my eyes and brain.” and then I wake up a couple hours later. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Granted, my sleep has already been screwed up because of my neck and an awful 24 hour headache, but working on this shit didn’t help. ๐Ÿ˜› (And I doubt that I’d be anything like this if I hadn’t gotten hurt and stopped working… but meh, who knows, I could have ended up worse. Que sera, sera. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ )

But it was kind of nice to do this mid-week rather than waiting until the weekend like I usually do with most of the mail. I mean, there’s no getting around their business hours when it comes to needing to actually get in touch with folks at the office. But yeah… a big chunk of “bleh” was at least handled and pushed off to the side until probably the start of next week. ๐Ÿ˜Š A little bit of uncertainty is still gonna be creeping around in my thoughts until this is truly settled, but there’s nothin’ new about that.

Out With The Old

Haven’t been sleeping great… a couple hours here, a couple hours there, but I did manage to wake up at a normal time today and get some of my errands done. Not sure if my attorney will be calling tomorrow or not, but at least all of that stuff is in motion and more work will be done on it soon. Was gonna stop in and see Dad on my way home, but it was a little too warm today for a visit outside, so hopefully we’ll find a cooler, nicer day sometime this week. I’m actually looking forward to when we can take a ride up to Millersport to check out all the old haunts. But yeah, over 90 degrees is not anyone’s idea of a good time for sittin’ out talking.

So I headed home and decided to go ahead and start the process of setting up my new phone. I got a normal iPhone 11… the new SE is just too small, plus I wanted to get something decent at a decent price instead of being tempted by the iPhone 12 Pro Max with it’s LIDAR camera setup. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Want? Yes. Need? No. ๐Ÿ˜ I barely leave the house these days, let alone do anything that resembles photography, so no sense in blowing money on a fancy camera phone that I’d probably only use to scan dumb shit around my house. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜’

But I think I’m gonna be happy with this phone. It’s basically like my old one, just with a bigger screen, better dual cameras, faster everything… and even though I could have just had the battery replaced on my old one, they’re only gonna update iOS on those old models for so long. With this one I’ll be set for another four years or so. The more that I think about it, I actually did pretty good in keeping the old one as long as I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

But that’s when the afternoon turned tedious. The race got rained out… or at least it got rained on for long enough that I forgot to even check back in to see if they got going… but part of that was because I was dealing with customer support from Boost for the better part of two hours. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ The phones themselvesthey knew what was up… the new phone asked for the old phone to be placed next to it, then the old phone started sending over all my apps and data – so the new phone looks almost exactly the same as the old one. That process went fine… but the new phone still wasn’t working as a phone.

I tried to use the portal on their site to “swap phones” as they put it… and, at least on the dashboard, it looked like it worked. Had the exact model number, serial number, etc… even a picture of the phone… but calls no longer worked on either phone. ๐Ÿ˜’ After chatting with three different support techs, the last one finally realized that the previous two were entering the wrong sim card information into the system… something that he handled in about three minutes. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‘ You know how you get when something is supposed to just work, but then you spend hours effing with it? Yeah… it was one of those evenings.

But it’s all good now. There’s still gonna be lots of little “this and that” that I’ll need to do to make it just like the old phone, but it’s more the fun type of fiddling. I’ve already got all 1600+ of my “liked” songs on Spotify downloaded for offline play, and tomorrow I’ll get to carefully attempt to put the tempered glass screen protector on and get it seated in its case so I don’t feel like I’m gonna snap it in half every time I handle it. ๐Ÿ˜ Meh… I’m just rambling now since it got me all wound up… I’m happy. New phone, new stuff to play with, so I’ve got nothing to complain about. Just wish I felt even a little bit sleepy… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Oh, and I’m finally catching up with Dad… heh… he’s been using online ordering for a couple months now when it comes to grocery shopping. And tonight I finally finished setting up my own account so I can avoid all the dirty asses in the grocery store as well. ๐Ÿ˜… Will probably place my first order tomorrow. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Too Late, Too Early

I stayed up until around 2am last night. Mostly just because I couldn’t fall asleep, but also because I wanted to step outside and see how many meteors I could see from the Lyrids meteor shower. ๐Ÿค“ I stood outside for a little over ten minutes, freezing, and saw a grand total of none. ๐Ÿ˜… I know that I was looking where I was supposed to, so they were either lighter than expected or I was just blinking at the wrong time. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

No big deal, since if I had seen several of them I probably would have been wishing I had figured out the needed settings for my cameras so that I could have captured them. ๐Ÿ˜’ But earlier in the evening I did mess with the phone and camcorder a bit, to see if I could quickly figure out how to get a noise-free, well exposed photo of the stars in the sky, while also being able to capture any shooting stars… and it’s not as easy as you’d think, at least not with an iPhone.

It’s funny, I’ve got it down where I can get a decent exposure of the night sky, but I know from trying to also capture a few passing planes in the frame – that the way I was exposing the image requires the stars to “stay put” for about 30 seconds, and any moving source of light just wouldn’t be captured. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Meh… I’m fairly confident with my regular star exposures, so if the sky is clear tonight I might plug up the phone to power and leave it out back to possibly get a decent time-lapse. On a full charge, using just the internal battery, I was only able to get one hundred 30 second exposures, forming this bitty 10 sec time-lapse… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

(As usual, best viewed in HD, full screen… and this time, in a dark, dark room. I’m gettin’ there…)

So it was after 2a before I went to sleep, and then I woke up around 7a because my brain knew I had a doctor appointment at 9:30a – so it was sleeping lightly, waiting for any excuse to make sure that I’d wake up and not sleep through it. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ Obviously I’ve had early doctor appointments before, but this one was different, so I’m certainly not complaining that I had to wake up early for it today.

This was my first experience with “telemedicine” as I guess it’s called. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Staci called a little early, at 9a, to see if I was awake and able to go ahead and start… and she then sent a link via text, I clicked on it, it opened a page that started the AV connection as fast as a regular Facetime call would start, and from that point on it was like a regular doctor appointment. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ

She did her normal “pre-doc” stuff of all the typical information that they gather before the doctor actually comes in, she then put me on hold for about 30 seconds, and then my doctor clicked back in and we wrapped up my appointment in less than ten minutes. ๐Ÿ˜Š Still covered everything that we would have covered in person, and in fact – because I didn’t have to experience the anxiety of the in-person visit, I probably felt better than at a “normal” appointment. That also meant that I didn’t ramble on about any minor “this or that” which often happens when I’m actually there and able to bitch. ๐Ÿ˜…

So yeah, I could definitely get spoiled by something like that. ๐Ÿค— I realize though that a doctor does have to be able to physically interact with a damaged person at least every couple of appointments (to confirm the level of their damage) but it would be nice if I could do two of these, then a regular appointment, two more of these, then a regular, etc. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Unfortunately they probably aren’t able to bill insurance at the same rate when they do “virtual” vs “real” appointments, so once they feel that the COVID risk isn’t as high anymore, everyone will be going back to the regular routine. ๐Ÿ˜’

Heh… this is probably my longest, most coherent pre-10a entry I’ve ever written. ๐Ÿ˜‹

More Moon Stuff

Making a a little more progress with the $99 digital camcorder with the stupid good zoom… ๐Ÿ˜ with its only major drawbacks being the purple fringe around some things in certain conditions, the lack of 4k resolution, and then of course the more you zoom the softer the image looks. ๐Ÿ˜’ I thought I had the focus as sharp as I could get it, but I’m thinking that there may have been a haze that was also affecting the output video. Might try again tonight, probably just full-zoom stuff, since the time-lapse in the beginning here is pretty meh.

(Make sure this is set to play in HD, full-screen, for the best results.)

Since the moon was lighting up the clouds, I did some more fiddling with the phone to get the brightest exposure possible (while still using only a 1/3 sec shutter speed) and I was gonna get a much faster time-lapse of the clouds out back… but of course they cleared up shortly after I started recording. However, you’ll notice a couple stars bright enough to be picked up, so I’m hoping that on a clear, moonless night I might be able to capture the rotation of the earth in the movement of the stars with this new method. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿค“ Will have to wait a couple weeks to give that a shot, but even though the video’s overall speed is too slow – you should still be able to see that there’s some movement in the stars.

Just Like New

I think I can break self-isolation for this, and people (if they knew) wouldn’t scold me too much. ๐Ÿค”

I’ve had an iPhone 7 Plus for several years now, and she’s finally starting to show her age, battery-wise. And with the new iPhone 9s or SE2s coming out soon, I don’t really want to be tempted by a brand new (albeit “budget”) iPhone when I’ve got one that works just fine for almost everything that I might need it for. ๐Ÿคจ So getting a new battery for my current phone is the best way to squash all of that.

Another thing that’s getting close to needing a new battery is the car. Even though it hasn’t been cold this winter, it’s still turning over with a little more struggle than I’d like. Not struggle struggle, but basically you can tell it’s not new anymore. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s about four years old now, original factory battery, so I don’t know if this is an “expected” time-frame where it would be due or not… but I’ll have the battery d00d test it first and see what he says as well. (Although common and business sense may guide his opinion in an obvious direction. ๐Ÿ˜)

The battery store where I picked up a couple of scooter batteries a few months back… really nice guy running the shop, and he was working on a phone as I was checking out and didn’t seem nervous about it. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ So I could get the phone taken care of, the car taken care of, and believe it or not – they even offer windshield wiper blades… which is another thing that I haven’t changed since getting this car years ago. ๐Ÿ˜

Everything looks competitively priced, and all of it has free installation… cuz lord knows I can’t even come close to chucking car batteries around on my own, and wiper blades can be a surprising pain in the ass if you don’t pay attention how you take the old ones off… heh… at least for me. ๐Ÿค“ So anyway, I might end up stopping by that store whenever I have to go out anyway to pick up my meds, so hopefully I’ll also be able to get some of these little concerns taken care of while I’m at it. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Total human contact = 1 person. ๐Ÿ˜ท

Another Person’s Dream. Yay.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a decades-old blog, somewhere, where I used to regularly keep track of my weird ass dreams. But sometimes they’re interesting enough to merit a spot in the regular blog. Last night’s dream was a single, long, awful, hyper-realistic “action” nightmare. ๐Ÿ˜ณ (And when it comes to what I may have seen, heard, or done during the prior day to cause any of it… who knows.) The cast, for whatever reason, was mostly people that I went to high school with. ๐Ÿค” Not necessarily even the “closer” of my friends.

It started off with Chris Woolard and Rich Nagel showing me their raptor pen, where yes… they had a real baby raptor, probably the size of a human toddler. They said I could go in and play with it, but that they didn’t advise it. ๐Ÿ˜ง I did anyway, though. It immediately knocked me down to my hands and knees and then proceeded to bite and attack my right shoulder. (Why my right? My left one is the one that’s damaged. Maybe fear of losing use of my remaining good arm?)

It chomped into me several times, finally just locking its teeth deep into my shoulder. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ซ I fell even closer to the ground, blood pouring into a puddle on the floor around me. I stayed as still as I could, which caused it to finally stop biting into me – and I was then face down on the floor, unintentionally blowing bubbles in my own blood as I tried to keep my breathing shallow enough that it would leave me alone. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Brian White then pulled me up from the floor and helped me out of the pen, and had someone bandage up my shoulder. ๐Ÿค• As soon as that was done, I started looking for my phone so that I could leave… but it wasn’t in my pocket, wasn’t on my desk, wasn’t anywhere that it should have been. ๐Ÿ˜ณ So I began to frantically look for it, with the panic of knowing that whoever had it would have access to my entire life…

As I walked up and down this dark auditorium, looking all around the chairs, desks, and people – eventually Matt McKinster motioned me towards a huge “home improvement store” area just outside the room we were currently in. ๐Ÿค” As soon as I got out there, I saw Jamie Faught carrying light posts for a customer… but he was about 20 feet tall, and they were like street light light posts. ๐Ÿ˜ง He nodded and smiled at me, but as I drew his attention away from what he was doing – the posts he was carrying smashed into dozens of giant ceiling fans that were above us all.

(If you’re still here and reading… well done. Other people’s dreams are so not-interesting… heh)

Everyone in the store, who were all regular sized like me… we all started running and screaming, because Jamie was falling, the posts were falling, and the smashed ceiling fans were falling – all in our direction. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ซ Some of the fans were still spinning like airplane propellers, which resulted in several violent “glass tornados” from which we all had to escape. โ˜น๏ธ Luckily I spotted a big metal glove on the floor near me… ๐Ÿคจ

I put the glove on and shielded some people behind me as the glass shards began hitting us. The glove was able to deflect most of the debris, but we were still getting sliced and gashed by the stray pieces of glass as they flew by. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿค• I was able to save five or six people before a different glass tornado attacked us from above, rather than straight on like the others had done. ๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ณ It rained down on us so hard that it broke through the floor underneath us, sending us all falling into a darkened pit below.

At that point the wind stopped, the glass stopped flying around, the screaming people stopped screaming… and those of us that survived falling into the pit realized that we needed to climb our way out, over piles of busted glass and even more busted people. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿโ˜น๏ธ When I made it to the edge at the top, thankfully my friend Desiree was there to take my hand and successfully pull me to safety. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

She was crying and acting so sorry that she wasn’t there to protect me when it all started, but told me that even though she was late – that I can always rely on her to be there for me eventually, when it really counts. ๐Ÿ˜Š There was other little stuff after that, which I can’t really remember, and then I woke up. And I was friggin’ tired, man. ๐Ÿ˜ž I mean, I know all of this shit just comes off as bizarre – but imagine experiencing it all as vividly as you’re experiencing things in the room around you right now as you read this blog entry. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Crazy shit. I’ll definitely take a pass on any dreams tonight if they’re gonna be anything like that again. ๐Ÿ˜“

Okay, Now Relax

I took the weekend a little too late into the night last night, ‘cuz once I got home I wanted to watch the race, the Season 5 opener of Better Call Saul, and the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. The race was pretty good, BCS was great, but 5min into TWD and I realized that I didn’t really give a shit anymore. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Even though it was getting close to 3a before I sacked out, I still went ahead and set my alarm so I’d be awake early this morning if my phone rang. And ring it did. I’m glad to have that out of the way, and I’m now on the schedule for later this week. Now for the next few days I just have to remind myself that they know where I basically stand on things, they know my concerns, so I don’t have to spend every waking moment between now and then continuing to dwell on it. Ain’t nuthin’ gonna happen ’til it happens.

Although as soon as I got off the phone I felt nauseous. It’s just that it’ll be the first meeting in a series of events that could close the medical portion of my claim… and once it’s done there’s no do-overs. ๐Ÿ˜ And no, it won’t dictate how the entirety of the rest of my life plays out, but it’s still a really big deal and I’d be foolish if I wasn’t giving it my all. I just don’t know how much more of that juice I’ve got left in my reserves.

I’m definitely looking forward to talking with them in person though. Being able to hear their tone, see their body language… I just think it’ll give me a more complete idea of where we all actually stand. ๐Ÿง

Tripped My Breaker

Everything caught up with me in a bad way today. ๐Ÿ˜ž First time in a week and a half that (for no apparent reason) I woke up with my neck frozen – combined with a splitting headache at the base of my skull. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

That’s never fun, but today it was apparently my tipping point. With the mental stress of all the various things getting ready to happen (as well as currently going on) with my workers comp situation, all the work I’ve been doing on it, plus still nervously waiting for my attorneys to call regarding setting up a meeting… waking up feeling utterly miserable along with all of that just flipped a switch. ๐Ÿฅบ

My anxiety about all of it had turned to irritation, anger, and determination over the past couple of days – but that’s when I wasn’t physically suffering at the same time. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ So while I’m not thrilled that I lost the entire day today – after taking my morning meds, letting the hot shower rain on the back of my head, and waiting to see if the pain was going to let up… I nodded back off and ended up sleeping the entire day away. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜•

I would have heard my phone if my attorneys reached out… but, again, the call didn’t come. A couple people texted me, but it’s late now – and I’m honestly in no condition to act like I’m “okay enough” to return messages and hold a conversation. I hate ghosting people, but today has been a bad, bad day. ๐Ÿ˜ž I’ve taken my evening meds though, so I’m hoping that’ll do something… but it’s hard to say if I’ll be back out in an hour or if I’ll end up awake all night due to sleeping all night and day. ๐Ÿ˜’ That’s just how it goes sometimes…

And when I mention this next thing, I’m not looking to be medicated… but when an injured workers is put through the ringer like I’ve been – it should honestly be a requirement that the coverage includes the option of talking to a counselor or therapist. ๐Ÿคจ It’s obvious that mental and emotional stress can affect a person’s physical health, so it would truly be in everyone’s best interest. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ (This blog is usually my therapy.)

Yeah, I’m thinking about my situation, but I’m also thinking about the tens of thousands of other people who’ve been in the fight for years that might not handle it as well as I have, which isn’t always that great. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ It should help once I get the call and the meeting is scheduled, and it’ll help even more once that’s done… no matter how it seems to go. It’s the “unknown” and the waiting that’s really tweaking me right now. ๐Ÿ˜  If this stuff’s gonna take a different course here soon, I’d like to get the show on the road.

So today went straight into the trash, but I’ve got something to look forward to tomorrow. Map of The Soul: Seven (by BTS) is being released, it’ll be available on Spotify, so I’ll have a whole album of new music to listen to and hopefully be distracted by. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow.