Research

I ended up getting almost 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night, likely thanks to my normal evening meds and a couple Tylenol PMs taken at just the right moment. Sadly, I still woke up tired, at least physically… but my motivation game was strong. I guess this was the right day for that combination though, since it’s the weekend and there really wasn’t much that I could do “out and about” to continue my meager progress from last week.

I’ve looked up a bunch of different doctors and “family practice” offices in Lancaster and nearby cities, so I’ll be able to make some calls and maybe even stop by some of these places on Monday. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also researched some urgent care places and narrowed it down to two that may be able to help with the tests that I need. ๐Ÿคจ That’s my backup plan, should the “find a new doctor that doesn’t have a two month waiting list” thing fail. ๐Ÿ˜’ And then on top of that I’ve gotten names and info from our local hospital’s site, so I’m prepared to goย there to talk to someone about my predicament if need be.

My main concern (after just getting the “serious stuff” started) is doing this in a way that won’t screw me over when it comes to my insurance and the bills. ๐Ÿ˜ณ I assume it’s always like this, since it’s been this way with any insurance that I’ve ever had, but basically you have to jump through all of the required hoops. ๐Ÿ™„ Like, you can’t just go to a heart specialist and ask for an EKG without having been referred to that heart specialist by your “normal” doctor. ๐Ÿค” I mean, I guess you can… but your insurance won’t pay for it without the referral.

So yeah, off and on throughout the day was all of that, and then in the evening I remembered that I needed to make a couple phone calls.ย The first was just returning a call from one of my attorneys regarding their recent court actions on my behalf, and the second was to leave a message for the company that I’ve chosen to trim my hedges and spirea bushes, to let them know that I’m on board.

Tomorrow should be a lazy day. ๐Ÿ˜ I can’t think of anything that I’ve forgotten, at least not right now, so hopefully I’ll be able to sleep in for a bit before I go to visit with Mom and Dad in the afternoon. If I don’t get too late of a start, I might even try to hit a couple of thrift stores before returning to Maven, the homestead, and a rapidly-approaching Monday morning.

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You Snooze, You Lose

Well, that was a shit show. ๐Ÿคจ They said they would put out the little machine to “take a number” at noon, for walk-in appointments that would start at 1pm, but yeah… that’s an idea that I’m sure looks better on paper than it does in practice. ๐Ÿ˜  In reality, it might as well have been a scene from a general admission concert, as everyone gathers and waits for the gates to open up.

I showed up at about 11:45am yesterday and was gonna wait in my car until noon, when everyone would be able to pick a number… but the whole damn waiting area was already full of people, with even more riffraff waddling in as I parked my car and watched. ๐Ÿ™„ My mistake, of course, was assuming that the humans would conduct themselves with composure and courtesy. Hell, I dunno, maybe all of those people were deathly ill and in desperate need of attention… but cripes, did I mention it was a shit show?

Everyone looked pissed off. ๐Ÿ˜ And the people… my gosh… it was like the perfect sampling of stereotypical “Lancaster people.” ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ My favorite was the obese lady, wearing black yoga pants, suede boots with fur on the top, a too-tight black t-shirt with holes in it, yanking her toddler along with her as she was shouting at him about something. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I couldn’t have internally cringed any harder. Second place went to the young guy with dirty sagging jeans, sideways flat-bill cap, standing outside smoking and yelling into his phone.

Needless to say, I didn’t go in and take a number. ๐Ÿ˜ The office… I’m sure there isn’t much they can do, since it’s obviously a crowd of assholes who could give two shits about whatever the rules of order are – but there’s gotta be a better way to do it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ First thing would be not letting people inside before noon, so that they were literally pressed up against the glass of the doors. Shit… have people form a line outside, then when the number machine is set out they can grab one and go in. Heh… and when they did start giving out numbers yesterday, I can just imagine the arguments among everyone inside, who all probably said that they were there first. ๐Ÿคฌ

Okay… I could go on… but yeah, that ended my plans early yesterday, and I’ve taken today off so that I don’t burn out from all the people-ing I’ve done over the past several days, and so I can get back at it tomorrow – with more research over the weekend if I can’t make any progress.

EDIT: I suppose all those assholes were once in my shoes, watching the BS go down…

Willfully Ignorant / Indignant

The overwhelming amount of ignorance surrounding the shooting at Stoneman Douglas and the resulting activism… it’s simply staggering. ๐Ÿ˜‘ It falls anywhere on the spectrum from people just not realizing that they’ve been misled, to people who are straight up morons. And most of them are really angry as well… like, so angry that even when people are expressing sentiments that are supportive of the students and their security, they’ll still attack those people if the thoughts don’t exactly parrot what they or the students are saying. ๐Ÿ˜  Free thinking has already become a much lacking trait in society, and boy does this movement demonstrate that over and over again.

I’m sure that I’m like a lot of people who generally support the things the students have been asking for, but who is also growing tired of being attacked by the people that we’re trying to support… so much so that their activism now feels more like a bunch of kids complaining and making noise, but not actually seeking solutions to the problems at the center of it all.

The point where the kids started to lose me was when a slew of new security measures were put in place at their school, to provide additional protections while the students continued to strive for bigger changes via gun control laws. Limited access points to the school buildings, student IDs, increased security personnel, new backpack/bag rules, etc. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Not only did the students not appreciate these changes, but they actively rebelled against them – and are still doing so to this day. Most of the complaints revolve around the bag rules, which prohibit anyone from coming into the building with bags or backpacks that weren’t issued by the school. And because they are clear backpacks, the kids and their supporters have lost their damn minds. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

A woman on Twitter, when I said that I supported the clear backpack rule and noted that Nikolas Cruz used a duffel bag to bring his rifle into the school, just replied to me: “Umm… then maybe ban bringing DUFFEL bags into the school??? An AR15 will NOT fit in a backpack. Good grief!”ย This is an example of that angry stupidity. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The school is now banning people from carrying in bags other than the school-provided ones… something that could have prevented Cruz from even making it past the gate if the rule was in place back then. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But this woman was mad that I pointed it out, then called for duffel bags to be banned (which they are), and followed it up with a “Good grief” as if my logic was exhausting her.

But yeah, the kids are mocking the backpacks, saying that the increased law enforcement presence makes them scared, equating having to carry student IDs to being in prison, complaining that additional fences and barriers only give the appearance of security, saying their 4th amendment rights are being violated and people will be able to see their tampons in their bags now, and bitching because they have to show up to school a little earlier to get through security. ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป All the while complaining that none of those changes do anything to protect them, with several of them going so far as to say that all of these new measures should be removed – leaving their school in exactly the same state as when they were originally attacked. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

None of those changes, in their minds, provide any additional security. Instead, their minds are laser focused on banning “assault rifles” as the change that is needed. In interview after interview, you can see that these kids don’t even know what guns the term “assault” rifle should include, with some of them not even knowing the difference between a semi-automatic and automatic gun. I’m not faulting them for this, since they’re just kids, but these are also the people that we should be listening to for answers, according to their movement. The kids who reject any and all security measures as being a “false sense of security” while also believing that banning some semi-automatic rifles will make them completely safe.

In trying to have discussions with the humans on Twitter, I’ve learned that if you want to “be a supporter” of these kids and their goal of more safety, you can’t say any of the following: ๐Ÿ™Š

  • You can’t suggest that they try to understand that the new security measures are “better than nothing” while they continue to fight for gun control. They don’t accept the increased school security, so neither can people who claim to support them.
  • You can’t point out that the clear backpack rule, if in place when the shooting happened, could/would have prevented the shooting from happening since Cruz and his bags wouldn’t have been allowed through security. You’ll be told that an AR-15 can’t fit into a duffel bag. (It can.) You’ll be told that he’d have found a way in anyway. (So all security measures should be just thrown out as being worthless?)
  • You can’t tell them that mocking the new security measures may be off-putting to people who want to support them. You’ll be told that they don’t want or need your support then. They’ll say that they didn’t ask for the new security. They’ll say that nobody has a right to say anything to the students about their opinions. (YOU WEREN’T THERE! THEY WERE!)
  • Their goal, when it comes to gun control, is to ban assault rifles. But you can’t question anything about that goal. I support some of what they’re trying to achieve, but I don’t believe that banning one particular type of gun will make them that much safer than they are now. But to support them, you have to support their goal of banning a small subset of guns, because they believe they’ll be safer.
  • And even when you are suggesting things that could help them achieve their goals, you’ll usually be told that your input isn’t needed… not by the kids, but by other supporters. “I don’t remember her asking you for your opinion!” “He seems to be doing just fine without your help!” “Your generation didn’t help when it had the chance, and we don’t need it now!” And they wonder why they’re getting less support, less media coverage, and a more apathetic response from the public in general.

One more thing to mention… they love using the age of the student activists to manipulate the whole situation. When people are dismissive of what the students are saying because of their age, hordes of people will come forth and comment how they are almost adults, almost able to vote, almost able to join the army, and are more mature than most “grown-ups” are these days. But if you disagree with something the students have said, or just appear to disagree, you’ll be blasted with post after post of people being “shocked” and “horrified” that adults would bully these children, that you can’t expect them to not act like kids sometimes because that’s what they are, and that people should be ashamed for how they are treating someone’s child. Yeah, it doesn’t matter if they’ve thrust themselves onto the public stage, and it doesn’t matter how foul-mouthed and insulting they can be… people attempt to portray them as untouchable. โ™ฟ Like a kid in a wheelchair who verbally bullies his classmates, because “Nobody will hit a kid in a wheelchair.”

I even had people get mad at me the other day because I commented about the school newspaper putting out a memorial issue, featuring the names and stories of the 17 people that died that day. I said that it was great to finally have a resource like that with all of the information in one place, because despite the activist students being on TV almost non-stop for a while, I rarely heard them mention the names of the people who were killed or get to talk about them. Part of that is because there is a limited amount of time in a TV segment, so it logistically just couldn’t fit most of the time… but yeah, I was praising the students who produced the memorial issue. One fella just wouldn’t let it go. He was legitimately mad, despite me praising the newspaper and being happy that I could learn more about the people who were killed. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I imagine it was because he doesn’t like when something potentially makes “the people that he supports” look uncaring or whatever. So despite talking about something that 99.9% would agree with – being happy to learn more about the fallen… he just kept replying and replying, pointing out that the kids said the names of the dead at the march in DC. Yeah. They did. That’s fine. I’m glad they did. But as I pointed out to him – I didn’t say they never mentioned the people that died, I just said it was rare enough that weeks later I still didn’t know much about them. I’m surprised he didn’t start sharing YouTube clips where their names were said, or demand that I share clips where they didn’t. People are just fucking nuts, man…

I’ve never seen a group of people that actively tries to eat their own as much as this bunch of humans. ๐ŸงŸ๐ŸงŸ๏ธ Half of the people barely know what they are talking about, and half of them don’t even care if they are wrong as long as they are being loud and people are hearing them. ๐Ÿคฌ The whole goal of student safety / safety for humans in general has been lost in the cult of personality, with movement leaders wasting time on boycotts when someone hurts their feelings – even when not related to gun control or the shooting… and then when security measures are put in place to protect them, they reject it – and in a way that magnifies how immature they really are, while they shout at the world that “WE TOLD YOU TO LISTEN TO US!” etc. I know they’ve had all kinds of behind-the-scenes help when it comes to PR, finances, and organizing things, but someone is dropping the ball right now – and something that could have produced real, positive changes has a chance of being forgotten like every other tragedy. ๐Ÿ˜”

Better Than A Telemarketer

Heh… should have seen that one coming… the moment I wake up, my phone rings. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Almost like my subconscious knew that a call was coming. ๐Ÿง™๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It was the fella that will be doing the litigation for my court case here soon, responding to the e-mail that I sent him late last night. It was a great conversation though, and he filled me in on all of the stuff that’s been going on lately, along with what his plans are for the upcoming appearance. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ I can tell he’s a smart guy, and he didn’t dumb things down for me, which I appreciated. (It’s nice to have a conversation about something of importance with someone who absolutely knows what the hell they’re talking about. ๐Ÿ˜…)

He also blessed me with the knowledge that I don’t actually have to attend. Almost like I assumed, if I were to go I would end up just having to sit there and listen, which I don’t totally object to – but I’d rather let them do their thing and not put myself through the stress and probable pain of driving up to Columbus in shit traffic and snow, possibly still feeling side effects from the steroid injection two days prior, and then sitting there on my hands for 15 minutes while they bust through their arguments. ๐Ÿ˜’ Even just writing about this stokes my stress, which then stokes my pain.

Oh, I think that was the only surprising thing that he told me… the very limited amount of time that each side has to present their argument. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ The magistrate will already have all of the paperwork that he really needs regarding my claim though, so oral arguments basically just act as salt and pepper on the main dish. But man, sometimes just the right amount of salt can make bland mashed potatoes taste awesome. ๐Ÿคค So, as usual, I’m cautiously optimistic. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ He explained in detail the angle that he’ll be going with, and it does sound pretty solid.

Like I was thinking though, the ruling on this case will most likely set a precedent that many, many more cases will eventually rely upon in the future. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I know that it honestly has nothing to do with me personally, but I’m still sitting here hoping that my case doesn’t end up being the one that causes problems for other injured people like me who will come along in the future. ๐Ÿ˜” Oh and get this, if the magistrate finds in my favorย – my former employer can still elevate this one more time, this time to the Supreme Court of Ohio. ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Just typing that sentence seems nuts. That court does have the option of telling them to just piss off though, so I guess there’s that. ๐Ÿ˜

This was probably the easiest that I’ve transitioned into “handling unexpected phone call when you can’t even do phone calls” though. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ Smart attorney who is also personable and is able to relate legal information to shlubs like me… that definitely helped. But between getting my brain topped up again and knowing that I don’t have to physically be in the courthouse for the process this time… that’s a call that I’m glad to have answered.

So Much Fuss

This is difficult. I have to go to court in about a week, in regards to the workers comp stuff that I’ve been dealing with for over a decade now. ๐Ÿ˜’ I have access to a crapload of documents that are directly related to this case, as well as information from past cases that may provide precedents that could either help or hinder the arguments coming from my side. ๐Ÿ˜ But in this instance, for this appearance, all of that information that I could start digging into… it wouldn’t really do me any good, and that’s what’s difficult. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Telling myself to just “let it go” because the attorneys are gonna attorney.

This particular phase has been elevated, because rather than just being about me trying to get a medication or treatment approved – this case is actually about whether all of the “powers that be” have been playing by the rules. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I don’t want to get into too much detail, so it’s hard to explain it, but that’s why my input isn’t going to be needed. Because it’s more about making sure that every “T” was crossed, every “I” was dotted, and every rule was interpreted and followed in a way that should meet the court’s approval. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ There really is quite a bit riding on this.

So I could memorize everyย related case that came before mine, I could write an impassioned speech that recounts the trials and tribulations of this frustrating process over the entire past decade… but none of it would matter, because none of it is required. ๐Ÿ˜• None of it would even be welcomed (at least as far as it seems to me) because this time it’s all about the proper administration of my claim. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ To be honest, I’m not even sure why I have to be there at all.

So yeah, I’m a bit anxious… one of those situations where the cards have already been dealt, but we have to wait a week to see who’s hand comes out on top. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s really starting to look like this might happen, too. It’s been delayed a few times for various reasons on both sides, but with the information dump that has happened and the lack of anything promising in regards to a settlement, I think it’s actually gonna go down on the date as planned this time. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Time to tighten my belts and keep my hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times.

(Did I mention that the trial date is two days after my cervical spine injection? ๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ˜จ Yay? ๐Ÿ˜…)

Abandoned Exploration

I’ve found myself getting lost in “abandoned buildings” videos on YouTube over the past week or two… and more specifically in the ones where everything was just left behind, as if someone got up and went to work one day and just never came home again. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I’m not sure why it fascinates me so much. It might be because, like Mom, I can look at any old home and imagine what life it used to hold. โ˜บ Families, holidays, birthdays, ups, downs, day-to-day boring life, just everything

I think the saddest part about these videos though is thinking about each of the individual items that people come across. Because you have to think… each item had a purpose, a reason at some point. ๐Ÿค” Some more sentimental than others, but yeah… whether it’s old photos, stuffed animals, dolls, toy cars, nick knacks, CDs or cassettes, maybe even VHS or 8mm movie reels… every one of those things has a story behind it, but now those things are forgotten by the world, dissolving to time. ๐Ÿ˜”

I think that I may relate a little too much to some of these videos. ๐Ÿ˜ Granted, it’s only because of the story that I create in my mind, but when you see an old house that is basically untouched – you sort of suspect that whoever lived there last was likely old and alone, with no kids to gift his possessions to, so for whatever reason the property just sits. That’s why exploring feels important to me, so even when someone is gone and forgotten by time, someone else comes along and does a great documentary and shares it on YouTube for those people and memories to live on.

It actually creates a moral dilemma for me though. ๐Ÿ˜’ The “rules” of urban explorers dictate that you take pictures, you take video, but you never take stuff. In theory I agree, because it still does belong to someone else, whoever that person may be… but I struggle with that rule because of the asshats that inevitably discover and vandalize such places. There’s just a large segment of the human population that would rather destroy the things that they find rather than appreciate them for what they are and what they were.

Most of the time it’s stuff that I wouldn’t even want for myself. Just stuff that deserves a better fate than to be overtaken by weather and nature and eventually destroyed. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Antiques, porcelain dolls, old books, and other vintage items… it would be so hard to not collect them up just to donate them away, knowing that they’d then live on in the hands of someone that appreciated them. But maybe that’s not meant to be their fate. Maybe, sometimes, our stuff is only meant to live as long as we do, and suffer the same fate once we’re gone. I dunno… I’ll have to work this one around in my head a while.


  • PS: Having watched enough videos to say this, I think that there’s a lot of folks who don’t know the difference between “abandoned” and “unused” when it comes to the buildings they come across. For example, if you find an office complex that hasn’t been operating for six months, going inside and going “Wow! Look at all this office stuff left behind!” I feel like you’re more “breaking and entering” rather than exploring something that’s truly been abandoned. I guess this hobby has lots of moral quandaries.