Rambling Catch-Up

I’ve seen a few more articles recently saying that Ohio’s flu season is now “widespread” based on whatever numbers they use. I’ve gotta wait a couple days until I consider getting mine though, because I’ve got a bit of a chest cold right now. ๐Ÿ˜ท I don’t feel that bad, but I spent yesterday afternoon throwing up every other time that I’d cough up a bunch of “yuck” and it would get stuck in the back of my throat. ๐Ÿคฎ So I just took a nighttime cold med in the early evening and slept all the way through the night, thankfully.

It’s hard to get geared up for all of the early-January stuff I’ve got coming when I feel like this, so I’ll stick to soup and drink a bunch of water today and hopefully that’ll help. But I’ve got a doctor appointment coming up, a service date for the recall notices on my Fusion, paperwork yet to finish up for the Industrial Commission hearing, then continued work when it comes to the Supreme Court stuff. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Bleh. ๐Ÿ˜ Plus I definitely need to get a haircut before the IC hearing so that I’ll be looking my best.

I wasn’t on my phone after yesterday morning, due to feeling like ass, so this morning after that long sleep I woke up to messages from two different people thinking that I was upset at them for something. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s a problem of the current era’s “always connected” assumptions. Most of the time it’s true… folks are rarely separated from their phones… so the times when people do turn off or set aside their phone, you can see why people might think that they’re being ignored for whatever reason. But nah, I’m just trying to handle my things that need handled, and giving my body a break while I fight this congestion.

But as for the hearing, my attorneys should have everything that they need. There have been some recent changes in the medications that my doctor has prescribed for me, so I actually went up to Columbus and dropped off all that new information in person. It’s crazy… I started off my WC “fight” years ago with a single attorney in one of their satellite offices here in town, and now I’m visiting their entire floor of attorneys in downtown Columbus, since those are the folks who are now doing the heavy lifting. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I can’t even imagine what rent would be on the entire 10th floor of a building downtown.

And when I’m at the Ford dealership for the recall repairs, I’m gonna talk to them about the way the transmission is acting up. ๐Ÿ˜  I know how to reset the PCM/TCM to let the adaptive learning essentially start from scratch, learning the best idle point, shift points, etc… but I also know that they have the ability to flash the TCM with the most updated firmware, so I do wanna find out if there’s an updated version available for my car – and how much of a deal they’d cut me on that service if I also get my transmission fluid flushed / changed at their service department. ๐Ÿ˜

But the most recent hearing / court related mail that I’ve received, in their numbered list of notable “stuff” on the back, one of them specifically says that they do want to hear from the injured worker in their own words, and how that testimony is taken into consideration just as seriously as any other fact evidence that is presented. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I’ve already got a good start on the single-paged letter for the hearing, although I need to go through and remove anything that repeats itself or is “more emotion” than fact based… but when it comes to the Supreme Court, I’ve yet to get much instruction on what I may or may not have to do. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It could very well be that the evidence will speak for itself, much like when it was going through Franklin county’s court system. (You should see the organized piles of papers for this shit on my couch… heh)

It kinda sucks… I know that most folks around me don’t have any idea about all of the stuff that I’m doing “behind the scenes” with all of this various crap, and many of them probably think all of my time is just free time – because why wouldn’t they? They know I’m not working, they know I’m not in a relationship that would be taking up my time, they know I’m rarely out visiting any friends, etc… but yeah, it ends up being a problem sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜• People are so used to me being almost instantly accessible, or able to help them with whatever “thing” they need help with… but like this week, I’ve had to keep one of my cousins on pause all week while I handle my own stuff, and while I hate to do it (he wants me to help him with a resume) my stuff has to take priority. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But at least he’s already aware how a lot of my crap has settled in to the first half of January, so he probably understands.

So yeah, if people can’t reach me right away, or don’t hear from me as often or as quickly as they think they should… I hope they can keep it in the back of their mind that it’s probably because something else is taking up my time, and not because I’m just sitting here ghosting everyone “just because.” I swear, this is probably half the reason I keep as few close friends as I do, just because I know I don’t always have the time or energy to devote to them (in communication or in person) as they’d deserve or expect. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I disappoint the least amount of people this way. ๐Ÿ˜ Okay, unfortunately I’ve got some shit to do…

Seeing Some Happy

Wasn’t feeling great when I woke up this morning, before friggin’ dawn, but throughout the day things got progressively better. It helped that early in the day I got some good news from one of my friends… where upon opening her mail she learned that she regained full custody of her son. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜Š This is definitely one of those “not my story to tell” things, since it’s pretty personal, but yeah… it was nice to see that the system finally did its job and justice was served.

As unfair as many of the past instances with the court have seemed, I don’t think anyone expected that favorable of an outcome. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ She deserves that outcome, so don’t get me wrong, but after so long you start to doubt that the system is capable of doing what’s right. So it’s gonna be a busy and exciting weekend for them… ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ such a big change, almost out of the blue, but he’s already super happy – so it’s just a matter of getting all the logistical stuff ironed out and them getting used to the new “new.” ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really excited and happy for the both of them. This is how it should be.

Then later in the evening Rick came over to work on my busted garage door. One of the springs broke quite a while ago, but with the various other stuff I’ve been dealing with – honestly it wasn’t that high on the priority list, so today just ended up being the first convenient time for him to mess with it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ He makes it all look so easy… especially to someone with a left arm that’s basically worthless when it comes to any kind of manual labor. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ Didn’t take him long to get new 2x4s up where they’re needed and the new springs installed.

(There was more to it than that, w/ the cables, guides, track aligning, roller adjustments, etc… but yeah…)

The only glitch (for the moment) is that he wasn’t able to find any springs locally that match the ones that were originally on it. ๐Ÿ˜• These days, garage doors are made of super light material… but my garage door, a “two-car garage” garage door… is made of thick wood and weighs too effing much. ๐Ÿ˜„ So despite buying the strongest springs available, the old 1/3 HP garage door opener just wasn’t having it. It can lower the door, but to raise it again it requires someone giving the door a manual boost for the first part of the raising cycle.

But his suggestion sounds good to me. New garage door opener. The one that’s installed now is probably at least half as old as I am, and wasn’t really meant to handle a door as big and heavy as this one even when it was new. So I’m gonna look for a more powerful replacement over the weekend, and between that and the new springs – we’re pretty certain everything will work as it should again. ๐Ÿง๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป And like many things in this house, it was probably past-due for replacement anyway, so I’m all for this solution.

Talking with him while he worked… there’s not much he hasn’t done when it comes to building, remodeling, installing roofs, electrical work, deck builds, garage doors, well installations, etc. You name it, he’s probably done it. In fact he just recently quit his job at Lowe’s to completely go into business for himself. ๐Ÿ˜ฏย That takes some balls, but he knows the right people… not only to have continuous jobs lined up, but also having a good group of folks that he can pull into those jobs depending on the needs or specialties.

Plus, Amy will be able to work from home, helping with the behind the scenes stuff like scheduling, accounting, and much of the other You have to do this now.” legal / payroll / insurance / etc type business stuff. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ–จ๏ธ Really hoping this works out for them, ‘cuz it’s gotta be a pretty good feeling to work when you want, where you want, on what you want, while having only yourself and your clients to answer to. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Chugging Along

Not quite the break I was hoping for this week. More documents from the lawyer, hearing is going to be scheduled, couple of tires losing air every 3 or 4 days now that it’s cold, and now my furnace is acting a bit wonky. ๐Ÿ˜• I didn’t act on much of that yesterday, but today I went out and got a set of tires ordered, dropped off some paperwork, and scheduled a furnace repair person to come out and give it a once-over. And both the tires and furnace stuff won’t happen until next week, so… awesome. ๐Ÿ™„ย (He said, sarcastically.)

Aired up the tires, so that’ll likely get me through the next few days, and as for the furnace… it works, mostly, but every now and then the blower doesn’t seem to want to come on and it just cycles off almost immediately. ๐Ÿง๐Ÿค” Luckily, as long as I pay attention, I can heat the house up and then just turn it off before going to bed, just to be extra safe, and rely on a couple of space heaters. ๐Ÿฅถ Still… not really something I wanna be dealing with along side all of the other crap, but that’s just how it goes I guess. I’m almost starting to get used to “crap” falling around the same time, since that’s how it usually seems to happen.

I guess that’s good? ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Meh… more “nothing” days please. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weather Complications

Gen’s trip to Ohio ended up being a bit of an adventure. โœˆ๏ธ The original plan had her taking off from NJ, landing in NC with a half-hour to catch her connecting flight, and then onto Columbus. But for whatever reason, their plane landed in Charlotte only a couple of minutes before the connecting flight took off… so anyone that was continuing to Ohio missed their flight. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Ÿย ๐Ÿ›ซ American Airlines obviously knew they screwed up, and had everyone quickly booked on the next flight out to Columbus, but the result was that she ended up getting here about an hour and a half later than anticipated.

It was almost 4pm by the time we were leaving the airport, and that’s when the flag placement ceremony was supposed to beginย – so we didn’t even really try to hurry, assuming that we were just gonna miss it. (And that was the main reason that she was coming to visit.) But as we were heading to Lancaster, she was texting with Toni (who was already there) and we learned that the crappy weather and other “opening remarks” type stuff had kept everyone inside one of the buildings at the fairgrounds ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ƒ and that we’d possibly be able to make it in time for the flag placement after all.

The first couple of flags had already been handed out by the time we were pulling in, but it worked out so that they called Dad’s name just as we had parked and joined everyone standing there. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Couldn’t have cut it any closer. ๐Ÿ˜Ž They go alphabetically, so that meant there was still plenty of time before Uncle Rick, Grandpa Shepherd, and Genesee’s dad’s names were called. Any other year that would have been great, but this year… whoothe weather, man. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Ominous dark clouds, half drizzle, half sleet, freezing winds gusting so hard that people were struggling to hold their flags… it was just awful. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ (They had a huge eagle on hand as well, and he wasn’t too thrilled about things either.) ๐Ÿฆ… And as much as I’d have liked for Dad to have been able to go… at least when we were talking about it in the daysย prior… I’m glad that he decided not to. With the flight delays, getting there late, mother nature going crazy, and him not feeling that great over the past few days anyway – he definitely made the right choice. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Other years that I’ve gone, loads of people would sit in the stands, listening to the names, ranks, wars, etc as they waited for their person’s name to be called. But there was no sitting this time. The bleachers were cold and wet, so everyone just huddled together… enduring the weather until they could place their flag and then flee to their car. ๐Ÿš™๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ I don’t blame anyone… it was just unfortunate that this year’s event didn’t have the same “feel” as previous years because of all that other crap. ๐Ÿ˜•

We did end up going back through there the next day though, when the weather was much nicer, to see how many flags were displayed – and to pay the proper respect to the whole thing that none of us were really able to give the day before. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿง๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ We did take a handful of pictures on the actual placement day, and boy do they not convey what the experience was actually like. ๐Ÿ˜ย (But of course once everything was overย the weather calmed down considerably.) We’re still fortunate to have made it though, since this is the first year that we had flags for Dad and Gen’s dad – so it would have sucked if we weren’t able to place them ourselves.

Okay, it’s been a busy couple days, so I’ll follow up soon with an entry covering anything else worth mentioning from Gen’s stay.ย I didn’t even do half as much as her… but I’m out of juice. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Mini-Vacation Visitor

Disregarding how the entry below this one probably sounds, things haven’t been that bad around here lately. The way that all of my “shit” usually finds a way to land on my schedule all around the same time, this time it’s the opposite – and I’ve found myself with a chunk of time where I’ve got no doctor appointments, no WC stuff to work on, no immediate need for attorney communications, none of my few friends needing anything from me, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad it worked out that way, because Genesee is gonna be in town for a few days starting tomorrow and it’ll be nice to not have to work around any other obligations while she’s here.

The weather isn’t looking ideal for it, but she’s visiting so she can attend the Freedom’s Never Free ceremony tomorrow at the fairgrounds. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ In past years I’ve gone with Toni and her family since they had a flag to place in remembrance of Uncle Rick’s service as well as one for Grandpa Shepherd. But this year, Genesee ordered a flag for her dad, and helped me get one to place for / with my dad as well. ๐Ÿ˜Š It’s a very inclusive thing… for any branch of the military, it doesn’t matter if the person is alive or has passed, and I think they even said that flags can be ordered and placed for “first responders” like firefighters, police, EMTs, etc.

Hopefully the weather will be tolerable enough that Dad will want to go, but the alternate plan is that me and Gen will still go, take some video, place the flags, and then go visit with him afterwards. And once the flags are purchased, they stay with the organization and are used again in each of the following years’ ceremonies. It’s amazing how many flags are added each year, and I think that even for the folks who don’t care to think about / talk about their service time, it still must be a nice feeling to get some recognition for what they did – even if multiple decades have passed since then.

(Especially for Vietnam vets, considering the reaction from the public that many of them got upon returning home… something that I didn’t truly understand the awful extent of until a handful of years ago.)

But she’ll be in Ohio until Sunday, and we’ve got a couple of small plans for things that we want to do, and then she’s got plans with other Ohio friends as well, but all of it will have to be played by ear due to the weather and the relatively short amount of time she’ll be around compared to her other visits. ๐Ÿ˜ฏโฐ But it’s nice that this visit is for something good, and not because of someone passing away, or because I’m recovering from a surgery and need babysitting or whatever. ๐Ÿ˜

And I’m a little jealous that she’s getting to fly here and back home. I’ve been watching so many different airline / pilot themed YouTube channels lately… (Mentour Pilot, Captain Joe, VasAviation ATC, 74 Gear, CargoSpotter, etc.) giving myself the itch to take a cheap day-flight down to Florida and back or something, basically just a joyride… but between those videos and having not been on a plane since Jim and I went to Kansas years ago… hopefully she gets a window seat so she can use ReLive to record the path of her flight. ๐Ÿค“ย (Not sure how it’ll handle the speed / altitude as it tries to plot the path on its animated map.)

So today I’m just taking it easy. Not gonna even do any light work around here, ‘cuz a lot of times it doesn’t take much for me to unintentionally screw up my neck, shoulder, or knee to various degrees. ๐Ÿ˜• It’s only a few days, so I wanna do what I can to make sure I’m good and can keep up with whatever we end up doing. In fact, she’s actually gonna help me dump the small bags of gravel out by the mailbox, as well as help me take the old mailbox off the post and get the new one installed. ๐Ÿ™‚ I could probably manage both of those things by myself eventually, but since she offered… I guess I’ll take the help. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I gotta get better at that. Accepting help. Because I’m at the point now, more than ever, where I actually do need help with a lot of things… and more often than I’m currently willing to admit to others and even myself. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Stupid pride. ๐Ÿ˜

Thursday Mission

Woke up stupid early yesterday so I could help out a friend. She’s been in an ongoing custody “disagreement” with her former SO for quite a while now, where they’ve each been representing themselves in court due to how expensive an attorney can be. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And without having a lawyer on her side, while things have been going in her favor, it’s just happening so slowly. With another hearing coming up in about a month and a half, she knew she had to start doing something differently, so I looked up a few places that claim to offer pro bono representation for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.

She’s got an aversion to talking on the phone, just like me, but on Wednesday I encouraged her to start making some calls… and by that afternoon she had spoken with someone at SEOLSย who seemed open to the idea of taking her case, or at least hearing her out and looking at all of the information to figure out the best way for her to proceed. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that evening I printed out all of her case information to date, a ton of things meant to show that she’s the “more ideal” parent, and got it all sorted and organized in a way that would make it easy for an attorney to look through. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ“’

So then yesterday morning I picked her up to take her to the closest SEOLS office serving Fairfield County, which is unfortunately way down in Chillicothe. ๐Ÿ˜’ I left the house around 9:30a, and by time I got back home it was after 3p. That’s a long friggin’ time (for me) to be out and about, working on a stressful project… even though, obviously, she’s the one bearing the most amount of that stress. I just really want things to go well for her, and being familiar with the frustration of facing hearings with unknown outcomes, the empath in me kicked in and I couldn’t help but feel many of the things she was feeling. ๐Ÿ˜•

I didn’t go in with her when she actually met with the attorney, but she said things seemed to go well and that it felt more positive than negative. He made copies of all of the information that he needed and said that he wanted to talk to some folks who specialize more in custody cases on Monday… so while things sounds good, she’s still gotta wait a few more days before she’ll know for sure if they will provide someone to represent her. It was worth the trip regardless, because at the very least they’ll be able to hold her hand through what she should do next, even if they end up not being able to actually be with her on the day of her hearing. I’m gonna stay hopeful though, because having an attorney could make all the difference.

But I was wiped out by time I got home. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ I’ve done very little “out of the house all day” stuff lately, and especially for something that’s as “high stakes” as this. And of course helping her with her legal stuff kept my legal stuff in the back of my mind… the upcoming WC stuff, that is… and starting off the day so early, with my shoulder already bugging me, all of the time in the car didn’t help. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ But it was a small sacrifice to help her with something that could end up being a game-changer in the long run, and I knew that I’d have all day today to recover if I needed to.

Well, my body didn’t wanna wait until today. ๐Ÿ˜ Shortly after getting home I knew I wanted to take a short nap, but also not screw up my sleep schedule. But my nap lasted until the evening, and when I did wake up I went ahead and took my evening meds and thankfully ended up falling back to sleep – not waking again until a little after 6a today. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ So I’m just now starting to catch up from messages from all day yesterday, but I’m gonna wait a while to reply so I’m not waking people up as early as it is.

I’ve still got a friend or two that gets concerned if I don’t reply in an undefined amount of time. That’s thoughtful of them, but boy I wish that folks in general would consider that even the most nerdy of humans don’t necessarily get online every day, or multiple times a day… and that sometimes whatever is going on during a particular day might cause messages to be ignored until the next. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Yesterday’s situation was based on necessity, but I still do wanna try to take “days off” from the digital world every now and then… a luxury that younger people these days probably don’t really have. Imagine taking a teenager from today and transplanting them to 1985, during summer break from school, living out in the country, with only a landline telephone as means of keeping in touch with friends. ๐Ÿ˜…

Heh… another “old fart” thing to add to the growing library of “old fart things” in my head. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿป

Some Today, Some Tomorrow

Woke up to my neck feeling all janky today… either from sleeping on it wrong, or just from the building stress of the last few days. But I still dragged my ass out of bed with intention today, determined to get some of the stuff on my mental to-do list done. It wasn’t until I was getting ready to leave the house that I realized it was 92 effing degrees outside today. The heat still takes a little more toll on me than it used to, and along with the neck / headache shit – I ended up scaling back my goals just a bit.

First stop was gassing up the Fusion and topping off the air in the tires, then to the bank, then to the post office – to mail out that report for my attorneys. I wish I could snap my fingers and it would just be there, but I’ll have to be okay with them getting it tomorrow and then finally actually looking at it at the start of next week. I’m gonna give Jim a call though and leave him a message, letting him know that it’s coming.

And then since my car has gone from “change oil soon” to “oil change required”, I figured I should go ahead and get that done while I was out today. It was like I suspected though… and why I like these new guys that I go to for service… he said the synthetic blend that I got last time could have actually lasted me many more miles, and the car was only crying because I forgot to inform it that it got synthetic this last time, and didn’t increase the mileage interval before it starts squawking at me. But yeah, for an oil change place to say 7,500 miles on synthetic is cake, and even 10,000 wouldn’t be that bad… that shows some honesty that you wouldn’t always expect.

But by the time the oil change was finished, the base of my skull was thumping and I was feeling pretty meh due to hanging around in the heat as I waited, so I decided that was enough “on the go” chores for the day. Hoping I’ll bounce back overnight tonight, so I can finally go get my hair cut and schedule an eye appointment tomorrow.

Ugh… I hate that the workers comp crap is still in the back of my mind though. Today is a good example of something that would be used against me. “Look! He admits to working on his car!” (Because they’d count putting air into my tires as work.) And if I didn’t specifically state that I took my car somewhere for an oil change, they’d probably claim that I didย that myself as well. And of course, regardless of whether I mention any levels of pain or not, there’s this strange “Robert admits to performing multiple chores, including multiple stops at various locations throughout his day.” kind of stuff that’s obviously intended to imply something…

I guess I just thought that I was past the point of having to justify doing things that I simply have to do, or pointing out every time that something causes me difficulty or pain each time I do it. It hurts to do certain things, such as folding laundry, standing and doing dishes, etc… but of course I still have to do those things. I’m not sure how pointing out that I’m still managing to get by, despite my disability and pain, somehow makes me the bad guy. Meh… but anyway… I’m okay with what I was able to accomplish today.

EDIT: After I finished this entry, I remembered something else that annoyed me enough to come back to add this. Weeks ago I learned that Skillet was having a concert at the end of September in Columbus. However, I’m not going to that concert… a concert by one of my most favorite bands… because it’s a general admission show, and it would simply hurt too much to stand and be bumped around for that hour and a half. I’ve fought with myself, trying to make myself go, but I chose not to because I don’t want to hurt. I think I even made an entry where I wondered about “disabled seating” for folks like me… but in the end, despite it being a show I’d desperately love to see, I’m not going. My life is a constant balancing act because of my disability and pain… sometimes I have to do things that hurt (like chores) that I don’t want to do, but I have to. Sometimes I choose to do something fun, despite knowing that fun thing will likely cause me pain… and I think that’s okay too. But then there are examples like this – where I really wanna do something, but I’m not willing to pay the pain-equivalent of “the price of admission” to do it, because I’m that concerned with avoiding extra pain. Yet the legitimacy of my disability and pain is still being questioned, year after year after year…ย  fml.