THIS.

Slightly Uneasy

Wasn’t really excited to go to my monthly doctor appointment for my neck and shoulder today, but despite knowing that I was going to get some funny looks – I did wear one of the extra little paper masks (that Cassi gave me several weeks ago) while I was inside the building, since it also houses several other doctors and emergency room services where people might be hacking and coughing. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ท

Luckily the place was the least crowded that I had ever seen it. I waited until right before my appointment time to walk in, so I didn’t have to mill around in the waiting area with the humans for long. ๐Ÿ˜’ (Plus it’s super big, and wide open… lots of room to stay away from people.) Not many clients in my own doctor’s office either, so it ended up being in-and-out without too much interaction with anyone.

And I know, people under 50 have a relatively low chance of having a severe or fatal reaction if they are infected by SARS-CoV-2, so not only was I being careful in order to hopefully avoid an annoying illness for myself – but also because I don’t wanna end up being someone who barely has a reaction to it yet unintentionally spreads it to someone else. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ (Mostly thinking about whenever I might go to visit Dad in the foreseeable future.)

Appointment went well, and my doctor took plenty of time talking with me about the topics that I’d bring up, just like usual. ๐Ÿ™‚ Things are still up in the air, but I gave him the basics about what’s going on with my WC claim and what changes might be coming in the next visit or two. It’s nice to be able to spitball some ideas with him and know that it’ll actually lead to something.

Meh… anyway… here’s some HD clouds from yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Unfortunate Opportunity

In the same way that it can be awkward to discuss “after death” financial topics with someone from whom you might be getting an inheritance, talking publicly about investment possibilities that are coming on the back of a stock market that’s plummeting due to fear of a COVID-19 pandemic… it does feel a little bit wrong, but the opportunities of a down market also cannot be ignored. ๐Ÿ˜

The Dow Jones has lost more than 12% of its value over the past seven days of trading. Unfortunately, the cause isn’t solely due to “scary thoughts” around the spread of the virus. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ With China being ground zero, the precautions that need to be taken and the effects that are already being experienced by the industries and workforce there… it was inevitable that markets around the world would reflect the disruption. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Global economies, global trade, global investing… it’s all great stuff, until it isn’t.

Before COVID-19 was even a thing, I had already started researching different types of investing that my family (historically speaking) never really took advantage of. ๐Ÿค” I’ve tended to use methods that I’ve seen work for my dad and my aunt, and they probably used methods that they saw work for their parents. ๐Ÿง It makes investing feel comfortable, but the returns are usually modest in comparison.

The volatility in the markets isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll have plenty of time to continue reading, learning, and eventually planning… even if “the plan” ends up being that I don’t change much of anything. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ And while loads of people have been cashing out, to “protect” their gains from the past year or longer, the farther the markets fall – the better it is for folks who are only just now wanting to get in. ๐Ÿคจ

I suppose I should mention that I’m not thinking about individual stocks when I’m talking about all of this. I don’t know enough yet to speculate on individual companies and their ability to bounce back. I’m thinking mostly about ETFs with holdings that are properly weighted to match gains / losses of the Dow. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค“

Historically, you’re on pretty solid ground if that’s what you’re invested in… but just as there have been extremely good years, there have been some really bad ones as well. More often than not though, the gains for each year have been remarkably good. (Which doesn’t mean a heck of a lot if you didn’t buy your shares on (and only on) January 1st of each year… heh) Meh… just kinda thinkin’ here… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ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

Improvement Over Time

Felt significantly better by the afternoon today, so I went ahead and made a quick run in town since I had some paperwork that really needed to go out by the weekend – and better to take it to the post office to make sure the postage was right, and to make sure it goes out ASAP, than to stick it in my mailbox and hope that a) nobody steals it before tomorrow, and b) the maild00d notices the flag and stops and gets it.

Speaking of mail and packages… Amazon guy sighed as DHL guy pulled in shortly after him. ๐Ÿ˜

img_0060(They both get my kudos for their “backing in” abilities. My driveway is barely distinguishable from my yard. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ)

But after they left, that’s when I made the run in town. I’ve been printing so much crap lately that I finally had to get more paper if I wanted to stay on top of everything. So I hit Family Dollar and grabbed a couple packs of paper, a little more “get by” food for the fridge and shelves (including some more pot pies and a jar of pickles), and then some name-brand Chloraseptic and more decongestant stuff to help fight off my crud. ๐Ÿ˜ท

Headed back home pretty quickly, since going out wasn’t even originally in the cards for me today… and for the rest of the evening I’m gonna do my best to disconnect my brain and just enjoy my Friday night. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ™„ I’m not gonna work on / worry about any of my car stuff, hearing stuff, doctor stuff, court stuff, etc… and instead I’m just gonna try to find some new movies to watch as I start straightening up the living room, kitchen, and my desks. ๐Ÿคจย Gonna keep all of my papers organized and ready to go, of course, but in a place where they aren’t always visible out of the corner of my eye, staying in my thoughts.

But getting my living room straightened up, getting the groceries put away, folding the laundry, getting things somewhat back to normal around here… it’ll help. ๐Ÿ˜Œ And I know it’s weird, but getting to truly “relaxed” is more difficult for me than it (probably) is for most folks… requiring just a little more effort, ironically. ๐Ÿ˜ At least for now. Hoping that as I knock down each of the upcoming responsibilities, the stress that waits with each of them will go away too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now to see if I can make myself wait until Monday to continue working on my statements… ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

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…

Two Good Stops

I waited and saved my Christmas visiting until the day after Christmas. First stop was at Pizza Cottage to pick up a pizza for me and Dad. We’ve been texting a lot, but since I’ve been sick for the past week and a half it’s been a while since I had been in for a visit. He got himself a new set of wheels, much better than the last one… took it for a test drive and it handles good and has a comfy seat for my crappy back. ๐Ÿ˜

After a couple hours there I had to take off so I could make it over to Bri’s and have some time there before it got dark. When I got there, Bri let me in and told me that the kids were out back in the playground / courtyard area, and as soon as I walked out the back door Brantley saw me and said “Hey Uncle Bobby, come watch me skate!” as if he had seen me just yesterday. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Last time he saw me in person was at his birthday in July, and before that… well, it had been quite a while… probably like a year and a half. ๐Ÿ˜•

The first three years of his life, I was around all the time. (Including his birth.) In fact, it was in my front yard that he learned to walk. ๐Ÿ˜Œ (Safer out there with nothing to run into, and mooshy grass for whenever he stumbled.) Plus, the Easter Bunny left clues and eggs and a basket here at my house for him, and he followed them all and found his way to the basket. There’s too much to mention – but it went from three years of me being around, then poof, he was with his dad for quite a while. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Now that he’s back home with his mom, I thought for sure that he would have forgotten all the time he and his mom spent with me.

But I went out to where he was skating… and falling… a lot… ๐Ÿ˜… and I said “Grab my arm if you want me to help hold you up.” and he replied “No, I can do it…” as he continued falling. ๐Ÿ˜„ But he was having a good time, and was proud of the little bits he was able to skate. Then we went to the basketball hoop and threw the ball around some. Two of his little girlfriends also came over to play, and those kids were sinking shot after shot, granny style. Shooting with my good arm and continuously missing, one of the girls said “You suck.” and I agreed. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She wasn’t being jerky, she said it in a funny way…

I had my iPad with me, so we went back to the porch where Bri was still sitting and started watching some of the videos of him from when he was here at the house doing this and that, and he really did seem to remember most of the stuff he was seeing. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I wasn’t sure that 5-year-old brain would have memories of 2 to 3-year-old brain stuff, but it seems like it did. He opened the gift that I got him, and then helped open his little brother’s gift since Bryson is only 8 months old and would probably take a few hours. ๐Ÿ˜

It was nice though… he took to me as if no time had passed at all. I guess everything I did when he was younger made a good enough impression, so that makes me happy. We looked at some more old pictures on the iPad, he showed me his tablet that he got, and he was playing a game that I actually have on my phone – so we got to sit and try to figure out some puzzles together. ๐Ÿ™‚ Granted, it’s Christmas, but still… he seems really happy there, and the fact that he remembers so much about me makes me happy too.

After watching the videos, he asked if they could all come back out to my house sometime. Heh… poor kid, my house is boring as shit… ๐Ÿ˜ but I’m glad that he liked it here enough back then that he’d wanna come back out now. Maybe I’ll straighten the place up a bit and have them over some evening to watch a movie or something. Oh, and I do have my shelf of collectibles (aka “toys“) to get into if he gets too bored. ๐Ÿ˜