Catching Up

I’m going to try and practice my brevity with this entry… πŸ™„πŸ˜

Furnace repair job is done. First thing was the blower capacitor that absolutely needed replacement, the second thing a couple days ago was replacing the intake fan and motor. It was still working, but it was drawing too many amps for what it was rated at, plus you could actually see cracks and “forming damage” which would have been dumb to not have replaced as well. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜• Sounds different now, but runs as it should, has a little better output, so hopefully that gets me a few more years with it.

Since I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping, I actually decided to hit a few thrift stores. I bought a janky little radio / tape / CD / record player unit. I mean, it’s small and generic, and was probably crap even when it was new – but the record player part, the tone arm hadn’t even been un-twist-tied – so even though the other stuff looks in rough shape, I’m hoping the record player will work with my sound system just for Christmas vinyl playing this year. πŸŽ„πŸŽΆβ˜ƒοΈ

I also got a factory sealed, “damaged packaging” Kenmore microwave at half the price of retail. (They had a bunch of various models, probably from a pallet purchase) An almost imperceptible teeny dent on one edge, but my old one was struggling after years and years of use – so the $39.99 was worth the risk. ☒️😳 I should probably try to actually cook something in it today before I get too cocky though. 😏 But she looks nice sitting there with all of the lights and LCD stuff actually working.

New tires have been performing well. Not only do I not have to air them up once every week or so due to leakage, but I can also actually feel a difference in them when I drive on wet roads. I’m glad to have swapped them before the snow really gets here. πŸš—πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ» Took the car through the wash the other day so it would scrub off all the grease pen marks and tire mounting goo, so they’d look like normal tires as they should.

Gen got me a couple more security cameras for my birthday, so I’ve been moving them all around a bit, getting nearly complete coverage of my outside property – and indoor coverage in all the places where boogers might try to sneak in. πŸ“Ή (And no, they aren’t Ring cameras) I don’t really worry about break-ins or even package theft, but at least the lawn guys and Amazon people won’t be able to sneak up on me, eh?

So all of that stuff above has helped reduce some of my stress, so on days like this I can just chill and not be dwelling on everything. Tomorrow gets busy again though. Gonna go see Dad for a short visit, then my doctor appointment – followed by a “fingers crossed” (as always) trip to the pharmacy, along with a few other misc things depending on how “up to it” I’m feeling.

I’m also anticipating getting mail from the Industrial Commission before the weekend with my hearing date, but I’ve not been dwelling on that either. Once I get the time and date, then I will sit and put the finishing touches on my argument / case – should I even be asked any questions or offered the chance to speak. πŸ™„πŸ˜’ And speaking of mail, I finally have my drill, my bits, and all the appropriate pieces of wood, screws, washers, nuts, etc – that I should be able to swap the mailbox this weekend. πŸ˜„Β (Y’all need to understand my fear of how much pain this could cause, should it not go as easily as I hope.)

Okay… I know that’s a lot of paragraphs for allegedly trying to be concise, but I really did write this differently than I normally would – trying to leave out smaller details and avoiding elaborating… because all those things could have had way more detail or “story” to them. πŸ€“ Plus, this covers like two or three weeks worth of crap. Weather is still causing havoc with my joints, despite avoiding as much movement in the gimped areas as possible. πŸ˜’ Still annoyed by that every day, but also still reminding myself that a lot of folks have it a lot worse than me, so I try to keep the self-pity to a minimum.

Don’t Sweat The Uncontrollable

I’m glad the weather was nice this afternoon, because I had to go into Menard’s and order my garage door. Rick did all the measurements and research to figure out exactly what was needed, and at the lowest price possible… so that’s all good – but it’s still stressful to go out and deal with the weekend crowd, going to the counter and ordering something that I know nothing about, and swiping the credit card to begin the wait until it is finally delivered. πŸ˜• I can’t help it… it’s just one of those things that I can’t do myself, where I just have to hope it doesn’t end up being a hassle for Rick, when now that we’ve gotten started on it – I’m really wanting it to just be done.

The door itself wasn’t that expensive, but then of course the labor for taking the old one out and putting the new one in is where it’s gonna get me. Obviously Rick’s not gonna screw me over… I mean, the “patchwork” stuff we tried first, he hasn’t even charged me for any of his time or effort on all that… so it’s just the sitting here and wondering if it’ll go exactly as it should, easy peasy, or if random shit will pop up to make it a pain in the ass. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So going in town and ordering the door was about the extent of my plans for the day, and I’m gonna spend the rest of the afternoon and evening mostly away from the electronicals, watching football and trying not to stress about something that I’ve got no control over.

Gotta get caught up on the mail tonight, plus I’m actually looking forward to grabbing my notebook so I can start making a more official list of stuff that I either want or need to do sometime in the near future. πŸ€“πŸ““ Not just the mandatory responsibilities like the upcoming doctor appointment, hearing prep, and work on the couple of things around the house – but also stuff that I just sorta want to do in order to keep things feeling like they’re moving forward. πŸ§”πŸ»πŸ‘‰πŸ» Like, I had a pretty good phase where I was packing and sorting stuff for a theoretical / eventual move from this place, and I’d sorta like to get back into the habit of doing a little bit more towards that each day.

I also haven’t done much of anything “just for fun” lately, so I wanna inventory whatever goodies I’ve got that I haven’t taken advantage of just yet and hopefully get them on the schedule. πŸ™‚ (You know, hobbies… like normal people have.) For example, Genesee got me two different gifts last Christmas that I haven’t put to use like I’ve wanted to… one being a music box where you can punch holes in a strip of paper to create your own songs, and the second being a ViewMaster type photo slide-reel viewer from a place that will turn your own photos into reels to view. I actually have a 3D digital camera, so I could make true 3D reels for that thing – but I’ve felt so buried by other stuff that I’ve just never allowed myself the time to just go shoot some pictures and make some reels. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ

But the “cancer concern” stuff is basically on an extended pause at the moment, so once the furnace is confirmed 100%, once the garage door is replaced and working with the new opener, and once I get through the upcoming workers comp hearing (yet to be scheduled / whether I win or lose) … once I get through some of those “heavier” things I wanna have an idea of what lighter, fun stuff I might wanna spend some time on. πŸ™‚ I know there’s always gonna be something heavy, whether it’s my stuff, a friend’s stuff, family’s stuff… so getting organized in a way where I can still allow time for some of that frivolous stuff anyway – it’s something that I have to keep working on when it comes to myself.

But there’s a good game coming on at 4p, then the OSU game later in the evening, and between watching those two, doing up the bills, and working on a couple different to-do lists of varying importance – honestly I’m hoping to be comfy in bed (and possibly even falling asleep) before the Buckeyes game is over… at long as they’ve got a comfortable enough lead. 😏 I’ve noticed that the days following the nights where I’ve gotten a ton of sleep actually do seem to be a little easier, so I’ve tried to make that the norm rather than the exception over the past several weekends.

Good Days = Still Remarkable

Today was a nice, uneventful day. Having caught up on my sleep over the past couple of days, I woke up in a pretty good mood so I decided to head in town to wash the car and pick up some pop, bread, and other misc. $13 seems a little steep for a car wash, but I’ll give the place credit – as cruddy as she was when she went in, she came out shining as if someone had washed her by hand. 😎

Next time I’ve just gotta remember to spray on some wheel cleaner that I’ve got, and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes, because that’s the only part that remained somewhat cruddy. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Even the dryer section completely dried her off, unlike the freebie wash that I sometimes get from the dealership. Oh, for reference, it’s that barn shaped car wash out by the mall… can’t remember its name at the moment. πŸ€”

I also took the opportunity to stop in at the new Ohio Thrift there in the Plaza shopping center. It started as a furniture place, then turned into a thrift, and then it was vacant for several years before this new one moved in. Nice place, lots of variety – likely due to it being part of one of the bigger chains from around Columbus. πŸ˜ƒ I doubt that much of their inventory came from the area, with as much as they had in there.

I had the 360 camera in the car with me, just in case my motivation held up, but walking around the thrift store ended up being enough exercise for me. πŸ€• So I just took a short drive through the fairgrounds and Rising Park before heading back home, but that did give me the chance to stick the camera to my roof and get two recordings. πŸ€“ I’ve had that camera for quite a while but haven’t put it to much use due to this or that, so now I’ve at least got a couple of clips to mess around with as I re-remember how it all works.

Trying to think of a use for that camera did make me kinda “meh” again, thinking about not being able to ride a motorcycle anymore. πŸ˜’ Using the fairly heavy duty selfie-stick that it came with, if it was mounted off the back seat or fender of a bike (sort of like a kid would have a goofy orange flag waving off the back of a bicycle) it would result in some impressive looking footage. 🀨 The stick is digitally removed automatically, so it would look as if I had a drone following behind me the entire time – but with the ability to “look around” in any direction that you wanted at any time. Meh…

It’s weird how there are things, things that I can’t do anymore due to my shoulder, that I’ve gotten over… and this is a good example. I tried a short ride a few years after my surgery, but I could tell that if anything unexpected happened, I just couldn’t count on my left shoulder to do what it might need to do. πŸ˜³πŸ˜• And for those who aren’t aware, bikes are friggin’ heavy… so not only would riding hurt, but it would have just been a really bad idea anyway. πŸ˜’ So yeah, having that bike / camera idea pop into my head for a split second, before remembering that I can’t ride anymore… those unexpected reminders just suck sometimes. 😟

But no worries with all that. πŸ™‚ Like I said, I’m quite happy with how today went. Grabbed some kitchen supplies, hit a thrift store for a few “new” shirts, took a joyride through the parks, and got to mess around with yet another camera. And with the way people drive in this town, I wouldn’t trust half of those assholes to be around me while I was on a motorcycleΒ anyway. πŸ˜› Similar to my dash cam, I bet most riders these days have some sort of camera on their bike or helmet. I know that I sure wouldn’t ride without one.

Hoping that “good days” keep coming along, to where they no longer merit entire blog entries… 😏

See, I’ll Still Ramble…

I had a good day out of the house yesterday. Well, afternoon anyway… did some “chore” running that I had to do, stopped off at a couple thrift stores, and then went out to visit with Dad for an hour or so before heading back home. πŸ™‚ Did quite a bit, relative to the same time several weeks ago, and it didn’t take too much out of me… but I did fall asleep way too damn early yesterday. πŸ™„πŸ˜ It wasn’t that “drained” type of sleep… I just went back to the bedroom early, figuring I’d watch a couple movies before I sacked out, but I ended up actually falling asleep around 7pm. 😴

Woke back up at midnight, watched the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies (since I watched the first one again a couple days ago), then fell asleep near the end of the last one and didn’t wake up until around 10am this morning. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ So it’s 11pm now, I’m in bed, and I’m tired – but not sleepy – so I really have no idea when I’m gonna fall asleep or when I’ll wake up. πŸ€ͺ Luckily the only thing on my agenda tomorrow is going out to see Bri at some point. She’s one of my friends that I didn’t want to see me in as bad of condition as I was for those several weeks, especially considering that she lost her mom to cancer last year. 😟

Two totally different kinds, so any symptoms shouldn’t be compared at all – but I just know that if people saw me during the really bad week or two, they could definitely get the wrong idea about how good or bad I was doing. 😳 But anyway, I’m feeling “better enough” now that I don’t think I come off as “concerning” anymore… at least no more than usual. 😏 So I’m 99% sure I’ll still end up seeing her tomorrow, it’ll probably just be later in the day than I was thinking when I talked to her earlier. She’s great though… and a little frustrated with me at the moment… because like she repeatedly tells me – she’s been through the worst of the worst with her mom, so she doesn’t want me to feel like I have to hide anything from her for her sake. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

But my little thrifting trip… it was productive as well. I got a couple shirts, picked up some cheap stereo speakers for Cassi’s receiver that she got, and then found this strange, lone drinking glass with the silhouette of just a woman’s black hair and old-school glasses. 🧐😯 It immediately reminded me of Mom… from a few of her photos when she was really young… and when I showed it to Dad, unprompted, he immediately saw the same thing that I did. 😊 So that was kinda neat, and such a random thing for me to have spotted on a shelf where I normally wouldn’t have even been looking. I’ll have to take a better photo of that glass and then find one or two of the pictures of Mom that it resembles. πŸ™‚

Even more random, Genesee was heading back home from a trip she had taken with her family over the long weekend – and at the same time that I spotted that glass, she sent me a photo of an exit sign that they had just passed under, showing that they were only a couple of miles from the Atlantic City Expressway. 😊🎰 So, yeah… even though I think about her every day, it seems like Mom wanted to make sureΒ that she definitely got our attention that day. πŸ™‚Β And it worked…

μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”

There was one other day where I allowed myself to do something a little frivolous. It was already something that was going to be a little bit outside of my comfort zone, but then we had to completely change our plans. 😳 The original plan was for me to go up to Columbus and pick up Cassi from work, so we could then head over to Arirang Market – which also has (or had) a restaurant in the back that serves authentic Korean food.

We went into the store and I asked the fella at the front if the restaurant was open yet, since it was only around 11am, and he said that the restaurant is no more. πŸ˜• It’s a shame, because they had a ton of variety, at good prices, and they had all sorts of good reviews on the various sites. But since we were there, in a Korean market full of authentic Korean foodstuffs, we decided that we could just buy the stuff that would allow us to make our lunch and dinner from scratch. πŸ™‚

In no particular order, we got kimchi, tofu soup starter, yam noodles, seaweed, soju, red pepper paste, rice, sesame oil and soy sauce, eggs, chicken and cabbage rice dumplings, rice cakes (for soup), and then a few misc snacks and a couple pairs of metal chopsticks. We were excited, because between the music, the travel and foodie videos on YouTube, the differentΒ TV shows, the picking up of the language here and there – I dunno, it just felt like we were taking our next step in the appreciation of the country and culture.

I made the soup meal on the first day, including the kimchi… and while the kimchi was pretty awful, the tofu soup, noodles, and rice cakes were tolerable. 😐 Not good, not bad… it just kinda was what it was, and that would be something that neither of us necessarily needs to try ever again. πŸ˜… On the next day we teamed up in the kitchen, with her making the fried rice from scratch, and me frying up the chicken dumplings in condensed broth. Now that meal was amazing. 🀀 Part of it was because I was super hungry, but no… it really was amazing. I ate until I was beyond poofed, and I still wanted to keep going.

Granted, that was probably the furthest from “authentic Korean” and towards “normal food” that we could have gone, but it still counted as Korean. 😏 And neither of us were that bad with the chopsticks, either. From both days there was enough left over that I was able to send a decent sample of it all back up with Cassi so her mom could give it a try. And she agreed with us when it came to the dumplings and rice, for sure. (I forgot to send the kimchi… which is probably a good thing for her.)

Short North Adventure

As is typical any time that I go out and do something fun, the first half of the day was spent dreading the idea… the waiting, the getting ready… but once it was in progress it was exactly the distraction that I needed for the evening. This “hang out” was even a little more significant than usual, since not only was it me, Jim, and Adam… but Brad came along this time, and so did Rick. I’ve been the missing component, but it’s been a long time since all four of us hung out together. It’s nice still having friendships today (even if the communications are a bit less) that were formed decades ago.

Brad’s currently living in a group home near Bremen, so I went and got him before I headed up to Columbus. Jim already has a long way to drive just to get to Columbus, and there was no sense in him going all that rest of the way to get his brother. He seems to be doing really good there, and that makes me so happy to see. Brad’s been through some shit, most of which is his business alone… but it was good to see him doing well, and the drive to and from was actually nice thanks to the conversation.

The main “spot” for the evening was a store called Big Fun in Columbus’ Short North. Adam had been there a time or two before, and he wanted us to see it – so that was where we met up. Man what a store. I don’t think there was a horizontal or vertical surface in that store that didn’t have some sort of kewl vintage toy, doll, or game on it – and that’s not even counting all of the different retro spaceships hanging from the ceiling. You could spend an entire day in that store, looking through the glass cases, digging through the tubs and drawers of vintage toys and goodies – and you’d still probably not have seen everything.

Transformers, GoBots, HeMan, SheRa, Thundercats, Voltron, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, My Little Pony, Smurfs, MUSCLE, Care Bears, GI Joe, Batman, Superman, etc. Loose things, boxed things, NIB things, pieces for things, things with all their pieces… there’s just no way a few paragraphs or a few dozen pictures can even start to do that place justice. So yeah, Adam was definitely right… that place is truly amazing. (I’m even considering offloading a bunch of my own shit to that place, should they make the right offer. Better than eBay’ing one piece at a time…)

After that we walked up to the Short North Food Hall. What a bizarre place that ended up being. 😳 We knew it was a restaurant. Actually, it was several restaurants, all cooking out of the same kitchen… multiple burgers, dogs, philly steaks, fries, tots, pizza, nachos, subs, varieties of tacos. But when we walked in there was club music playing, and we could see that a huge bar occupied the center of the interior. Okay, great. But then in the seating areas all around the bar… children. And lots of ’em. Parents, drinking at the bar, while their children wandered around inside. 😧 Granted, most of the kids were with family that were just eating… but what the actual eff? Ohio law allows a big-ass bar to have probably two dozen children just hanging out, eating, wandering around, sometimes looking lost? πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

We all ordered different stuff. My tacos arrived in about 10 minutes. Adam’s burger and mac and cheese took 30 minutes. Jim’s burger and tacos… well, at least his burger… 45 minutes. And Rick and Brad’s food took nearly an hour. 😠 It was completely inexcusable. Oh, and they forgot Jim’s tacos, so he had to wait even longer for those. Adam finally gave the manager a piece of his mind, and she just replied about how many people were there, and how most people come here and chill before they plan to eat.” 😐 So, see, we were doing it wrong. πŸ™„ Thinking we could order food and receive it in a timely manner – or at least at similar times for our party of five. Heh… Adam was livid, and plans to contact a higher up tomorrow… I think he felt sort of bad, since that’s the joint he originally chose.

But it was all fine… “adventure” as I said, a couple times on our way back to our cars. The toy store was amazing, walking around the Short North or campus is always interesting, and despite the clusterfuck with the food – it was all really good. We had to hustle back to Adam’s car, since his meter had run out a half hour before we even got out of the “food hall” but luckily no ticket. So we parted ways, I got Brad back home, and got my happy ass back home as quickly as possible. The whole evening probably passed my brain’s tolerance point by about an hour, so I was ready to be home when we had only just gotten to my car to leave. 😬 But I’m home… home is good… mmm… home.

Amish Country

So, the very next day after all of that dumb shit happened around my doctor appointment, that was the day that we had already set aside for going up to the “Amish Country” up in NE Ohio. 😐 The entire evening before, I was still livid – so I already knew what my plan was… stay up all damn light, do as much research and “planning” regarding my WC stuff as possible, and then as soon as the sun came up (as long as Genesee woke up early)Β we could be on our way. πŸ™‚ And that’s actually pretty much how it went, thankfully.

I’m not sure how I did it… all of it… but the trip was a success, we had a good time, I kept my mind fairly free of the previous day’s drama, and I also didn’t feel myself falling asleep until we were about a half-hour from home. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Despite it being off-season, and rather gray and plain up there, we still made it a “full sized” trip – leaving home around 8a and getting back somewhere around 7p. 😧 And I even made myself to stay awake for several more hours, which allowed me to force my sleep schedule back on a “normal” track. Honestly though, I give all of the credit for anything “good” like that from the day to Genesee. (Actually, she gets the credit for that for the entire duration of her trip here. 😏)

I drove, so we did the official Batina path and itinerary – as if we were traveling with Aunt Carol. πŸ™‚ I’m not gonna spell check any of this… but we started by going up through Charm, then to the Guggisberg Cheese place – where I got some gummy bears and meat sticks, over to Miller’s Bakery – where we stocked up on cheese crowns, followed by a short drive to Hershberger’s farm store – where there were unfortunately no flowers or critters, but I did get some Amish sweet pickles, and then it was off to Berlin for a stop at an antique/craft mall and thrift store, along with the mandatory stop at Heini’s Cheese – where we taste tested all sorts of weird cheese and fudge, and I left with some co-jack and green onion varieties… 😳 and then the last stop was at Wendell August… the place where they create every type of carved and stamped metal “thing” that you could imagine. 😊

Dinner was also at the traditional Aunt Carol place… a huge pretty-much-Amish-style restaurant / buffet – where we both poofed ourselves on potatoes, noodles, stuffing, shredded chicken, rolls, misc salad goodness, etc. 😁 It was too cold to sit out on their long wrap-around porch to un-poof a bit before hitting the road again, and we were starting to lose the light anyway – so we decided to just keep moving. (We took 77 south to 70, and even stopped off at Gabriel’s in Zanesville… and I’ve got no idea how I summoned the energy for that.) Then we took 22 to Lancaster from Zanesville, basically cutting a south-western path that saved us quite a few miles compared to taking the freeway over to Millersport and down. πŸ€”

It wasn’t an ideal trip on paper… off season, cold, no sleep, having already been busy all week… but it ended up being perfect. ☺ Got all the goodies that we wanted, kept myself distracted from anything that might have made me angry, had quite a few flashback memories from different trips with Aunt Carol and my grandparents, and the “goody” from the trip lasted through the evening, even after I was home and Gen was off to her next stop. πŸ™‚