Month: April 2018

Stuff and nonsense

Reading Time: 4 minutes

stuffandnonsensecream_logo20copyI’ve been thinking (as always) about how much stuff I have accumulated over the years. Even when I was younger, I always tended to have a messy room and my mother was always on me about cleaning it.  As I grew older, the more things I accumulated. Clothing, toys, knick knacks and just -things-.  When I went to college, it got to be a little less of a problem, since I was storing things in 2 places.  In my college dorm, and at home.  The home thing wasn’t so much of problem, as I would only come home a couple times a year, and my parents were paying the ‘storage fees’, ie, they owned the house.  Then my mother died in 1989, and my father by then was already well into his Alzheimers.  In 1992, when my brother and I finally decided to do something about the living situation, given that our father was likely going to end up in a nursing home (it wasn’t the most graceful of solution, and even today I think it was more due to my brother wanting to get the family fortune) we were faced with what seemed like an insurmountable problem.

Roll-off_box_sizesFor better or worse, my parents were terrible pack rats.  Hoarders, if you want a more modern term.  We both knew that our mother liked to store things, and when you have a house that has a little under 2,000 sq ft (185.8 sq m), that’s a lot of space to store things in.  And boy, did my parents know how to make ample use of that space.  When we were starting to go through the house and rented one of those dumpsters that people put construction waste in, we got a 10 cu yard thinking we’d be ok.  Were we ever wrong!  Managed to fill that one in less than a day.  After having that one picked up, we ended up having to rent THREE more of the 20 yard dumpsters before we were all through.  And actually even that wasn’t sufficient as there were still items in the basement that we weren’t able to figure out what to do with.  If I recall correctly (it has been 26 years since we sold our parent’s house) we ended up auctioning off the antiques in the basement.  The remainder of the things were left where they were, for the new owners to decide what to do with them.

Even so, there was a lot of stuff that was saved, some of which my brother took with him to his new home (and eventually sold off for one reason or another he informed me last year) but as for my stuff, it’s been in storage for the most part.  The table that was in my parent’s kitchen is now in my dining room, the dining room rug is now in the front parlor and so on.  Some things are repurposed, others have been stored.  My wife on her own has done the same thing with the items from her parent’s house, she has her own storage space about the same size as mine with a lot of items that neither of us seem to have a use for.  But we can’t seem to bear to part with them, even though for the most part we don’t have any logical use for them.

I was talking to my pet a month or so ago, and when I talk/text I tend to doodle on a piece of paper that sits on my closed laptop here at my computer desk.  One of the doodles involved storage fees that I’ve spent over the years.  In the 26 years of storage, I’ve moved the items four times.  In all that time, storage fees have racked up to about $22,000 USD.  Yep, that’s a lot of money.  Could well have been spent on a lot of other things, vacations, home improvements, the works.  But I can’t bear to part with my stuff.  Maybe that’s nonsense, maybe it isn’t.  But I’ve resolved to start doing some paring down this summer.  I’m getting older, and there’s a good amount of things there that could be rehomed, and needs to be dealt with.  I need to work on my future, not just concentrate on the past.

We’ll see how it goes.

Decisions, for better or worse

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the last 39 hours I’ve dealt with what seemed like excruciating pain from my ankle, only to have it abate over the course of the last day.  I’m still at a loss as to what originally caused it, since I don’t actively recall twisting it in such a way as to cause it to hurt so.  Though in my addled brainpan I seem to recall it hurting somewhat as I was ascending the stairs to the bedroom at about 4 am on Wednesday, having been rousted from the couch and propelled up there rather unexpectedly.  4 1/2 hours later, there was pain where there hadn’t been before.

Now, if I had gone to bed originally when I had intended, around 11:30 the night before, it’s entirely possible that I could have avoided the whole sorry affair.  Or it very well might have happened anyway.  Such is the way of decisions, even when you’re not necessarily making them consciously.  We all have those moments when we think “should I go left, or right?” and then make our choice and go with it.

This morning when I attempted to call in sick (yes I know what I said the night before) I was faced with a further dilemma when it came to my attention an executive was due at my workplace and TPTB (The Powers That Be) would prefer if I was there.  Could they have gotten along without me?  Sure, they could have, it’s not as if the workplace was swamped by any stretch of the imagination, my being there didn’t increase sales by a large quantity (if at all), but they wanted to put on a good show, so they needed everyone they could get to be there to do so.

As it turned out, it worked for the better, since the pain, while palpable in the morning (even the wife noticed I was limping as I left the bedroom at 6 am) slowly went away over the course of my workday.  Where I was definitely noticeably favoring my right foot in the morning, by mid-day it was feeling better and I was putting more weight on it.  By the time I left work around 4:30, I was able to go up and down stairs quickly and nimbly, something that was quite impossible just 8 hours before.

Of course now, at a few minutes before midnight I’m faced with the same situation.  Which of course my wife referenced before she went upstairs about 10 minutes ago.  Stay up and sleep on the couch eventually, or go to bed.  I think in this instance I’m going to choose the latter, and cross my fingers (and toes) there’s no return of the ankle pain.

As an aside, I noted on a friend’s blog she was nominated for a 3 Quote Challenge thinger.  In the same vein, I give you Benjamin Franklin:

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”

Off to bed.  Good night, Neverland.

Ankle Update

Reading Time: < 1 minute

For those of you following along, I woke up this morning, and the ankle felt better, but obviously not completely healed.  I wasn’t able to put my full weight on it, so I debated calling in.  After texting with my girl, I thought it might be better to call in and allow it another day or two to heal before going back to work (scheduled day off tomorrow).  So, I called work.  And was told that one of the VPs was coming to visit the workplace, so it was a really REALLY good idea if I didn’t call in sick.  So, against better advice, I’m going in.

Wish me luck.

I’m running out of swear words…

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This morning when I woke up (after being chased to bed at 4 am by the wife) as I rolled over something felt wrong in my right ankle. Shit! Pain! I thought it was a momentary thing, but oh no, it continued to hurt. What the heck did I do to myself this time? In bed? By sleeping? It’s not as if I was running a marathon or something, or twisted it going upstairs (or down), the damn thing just HURT.

Upon getting up, it seemed no better. Hobbled a bit to the bathroom, figuring a hot shower would rectify the situation, loosen things up, and all would be well. For certain, the hot water felt good, and for the most part I’ve been able to put weight on it. There’s no tell-tale swelling, it’s not purple or any other odd colors, it just hurts. The shower done, the next thing to do was to support it. I don’t have an ACE bandage, but I DO have vet wrap, which is a lot like sports tape, so that did the trick in the interim. I had my wife assist me as elevating the leg at angle to get to the offending ankle wasn’t too good, and actually allowed me to (under my breath) utter a few more choice epithets.

Fortunately I had a chiropractor appointment already today, going to my GP wasn’t going to be an option as he doesn’t have office hours on Wednesday (figures, right?). With the vet wrap on, I wasn’t able to put a sock over it, but I did manage to get my shoe on, though I had to try it a couple of times before it worked. Seeing as Wednesday is trash day, I had to get the garbage to the curb, and that involved going down to the basement, as the litter box needed emptying. At the bottom of the stairs there was a puddle of kitty yack, so I had to clean that up as well (Thanks, Rochester!) That chore done, by the time I got back in the house wife was coming downstairs, and we needed to get on the road.

A fortunate happenstance is today is one of my days off from work. So I have at least 22 hours to work on being ready for tomorrow. Yes, there’s a 99% chance I’m going. Unless they’re hauling me out in a bodybag or on a stretcher, I go to work.

I opted to drive. The shoe helped with the support issue and before leaving I had taken 2 Aleve, and they were assisting with the pain management. On the way to the chiropractor’s office I was continually stretching my foot here and there, because when I drive my right foot has a tendency to stiffen up and I wanted to be as limber as I could get it by the time we arrived. Got there with a couple of minutes to spare and the wife went in for her adjustment as I contacted my girl via text to let her know I’d made it all right. She and I had texted and video chatted (my idea) earlier. So she was on board with the knowledge that things weren’t perfectly ok here in Leathers Land.

The wife of course had mentioned to the chiropractor that I have a problem with the ankle (I was going to tell him if she didn’t anyway) and he took a few minutes to move it this way and that, asking me if it hurt when he did. He couldn’t seem to find any particular reason as to why it was hurting me, just suggested I get something with a little more support at the local pharmacy, and ice the ankle once I got home. He predicted that it wouldn’t be so much of a problem tomorrow as it is today, but if it was, I should see my GP, which I was planning on calling if the problem persisted. But, it’s good to have someone else in the medical field confirming what I already suspected or at least thought.

After finishing up there we went to the Walgreens nearby and then the local hot dog stand to get some lunch, and opted to come straight home after that. When I got home, I iced the ankle a bit, 10 minutes on the top, and then 10 minutes on the bottom, while watching a really weird movie on Netflix called ‘Beyond Skyline‘. I thought it was going to be interesting, but once the first human had their brain removed by an alien, that was sufficient for me. I switched to something more familiar and ended up dozing off on the couch. I did wake up in time to wish my girl a good trip, she’s going to a local munch (though a pox on the woman who said she’d accompany her and then cancelled at the last minute, that was a shitty thing to do!) and confirm I would be up and about for when she got home and send her to bed safe and sound as per our ritual.

It’s dinner time now and the wife is puttering in the kitchen. Rochester the pretty good cat is letting me know it’s his dinner time too. The ankle still hurts, but it’s ensconced in a compression sleeve. And it’s time for some more Aleve! Hopefully tomorrow it will feel better. Though I might have to Google more epithets.

RIP Harry the Hat

Reading Time: < 1 minute

When Night Court came on the scene in the mid 1980s, I already knew Harry Anderson from his standup career.  But he was rather unique in his comedy and I really liked his style.  He dressed well for his act, and he didn’t use a lot of raw language when he did his bits.  He had also appeared on Cheers, and later on had his own series called “Dave’s World” that didn’t last very long, but he always stayed rather humble when it came to being an ‘average guy’, he didn’t let the fame go to his head.

I heard this evening that he passed away from natural causes at the age of 65.  Thanks Harry, you were one of a kind.

It’s been a long road…

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I woke up this morning from a dream, about my past, present and it was about work.  It felt so real to me, that when I woke up, I was a little disoriented, so much so, I almost picked up the phone and called my workplace to see if I was indeed needed the way the dream had been telling me I was.  Fortunately, I didn’t, as they would have thought I was out of my gourd.  Which of course has nothing to do with this entry, just making an observation about my morning.

My girl and I are separated by distance.  Not a huge distance, actually in the last several months, through an effort by her, the distance has been shrunk by about 3 hours of driving.  I think she’s in a better situation now, being away from a whole host of negative influences and she has a brighter future ahead of her.  Better job, better prospects in many ways, but as with anything like that, you have to keep the ball rolling towards the future that one wants to build together.  I’ve been listening to my playlists on Spotify, and one song hammered that home for me a little more.  It was used as the theme for the television show Star Trek: Enterprise.

It’s been a long road
Getting from there to here
It’s been a long time
But (our) time is finally near

It’s a powerful start to the song, but it really speaks to me of the time that we’ve spent in our lives, before finding one another, and then the time that we both spent afterward, as we were working out the kinks, finding common ones and building a relationship, even one that had a few nicks in it after some speed bumps.

It’s been a long night
Trying to find my way
Been through the darkness
Now I finally have my day

And I will see my dream come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more
No they’re not gonna change my mind.

Rather hard to put a better spin on that than what it already says. We’ve been through the darkness, we’re going to touch the sky, it’s our due. Just looking towards the future and seeing what we can build together to get it. Our dreams are going to be built, and no one’s going to be changing our mind. This is for us. I’ve spent too many years waiting, and saying ‘next year’.

Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
No one’s going to bend nor break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith
Faith of the heart

I’m going to leave that as it is. Call it the text version of a mic drop.

It’s been a long road…

Not the only game in town

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Over the last few months my pet’s vehicles have undergone a series of problems, and try as we might, we have had only a moderate amount of success in correcting them. Recently, I was again reminded that when you think you have but one option in terms of vehicle repair, it’s not always the best choice.

I will warn those reading though, that I’m in NO way faulting my girl for how she reacted, what she did previous to Wednesday’s escapades. She did what she did because if she did it a different way, she had a pretty good idea what would happen.  Involving me tends to mean a different thing instead of handling it on her own.  It’s just the way I am.

I might as well come right out and say it.  I’m no fan of Wal-Mart.  I honestly believe the company as it was in the beginning, (when Sam Walton was alive) wasn’t out to be the biggest conglomerate in the world.  Or the worst corporative neighbor you could expect to have.  It just ended up that way.  Considering their corporate narrative, they want to eliminate all competition in any area they operate in.  Being the only game in town doesn’t always help your customers.  Especially when you offer shoddy service and products as their only option.

Case in point:  This past Wednesday my girl informed me that she’s been having problems with her primary vehicle.  The front end had been wobbling and she wasn’t sure that one of the front tires might not fall off.  While this is distressing to hear in and of itself, I was aware that less than a month ago, she’d had the vehicle serviced at the local Wal-Mart Auto Center.  And they managed to screw it up.  So she went back.  And supposedly they fixed the problem. Except they didn’t.  They actually made it worse.  Now I’m 6 hours away by car, so there’s no way I can look at the vehicle myself, I have to rely on her to take it somewhere else to be looked at.  Fortunately, she had recently talked to a neighbor in her apartment complex who recommended a tire place nearby that did good service.

Upon going there, she’s informed that not only did Wal-Mart screw up the rotation the second time, they did it so badly that all FOUR tires on the vehicle now have bubbles and might not last another 2 months, even with a proper and balanced rotation.  Holy expletive!  At this point my girl is about at the end of her rope.  She doesn’t have the emergency funds available to buy four new tires, the fellow that owns the tire place said he -could- get used tires, but it probably would only (at best, which I agreed) a stop-gap measure.  So in the near future she’d have to get new tires.  To his credit, the owner of the shop did give her a free rotation, which isn’t exactly inexpensive.  I talked to him on the phone several times during the whole ordeal and I got the impression that he’s a good and responsible business owner.  He definitely understands the need to do a good job if you want to have repeat customers, and he reinforced my own understanding (after 30 years of my own in retail) that repeat (and satisfied) customers are your bread and butter.  Only after getting off the phone was I able to look up his business online and he does have pretty stellar reviews.  You don’t get that by screwing your customers.  Or doing shoddy work.

At a certain point I made a decision in my own mind.  I don’t like the idea of my girl being in a bad situation, and she needed to have these tires.  She was going to get them.  For me, basically a ‘damn the cost, it’s going to happen‘ mindset.  Granted I don’t have enough cash on hand to splurge on four new tires, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to fix a situation.  So I went ahead and got them for her.  I talked to the fellow again and was reassured he was going to get it taken care of that day, instead of making her wait for an interminable amount of time.  Unfortunately he wasn’t able to do it the next day due to a personal issue (his shop had recently been burglarized and he was due in court so he had couldn’t be in 2 places at once) so he was going to get it done that day.

After making sure the transaction was accepted, I hung up with my girl and she contacted me a bit later to let me know the owner called and had the tires to put on her vehicle.  Surprisingly, he managed to get it done in about an hour (4 new tires, taking the old ones off the vehicle, removing them from the rims, putting the new tires on, balancing and making sure everything was ok with them takes a bit of time I know for a fact) and he disposed of the old tires for no fee.  So we definitely made out pretty well for this, though I’m still in many ways upset with Wal-Mart for screwing my girl not once but twice.  I impressed on her that she might want to contact their corporate office and file a complaint, due to the imposition that the put her in, not to mention the cost.  They really shouldn’t get off a scot-free.  Too, I highly recommended that she post a positive review on the tire place’s website/Facebook page, so others can see that they did good work and can rely on them for good work.

Wal-Mart says they pride themselves on being good neighbors.  Good neighbors don’t treat you like that.  At least in my experience.