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Monday, July 27, 2015

Controling what I can control

Given that my life will be turned upside down (again) when I go on days in August, I decided the only thing I can do is exercise control over those things I can control.  I was (am?) tired of my body hurting when I moved very much at all.  I was backing away from things because I was afraid to put my back all the way out instead of just hurting a little as it was every day.  So, I joined Planet Fitness.  I joined that gym for several reasons.  No contract, low buy-out fee, gyms near both where I live and where I work that are open 24 hrs., and low monthly fee.  Gypsy (On the Road Again) has been my inspiration (see side bar) for just how much better life can be if I just take control.  Also, when I started back walking every day my back pain started to minimize.  So far so good.  I've gone 3 times, and the constant pain is pretty much gone.  I'm easing up to the machines, but so far so good.

Also, like most everyone on the internet I've been reading a lot about the decluttering and storage methods of Marie Kondo.  I haven't read the actual book yet.  She recommends putting all of a like item (such as ALL your clothes) in a pile and picking up each item and asking if it sparks joy.  I haven't gotten that courageous (or fool-hardy!) yet, but I did fold all my tshirts the way she recommends and it does make a difference.  For one thing, I can see each and every one of them when I open the drawer.  It makes me feel more at choice which one I decide to wear that day.  It isn't just what was on the top layer.

The decluttering is part of a deeper plan to get free of having so much stuff.  The amount of stuff I own has driven so many of my life decisions in a direction that wasn't optimal for what I really wanted.  Stuff costs money to own.  It costs emotional energy to maintain and store.  So, I'm in deep decluttering mode in order to move forward.   A friend at work has a place to donate household goods so I'll be going through all my cookware, pots, pans and skillets , mixing and storage bowls, spatulas and mixing spoons, small appliances, and so forth.  I have a lot.  Hopefully within the next few weeks I'll have less.

All this is part of the plan not to be dependent on work.  As I get rid of stuff I can look into being more mobile.  As I sort and shred paperwork I can clear my mind and get my resume and job-seeking skills honed.  I'll control those things I can control as I move towards moving to a space of choice rather than a space of taking whatever I can get.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Still kerfluffering

About the time I thought things were settling back towards the middle again, a new wrinkle has appeared.  I'm being moved to days, weekdays at that.  I'm not to see it as a punishment, but an 'opportunity'.  Right.  Turn my world upside down and expect me to act grateful.  I am on nights to get away from a mid-level manager I do not get along with.  He likes to prod me and pick fights.  Things settled down when I got away from working with him at all.  Now they are making me go back.  But, it is not a punishment.

I am looking around for more stuff to get rid of.  Looking for more ways to save money to pay off the debt.  I am about a year from being really able to make a move.  I hate being this vulnerable, work enjoys that they have me caught by the... uh... have me caught.  I will work on my resume tomorrow night.  I have been spitting mad for 4 days, my eyes burn like I've been crying except it is that I am just so livid.  I made myself sick the last night of work this week.  My partner is going to try to push to keep me on his shift as we work well together.  However, the powers that are want to show me they can, uh, mess with me whenever they want.  I don't hold much hope.

So, I haven't posted, until now.  I'm still so angry. 

Friday, July 03, 2015

Just when I think things are going ok

A kerfluffle in the works.  Nothing major, but request good thoughts.  I'm getting tired of how difficult all this work stuff gets over stupid things, but that is how it goes these days, I guess.  More push for me to just get rid of things and downsize again, this time to an RV.  Pondering retirement as a real option.  Not sure how realistic it is right now, but folks are living on less than I have.  Hope this is just a dip in a life that was starting to get settled in for once.  I have on 'good authority' that 'no one' will hire me because I'm 60yo now.  May have to test that opinion that was handed to me as a bald fact.  I'm just tired of the games.

Not one of my better posts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Geek Alert - proceed with caution

I think I mentioned that I got a new laptop:  i7 fifth generation CPU, 12G of ram, 17" screen.  Windows 8.1 (I'm slowly circling closer to it, still don't particularly like most of the changes) with Dragon speech recognition software.  Kinda cool to just say "hey, Dragon, shut down the computer" as I walk away and it does!  Other commands, not so much.  Just realized I should have done this post by verbally dictating it to the new laptop, but I'm still on my old(er) desktop for pretty much everything but what I bought the laptop for.

What did I buy it to do?  Well...  In my job I need to get more conversant in databases.  To be specific, Oracle, Sybase, Netezza, and SQL databases.  I say conversant because I'm not creating databases, designing them, tuning them or anything else an actual DBA would be doing.  This actually totally frustrates the actual DBA folks who work with me.  However, I need to know how to peer into the belly of the database and diagnose the symptoms presented to me in the form of incident tickets.  Oracle does a fantastic job of making itself available for download free in the form of virtual machines (files that when opened in proper software look and act like actual separate computers) and I needed more horsepower to do that.  I want to try things before jumping on Big Customer's production servers and running commands that could cause another big market crash if I caused the server to incinerate itself.  Seems like a good idea anyway.

Oracle is covered, or will be when I get over my rising panic to actually open up one of the downloaded virtual machines and start playing.  The really nice thing about this setup is that it is just a file.  If I incinerate it, I just load another copy of it and off I go.  I need something similar, or maybe at least a good recommendation on books or videos on Sybase, and maybe an introduction to Netezza.  To be honest, I haven't done much research to see what is out there.  I've kinda been occupied with the Oracle side.  I was hired, or rather moved over to this side, based on my SQL knowledge, but we haven't taken that over yet.  It is just a matter of time, which I need to use to brush up on  the details of the interface.

These are the things that try to keep me off the street and out of trouble.  I did manage to wrestle the laptop to the ground and get a backup image of it before downloading the virtual machine software to it.  There is a nice, free utility online called Rufus.  I was able to get a thumbdrive  to format as a bootable device and then use my imaging software to image the original setup of the disk on the laptop.  That was step one.  In case I end up incinerating the entire OS.  The process wants tweaking in that I want a larger thumbdrive (128G...) so I can put the image on the thumbdrive instead of needing an external usb drive also hooked up to take the image.  Too many drives available and it is just a matter of time until I try to take an image of itself and incinerate the wrong thing.  This is the voice of experience.  There is a reason I'm so paranoid about backups.

I warned you.  This is the side of me I don't write about much.  I haven't done much in several years is another reason.  This is actually fun stuff for me.  I'm weird in other ways as well.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rainy day in Algodones

The backup pair of glasses I've been wearing for the past couple of months because they are the only ones I can see out of now fell apart again on Thursday.  A problem with having the only set of glasses that I can see out of break is that I can't see to fix them.  I went into work using a pair that I can see distance sort of ok, and pleaded my case with my younger co-workers.  One of them got the lens back into the glasses and finangled his way to getting the frame tight enough to hold it.  I knew it was time for new glasses, though.

I decided to head to Algodones early on Tuesday.  It means that I have to switch to a daytime awake slot, but that is the only way to get anything done.  I got to the casino at the interstate turnoff to Algodones around 6am and did pretty well at the machines until a bit after 9am, when it was time to head on down.  I looked out and it was raining.  I'd hoped that it would just stay cloudy with just a spit or two of rain, but my luck didn't hold.

Deciding again that it was best to just get wet (I don't do umbrellas) I walked over into town.  I had enough cash for glasses and maybe a dental appointment if the new dentist I want to use was available, and if I could find her office.  I was immediately escorted by the extremely helpful and friendly guys at the crossing into town to the first optical place inside the gate, and checked out their frames while discussing price.  I just didn't find any frames that tripped my trigger.  I extricated myself (not easy once you are inside usually) and started walking.  Constant friendly young(ish) males kept attempting to guide me to the best/cheapest dental/optical places.  It kind of creeps me out that there are so many combination optical/dental offices.  I guess it makes sense for there, but I'm thinking that jack of all trades, master of neither is what comes across.

I managed to get far enough into town that I was basically left alone, and found a place that looked a bit larger than most of the optical places.  The doctor and receptionist were busy helping an older, hard of hearing gentleman get the idea that if he was not happy with his current medical doctor in Yuma, that the optician was recommending a good Mexican doctor.  The gentleman was loudly repeating his woes with his US doctor, and the optician was gently bringing him back to the piece of paper with the Mexican doctor's information on it.

I took the time to check out their frames.  Nothing was grabbing me, but I was able to get a good feel for the options.  Once I had their attention, the doctor and receptionist checked out my glasses and told me that because of my somewhat complex prescription using the lightweight polymer lenses and with all the coatings I wanted it would be $300.  They don't do contacts like I want.  I do believe them (and not just because I was told the same thing at another place) because they were not really interested in wheeling and dealing.

Basically I decided to go ahead and get my exam here in Phoenix and try for the new contacts to see if I can wear them comfortably.  I may go back for glasses in Mexico, or order online.  I feel I would get a good exam at the place I checked in Algodones, but I couldn't get contacts in the US from his prescription I don't believe.  So...  back at square one for the  glasses.

I found the office of Dr. Eva Urena, the dentist I think I want to do my implant.  She is basically out of the office until August.  Makes sense that this would be her vacation time as the gringos who make up most of the customers in Algodones are fewer and far between in the summer.  So, I'll call them early in August to start that process.

It was still raining as I made my way back across the border and to my Jeep in the parking lot.  I dried off as best I could and headed home, via the Paradise casino in Yuma.  It is hidden (don't let the sign at the interstate fool you as it fooled me).  My GPS managed to find it, and I now know where downtown Yuma is located, as well as the old prison. I lost what I was ahead from the other casino, but overall walked out even for the day.

By the time I got home I had been up for over 24hrs.  I slept for about 4 hours, got up as long as I could stay awake, and after sleeping (cat napping really) all day I got up at my usual time this evening.  I'm thinking work will be difficult to stay awake for tomorrow night.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Taking a break

Everything is ok, I'm just taking a break from blogging.  I am making some changes, and trying to learn some new things, or more that I'm learning the same things in a deeper way, for work.  I bought a new laptop with bunches of memory and a state of the art cpu and it is kicking my butt just trying to get a backup of it in my usual way.  I also truly hate Windows 8.1.  And Skype won't let me log in with my account info, it demands I create a Windows account for ALL my stuff.  No.  There are other video chat programs out there.  When I can get a backup of the original install of this Windows 8.1 I'll take the laptop to Linux, or make it dual boot or something.  But, I digress.

I lost a good friend lately.  He was one of the folks I wrote this blog for.  He didn't comment, but I would get an email right after I posted.  He set me up for a lot of the adventures I ended up having, both in the Virgin Islands, and later because of that travel when I was open to Honduras.  Rest in Peace, Dave.  I'll drink a bushwhacker for you in St. Thomas overlooking the bay at some point.  I'm picturing you waiting at the bar in Dayton, holding the table for the rest of us as we straggle in to get our yearly steak dinner at the Hamfest.  At one point I had hoped this year would have been a reunion for some of us who haven't been back for a few years.  Won't be the same any more.

So, I'll be back sometime.  Just need to shift gears and hibernate for a bit.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Back in the Groove

My sleeping is back on track, solidly on nights now.  I'm actually looking around the mobile and starting to slowly make some progress on projects.  Not the throw, though.  2 rows in and I need to rip back yet again.  I was ready to give up, but upon consideration I'm going to keep at it till I end up with an afghan, or the yarn is worn out, whichever comes first.

I'm starting to take interest in things again, music and reading and studying Spanish again, and generally just waking up.  Been a long time coming.  My back even stopped hurting.  I'm taking multiple walks each night on my nights off around the mobile park here.  Just listened to the video on Lloyd's blog (sidebar) of Willie and Merle singing 'It's all going to pot', and was bouncing and smiling along.  Good to see them still enjoying making music.  Lots of their outlaw co-horts are not around anymore to sing a chorus with them.  I felt them there, though.  Johnny, Waylon, et. al.

I had dinner with Sandie and Jim Dixon and Paul (?) on Tuesday night.  It was fun getting to know them.  Well, I think I got kinda wordy and did most of the talking.  Once I wake up now its Katy bar the door, get a drink and get comfortable.  On Monday night Mom and I went out with Favorite Neighbor, her son and daughter-in-law.  They left for parts North on Tuesday morning.  So, the park is officially quiet now.  At least this street.  I ended up putting the trash cans out a day (night?) early, and then figured who cares at this point.  The summer folks are a live and let live group.  Both nights I went out we ended up a Farmer Joe's Grill down on Ray Rd.  Good food, and nice outside seating.  Now that the snowbirds are gone (or leaving...) it is quiet there, as well.

Cats are fine, Mom is fine, all is well.