31

Phone interview this afternoon. We’ll see how it goes. The position looks eerily-similar to the one I took in the summer of 2007. If I could get back to that money with those benefits, I’d be very happy.
One of the podcasts I listen to talks a lot about how people haven’t had a raise since 2005. Yeah? I resemble that in light of my descent since January 2013.
There’s very little I have to show for the past ten years of work, certainly for the last five.
On top of it, I’ve lost so much due to my condition.
Others would be angrier about it, but I really don’t have the energy to dwell on things.
Today’s prompt seems oddly appropriate.
What was the most precious thing you ever gave up willingly?
In the exit from The Botetourt, I gave away a bunch of my dated IT stuff. Two Macs. A Cisco switch, which was one of the few things I gook from the dissolution of a small business where I was once a partner. A NeXTstation with a barely-working monitor, and 40GB SCSI drive that made weird noises.
At first, I wasn’t planning on giving that away to an acquaintance who took the Macs and switch. As I thought about it, however, I realized that I hadn’t done anything with it in probably three years, and he’d get some use out of it.
Before the mass clean-out of my near decade-long residence, I let my Mustang go for a song. (I think the KBB value on it was something like $10K; I sold for $6600.) It wasn’t like I could drive it, anymore, anyway. The money from it helped sustain us through the second layoff in a year.
In the summer of 2012, atop the Berkley Bridge in Norfolk, a pickup truck dropped its spare tire in the lane ahead of me. Traffic was heavy at rush hour, so there was no way I could avoid hitting it. I popped the radiator, which left me without transpiration. The company I was working for at the time had started letting me work from home part-time. Without a car, they let me work remotely a lot more.
After I got it out of the repair shop, it sat parked until between Christmas and New Year’s. I tried to drive it during that week, and was scared to death. I couldn’t read the speedometer, and was trying to stay near the speed limit by selecting the right gear.
I know the speed limit here is 30, so third gear. Even if I couldn’t read the speedometer, I could tell how fast I was going.
But the other issue with my vision raised its ugly head. I couldn’t make out red stop lights against green trees.
The sailor who bought it had recently wrapped his around a guardrail, and was looking for something similar. I hope it’s served him well.
With that, that’s the end of the July bit. 21 entries forthcoming for August.

30

Though today as I saw things coming in from DEFCON…


I found it interesting, at the time, that the party that was portraying itself as the Party of SCIENCE would have its top candidate calling for this.
Last time I checked, Math is a part of science…..
Or to simplify it for someone working as a Barista, most universities don’t sell an M.A. in Mathematics.
There’s a lot I could say, but when you can cast your partisan faith as science, there’s no sense in trying to even have a discussion.
Looking for a desktop PC with a processor that supports the Vx bit, and can accommodate SATA II drives. A second NIC would be nice, too, but I can probably figure that out if it doesn’t have one.
The old bos I was planning to use is probably now beyond repair. It was dodgy before I moved it, and wouldn’t power on when I tried it yesterday.
Me knocking it off where I’d had it perched probably didn’t help; the case is now bent. Oops.
Onto recycled prompts from NoJoMo 2010….


1. Were you named after anyone? Do you know the meaning of your name? How does it or does it not suit you?
Purportedly, there were lots of reasons for my first and middle names. I could ask my mother again, but it seems like I got the two most-common boys’ names from the 1970s.
There were six Sean/Shaun/Shawns on my high school football team. Going by our last initials wasn’t an option, either. Of the six of us, four had surnames that started with a B..
So go by your middle name!
There were about four Matts on the team, too.
In the very-unlikely event that I fathered a child, I would be sure to give him/her a simple first name without multiple spellings.
(Thankfully, I only know of one way to spell “Leopold,” which is who my wife and I would create…..)
2. Choose a quote and write about its meaning to you.
I just realized I don’t have the slightest idea what I wrote for this when I originally answered it.
I’m really drawing a blank on this one right now. Everything that’s popping into my scarred brain is snark, and that’s not what I was going for.
Maybe by NoJoMo, I’ll have come up with something, and can revisit.
3. What is the sweetest thing someone has ever done for you?
This one I probably wrote after my wife did something for me; a note on a napkin in my lunch bag, or something like that.
Lately, I don’t know. There have certainly been some very kind people who’ve treated the disaster that is me. I will say that my new landlord’s esteem further declined when I figured out that the welcome bottle of wine we receieved was Two-Buck Chuck.
But it did make decent Beef Bourguignon.

29

Yesterday was spent dealing with progress on the job search, and dealing with my rebelling body. The next Tysabri does is only eleven days away, but it feels like an eternity.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense, either. It’s not like I’ve been roaming around, or trying to fix complicated problems at work…..
So, today, up early, refill pill container, watch the news, get a bit to eat, write, then back to bed.
I’d forgotten that I’d picked out something for today. I expect that’ll happen more often as I whittle down these prompts.
Book that left a lasting impression. Why?
One of the recycled things from a few days ago was something I’d been trying from How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World by Harry Browne.
It’s probably been fifteen years since I last read it. Maybe I ought to do that.
That said, I’m limited. If memory serves, a lot of the sort of things he mentions are things that only a healthy person can really do.
What would I do if I was healthy, single?
Well, I would already be somewhere else, and my apartment would be up on AirBnB.
*shrug*
One of the local TV reports, with whom I am acquainted, along with someone on Nextdoor.com, were complaining about a persistent beep coming from the corner where I used to live. I’d imagine the place is getting pretty empty, even one of the building’s biggest advocates is supposed to be gone I tweeted back at him that it’s probably my old place. The new owners seem to want people to GTFO so they can thoroughly renovate it for the first time since the Truman Administration.
When we moved in where we are now, I expressed interest in seeing what they did to it. At this point, however, I really can’t bring myself to care. I fully anticipate the few good features of the building to be replaced with things that allow tenants to be hermetically-sealed inside their units. But, hey, granite counter tops!!1!
Other stuff….
Between three and four yesterday afternoon, I got five queries from three different recruiters about two jobs.
One job was local, but paid about half of what I’d be looking for, and wasn’t really the sort of work I’m qualified to perform.
the other was shorter, and out-of-state. It was work I could do, but nothing at all interesting.
As I’ve been wading through the mess of jobs, I’d suspected that this wave of contract employment was in reaction to the Affordable Care Act. This guy puts about as positive a spin on it as possible. Do I agree with him? No. He tiptoes around the reason the US has such a messed-up system by trying to point out other bits in history where “employer-sponsored” insurance hit.
I do think that this wave of fixed=term contracts is something that’s a direct result of health care.
For those of us with expensive conditions, and conditions that make us miss work frequently, it behooves employers to just not hire us..
Is there more to say? Sure. I could warble on all day about it. Do I want to do that? No.

28B

I started two days late, so I’ll write more.
My wife is off doing something or the other, and I’m waiting on calls about my many job applications, so I’ll do a second entry for today.
I don’t have anything else to do, aside from what the Japanese prepare to wipe out the Norks.
That, along with the crying about the failure of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
It’s fascinating listening to both sides’ nonsense.
Twenty million will lose insurance!
(Estimates are that something like three-quarters of those are healthy people who’ll just refuse to buy insurance because they’re young and healthy. Also, Medicaid is not insurance.)
Obamacare is in a death spiral!
(Let’s not talk about the fact that those of us forced into the private market are paying after-tax money for everything, and corporations aren’t hiring full-time employees so they can avoid paying for overpriced insurance plans…..)
So, on to the prompt.
Do you think it is ok to keep secrets in a relationship?
Wouldn’t you like to know?
(Writing that assuming I’ve got an audience, but I’m pretty sure nobody’s reading this, so….)
Snark aside, yes, I think it’s okay for minor things. I bought my wife a gift for her birthday. She can see how much the charge is on the credit card bill. She can see where I bought it. Okay, whatever.
Major stuff, on the other hand, I just don’t understand how you could keep it under wraps for a long time.
Obviously, I have a chronic health condition that at this time is incurable. (Of course, fingers crossed, etc., for an effective treatment, and nerve repair….) I told my then fiancee the doctor’s suspicion as soon as I found out. When I got the final diagnosis, I called her before I called my parents. We hadn’t married yet, so I felt like I had to give her the opportunity to choose not to go forward with it. (And she’ll be angry with me about that until she dies thinking that she might change her mind….)
An individual has to have secrets to himself. It’s a part of being human.

28

My wife provided me many prompts. I’ll be using some of them this summer. The remainder will wait until NoJoMo in November.
Maybe by then, I’ll have figured out how to get my old content back. I think I am going to move all this off onto something hosted here at my place; I’ve still got unused IPv4 addresses. (And a ton of v6 space, of course…..)
So, on to her prompt….
Do you think it is necessary to filter yourself around others (professional life not included)?
Of course I do. I’ll admit that I do have issues holding my tongue sometimes. Some of that might be related to my condition. At the same time, when I was younger, I found that remaining silent about wrong assertions didn’t get me anywhere.
If the sky really is fascia, as you’ve contended, can you tell me what you’ve taken? It just looks gray to me. (It is supposed to rain today, probably heavily….)
The lack of personal interaction today probably makes it easier to just let things slide.
As I’m trying to work through more to say about this, one of my staunchly Democrat friends posted something from a Boy Scout about President Trump’s address to the Jamboree a few days ago. None of the scouts showed any of the scorn Democrats would have liked, so the whole thing was terrible. I get thinking back to the outrage shown when Justice Alito shook his head, and mouthed “not true” about one of President Obama’s unhinged statements about a recent decision during the State of the Union address. Maybe a Joe Wilson, “YOU LIE!” would have been more appropriate?
For too many these days, though, politics has replaced religion. It’s refreshing to know that one of Virginia’s senators routinely rolls out treason accusations. Hey, Timmy, I assume you’re aware that the punishment for treason is death. As someone who portrays himself as a Catholic, I’d think you’d know that the Church is vehemently against the government executing people. No?


Other stuff that’s going on? Job search is odd. Would you like to do this six-month contract in Richmond with no benefits? If there’s anything that could interest me less, I’m trying to think of what it might could be. One of the unintended consequences of the Patient protection and Affordable Care Act is that in order to avoid having to pay for health insurance, companies simply aren’t hiring full-time employees. People like me end up buying plans on the Federal exchange. People as sick as me aren’t exactly cheap to treat, either.
I’m meandering, so I’m going to stop. It’s time.

27

I’m on the phone with a hospital system, trying to figure out payment stuff.
The medication I’m on for MS is incredibly expensive. They pay up to my out-of-pocket maximum on my nearly $700/mo. plan through the Federal Exchange. Even if I was currently employed, I’ve not had a job since 2014 that paid benefits that work in the local area. If I lived in Northern Virginia, none of this would be an issue. So vote Democrat. They didn’t create this whole mess. Nope, no responsibility whatsoever.

For the entry, re-sampling. This time from 2011. Have my needs for a place to live changed?


NJM Day 7 – 11/7/2011


I may catch back up. I may not. We’ll see. All I can say is that Alabamastan moves even slower when the Crimson Tide are on TV.

So, today’s topic….

If I could live anywhere, where would I live?

I honestly don’t know. I’ve lived lots of different places.

So, what’s important to me at this point?

1. Public transportation and walkability. My driving days are numbered. My balance is shaky. I need good sidewalks, and ways to get places I need to go, like…

2. Good hospitals and doctors. Being sick blows. I like that there’s fresh ideas and approaches to my treatment. I probably wouldn’t get the same from a rural doctor.

3. Food and drink. I eat unhealthily. I drink too much. But I haven’t had any real tobacco in something like nineteen months, and……

So, where’s that leave me? Probably somewhere northeast of where I am now.

Am looking harder in DC for a new gig. My friend from college is going to stop in day after Thanksgiving; he works in NYC for a large IT company (you probably use their product every day you’re online….)….see, maybe, if there’s anything for me in NYC.


Who the hell knows?


If I could live anywhere, where would I live?
I need somewhere with good public transportation and medical care. None of that has changed. In fact, the first part has gotten more pressing. I can’t imagine living in suburban sprawl where I’d have to stagger miles to get to a bus stop. Where I am no, I have trouble finding the motivation a lot of the time to leave my building. I do consider Lyft/Uber to be public transportation, but even that can get expensive if you’re using it several times a month.

26

I’ve been really bad about publishing my prompts. Lots going on, unfortunately, combined with my body being in protest.
So, what’s a Wednesday look like for me? Check to see if any of my job applications has updated, listen to the repeat that was put out by Mouthy Broadcast. There’s things I could have said about some of the banter, but…..
So, what have I been doing during my unplanned (and unpaid) vacation?
Well…

  1. I watch local news. Sure, I watch one channel more than the others, but I do watch all that I can pick up over the antenna here.
  2. Check social media whatevers. Maybe where my Gen X comes out is that I really don’t pay that close attention to Instagram.
    (Part of that is probably related to how bad my vision is, and that I can’t zoom in easily on photos….
  3. I check my many outstanding job applications. I’m now over the century mark for outstanding Federal stuff. As someone with a disability, I qualify for special hiring preference. I also don’t have to hide who I am, or what’s wrong with me. One of the higher-ups at my last job really didn’t want to know what my major malfunction was. I did end up telling, but it wasn’t until several months after I’d had my first hospital stint.
  4. Work on my long-neglected virtual host. That’s where I host control-h, as well as several other site

I apologize that I really can’t concentrate on this right now. Maybe I’ll write another later today; I owe a couple of entries with the late start.

25

Recycling, again, to see what’s changed since November 2010.
Here’s what I wrote then:


Day 29 — Relearning – 11/29/2010


Have you ever had to re-learn something that used to be second nature?

Yes, I added this as a suggestion. I’ve had to re-learn many things, and still haven’t gotten the knack of all of them. What I had in mind when I left this was running. Since my latest MS flare, I cannot run at all. When I was in bad shape last spring, I could barely walk, really. Since then, my gait is almost normal, but I can’t run at all, really. My feet get tangled up.

It’s kind of incredible when you actually think about everything your body does to run….the signals being sent to your brain to make it happen. For me, that includes signals your feet send every time they hit the ground.

Imagine trying to run when your feet are asleep. My feet feel like that all the time.

Still, there’s been other things that have been affected.

*clutch*

Early on there, driving was difficult.

*clutch*

Oops, caught the brake with my toe….

Some more even basic life functions were and are still out-of-whack.

Some days if I give myself my shot in the wrong place, my diaphragm doesn’t work.

*breathe*

I’m penciled-in for physical therapy in a few months to learn how to jog again. While all this has let me lose a lot of weight, I do want to be able to effectively exercise. Right now, I can’t.e stuff below the waist. I mean, I was potty trained by like three. Urgency, make it to the bathroom on time, then can’t let go…..

What’s your personal fashion statement when it comes to dressing? Which look describes you and what are your signature clothing accessories?

The others weren’t working, so I’ll take a stab at this one….

I guess the most notable one would be button-down shirts. I really don’t like wearing anything else. But not everybody can pull off wearing a white shirt without a suit. I can, so I do. And I do manage to keep them clean most days. ūüôā

I also rotate my glasses. I have about four pairs I vary, depeding on what I’m wearing, and what I’m doing. My big black and brown acetate ones are probably most comfortable. I think I paid about twenty bucks a pair for them….

When I need to look nice, I have more stylish stuff. My nerd glasses haven’t gone with a suit and tie…..yet.

I still haven’t bought that brown suit I’ve been wanting. Thing is, I don’t need to wear a suit very often, and I’ve been hesitant to buy something until my size stabilizes a bit more.


Have you ever had to re-learn something that used to be second nature?
Back in the 2010 entry, I was writing about driving. ¬†My vision has gotten so bad that when I moved, I didn’t renew my license. ¬†I haven’t even tried to drive since about the end of 2012.
Quick primer¬†on what MS does to vision. ¬†While I don’t have really bad double vision, my acuity is very bad. ¬†It must have been sometime in 2012, I visited a neurological ophthalmologist, and she wasn’t able to even come close to correcting me to 20/20. ¬†Combined, I was at about 20/50. ¬†In my right eye, I was correctable to 20/60. ¬†She couldn’t even correct me to 20/200 in my left eye. ¬†I am left eye dominant, so this is a big part of the problem.
You really can’t re-learn seeing, but there’s other physical things I’ve had to try to remaster.
Stairs aren’t my friend. ¬†I quipped about something yesterday about dipping my perpetually-numb toes into something (the NYC market, maybe?). ¬†Going up is a lot easier than going down, because I can’t feel my feet hit. ¬†I don’t know that I have a good foothold.
My weird crosshandedness has made things even tougher as my nerve damage increases.
I find myself doing a lot more things with my left hand.  Sinister.
That does include things that I learned how to do right-handed. ¬†I wonder if I was to do some sort of physical activity if now I’d try to do it lefty.
Holding a racket, even throwing. ¬†I’ve batted left-handed since I was about fifteen years old. ¬†I know that I’d still do that if I was able to see well enough to actually make contact….
I hold my cane in my right hand, so my left will be free to do things.  *shrug*
What’s your personal fashion statement when it comes to dressing? Which look describes you and what are your signature clothing accessories?
I really don’t have one. ¬†When I’m home, it’s jeans and a T-shirt. ¬†When I got to work, it’s slacks and a button-down shirt.
This prompt from years ago does start to walk on something that’s bothered me a lot lately; who gives a fuck about¬†my¬†style?
Maybe that’s the sort of thing that’s from a generation prior to mine. ¬†One of the local shady car dealership groups has a flowery jingle telling buyers that¬†YOU¬†can have it all! ¬†*headdesk*
Get over yourself. ¬†You have a car. ¬†You take care of it. ¬†You drive it. ¬†That’s not remarkable, and nothing you do will make it so.
I could launch into a long tirade about this, but I understand that probably nobody is reading this. ¬†Someone from the Me Generation wouldn’t be okay with that.
I am.

24

I didn’t reference Blink 182 for yesterday’s entry, so there’s that. What I’m going to do for today is revisit something I once wrote, and see what’s different today.


Life Review – 2/22/2000


Periodically, I do a full review of everything I do in life. Every little thing. I then rate those things on an evaluative scale: like, dislike, indifferent.

Examples would be like this…..

Like: Reading OD, messing around on the computer, being on the air

Dislike: Doing Dishes, thinking about my psycho ex girlfriend, watching Kathie Lee, doing my taxes

Indifferent: Brushing my teeth, paying bills.

I then try to cut out the things I don’t like, and don’t absolutely need to do. Normally, I can hit upon some things I’m doing that I don’t like, and are really holding me back in life. I haven’t been able to find anything certain in this round.

So why am I in such a funk?

Why do I feel like I’m having so little success?

Why can’t I, for the life of me, find a girlfriend?

Sorry for the bitching, but I’m a bit frustrated right now.


I was twenty when I wrote that.
I haven’t done much in the way of life reviews since about my thirtieth birthday. ¬†To paraphrase someone, the die is cast. ¬†(Yes, I know who it is….)
Likes:  actually building things, spending time with my wife, eating good food, drinking good drinks, trying to follow football and baseball.
Dislikes:  working to just stay above water, MS (and all its negative effects on me), the segment of the population for whom politics has replaced religion.
Indifferent: ¬†There’s too many to list, really. ¬†(And, no, that doesn’t mean I’m really depressed…just that I don’t really get excited or depressed about mundane things.)
Changes are happening in my life, whether I’m ready for them or not. ¬†I fully expect something by the time I finish up this round of writing (20 August). ¬†Whatever those changes entail, I’m good with.
Things are better than when I wrote this two years ago.  Worse than last year, but I was getting frustrated with what I was doing.
I am getting back into things that I really do enjoy, though.  Rediscovering that which made me me.

Three Things

I didn’t get out prompts yesterday.
Much of the afternoon was spent trying to get my mother’s laptop working.
Then my in-laws’ house, the supermarket, and home for dinner.
After dinner and a beer, I was in dreamland.
So, onto a prompt I’m recycling for today….
Tell us about 3 things you have done in the past year that you have never done before, big or small.
1. Spent a night in hospital. One of those bucket list items, I suppose. I ended up spending five nights in three trips between September and June. When you’re killing your immune system every four weeks, bacteria can have a pretty miserable effect.
2. Ditched a day of work to go on a job interview. One of the changes that Amtrak made was extending the Northeast Regional down to Norfolk. I had an interview with a Federal agency, so I went up, interviewed, had lunch with a friend at Union Station, and rolled back home. It’s a long day, and I didn’t get the job, but the whole experience was probably more worthwhile than spending a day analyzing network scans.
3. Considered moving to NYC. This is something that’s come about in the past few months, really, but I’m sick of what I’m seeing here, and want something different.