11

I meant to go look for old things to write about this morning. I slept oddly last night, and am worried about email nonsense I haven’t addressed since probably 2005.
When I logged on to Facebook this morning, I was confronted with an old selfie of a very fat, very sweaty me from 2009, stuck in the elevator of my old building.
I’m looking at my old archives to see if I wrote anything that day about it. Nope. The closest thing was from 8/21 that year.

30 - 8/21/2009
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bleh. My odometer is ticking.

If memory serves, since I didn’t write, I was still working 60-hour weeks.  It was hot, and the elevator in the building quit working while I was riding down to the laundry room.
My life at that point was pretty much just work, unfortunately.  Googling around shows that August 11, 2009 was a Tuesday.  I often did laundry on Tuesday nights.  The laundry situation in the building wasn’t good.  There were four washer, four dryers.  All were coin-operated.  One of the older washers was a quarter cheaper than the newer ones.  I would periodically go to a bank near my office to get $40 in quarters to last me for a few weeks.
I hadn’t married my wife yet, so it wasn’t like I had a ton of clothes to wash.
If you’d told me then I’d be in the situation where I am now, I would have thought you were crazy.  Does lead me to my prompt for today….
How do you handle sudden life changes?
I’ve long considered myself very adaptable.  Growing up, with my dad’s career in the Army, we moved a lot.
Since I got sick, it’s been a lot tougher.
But I haven’t just thrown my hands up.  When do you reach your breaking point?
It’s kind of a all-or-nothing proposition.  Once I stop, I’m finished.

10

Guilty admission, I’m starting on this the day before. I saw a story about where I used to be, and it looks like that maybe, they were looking for any excuse to shed people like me. I may have made the decision easier, but I think there was something else going on. That nobody’s reached out to me kind of speaks to that, maybe.
*shrug*
So, what else?
For a few weeks now, my wife and I have been watching Jeopardy! in the evenings. I can’t really read the answers, so that puts me at a bit of a disadvantage. I suppose I could park right in front of the set so I could read, but the couch is more comfortable. Instead, we got a thrilling NFL preseason match-up between Carolina and Houston. *yawn*
(As an aside, there’s still three slots available in my Fantasy Football league. The participants are mainly personal friends and family of mine. K-Gun Memorial is dedicated to Ted Marchibroda, who died just before last season started.)
I think we ended up watching Vice News Tonight on HBO. Podcasts seeping into other areas of life, Michael C. Moynihan.
I do think that they highlight stories the major networks might not cover. They did, however, cover something last week that popped up on the national news a couple of days later.
Today, after a night of little sleep, I’ll deal with a medical billing issue. Again. The medication I’m on to manage my condition is incredibly expensive. The drug-maker provides co-pay assistance. The insurance company (which is non-profit) is owned by the same group that owns the hospital where I get my infusions. The hospital has had issues billing both the insurance company and the drug-maker. This has been going on since probably April, and still isn’t resolved. I don’t know how many hours I’ve spent on the phone. It’s frustrating, because I generally like all three parties involved. *sigh*
Biggest challenge you have faced so far?

  1. My medical condition, obviously. MS is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The disease modifying drug I’ve been on for the past eleven months, combined with some really bad care for something else, have landed me in the hospital for a week. It also factors into
  2. Employment weirdness. There’s a lot I could write about all of this, but it’s something that requires face-to-face to explain. If you’re healthy enough to work, and can find a company that’ll pay you full-time, you get health insurance. If not, well, what the hell is wrong with you? Work is something you do in an office owned by somebody else for eight hours per day.

I’m going to stop now, though. I’ve already deleted several paragraphs of ranting.

09

Not a lot going on, just a waiting game on things.
Today’s big thing is getting a Tysabri recharge, the first since I got cast aside from my position. The timing isn’t working out exactly as I would have liked, but….
I’m wondering what I can push for a group I’ve been helping string along some rather dated broadcast equipment. No, going to Windows 7 isn’t going to fix things. Really.
Have you ever felt that you were singled out even though someone else was actually breaking the rules but you weren’t?
If you claim someone is “breaking the rules,” cite them.
So much of what I’ve encountered the past few years is people speaking authoritatively, without a single bit of support; argument from authority. Far too often, especially in my (former) line of work, people establish themselves as authorities, and don’t accept one bit of second-guessing. Even attempting to do so results in strong rebuke.
That said, it’s not just in what I was trying to do for work. It attaches to many, many, many aspects of life. How dare you even question Al Gore’s authoritative tome on climate change? It’s science. So, too, is whatever Paul Krugman regurgitates on economics; he has a Nobel Prize.
In anything, your have to make your argument, cite back to something, not someone, that is actually authoritative.
To me, it’s not that big a deal; I did that consistently in my studies.
Listening to the Reason Podcasts isn’t really conducive to keeping focused on this. So I’ll stop. Maybe something more substantive tomorrow.

08

Because eight is great!!1!
On the other hand, my CSS skills, notsomuch.
Things are moving somewhat. The weather is nasty, but at least the windows didn’t leak this time.
So many different paths, not sure which I should really pursue. I do know that I’m ready to do something completely different, but don’t know how to get there.
My wife and I have been watching Restaurant Impossible recently. Would I want to do that? Not really, but I’m jealous of the flexibility he, and the owners he’s helping have.
In so much of what I’m doing lately it’s “go buy this proof you can play Minesweeper,” then pay several hundred dollars per year to keep it active.
Creativity isn’t rewarded at all. Even more, correctness isn’t valued nearly as much as meeting arbitrary deadlines. Maybe I’m not cut out for that sort of environment, anymore.
How do you keep motivated during the tough times in your life?
My goals are really kind of all over the map at this point. Constant string of OODA Loops. Maybe someday I’ll have an opportunity to relax.

07

Fourteen more to write for this round. I still owe one from my two days’ late start.
I keep getting sidetracked by other things when it comes to sitting down to write this entry. An acquaintance is complaining about the lousy Intertubes service he’s getting from the local network provider. But, like, see, with Net Neutrality, all that traffic is treated equally as they load more and more people onto a single node.
I literally can’t even.
If given the opportunity to see how different choices affect your life, would you proceed with it
One of the basic things in Army leadership is the After-Action Review. They help you compile lessons learned. That said, there’s all sorts of second-guessing you can do about just about anything. When you narrow things down to making the best decision based upon the situation
Sometimes shit happens, despite whatever choices you’ve made. To me, your ability to adjust on the fly speaks more to your overall ability.
I think, though, at times I tend to be over-cautious because I spend too much time trying to analyze what I’ve done later.
My instincts have been correct more often than not.
Drafting Tim Tebow in fantasy football, well….

06

It’s Sunday morning.
I have several prompts from which I could have chosen, but I went investigating back through old writings to find something more appealing.
That probably wasn’t a good idea; I found a bunch of the stuff I wrote while I was dealing with the eleven months in hell from 2013-2014.
what’s on tap for this week?
Monday
Dentist to get my teeth cleaned
Tuesday
TBD, but I did request an appointment with my primary doc for a wellness check, and to get prescriptions renewed.
Wednesday
Tysabri infusion, which I really need at this point.
Thursday through Saturday
TBD.
With the litany of outstanding job applications, maybe one of those days ends up being an interview.
I probably should go take care of something else, too, if I don’t get what I requested in the mail.
What do you do when someone consistently asks for your advice, but never takes it
Definitely depends on the situation/who made the request.
I tend to get information about the situation before I’ll pass judgement on the situation. There’s ways of being diplomatic about it, certainly. “Oh, that’s an interesting way of doing x. Why are you doing it that way” *listen to explanation* “Did you consider doing it (this other way)?”
I guess that sort of open-mindedness is really unappreciated by a lot of people.
Thou shalt do it this way.
Maybe that way is fucking stupid? I know; unpossible. I’m also reminded of this gem from Chicago.
We won’t get into the fact that it’s something calling itself a pizza joint in Chicago.

05

Slept oddly after falling asleep before 2300.
But up now, water, pill case filled, etc..
It’s pretty sad when a highlight involves pouring pills from the bottle, and getting exactly the number you need to fill the pill case for the week.
Yes, I fill my pill case on Saturday mornings. I guess I could do it on Sunday, but habits are tough to break.
for whatever reason, because I’m sorta running out of things to write about again, I decided to look back into my OD archive to see what I wrote when I got laid off in 2013. Maybe that’s in response to the recent entry where I was laying out what I wanted in a place to live.
Maybe I’ll remedy that this afternoon.
This waiting game bothers the hell out of me, though. I can remember my dad dealing with this when he was stationed at the Pentagon in the late-90s/early-90s.
~o/Take your protein pills and put your helmet on…/o~
This is the sort of thing that runs through my scarred brain as I drink a breakfast shake.
Major aside time…. The folks at the med school, plus my mother suggested I drink these things as I was losing so much weight after I got diagnosed. I never really liked them. When I ended up in the hospital last September, the first thing I craved after admission was vanilla Ensure. What in the actual fuck?
Since that hospital stay, I’ve gone to vanilla breakfast shakes from time to time. Today is one of those times. I was a bit hungry.
Being hungry is something that I’ve had to sort of become accustomed to again.
From when I first started college until I started on the Tysabri, I can count on one finger the number of times I remember being really hungry. Now I feel hungry kind of at appropriate times.
Today’s feast? Some delicious French food my wife cooked recently; leftovers have been in the freezer. French bread. Bottle of wine.
I think ti’ll probably be a good evening.
Have you ever had someone tell you not to do something, and then have them turn around to tell someone else to do it
Kind of related to what I was talking about yesterday. I’m not particularly good at taking orders. I’m worse about caring about orders given to others. If someone with authority told me not to do something, I’d not do that thing, and go on minding my own business. If it was something I thought it was important to do, I’d try to negotiate with the overseer, convince him/her (I know, that’s gender-normative….) to make sure it got done. If it wasn’t actually me doing it whatever. If it was a prohibition on me just for the sake of officiousness, I’d remove myself from that situation as soon as I could. I have better things to do.

04

Writing, wondering what’s going to happen next.
Things can seem to move at a snail’s pace during the summer if your livelihood is dependent upon government action.
This is a tough few weeks, anyway. I’m very much at the end of my charge, and I don’t get a Tysabri infusion until Wednesday afternoon.
I had a good interview Monday, but told them I wouldn’t be available to start until Thursday next week. I have a dental cleaning Monday, then the infusion Wednesday.


**CUT**


So I emailed her back. The position was filled, but they are going to keep my CV on file for other opportunities.
I’m disappointed, but not overly so.
As I said while filling out my my morning Patients Like Me survey, I am getting a little bored at this point.
Unfortunately, as I’ve been listening to news, with Congress on vacation, I don’t expect a budget to be passed soon. Since so many of my outstanding applications are with government agencies, I’m wondering if there’s going to be another week or two of twiddling my thumbs.
I also worry that some of these things won’t start until the next fiscal year (1 October).
Things would be really tight if I don’t get a paycheck until 15 October. *sigh*
Do you ever feel as though you are the only one with a logical mind?
How flatly can I answer in the negative? NO.
To every situation, there’s multiple ways to address. How someone else chooses to do something really isn’t any of my business.
That does speak to something that’s been going through my head a lot lately.
Perhaps it’s related to my political consumption lately, but I really don’t care I tell people the right way to do things. I don’t have any desire to tell people how they should live their lives.
Maybe that makes me weird.
Maybe it makes me a bad person.
But I don’t care.

Two

Yesterday morning’s hopefulness has been replaced with worry after not hearing anything from the promising opportunity yesterday.
I’m still pretty confident, though, even if that one doesn’t come through.
Interestingly, I applied for something that appeared to be the government counterpart for that job. That would be a little weird. I also did end up archiving a bunch of my outstanding USAJOBS applications. If they haven’t made a decision after this long, they’re probably just aren’t going to make one.
Do you ever feel the need to play the devil’s advocate?
I’m not sure? I don’t ever recall seriously making a fallacious argument about something publicly. Whenever I write or speak, I do try to figure out the arguments that might be made against my drivel. Is that playing devil’s advocate? I don’t know.
I wish I could remember what the folks in the legal field called that exercise.
I did use the technique when I was going through something I planned to submit a Shmoocon a few years ago. I’d written the paper, started putting together the slide deck, and started rehearsing the oral presentation.
As I got into the meat of my argument, I thought of a counter-argument I couldn’t neatly refute.
So, into the trash with the presentation, and plans to figure out how to get to the conference as an attendee, not a presenter.
Deleting something where I was going to punt, and take it to sports.
The crux of the argument? Tom Landry is the greatest coach in football history. No, I’m not a Cowboys’ fan.
The writing juices seem to be coming after only a few days of writing. I’m happy about that. we’ll see how I feel here in a couple of weeks.

One

So, new month, same issues.
Very disappointed my Tysabri infusion isn’t until next week. I’m exhausted, and need a recharge.
Very positive conversation yesterday about work pursuit. We’ll see what comes of it, but I think that the manager asked when I’d be able to start is probably a positive thing.
I need a haircut before I do. And Tysabri.
So prompt before I tail off….
What’s your take on religion?
Some are better than others. God didn’t write what a Sixteenth Century English monarch translated into English. Similarly, there is no Xenu.
I’m just as certain of those as I am that Jesus lived. I’m also pretty sure there were Caesars in Rome.
When I was younger, I was a pretty committed atheist. As I’ve aged, however, I’ve been more open to the idea of an uncaused first cause.
I think that change started by encountering people who were committed scientists, as well as adherent Catholics. To twenty year-old me, that didn’t make much sense, but I understand it better now.
Is there an afterlife? I have faith that there is. If the things that I’ve done to help ensure I get to a good place in the afterlife.
Why would I brush my teeth if the world might end this afternoon? If the world ends, my breath isn’t bad. If it doesn’t end, maybe I don’t get a cavity. It takes a few minutes, so what have I lost?
i’m having trouble focusing on this, unfortunately. the podcast in my ear probably isn’t helping. Discussion of the influence of refugee voters from the Progressive Paradise that is Venezuela.