Recap, reaction.

Well, sixth year complete.

I’m not terribly satisfied with what I’ve written, but I did it again.

It really has gotten the writing moving again. This summer’s month didn’t do that as much.

Same goes for work, which is sorta kicking my ass at the moment. But at least I’m getting paid sort of okay again. It would be nice to have some paid leave, other benefits, but…..

(And a bitchy quip deleted.)

I did have most of my prompts ready before the month started. I had to rearrange several, which I’ll touch on later.

So, what went well…

  • Getting it done
  • Post strategy (first the blog, which sucks, then Prosebox)

What didn’t go so well….
Getting the prompts on the right daysSpelling (excusable by the mode of writing a good portion in a text terminal, and I forget to run ispell)Some of the answers to prompts where I had a lot more to say when I came up with the prompt, then forgot when it came time to write

Obviously, it’s been an incredibly eventful month. I’ve seen some things I never thought I’d say. Most of them I never wanted to see.

(When you see someone changing his profile pic on FB to the Anarcho-syndicalism flag, and more quotes from Noam “Distortions at Fourth Hand” Chomsky, you know it’s been rough.

I also grew just a mustache for the first time since I was a teenager. Ostensibly, it was for November. The reality is that I still can’t grow a beard. I thought that this close to forty, I’d be able to pull that off by now. But bald spots, sideburns that don’t connect. Even just the mustache, I have every natural hair color sprouting.

November is finished, though, and I hope I get some time to relax next month. I need it.


What are your holiday plans for Christmas?

There’s not a lot set in stone so far. I know my brother and his wife are coming down to my mom’s place, so we’ll head up there at some point to see them.

We will also go visit my in-laws.

Plan to take a trip with my wife sometime after she finishes her semester. Probably just a couple of nights in DC; maybe a weekend. We’ll see.

I don’t have any leave, and will essentially have to take Christmas as an unpaid holiday.

It’d be nice to go somewhere that we don’t have to worry about much for a week or so, but finances and her school commitments don’t allow it.

Similarly, Bud Light is having a sort of golden ticket promotion for the NFL. Get a golden can, and you win season tickets for your favorite team for a year.

How many Saints’ games could I justify attending?
Is it worth buying a twelve-pack of canned Bud Light?
Would it be better to say I’m solely a Redskins’ fan just I could get more use out of the tickets?

Decisions, decisions.

Now the DC trip has me thinking about Indian food, which is what they serve at the place where my friend works.


Free Write.

I thought I might be able to recycle some of what I wrote last week here. I looked, and none of it seems to fit. Oh well.

It was largely about my employment travails over the past almost four years. It comes back to what I wrote about regarding forgiveness. Should I, can I, and will I?

I’ve really had to think more about those with what happened with the four-letter company. The answers are still “no,” “yes,” and “maybe.” I understand what happened. I understand that they were lazy and cheap. But, hey, they’d been doing this a long time, and had all the answers for how to do the work. It’d go perfectly, because of their expertise.

And they got to that level of expertise by wearing white-collared colored shirts, suspenders and a belt, and proving how good they are at <strike>playing minesweeper</strike>buying certifications. (If I had some motivation, I’d find a way to strike through that “buying,” to replace it with the more palatable “earning.”)

I don’t want to talk about that anymore, however. My focus right now is doing what I am paid to do, now, and deal with the remnants of the previous disasters as I have an opportunity. Still progressing through my OODA loops, wishing I could act on several things at once. Unfortunately, my physical limitations definitely affect the length of my OODA loops.

Like today; I was just completely out-of-gas by about 1600.

That sort of explains why this was a little late today. Two more days. I will make it.


I bumped the one about Small Business to yesterday, as I had something to say. So, yesterday’s prompt today.

This is coming very early, as I’m all sorts of fucked on my sleep schedule. Thankfully, I don’t think there’s any late football I want to see.

What is your favorite food? (H/T to someone on PB)

I’ve come to appreciate all sorts of things, but I think I’d have to go with things considered French bistro fare. Beef Bourguignon, Coq-au-vin. We’re supposed to be having Croque-Monsieur for dinner tonight before I slog my way back into the office.

I mentioned my oyster experience a few days ago; I’m intrigued by mussels. I do have to admit that I’m more than a little nervous about them, though, after reading somewhere that they were one of the things where you were most likely to get bad food. (Bourdain, maybe?)

One of my favorite places, Bistrot du Coin was something we found by happenstance on a trip to DC years ago. We were up in Woodley Park, and were looking for some nommables. I think I found it on the now-defunct UrbanSpoon app, so we went.

Fries done in duck fat. My wife (then-fiancee) thoroughly enjoyed.

We’ve been back many times since. With my godcousin after my dad’s burial at Arlington. Other times we’ve stayed at the Washington Hilton. On the layover in DC between trains going to New Orleans for our honeymoon.

It’s been more difficult lately, though. Part of what one of my longtime neurologists recommended for me was a diet that’s low in iron. Under that regime, I got four ounces of red meat per week. There’s a lot of beef in French cuisine, unfortunately.

Though I never did see the movie (Julie and Julia?), one year for Christmas, I did get the Mastering the Art of French Cooking books. (Obligatory classic SNL Clip.)

Nice aperitif, glass of wine with the food, digestif or beer after dinner. And I’m in my happy place.

Have I succinctly answered this one? I don’t know. There’s nothing that I could say I could eat every day. (Also, if I was to cop-out, and say something like “good French bread,” would it still only be one if I needed butter for that bread most of the time? Is coffee your favorite drink if you always need something that goes in it? Aside, for my medical procedure a few weeks ago, I couldn’t have creamer in my coffee. I had to use only sugar. I almost never put sugar in my coffee. But it worked. On the few days a month that I do drink coffee, I make it in a single-serving French press. I don’t drink enough coffee to justify anything else.)

So, that’s that. I didn’t do anything other than the pharmacy for Small Business Saturday. Wasn’t feeling up to it. It also seems as if we didn’t win the Powerball drawing. Again, regressive tax, and vice peddled by the Commonwealth, but I can be reckless a few times per year. (Though that doesn’t mean I’m going to order modules in a restaurant that probably doesn’t serve them every day. Or try to cook them myself in our tiny kitchen. Hell, I don’t even cook fish here out of fear of the stench.)

Three days left, but the words are flowing again. I may not see worth a damn, but I still can sorta type.


Bumping this up a day, because there’s a lot to say.

Small Business Saturday. Write about small businesses you frequent.

Fitting that this falls on the morning that the death of Fidel Castro goes public. Amazingly, their scientific research into the inevitability of Socialism led them to allow small business a few months ago.

For the American left, small businesses are similarly bad. They do whatever they want with their profits, which may not serve a larger purpose. That money should go straight to Goldman Sachs, right, Senator Schemer?

Perhaps unremarkably, as I look in on Facebook, I’m not seeing a lot of the left comment with despair about their dear comrade’s passing. No, it’s still kvetching about Trump being elected President. Newsflash, y’all, more than half of people voted against Hillary Clinton. Her campaign propaganda convinced me to not vote for Trump, but did nothing to sway me to vote for her.

Castro being gone, though, probably doesn’t mean a lot until the wheezing hulk of his Stalinist dictatorship finally collapses. Even the “good example” of Venezuela is teetering now.

The subjugation of the individual has never worked, and will never work.

But back to those evil small businesses, whose profits don’t flow into Boomers’ inflated 401Ks…

This morning, I went to MacArthur Pharmacy. I had a prescription I needed to pick up, but I also bought a few more things I needed. I also, because I like paying regressive taxes, bought some lottery tickets. It is a vice, but that’s okay so long as I buy it from the Commonwealth.

(If I could support a local liquor store, I’d probably go stock up on gin and rye. I’m low on both. Unfortunately, as I said above, vice is okay in Virginia, so long as you buy it from the Commonwealth. I’d have to go to ABC, which does nothing for small business. I also confuse the shit out of the progressive hipsters when I say if only weed is legalized in Virginia, you should have to buy it from the ABC stores….)

Later, I may head over to CURE for something to eat and drink. I was there during one of their first days open. I’m glad to see they’ve persisted. It is a little amusing to see the hipster intelligentsia complain about how many strollers are present these days. Umm, newsflash, as the last of Gen X, there weren’t many of us to begin with. Compounding the issue, because everyone was so worried about catching “teh AIDS,” we didn’t accidentally many babbies. There’s a lot of people just younger than we who are in prime baby-making age. Deal.


How was turkey day for you. If you’re celebrating on a different day, please elaborate (like my friends in Soviet Canuckistan).

Other than all the football after the Lions’ game, it was pretty good. My wife cooked some good food, and it was just the two of us together.

It was nice not being on somebody else’s schedule. We ate when we felt like it. We weren’t waiting for people to arrive. We weren’t worried about how long we needed to stick around after dinner. We weren’t worried about leftovers division. We weren’t worried about transportation.

She actually made and drank cocktails, then was dismayed that she’d started in on it before she could Instagram it. Yes, these are the sorts of things a Millenial white girl pretends she’s concerned about.

Unfortunately, sleep afterwards was hard in coming. I dozed off during the Colts-Stilluhrs barn-burner, then had trouble staying asleep overnight. I had my monthly Tysabri infusion this morning, so I was going to have to be up early, anyway.

I’m tired, and have been since my medical procedure last week. It’ll be a few days before things settle out.

It is nice that it’s been more than a month now since I was spending a night in the hospital. Things in the problem area seem to be behaving better, but I need to get back on a more-normal schedule.

The repairman finally started repairing our walls today, more than a month after the storm. At the same time, it’s not as bad as it was during the Nor’easter back in 2009.

Facebook decided that I needed to see pictures of that. Seven years ago…

Facebook has also taken to randomly deleting friends. Unlike the pox on humanity that is LinkedIn, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done that on purpose.

Speaking of LinkedIn, I had a recruiter champing at the bit a few weeks ago to hire me. We spoke, and she was working for one of the companies I’d pretty much sworn to never work for. I told her directly that it’d be a very hard sell. Paraphrasing, “okay, well, let’s talk later this week to see if there’s other opportunities that might be a better fit! My managers are very excited to hear from you!”

Then dead silence since. \^/hatever. Although there are things that frustrate me, I generally like what I’m doing now.


Free Write.

It’s just after three in the morning, and I’m writing because I’m “woke as fuck<” or something. (Isn’t that what the kids are writing these days? I blame the folks over at Mouthy Broadcast for that one.)

Was strange figuring out yesterday that it’s been a decade now since I was last on the radio.

I picked through some of my old diary archive to see what I’d written about for Thanksgiving, and there’s really not that much. I have something from 2002 about watching Danny Wuerffel play quarterback for the Redskins in Dallas.

There’s some about the last one with my dad, which was the first one with my new bride.

Since then, it’s been bits and pieces about where I’ve been, but nothing major.

i think what’s more interesting is that there were a few strange ones that I didn’t write about.

Driving all the way to Charleston, SC one year on Thanksgiving Day, because I’d had to work the night before. I think Ryan Leaf was playing Quarterback for the Cowboys. It was nasty weather on I-95; maybe even some snow in NC.

I also didn’t write about a very odd Thanksgiving where I ended up at some friends’ place because their mom didn’t want me having zero Thanksgiving. I think my family had gone out of town, and I was home working, and taking care of the dogs.

Thanksgiving was always a big thing with my mom’s family. I guess her grandparents held large gatherings (well, considering they had eleven kids, that was probably unavoidable) where the family would come gather.

My own memories, though, aren’t so marinated with family. As a kid, we were always somewhere away, and I can only think of a couple of times where we met up with family. I don’t remember people ever coming to see us; as if there was a way to get people to Europe. Or Kansas. Or Pennsylvania. Or Northern Virginia.

I might have mentioned that this is the first Thanksgiving that’s just Sarah and me. My SIL got relocated back to the East Coast, so my mom’s up in NoVA visiting her and my brother at their new place. I’m actually looking forward to just a night of the two of us. That also means I probably ought to try to go back to sleep.

Recycling back from OD, this was from 2012, which was the last sorta-okay year I had. I was still making okay money, still owned a car, etc.. I pruned the notes; they didn’t say that much, really.

NoJoMo Day 24 – 11/24/2012

Yeah, so was at my mom’s for belated Thanksgiving dinner. It went. Whatever. I’ll write more tomorrow.

1. What was the last thing that gave you a sense of wonder?
I honestly don’t know. With limited vision, it’s tough to get wonderment, you know?

2. Name a totally useless possession and how you came to own it.
There are many. I probably ought to pick one, no?

Both prompts are bigger problems today, four years later.

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Obligatory:  Nobody likes you when you’re 23.

What are your plans for tomorrow, since it’s turkey day in the US

Morning:  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
1300:  Lions’ Game.  I don’t remember who they’re playing.  Detroit were the first with a Thanksgiving game, adn I kinda dig that.  It’s a shame that they are only pre-merger NFL team to not even appear in a Super Bowl since the merger.  (The Cardinals and Failcons have both lost one.  The Vikings have lost four.)
1600:  Redskins at Cowboys.  Even if there was going to be snow in Dallas this year, you wouldn’t be able to see it thanks to the Jerrydome.  For everything that sucked about Texas Stadium (the weird crown in the middle of the field, the Cowbosy, their fans, etc.), at least there was some weather.  (Even if the rain was God crying about seeing how awful the Cowboys were…..)  I don’t know what to think about AT&T ((whateveritis)).  It’s big.  The screen over the middle of the field is now just tacky.  (Insert whatever snipe you’d like along the lines of, “what else would you expect in Dallas?”)

Dinner will happen somewhere in there.  It’s just my wife and I together this year.  We’ve been together ten years, married six, and this will be the first one that’s just us.  I’m letting her handle all the preparations.  Our little galley-sized kitchen doesn’t really lend itself to grand preparations.  Then there’s the fact that it’s just the two of us eating.

Other than turkey, pumpkin cheesecake, and some sort of cranberry cocktail she found, I’m not sure what’s on the menu.  She was planning some sort of roasted root vegetable medley, but couldn’t find parsnips or something.  (I think I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve knowingly eaten parsnips.  When we took my mom out for her birthday last year, the restaurant had some sort of root vegetable bisque that I ordered.  It was remarkably good.)

Later, I’m tempted not to watch the night game.  Though I’m really happy to see that there’s a game with an AFC team, I am not particularly fond of the Colts or the Stilluhrs.  (On the bright side, Roethlisberger Girl probably will have no problem finding a place to sit in Indianapolis….)  But these are two bad teams with blitz-happy gimmick 3-4 defenses.  To quote Ke$ha, “you can’t imagine the immensity of the fuck I’m not giving.”  At least the Lions aren’t terrible this year, playing someone else terrible.

But I’m ready for the long break.  The only thing I have planned for Friday is my Tysabri infusion first thing in the morning. December, too, should be rather uneventful.  I only have three visits to the white coat brigades.  My brother and SIL are supposed to visit for Christmas, now that they’re back from Texas.

I wish some of the time I have off was paid, but at least I’m no longer in the previous hellhole.

Speaking of the previous hellhole, when I left, they gave me zero exit paperwork.  The disability policy I signed up for lapsed. (I won’t say too much about how they defrauded me on it, because when I went to use it, it didn’t cover something they said it would when I signed up….)  The vision insurance lapsed, though that really wasn’t a big deal since I’d been paying for private vision insurance on top of whatever this providedl.  It was also only something like ten bucks a month.  The lack of exit paperwork saw that I didn’t get the information about rolling over my tiny 401K.

I wouldn’t have even thought about it;  I try to think as little as possible about those (negative slur)s.  I did end up thinking about it, however, when they sent me notification that they were paying me penalties and interest for an error they’d made with a company match.

Oh, y’all fucked it up?  How can I feign surprised?  Now, how do I roll over the pittance to my IRA, because there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’d ever work for you (negative slur)s again.

So, what happens?  They sent me a form to fill out that said I couldn’t sign electronically.  The best business practices of 1985. Even a wire transfer of the funds would cost me money.  The only free way to get my pittance takes weeks.  We’ll see when I actually get my money.

I also need to roll over my much-larger 401K from the place where I worked 2007-2013.  They switched financial services providers, and rolled all my stuff over.  Recently, they went back to the original company.  I called the original company to do a rollover, and the new, since-abandoned, company still had my account.  What?

I thought there was a chance I’d go back to work for the long-term company  at some point, but considering how long it’s been, it’s probably never happening.

Further, considering what I’ve learned since they cast me off, there’d need to be more than a bit of a sales job on it.  While they weren’t doing any of the criminal shit, themselves, I had suspicions that something untoward was going on.  I told the division manager explicitly not to hire one guy.  I didn’t know what was going on, exactly, but I was concerned about the too-close relationship between him, and someone in the government.

Both will be in Federal Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Prison for several more years.  (The guy I told them not to hire was the bagman for the quarter-million dollars worth of bribes the govvie was getting…..)

Back to Thanksgiving, though.  When I left radio, my first Thanksgiving “free” involved an extended drive to Florida in a box truck the day after the holiday.

The next year, I was actually back on the air at WNIS, filling in for someone.

That is weird;  it’ll be ten years since I was last on the air.


Write about your recycling habits..

My recycling habits…..ummm, I try to do the “right things,” but it’s tough for me in my current situation.

I can’t haul shit (and there’s the George Carlin bit about “shit” versus “stuff”) to the recycling center; I don’t drive.

Today, of course, the news outlets will be recycling shit from 1963. (And ignoring that the President remembers it about as well as I remember Reagan being shot….)

I do try to use up what I have. Case-in-point: the prompt a few days ago about describing the year month-by-month.

I wrote a lot, but none of it really fit with the prompt. It was also a lot of bitching about my string of horrible jobs. I will probably use bits of it as I spew more bits from this scarred brain of mine.

I recycle other things, too. Leftovers. Like that strange Korean beef my wife didn’t like; that went into my lunch.

Is that really recycling, though? Good question.

You look at the economics on it, until very recently, the only thing that it made any economic sense to recycle was alumnium. I haven’t bothered to check whether that’s still true. I would guess that with the collapse in the oil market, it probably still is.

The Green <strike>Energy</stike>Alchemy Economy we were so loudly promised in 2008 got knocked off the shelf by one of the fracking-induced earthquakes.

There haven’t been increases in carbon taxes. Al Gore’s vaunted cap-and-trade scheme didn’t happen.

But this was the answer.

Well, that, along with CFLs from GE.

I’m trying to decide if there’s anything else to say. I’m rather surprised I didn’t get unfriended by someone who proudly proclaimed that she was pruning her Facebook friends list of anyone who disagreed with her politics.

(Disclaimmer: there aren’t many who agree with me, and that’s okay. Hell, my wife and I disagree on a lot. Funny story, though. One of her professors is a local politician with whom I got into a Twitter spat years ago. A different friend posted something she’d written in the local birdcage liner about how to fix the Electoral College. She said pretty much the same stuff I’ve been saying for years.)

It does take me back to college where I was accused by a counterpart in the Student Government Association of being far too egalitarian for anyone to like. The take was along the lines of, “everybody would get what they need, but nobody would be happy.”

When it comes to things like recycling, the same is true. I probably bother the hell out of “both sides,” as I lack the faith of one side, as well as the skepitcism of the other.

Whatever. It’s who I am.

I would say, “so recycle me!”

But the medical establishment won’t even take my blood, courtesy some beef eaten in England in 1988.

Oh well.


Write about something you’ve had to re-learn.The impetus for this was something too personal to write about publicly.

As my nerves stop working, I’ve had to re-learn lots of things.

Many of them are attributable to my limited eyesight, unsteady balance.

I learn to do things one-handed, so I can steady myself with the other.

Perhaps oddly, I find myself doing a lot more things from the sinister side.

The neurologist I saw at Georgetown said I was a lefty. I don’t even. Maybe it’s that I’m wearing my Fitbit on my right wrist, and carrying my cane in my right hand, leaving my left free to do other things.


The TV news is doing pre-fab stories about smartphone apps for cooking. Yeah, about that.

How about just printing the recipe?

Part of my fun the past few days has involved getting my 401K funds from the company that shall not be named. I didn’t even think about the pittance I’d contributed when I finally GTFO of that hellhole until I got a notice that they were paying me a penalty and interest for a mistake they’d made.

I’m trying to be surprised.

But they’re giving me the run-around on getting it rolled over into my IRA.

Again, trying to be surprised.

I seriously need my Tysabri infusion. It’s weird; I’m exhausted, but not terribly sleepy.

This is a Monday for me.

At least there should be an interesting game tonihgttonight.

Apologies, to quote Katy, to my non-existant reader, but I really don’t have a ton to say today.