The worst bed

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I’ve done it folks! I think I have discovered the worst bed in Arizona.

This trip to Arizona hasn’t exactly been a relaxing one. As you may have read in a recent post, dividing time between two parts of your family who haven’t seen you (in person) for at least a year is a challenge to say the least. On top of that, they both want you to stay with them so they get a little time with you while the other part of the family isn’t around.

We started out at my sister-in-law’s house. Big, spacious, and pretty much a space that was just for us in the downstairs portion of the house. All the amenities and most importantly, a bed that was comfortable. Sure, it wasn’t home, but it was at least as good as a hotel.

Now, we are at my in-laws and they have a hide-a-bed to sleep on. This is the first time I have been to their place since they moved down here so I didn’t know what was in store for me. When I walked into the room and saw it folded out I knew I was in trouble. I could already see from the mattress that there was a curve in it and “the middle” would become a dreaded sleeping space. There isn’t the usual bar to sleep on, so there is that. But, the bed is too soft and the pillows too flat. It is killing my back and my neck. The neck issues I am having are now only amplified, which means ibuprofen every day and an unplanned trip to the chiropractor when I get home.

Sleep has been tough to come by.

So, if ever in AZ, don’t stay at my in-laws. You have been duly warned.

Resigned truth

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Two stories in the media over the last week deal with the truth and ultimately what may lead to a resignation in both cases. In one instance, the resignations came swiftly. In the other, it remains to be seen on what will happen but I am fairly sure it will also result in a resignation.

Truth hurts.

Plain and simple.

Of course, we live in a world that now speaks of “your truth” or “my truth.” There is no such thing. There is only one truth. You can’t create a truth for yourself because it makes you feel better. Truth doesn’t care about your feelings. Truth is truth. You can’t invent truth by telling a lie over and over again to make it true (though there are lots of people who do this). Truth is unchanging, even when we don’t like it.

School Board

Was the school board that far off on what they said in a “hot mic” moment for a meeting? They all have since resigned, but what exactly are they resigning for? The truth? Sure, they were speaking in generalities and doesn’t apply to all parents, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

If you have been in education at all (and I was for 15 years), the feelings of frustration expressed at the meeting are feelings that all people in education, at one time or another, have felt and thought. Teachers know full well that parents are the WORST part of the job. Not the students. Not the admin. Not the co-workers. Not the long hours or the endless paperwork. It’s the parents. Always the parents.

So, their criticism of the parents was not off base at all. Yes, they want their babysitters back so they can go to work. Yes, they want their kids gone so they can smoke pot (side note: the kids I was teaching as high school students are the late 20s, early 30s adults that led the push to legalize pot and are now smoking openly in their homes, around their children). Yes, parents don’t care what it takes each day to teacher their children. No, they don’t understand that their child acts differently at school than they do at home. Yes, not all kids are angels and they DO act like that at home and at school.

Professional Baseball

Kevin Mather of the Seattle Mariners head office (President and minority owner) stepped into last week with a video that basically offended everyone in baseball or that enjoys baseball. BUT, did he say anything that wasn’t true or hasn’t been thought and felt over the decades of baseball? No, I don’t think so.

The problem is that he talked of some things that are “taboo” I guess. Openly admitting that you are playing with people’s careers in order to keep them under contract longer or that hiring additional support staff to aid baseball personalities is a drain on revenue isn’t something we haven’t all thought or assumed. But the fact that he had the audacity to say the truth, in essence exposing a dirty little secret that every team in the league has dealt with, has turned the baseball world upside down.

Will he ultimately end up sacrificing his position? Yeah, I think he will. He is going to have to play to the PR nightmare game that is created by candor and truth, because people don’t like it.

To make amends, people will demand his resignation just like they did with the school board mentioned earlier. It won’t make the issues go away. The truth won’t make the issues go away. The issues will just be swept under the rug again and it will be business as usual. There won’t be a reckoning with the truth and people won’t change their ways.

They’ll (those being spoken about) just create their own truth to justify their behavior and keep on, keeping on.

One, other, or all?

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Sometimes the choices about a how you use your time and the entertainment that you consume is tough. There are so many different options these days. From the extremely varied different video streaming services, to all the music streaming platforms, to all the options for books (real, audio, digital), podcasts, and social media.

It literally is difficult to keep up with all the options. Like literally.

I like movies and TV.

I like audio books.

I like listening to music.

I like listening to a couple different podcasts.

So, the question is, how do I do it all? Do I need a schedule? How do I give them all their due audience? Seriously.

I like music to fill time while I am putzing. I like to listen to podcasts and audio books while I putz. I listen to music while I work.

I like to watch stuff, but I actually watch – I can’t just listen. That takes time.

So, how do I watch my shows and movies, listen to audio books and podcasts, and how do I listen to all the music?

Are you like me? Do you do all this stuff or do you just focus on one? How do you deal with all this entertainment and balance it, like to keep up with it?

Avoidance

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It snowed for about 36 hours this last weekend. The snow was light and fresh and was covering everything. We got about 9″ of the white stuff.

For a short time, the world was quiet. Peaceful even. There is something very comforting in watching it snow. For me, it causes me to slow down and enjoy the stillness. Silence. Fresh.

But, under that blanket of white there is a yard that just makes me cringe.

I can honestly say this is the time of year where I just think the NW is plain ol’ ugly. The trees are naked. The grass isn’t green yet. Everything feels grey and cold, not to mention sopping wet. The snow helps hide this dreadful scene.

With the snow, the yuckiness is gone. It just goes away. It can be avoided, put off, ignored. The ugliness is replaced by something beautiful, divine, perfect.

So, while the snow lasted, I avoided even thinking of all the work that has to happen in the yard before Spring arrives. Now the snow is melting quickly and the sopping, rain soaked ugliness is returning.

Avoidance is no longer something I can hold on to.

I am just gonna have to do it.

They really know

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Some people just really know how to push your buttons. Some people just really know how to make you feel lower than low. Some people just don’t show you any appreciation or love. Some of those people are people you just know, maybe they’re coworkers or acquaintances. But sometimes they are people that are supposedly close to you.

Step-kids.

Yesterday was the beginning of my 49th trip around the sun. It was a quiet day since the day before we were blanketed with about 9″ of snow (and the ensuing compact snow and ice on the roads). So, much of the day was spent watching tv, taking a nap, playing video games, and eating food.

Lots of people on social media, family and friends alike, issued wishes of cheer and congratulations on the day. That felt good.

Only two of the nine children (our six kids and three spouses/significant others) managed to communicate with me. MY daughter and the second oldest of the step-kids. That doesn’t feel nice.

They sure know how make me feel like crap…

Rarity

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I am staring at the screen and I am not sure what to write. This is a rarity. I always have something to say!

So, either I am having writer’s block, I have run out of things to Piss & Moan about, or I am dead.

Could there be another option? Probably not.

So, what’s up with this? It feels weird. I am not sure what it is or how to feel. It’s kind of like when you’re blindfolded and have to reach into something to identify and unknown, squishy and slimy substance. When you kind of know what it is, but you don’t really know what it is. That’s kinda how it feels.

I need topics! Give me topics! Drop some comments about stuff that bugs you and I will give you my take on it.

That should work.

Or flop. Probably flop.

You’ll never participate much.

That’s kinda like sitting in an empty room talking to myself. I’m talking about important stuff, but no one is listening.

OK, GO! Do it now! Really, I mean it. GO FOR IT!

Just chill

OK, no, I don’t wanna chill.

Seriously.

It is damn cold outside (for the NW) and it is freaking chilly inside the house.

This week the low temps up here in the Northwest corner of the US is going to be in the low 20s. That isn’t typical for us so when it gets down in this range, we tend to just break out the sweatshirts and insulated jackets and try to avoid the out of doors. Last night the low was around 27 degrees.

So, the furnace has been acting funny and last night I was pretty sure there we were headed for a breakdown. Sure enough, this morning the house was 58 degrees when it should have been 66 when I got up. The furnace has in “lockout” mode – meaning it tried, it didn’t get lit, and then it gave up…for the next three hours.

When I got up to let the dog out at 5:00am I was like, “Crap. This is rather irritating, and cold. Dang, it’s cold in here.”

I tried resetting the furnace by turning off the power and then back on again. The stupid thing gave a good effort but after three cycles of trying, I gave up and went back to bed where it was warm. After warming up a bit, I was awake. So, back out of bed I went and out to build a fire in the wood stove. I was trying to be quiet so as to not wake the others in the house. Quiet, I tell you. Only to have one of the smoke detectors decide to CHIRP for a new battery. So much for being quiet.

Anyway, fire started and going and the warmth is starting to fill the room.

I called into work and let my manager know I was going to have to deal with this issue today and took at least half the day off. (Thank goodness for flexibility!)

I disassembled the ignitors, cleaned them with sandpaper, and reinstalled them. Furnace back on, cycled through the startup process, and still nothing. So, out comes the shop vac and vacuuming the pumps, the fans, the gas feed tubes (not sure of the technical term), etc. How did I know to do this stuff? I had a tech here once who we called because this happened like 6 years ago and we had no idea why it wasn’t working. He literally came out, cleaned the stuff, and charged $125 for 15 minutes of work. He was like, “Look, you don’t need me or need to pay me for this stuff. You can do it yourself.” He showed me what to look for, where to clean, and how to take the ignitors out and clean them.

VOILA!

Everything is back up and running. “Let there be heat!”

The fireplace is all fired up (see what I did there?) but the furnace is now doing what it is supposed to. I’ll keep the fire burning so as to not drive up the gas bill while the cold is here this week, but we are back in the warmth.

Lemons

The Super Bowl ended up not being that super. There wasn’t much of a game, the halftime show sucked, and a good majority of the commercials were not entertaining. The whole thing just left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I am sure some people were happy with the results, but overall it was a lackluster event.

But, there were a few standout commercials that were worth watching. In fact, they were worth watching then and I think they are worth watching now. Three that stood out for me:

“Last Year’s Lemons”

“Certain Is Better”

Those were the ones I enjoyed the most. How about you? Did you watch the Super Bowl? Did you see he commercials in the week before the game? Did you skip the whole thing altogether and just ignore the fact that it was even on?

Minty eye

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There is some danger in brushing your teeth. I know this isn’t probably widely talked about, but your toothbrush and toothpaste container may have it out for you if you’re not careful.

I was brushing my teeth a couple days back (yes, I brush them every day. Gross. Don’t make it sound like it is an occasional thing…) and I had something happen to me that I haven’t had happen in 48+ years. It was surprising to say the least and it STUNG LIKE HELL (like heat cream in the jock strap kind of sting!).

Here’s how it went down:

Minding my own business and going through my morning routine. Picked up the toothbrush, picked up the tube of toothpaste, and proceeded to carefully apply said paste to brush. I have done this a lot, so I don’t take a lot of particular care in application but I always try to make sure there isn’t a bunch of leftover hanging out of the tube when I close the lid (no one like the toothpaste crust on the outside of the nozzle). As the toothpaste reached the last few bristles of the brush, the bristles caught the edge of the tube opening…

Catapult!

Picture the films of back in the day when they used catapults to throw big rocks over the walls of castles and forts and whatnot. Only this time the catapult was flinging toothpaste.

In less than the blink of an eye (I literally watched the white glob fly at me) minty-fresh, teeth-whitening Colgate landed in the corner of my eye.

There was no Matrix effect for me to dodge it. There was no time to blink. There was no time to flinch.

“Eye, meet toothpaste. It’ll be staying for a while, and it will be uncomfortable, so buckle up for this ride.”

Stinging, blinking profusely, scrunched face, I tried to complete the job of brushing my teeth. It was tough. It took 23 minutes for the stinging to go away.

So yeah, if you want to sniff my minty eye some time let me know.

Wink wink, blink blink, wink wink.

Six(ty) Word Story

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We have talked about it over and over again. You know I don’t like it.

I have asked you not to do it. You agreed you wouldn’t.

Yet, you do it anyway. Are your actions that important to only you?

You just ignore me and my feelings, my requests.

I don’t understand. I’m confused.

I’ll just sit here hurt, alone.