In the mirror

brass framed wall mirror

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Every stand in front of the mirror and wonder, “What happened?”

I mean, this is starting to become a regular occurrence for me. So, I wonder if others have a similar experience any time they are in front of a mirror.

I am not a good judge of myself, at least when it comes to appearance. I’ll say that right off the top. I am hard on myself. But, to be honest, I haven’t ever though that I fall in the “attractive” category. “OK” at best, but probably mostly “Fair” would be safe.

Anyway, the bathroom is becoming my enemy. Well, any place that has a mirror, but mostly the bathroom. Or, you could probably include any picture of me. Those suck too, but that’s a whole other story.

So, morning and night starts and ends in the bathroom for me. I have to “put in my eyes,” as I like to say it, in the morning and “take out my eyes” at night. Blind as a bat…but that too is a post for another day.

I watch my body change. I watch my face change. I watch what “used to be” become my “new normal” and I just wonder, “What the hell happened?” My face could scare small children (and likely does…though it doesn’t crack the mirror so maybe it isn’t that bad…) and my body could be used as a boat anchor, only I probably would still float too well. Aches appear from nowhere. Creaks and pops from the joints that used to be flexible and nimble. Bumps, lines, and spots appear on my face as though I am trying to win a topographical map contest. I stare at it and it stares back. Only the gaze that comes back is different than the one previously.

Age. Is. Unkind. It can’t be denied and it can’t be avoided. I guess there is some control over how it happens and how gracefully you can handle it, but in the end the end still comes.

Some days though, I can’t help but dislike what I see.

 

Viewing issues

food snack popcorn movie theater

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“Want to watch a show?”

“Sure.”

“Let me see what I can find.”

Anyone who travels outside of the US have any issues viewing television or movies on your preferred viewing platform?

When I was in Canada a few weeks ago I was going to try to catch up on a TV show that I watch when I went to Hulu and couldn’t get it to play my shows. I could get to the screen to launch the show, but as soon as you get to the page that typically has the episodes listed it didn’t display any episodes. Was this an issue with Hulu? Was it because it was a TV show?

I didn’t have any issues with Netflix or Disney+, just Hulu (and I didn’t try Amazon Prime).

It just seemed very weird to me as I would have thought that I would be able to access the content no matter where I was in the world. Maybe I was wrong.

What say you, oh world of wise tech folks and blogging friends?

Belly up

white vehicle in road close up photography

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When things go belly up, especially a car, it makes for a really unpleasant rush to make a decision.

We, meaning my X and I and my teen daughter, purchased a used car back in June. We knew it wasn’t a top notch used car, but we figured it would get us a year (hopefully two) before it would need to be replaced. Since I just talked about making decisions with the X a few days ago, you can imagine that the process of finding and deciding on a car the first time was a chore, to say the least.

Well, now the car has gone belly up and the repairs (at least by the first estimate) appear to be more than the car is worth. I, nor her step-dad, are mechanically inclined when it comes to engines so doing a repair ourselves isn’t really an option. I have friends that could possibly do the work, but since the car is 30 miles from my home that isn’t exactly a “Hey, can you pop over and do some repairs?” kind of situation.

So, we…are back to trying to figure out options. Besides high school, my daughter has a part-time job and is also doing running start (college while still in high school), so the need for her transportation is kinda high as public transit isn’t the greatest or most efficient (or safe?) in the area where she lives. Thus, the options are few.

Ugh! Why are children so expensive….?

Savings

abundance bank banking banknotes

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Anyone else notice that banks, the place that needs money more than anyone to do the business of money, does nothing to encourage savings? I mean, well, they do give it lip service but that doesn’t really count.

A bank is a place to put money, to store it or save it. That’s what they were originally created for. It was safer to have it stored in one place where they could keep it safe and then when people needed it they could go there to get it out.

As time went along, the banks figured out they could make money by loaning out the money people deposited with them and then charging interest on the loan, thus making it a profitable venture to store money.

As banks increased the amount they loaned out, they needed more and more people to “invest” with them and they used the new capital to loan more money out. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle, but it makes sense for all involved until…

…until it didn’t make sense to put money in the bank any more.

The interest rate you get from the bank on the money you put in the bank is almost nil. Like far all intents and purposes, it is ZERO. So, what is the benefit of putting money in the bank? Sure, there is the convenience of not carrying around piles of cash or pounds of coins, but is that all?

Banks need capital. You think they’d do something to encourage people to put there money there. I actually deposited a rather large amount of money in a bank that was giving an outstanding rate on CDs (Certificates of Deposit). That’s how a bank should generate capital.

They seem to take for granted that they are just guaranteed business, which maybe they are. Maybe consumers pay no attention at all to the fees or benefits they get from bank to bank, but it does pay to shop around and give business to banks that actually benefit you rather than just use you as an endless supply of currency to feed off of.

We need to be better consumers and actually cause the banks to fight for our money. Let’s bring the competition back and make them beg for our money instead of letting them tell us what we can do with our own money. Make sense?

Who’s with me on this?

X factor

yellow and pink lighted x decor

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When you are divorced and have had a child (or children), there is always the “X factor” to consider.

It’s sad to say, but as fathers we very typically get the shaft when it comes to co-parenting the children after a divorce. There is honestly no logical reasoning behind this precedent other than the mother is nearly always seen as “the fittest parent” in these situations, regardless of the circumstances. Even when you can demonstrate, with evidence, that as a father you would be a better choice for the child’s custodial parent it is a costly uphill battle that has no guaranteed outcome.

As I was preparing the visitation calendar for 2020 for my teen daughter, it just brought back all the times where I have had to consider the X factor over the last 14 years. We divorced when she was under two so I have had a lot of considering to do, and still have a little while longer to deal with it. It has been a challenge over the years.

How will the X respond to this? What will the X do now? Is there a way to get the X to be reasonable? How crazy is my X, really? I can’t believe the X responded the way she did. Why does the X have to make everything about herself? Why does the X always make this more challenging than it needs to be? How is the X gonna take this? How can I do this so it doesn’t piss the X off? Now what does the X want? 

If you are a divorced father with children, you likely know all too well what I mean. Or, maybe you are even a mother with a crazy X, you know too. Really this post isn’t so much about fathers (though that is my experience) but about the fact that while raising children as divorced parents you are always having to consider the X factor. Everything you do seems to revolve around the other person even though you aren’t with that person every day.

I am thankful that it has gotten a little better since my daughter is now older and can transport herself, but as I was still working on a visitation calendar (which really hasn’t been followed since my daughter is old enough to have a job now) that I still have to consider the X factor when it comes to my daughter. Just a couple more years that I am REQUIRED to consider the X…then it will only have to be during major life events for my daughter. That will be a whole new chapter of X factor to deal with.

Can anyone else relate to this?

Garbage cans

trash near door

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I recently posted about my time in a hotel room and the lights not being on when I got there after dark. There are several other things about the experience I want to talk about, but I didn’t want to do it all at once. Let’s savor the experiences, shall we?

Anyway, the room was pretty clean. Maids at the hotels, for the most part, do a pretty good job. But there is one thing that they do that I am not sure if it is a training thing, or just personal thing they do to irritate guests…

Ever notice the garbage can liners are tied so tightly that you can hardly get anything to go in them? And then when you push an item into it, it breaks the liner or just causes it to come off altogether?

In this case, every single garbage can liner in the room was so tight that you couldn’t get anything into the cans. Stuff literally just sat on top of the can! I tried to push one item into the can, thinking the liner would open up a little and allow the item to go into the can. Nope. No such luck. It just pulled the whole thing loose. Now there was no point to have a liner in the can at all.

Anyone know? Do they do this on purpose? I have noticed this in several hotels now. It must be an industry thing, but why?

 

Babies

pexels-photo-987585.jpeg

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Babies are ugly.

There I said it.

Nearly all, and I do mean all, babies are ugly. There really is nothing cute about them.

No, I don’t want to see pictures of your baby. No, I don’t want to see pictures of your new grand-baby. No, I don’t wanna see pictures of any baby.

People, listen, no one really wants to see anything about a baby unless they ask you directly to see pictures of the baby. Otherwise, you are just annoying people needlessly with your gushing about a baby no one cares about but you.

Seriously.

I don’t want to read a blog about your babies. I don’t want to see video clips about your babies. I don’t want so hear stories about your babies.

Just knock it off already.