There and back again

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Labor Day weekend had me on a long road trip. I left home on Saturday, Sept. 3 @2:30pm, and returned Tuesday, Sept. 6 @8:30pm. That’s 3300 (+/-) miles in four days.

Home to Tucson and back again.

That’s a lot of time in the car to think.

Nevada is mostly boring.

I like my bed.

Found out I can do it.

Trying to catch up on sleep and other stuff.

More next week.

Hairy soap

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I’m a body wash in a bottle guy for a reason. I don’t like hairy soap, plain and simple.

What do I mean? Well, I have had a bar of soap in the shower in the past. Obviously, I use it to clean my body, every day without fail. But, I use my hands to get a lather and then use my hands to spread the lather over my body parts – which usually also leads to more lather as well. I do not let the bar of soap touch any part of my body directly because I do not like hair on my bar of soap – even my own. It doesn’t even have to be hair from the nether regions of the body, just hair in general.

Now, imagine that I have managed to keep my soap hair free for several months and things are going swell. No worries in the world.

Then imagine a guest staying at the house who does not follow the same “soap rules” as I do. They take a shower, they use the soap in unacceptable ways, which is of course unbeknownst to them. They think nothing of it.

I am sure you can now imagine my surprise when I go to pick up the bar of soap and notice hair stuck to if from the previous user of the soap – obviously not me. Surprise probably isn’t really the right word…but I’ll keep the discussion family friendly. Bar of soap ruined.

Toss that slippery mess right into the trash! It is now contaminated beyond help.

Weird? I don’t know. Maybe. Anyone else out there hate this?

Thus, I am a body wash in a bottle kind of guy. Problem solved. No extra hair, anywhere.

What choice?

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Choice #1 = crap; Choice #2 = bigger crap

There are a lot of situations in life where you just don’t feel like you have a choice. Of course, it is presented to you as though you have a choice in the matter but you know dang well after hearing “the choices” that there isn’t really a choice.

Don’t you just hate it when someone thinks they have a great idea and you just hate it but they tell you about it expecting you to think its a great idea too and then you have no choice but to go along with it because if you don’t then you know dang well you’ll catch hell for however long they decide you get to catch hell?

Why do I keep having this happen? Well, because someone in my life thinks they are helping someone else when all they are really doing is making things worse. Surprise!

Can’t win if you do (because the idea makes things more complicated and is potentially can make things worse) and I can’t win if I don’t (because someone thinks their idea is the best and telling them “No” will only make things worse in the relationship).

Rock || between || hard place

Don’t you just hate it…?

Dream life?

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I was scrolling through the news this morning and I found an article that pretty much summed up what I think would be a dreamy life. I would love to abandon nearly everything and become a digital nomad like the dude highlighted in this story.

I would like to travel. I would like to live different stints in various parts of the world. I would like to have places to call “home” but have the means to explore. I would love to not worry about finances for the day to day things (granted, his monthly income is more than most). I would love to be that digital nomad so that I could work from anywhere in the world, whenever I need to or wanted to. I would like have the luxurious, simple life. Plain and simple, this guy’s situation seems perfect.

Let’s talk about the income though. He lives on about $8k a month. Would it be possible to live a luxurious life on say $6k a month? Probably. Obviously it’s about choices. But the extra $2k ups the game on not having to worry about making the wrong choices…LOL

I mean, really? Does anyone else want a dream life like this?

Life distracted

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If you have been following along for any time, or have gone back and read some of the old stuff, you know that I have a family member who has a mystery illness that has yet to be figured out. Specialists have looked and they basically have shrugged and said, “Not my system. Check with someone else.” When they are pointing their figers at another bodily system, which leaves us with a bunch of docs point at each other, what does that leave us to do?

We start over, I guess.

Wednesday of last week was spend (at least most of it) in an ER some 50+ miles away. Part of that was to push a referral process along and part of it was the fact that the ER/hospital is not only approved by insurance but is connect to or works closely with the specialist with the insurance parent company/clinic.

Confusing, right?

Anyway, ER time equals overnight observation and a test that hadn’t been done yet but which we has pushed for with the first specialist. Thursday was mostly spend waiting for a test and then waiting for results. As it turns out, that test revealed nothing other than everything appears to be “normal.”

Yet the doctors that have seen the family memeber agree there is definitely something wrong.

I am at work today but needless to say, I am distracted. It’s been that way since this all started. Hard to focus. Hard to get stuff done.

Actually, it’s hard to do anything in life really. I am constantly reminded or thinking of something than whatever I am doing. I am find that I don’t really enjoy anything because I am always thinking about the other person. They don’t enjoy anything because they can’t physically do it or when they try they suffer the whole time they endure it.

Endure it.

Really, that’s what life has become. Everything is about enduring every activity, interaction, location, meal, or socialization.

Normal doesn’t feel possible any longer.

Ghost power

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Weird thing occured today. I am working away in my home office (aka the garage) when I notice something out of the corner of my eye that isn’t right…

Sitting on a shelf to my right is a Lighthouse 400 lantern made by Goal Zero. I have had a couple years and have used is less that a handful of times. I bought it from someone who received it as a gift and didn’t want it. It was in the sealed original packaging when I picked it up.

It caught my attention because it was on, while sitting on the shelf.

It wasn’t that way when I started work this morning.

It caught my attention in my periphial vision because it was blinking slightly and then just came on.

Now, mind you, the power switch for the lantern is not on. It hasn’t been powered on. As it sits next to me now, it is in the off position.

I can turn the lantern on to the right to use both LED lights and return it to the off position. The light stays on. I can turn the lantern on to the left and use only one of the LED lights and return it to the off position. The light stays on.

I have no idea what is going on.

I searched the internet to see if someone else has had a similar issue. I only found one instance and it was a different model and it was after the person had physically turned on the lantern themselves.

So bizarre.

I have contacted the company but haven’t heard back yet.

For now, I am going to leave the thing on an open concrete floor in the garage in case it decides to set itself on fire too…

Bucket of poo

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Well, well, well….this probably falls into the TMI category, but you get to take a look through the window of poop testing. Actually not really “probably,” it does fall into the TMI category but I am wondering if others have had a similar frustration while trying to poop in a bucket for health reasons.

A while back I was notified by the insurance company that I needed to have my colon checked because I turned 50 this year. I made the appointment with my doc and we discussed the options. Basically, there are three ways to do this: every year I can smear some poop on a strip of paper and send it in, or every six years I can poop in a bucket for Cologuard, or I can go the route of every 10 years having an up close and personal inspection of my colon via the colonoscopy. Three options that vary in invasiveness but all get the job done. I went with the second option, poop in a bucket.

Honestly, I didnt’ think it was going to be that big a deal. What I have learned is there is a huge marketing campaign (bigger than just the tv commericials) behind the behind investigation. The paperwork was filled out and short thereafter I started receiving snail mail about the test, emails about the test, text messages about the test, and voicemail messages about the test. Eventually the test showed up and about every 4-7 days I would get a text reminder that I needed to complete the test and send it in.

When I finally felt that I could complete it I read the instructions and went through the uncomfortable process of getting the bucket in the toilet and then making sure my aim was good enough to not make a mess. I completed the test, took the box to a UPS drop off place to make sure it was Next Day Air shipped as required.

Not long after I got a voicemail saying that my sample was not accepted and that I would have to do it again. No reasons given, just call them to have it sent again. Perplexing…

When I called to have another one shipped, I asked why it wasn’t accepted. I figured maybe it didn’t make it there on time. Nope, not the reason. The reason was because “the sample was too heavy.” My assumption is that the sample was too big – apparently they weigh it before testing it and if it is too heavy they just toss it. SMH….never mind the fact that the sample done correctly other than there was “too much.” And you’re telling me that it is completely unusable because there is too much???

Um, are you aware that pooping isn’t a start and stop kind of event? Basically, they want you to poop a little, stop, remove the bucket from the toilet, and then continue pooping. Yeah, about that….WHO DOES THEIR POOPING IN STAGES? Or, I guess the alternative would be to find some kind of utensil to dig around in the bucket to remove excess poo to deposit it into the toilet. Nothing like inspecting your poo before shipping off a bucket of it…

Anyway, there is now another box with a bucket sitting next to the toilet waiting for me to have “just the right size” “movement” to fulfill all their requirements.

Anyone else been frustrated with the requirements of the Cologuard sample process?

Tired choices

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Northwest living can be an actual and total grind. Seriously.

The joke around here is that summer starts after July 4 and the number of rainy, cool July 4ths I have experienced in my 50 years is pretty high. Look, it’s wet a lot up here and we all know it. BUT…

Right now the grass and weeds are growing uncontrolled because the rain literally stops for like one day, maybe two, every week and a half. As such, I am forced to make choices about what activites are going to take place outside.

Do I do something fun or relaxing outside? Or, do I do yardwork in an effort to catch up after not doing yardwork for a week/week and a half? If I choose what I want to do, that which I should/need to do suffers. If I choose what I should/need to do, that which I would prefer to do suffers.

If you choose incorrectly, it could be a long while in between being able to do either outside.

I am tired of making these choices.

How about summer start now for a change?

Towel throwing

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At what point do you just, “Throw in the towel?” Literally, if we throw the towel into the washing machine we don’t know if it will actually get cleaned or not.

At the beginning of March, we bought a Kenmore washing machine from Costco.com. It wasn’t the cheapest model, but it also wasn’t the most expensive. We decided that we didn’t really need something fancy, but one with “triple action” agitation without the agitator sounded good. We had it delivered, mostly because they would haul the old machine away at no charge and then I wouldn’t have to do it.

The new Kenmore washer didn’t work correctly from the very beginning. No matter what I did to it to try and “balance” it, it sounded like there was a body inside of the machine and that it was bouncing around inside the laudry room. When I finally did get it close to balanced it squeaked and squealed like a pig getting chased around it’s pen. It was taking two, sometimes three, “Drain & Spin” cycles to get a load dry enough to even put into the dryer.

I called the repair service. Mind you, this was a new washer and it was only two months into it.

The first guy came out and said it was the drive belt and clutch. Ordered parts. Service is covered by warranty.

Parts arrived. Second guy comes out and says the first guy didn’t actually diagnos the issue correctly and the parts that were ordered weren’t needed. Second guy dug into the machine and said, “I have been doing this a lot of years and I have never seen this part (can’t remember which one he said) in that color. I am going to replace it.” Luckily, he had several parts in his van that he said needed repaired. He left and it supposedly was repaired.

The very next load run through it again sounded like someone was in the machine. Stopped the load, tried to balance it out (which by appearances it looked fine), still banging. More loads. More banging and squealing.

So, today after work, I get to unhook the thing and haul it back to the local Costco.

I have no idea what the plan is to replace it.

Perhaps running water and some rocks in the backyard.

Drudging along

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Today marks five days of working from home while miserably sick. Telecommuting has it’s advantages, though I have debated whether or not this is actually one of them.

Sure, I have sick days I could have used. But after being away from work for more than a week because of vacation, taking additional days away because I am sick doesn’t seem fair to my team and for all intents and purposes it hardly seems fair to me…the work load after being gone for vacation was bad enough. Add more because of being sick? It would have been overwhelming!

Sure, working while sick is miserable…on top of already being miserable. But, someone has to make money in the house. Sitting around all day focusing on how miserable I feel doesn’t make me feel better. At least there is some progress being made at work, even though I am not physically AT work. Telecommuting has it’s advantages in that I can still work without being required to take those sick days off. In another setting, I would have had to burn these days. In another job, these days would also go unpaid. That would add a whole level of personal stress so I am thankful for what I have.

However, there have been several times over the last couple of days that I wondered if I was going to be able to keep drudging along. Coughing into a headset while working with a client isn’t a good idea. Constantly sniffling/snorting snot isn’t a good sound. The throbbing in the sinus region pounds out a reminder that says, “Don’t think you’re even close to relief…” The wheezing in the chest, the rattling of gunk down there in the lungs, well, that makes for a pleasant surprise when a cough actually produces something to dispose of. The light headedness after a coughing fit is enjoyable only in the sense that the desire to lay my head on the desk for a brief period of time might lead to a nap…only to remind myself that I am supposed to be working.

I have taken a nap nearly every day during my lunch break. Those are a pleasant reprieve. Only to be awakened by an alarm that says I need to return to work. Damn oppresive alarms….

Anyway, I might be starting to feel better. It’s only been five actual work days, and probably five actual days of being positive (I don’t really know since my symptoms got worse after my last test and I refuse to waste a test if I am nearly 100% positive I know what I have). I’ll test again tomorrow to see what the status is. That’s give me a direction about whether or not I can return to the office early next week. I’ll follow that up with another test on Sunday, just to be sure it is safe.

Keep your heads down.