Talking trash

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No, this isn’t exactly what you think it might be about. I am not going to talk trash about someone or something. No smack talk this time…though it’s probably about time to do some of that…

This post is about trash, trash cans, and hotels.

Small. The trash cans in hotels rooms are small. Like extra small, it seems.

Honestly, I have probably noticed this before – way back in the day when I did more business travel. But, now that I have been doing a bit more travel for pleasure, I have noticed it again in the two most recent stays. The can (or cans) in a hotel room are really small.

Do they not expect that you are going to generate garbarge in your stay?

They only want to clean your room upon request, provided you are staying more than one night, so if you have more than a couple days then your can fills up pretty quickly – especially if you order food to bring back to the room with you. In the old days when they cleaned rooms every day, assuming you allowed it to happen, I can image that a small can made sense. But these days? Not so much.

Anyone else noticed the can(s) in your room seems to be exceptionally small? What really is the point of this, as it is entirely impractical?

Holding on

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Been a little over a week since the last post. Since that post, it seems I’ve had to enter survival mode. That might be a bit of a dramatic statement, but that is definitely the way it feels.

So, the Celebration of Life mentioned in the last post was nice. Still hard to believe and the grieving process moves in waves. Just when you think you have gotten past it and moved on, something triggers it. Not so much for me, but others in the family. I wasn’t as close as some.

The gathering of family and friends from near and far created a an issue that some probably foresaw or at least could have been predicted. As such, there were lots of people around and one (at least that we know of) tested positive the day after the gathering. Obviously, that means lots of people from all different places we in close proximity and exposure was inevitable.

Two people in the house now have tested positive. I haven’t yet, though the evening after I tested negative I got the chills really bad. However, I am pretty positive I am now positive. Waiting on more tests to confirm that, but it seems a logical conclusion.

It’s now been two miserable days of discomfort. But, so far I can say that this equals probably the worst cold I have ever had. I had Mono back in college – it almost feels like that.

Anyway, that’s the latest update. Hunkered down, trying to rest, work from home, and stay hydrated.

Vacuum Tube

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*Eye roll*

*Sits back and watches insanity unfold*

So, there is still this argument by a large segment of the population that kept saying “Follow the science” that isn’t going to accept the fact that the science never supported the mandated masks on airplanes. In most cases, in general, the mandated masks were never really supported in most places. But, this is a victory for all who have ridden in a large, silver, metal vacuum tube and felt suffocated by the policy.

As I am sure you are all aware now, the mask mandate on public transportation, the biggest of which was airlines. The CDC, which instituted the policy while under the watch of President Trump, was ruled to have exceeded their authority – really no surprise here. At first, it seemed a reasonable step as there was so much unknown about what was going on (I am trying to avoid being shadowed banned here, possibly, so being a little vague but you know what I mean). Through every iteration of the unknown, the mandate has remained in place even though the severity, and risk, has diminished substantially.

The CDC themselves said that the science showed that most face masks didn’t work for stopping the spread, but there was never a requirement instituted that you had to wear a certain kind of mask on a plane to stop the spread. More science showed that the air in an airplane (granted this is the industry that stands to benefit from riders) was mostly safe since it was cycled in and out regularly and often. As such, when you put those two scientific finding together, masks on an plane didn’t make much sense.

Isn’t it weird (actually it’s not) that one side of the aisle screams follow the science when it fits their agenda but doesn’t want to follow the science when it doesn’t?

Now, there are people all over social media screaming and crying about having to fly in a metal death trap tube because masks aren’t required. Hold up! Wait, wait, wait! It’s not required…not banned…meaning, if you still feel the need to wear a mask, wear one! If you feel at risk and the bare faces of the people around you makes you feel anxious, don’t fly.

It’s pretty simple…you know, just like they were telling those of us that didn’t want to get stuck or wear a mask or provide proof…if you don’t want to do it, just don’t go the the place that require it. Take your business somewhere else that will accommodate you. Or just don’t.

Shoe’s on the other foot now, isn’t it?

Retirement envy

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It hit me this week that I am having a serious case of retirement envy. I don’t think there is an official diagnosis for this sort of thing, but I have found as I have co-workers retiring or coming up on retirement (one retired this month, one coming at the end of the year, and at least two in the next two years) that I am extremely envious of the life they are entering or going to be entering.

Having turned 50 near the start of the year, it has gotten me thinking about the future and what I want that future to look like. I have heard talk of those who are (or have) retiring that they hit the 30/62 threshold (30 years, age 62) and it made sense for them to step away from the work world. Immediately I have started thinking, “Is that an option for me? Could I really have only 12 years left if done right? Or, am I a 15-17 year person?”

There is, of course, a trade off with retirement. The obvious one is that you are trading age for income, unless you are extremely successful or independently wealthy. To retire earlier, you need money that will support your current lifestyle and last. To retire later, you have to age (get older) to a point where enjoying the retirement years could be jeopardized by the uncertainty of health. There is no perfect answer here.

I am just finding I want the life they are about to get. Envy. The life I would like to lead right now and enjoy seems so far off and I want to be young enough and healthy enough to really enjoy it!

I know I need to set up a meeting with a financial advisor and actually get a better, more complete picture of what needs to be done to make the picture in my head a reality. It is on the agenda for this month. The envy is causing me to get anxious to see what really needs to be done at this point.

Anyone with some experience have some helpful tips or tricks? Advice that would suddenly make the picture more clear and the path forward easier?

Dark and stormy

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I was driving home last night across one of our state’s mountain passes – Snoqualmie Pass. The highway is Interstate 90 and I have to say that the pass is one of the worst places to drive at night while it is raining. The roadway is so poorly marked it is near impossible to see where the lanes of travel are and you pretty much have to guess and hope you are maintaining your lane.

Look, I get that it is hard to have reflectors and stripes and other means of marking the roadway on a mountain pass, one that needs to get plowed fairly often during the winter months. I realize that the plow blades rip up nearly everything you put down on the roadway. I get it.

But, seriously, all the technology that’s out there and means available to adjust the way those lane markers could be applied to the surface so they don’t get scraped off each winter hasn’t been found yet?

I don’t get it.

What I do get is that there are portions of the highway that are downright dangerous to drive when it is dark and raining, which is approximately half the day and most of the year.

Maybe it’s just my old eyes. I can’t imagine that there aren’t other people that feel the same way.

So, if you have to travel through WA, stay off the passes at night. They’re all pretty much that way.

You’ve been warned.

Not science

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Don’t where mask. Wear masks. Masks won’t help, masks help, masks are virtually worthless. No mask mandate, mask mandate, no mask mandate, more mask mandates, relax mask mandates. Now, the CDC says that masks aren’t needed by most people while indoors. OK, so what does that mean? Well, “the CDC says…” is at it again. Only other government agencies don’t seem to be listening to them either.

The TSA just extended the mask mandate for another month, despite the fact that the CDC said it was safe to drop the mask mandate. So, for those of you flying on planes over the next month and a half (or so) you will still be wearing the nearly useless (the CDC’s words) face condom.

The curious thing is that when people were flying early on in this whole thing, the government and airlines were touting that airplane air was nearly the safest you could have because of filters and quick recycling, etc. The need for masks on a plane seemed strange then if there was this whole PR campaign around how safe it was. Now, as the whole things is beginning to wind down and “the CDC recommends…” is back on the menu, they want to extend mask usage “in the safest air” space.

So was the science true or not?

Perhaps this is more of the parental “Because I said so” statement from the government rather than for real good reasons. When you combine the information from what “science” says with what the CDC says, maybe it should be left to the individual on whether or not you should wear a mask. For those who are scared and feel unsafe, wear a mask. For those who are not or feel protected sufficiently, they should have the choice not to.

Seems simple enough, right?

Traffic in Oregon

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There are a lot of things wrong in Oregon. The direction of the state, politically speaking, is headed entirely in the wrong direction and the policies of the state are on full view as you drive through the state. However, that isn’t the point of this post.

I am not sure what the hell is wrong with drivers down there, but they (as a whole; generalization, I know) are terrible.

My recent trip through the state left me with a bad impression. It seems many of the drivers down there have little road knowledge or just have decided they are going to have no roadway courtesy at all. I couldn’t drive quickly enough to get through the state after all the frustration.

First case in point, left lane vs. right lane.

I-5 through most of the state is two lanes wide. Sure, it widens to some degree in major cities and through mountain passes, as needed, but for the most part there are more miles of two lanes than three. This is a problem for drivers who are going through the state.

It seems in Oregon a vast majority of the drivers (I can see license plates so I know what state they are from) like to camp in the left lane instead of being courteous and moving back to the right lane after overtaking a vehicle. They just perpetually are left lane drivers.

Now, for the road illiterate…on a two lane highway, the right lane is for slower vehicles (in general) and “local” travel. The left lane is the “fast” lane and for through (or distance) travel. However, courtesy says that on a two lane highway traffic should keep right except for passing (in some cases, like WA, it is state law). Regardless of your speed, even if you are “fast,” you should still move to the right (if space allows, think minimum 100 yards) until you overtake the next vehicle.

Anyway, Oregon drivers apparently don’t know these rules or they have total disregard for them. I can’t tell you the number of times I had to step on the brake to come out of cruise control to slow down behind a long line of vehicles in the left lane. In some cases, it was actually faster and a greater distance of free travel in the right lane because of these idiots!

I’ll tell you…you learn things on road trips (or maybe are reminded) and I learned again and was reinforced that I dislike people, and Oregon.

**disclaimer: I do really like the natural beauty in Oregon, but that is about it.**

Must endure

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The next three days will be a slog…gotta admit. Why? Well, there is a vacation on the horizon and not checking into work for the better part of nearly two weeks has got me excited.

Thus, I must endure the next several days.

This will be the first real vacation for me in quite some time. The last week of February this year, in fact. There have been days off here and there in between, but this will be the first extended time since then.

Anyway, just thought I would put out there that I am feeling a little “short-timer’s disease” and looking forward to some time off.

Anyone else taking time off during the holidays?

**Interesting note: when you type in “vacation” for the free pictures in Pexel, nearly all the pictures come up as tropical, sunny, and sandy…I must be doing my vacations wrong…**

Commute bonus

An early morning, first day of Fall, sunrise. #nofilter

There are very few things good about getting up early. There are very few things good about having to commute to work. There are just very few good things that can even be mentioned when you combine those two things together.

However, this morning I was witness to one of the best sunrises I have seen in a long while. It was quite breathtaking. I wish I could have stopped right there on the highway and gotten a better picture.

So, I guess you can call it a commute bonus. I wasn’t looking for it. I wasn’t asking for it. I really didn’t even want it. But, I am glad I got to see it.

Buffer

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I made a mistake. I think (at least I think I think) I knew better, but I ignored my better instincts that told me I should do something that I did not.

I should have left a buffer day between returning from vacation and going back to work.

This getting home late and then getting up early for work stuff is terrible.

Of course, now I am on the second day back at work but I can now see that yesterday was a terrible day. There was just too much to do on the personal side of things to get caught up on time to work on the work side of things too. That cause stress…probably self-imposed stress, but stress nonetheless.

I think it is smart to include that buffer day. A day to catch up on home stuff, ease back into the regular schedule, and mentally prepare for what is to come once back at work. I didn’t do the buffer day because I was trying to be frugal with the vacation days. Not that I have to be, that’s just the way I am.

Anyway, regular schedule is back in full swing and I am not fully adjusted. But, it is what it is.

Retirement looks better and better, 20 years from now…

The road seems so long.