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.

Cruise control

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Do you use cruise control in your vehicle when you are on a long drive? Do you like to set it and forget it…until some jackwagon decides that pacing you in your blind spot is a good idea and then you have to cancel your cruise by stepping on your brake?

You know it is inevitable, right? Is that Murphy’s Law or is that bad karma or is it just a coincidence?

I took a road trip this last weekend (12 hours total driving time) and I noticed that just about every time I set the cruise control (about 7-8 mph over the speed limit, mind you) that within about 10 minutes I would have to step on the brake and cancel it.

I was driving across the state, on the east side, where there are long stretches of nothing. It’s just highway – long, flat, some rolly hills, but mostly uninteresting. You would think it would be a great place to just set the cruise control and just drive.

Nope.

Seemingly without fail, about the time I would need to pass someone on the left there would be a car pacing me, in my blind spot, and not allowing me to change lanes.

It’s almost as if they were doing it on purpose. Miles and miles and miles of unobstructed driving until that moment.

And instead of recognizing what is about to happen in front of or next to them and speeding up just a little so as to not have to slow down themselves, they just keep their own pace and make me break mine. Jackwagon.

Do people realize you can step on the gas while cruise control is on and speed up and it DOES NOT cancel your cruis control or change your speed? No need to reset it. No need to click Resume. The vehicle just returns to the speed you set it for. Kinda like magic.

But instead, it would appear people like to annoy the hell outta me (and probably others too).

That just figures.

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?

Crime time

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Have you been following the Brittney Griner saga? I haven’t followed it that closely but I can say it is surprising and not at the same time. It seems that Americans (yes, I am one) think they can get (or deserve) special treatment when they go to a foreign country. I don’t feel this way, of course, that’s why I am going to write what I write. I’ll keep it brief.

In short (as I understand it), she is a basketball player from the US who was traveling to Russia for a game. She was detained because she was trying to bring contraband into the country (from what I understand, marijuana). She broke the law of a foreign country and now is being punished for it. The verdict was handed down today – nine years in a Russian prison.

My take: If you break the law in a foreign country and get caught, you should be punished under their system of laws. I, we (as US citizens) shouldn’t expect special treatment (even if we are a “celebrity”).

Now, there is always going to be the question of whether or not this was truly a legit case because Russia is shady and there is obviously some “make an example of her” and “the US is supporting Ukraine” thrown in for good measure by the Russian authorities. That does leave some questions in my mind.

BUT, my guess is she most likely knew what she was doing was wrong and thought she could get away with it. Or, she was hoping her status as a pro basketball player would win her some favor. Or, she was hoping that being an American would mean that ol’ Uncle Sam would come to the rescue if soemthing bad went down.

Well, not so much. We shouldn’t be going around flouting the laws in our own country let alone one that isn’t our own. There should never be a “Get out of Jail FREE” card, no matter your status or country.

Put that “in your pipe and smoke it!”

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?