23 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 22. 2017 – An Amazing Experience

    At the end of an extremely long day at work yesterday, I went to the chiropractor and I really needed the adjustment. I have noticed a lot of positive changes since I switched to the new chiropractor and he says that things are really improving. Yesterday my shoulder was a real problem, the tension there would not release and he ended up with what the office calls “The Enforcer”, a tool that looks like a modified set of handlebars from a bicycle that he used to really punish the offending shoulder. The pain was exquisite because I knew that it was actually beneficial to me regardless of the discomfort.
    Immediately after that, I was then seeing the acupuncture specialist at the same office and she had consulted with the chiropractor and agreed to do some extra work on my shoulder. Even though I was face down on her table, I could feel the slight sensation of each of the 10 needles that she inserted around the shoulder. A small electrical current was then applied to the needles and I could feel things really starting to relax.
    At the end of that 30 minutes, she told me that it was time to “go after the shoulder”. I still couldn’t see what she was doing, but she told me that she was going to use some Gus Sha stones to work on my shoulder and back.
The first thought I has was heated stones placed along my back, instead she applied some herbal oil and then proceeded to use the stones to dig into the muscles all over the shoulder. I have never felt a massage like that in my entire life. When she was done, she advised me that I should alert Hal to what had happened, not because anything was wrong but because my back looked like this

Normally, you would think that I would be in agony, but I felt terrific. As the specialist said, the redness was where the crap that had accumulated in my system was actually being allowed to escape from my body. As gruesome as things looked, there was no soreness and no tender skin even though it was red and angry looking. This morning when I checked after a shower, the redness is still there but it isn’t as pronounced as in the picture from last night. She said that next week she will do some cupping around the same area to continue to draw out the crap. I am looking forward to it.
As for today, things are much quieter than they were yesterday and I am grateful for that. I will NOT stay late today, I already added the extra time from yesterday for pay purposes to my timesheet and I want to try and relax after work is over at 1530. I will have my regular meeting and that should go quickly, then it will be time for lunch followed by more meetings to close out the rest of the afternoon.

22 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 21, 2017 – This Day Just Got A Lot Longer

Sometimes the best plans just blow up in your face. Today is one of those times. I always must start Wednesdays an hour earlier to travel to the client’s offices in the morning, and I do this without complaint every week. Today, however, the personnel on the West Coast are having an important meeting in the early afternoon (their time) and that means a late day for me. I will be working until 1800 this evening and then I will have to jet to my chiropractor and acupuncture appointment immediately afterwards. I had hoped to get a nap after my normal quitting time at 1530, but that plan just got blown to hell. As tired as I was to start this day, now I know that I will pass complete exhaustion before I can get any rest tonight after 2000.

21 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 20, 2017 – After The Storm Has Passed

Tuesday morning has started with beautiful blue skies and, so far, no signs of the migraine that plagued me yesterday. I hope that the change in the weather will keep the headache away for a while. I am glad to have a nice day and I hope that Hal will want to do something to get out when I am finished with work this afternoon.
    I confess that I feel somewhat melancholy today, and I don’t know the reason why that is. I hope that I am not suffering from a premonition of some bad event. I certainly cannot claim to be clairvoyant under any circumstances. I have noticed, with the benefit of hindsight, that I have felt strange prior to events that happened in the past, but that proves nothing other than writing will help me to document how I feel at the time that I write. At times, I wonder if age doesn’t make us more keenly aware of things around us, a sort of unconscious memory that bubbles to the surface from time to time. Time is the key, and only time will tell if there is anything to this feeling I have today.
    One of the things that has been under consideration this week is an off-site Happy Hour for Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, the person who oversees organizing it this time doesn’t seem interested. This means that the chances of it happening decrease with each day that goes by. I have been included in the emails and I have indicated that I will attend once the decision on where and when is finally made, but I will not put any further effort into this. If it happens, so be it. If it does not happen, I will survive. I would like to look forward to it, but I have been on this roller coaster ride before and I know what to expect. When it is my turn to organize these events, everyone is informed about the time and place well in advance so schedules can be arranged to accommodate the event. I always try to give everyone 2 weeks’ notice because there is always someone who will sabotage things at the last minute. I am a hard-ass about changing the schedule after giving everyone ample time to make their plans, and I have held them without full participation because trying to rearrange things to meet the needs of one person never works out because that leads to another individual having complications. I have also noticed the conflicts that arise when people cannot attend and develop an attitude about feeling left out.    I do not look forward to my next turn organizing this event.
    At any rate, I am staying out of this because the only result of additional inputs at this point will just fuck things up more than they already are. Hal and I can have our own Happy Hour on Friday without all the drama.

    I am glad that the workday is over. I am waiting for Hal to see if we are going anywhere for a few hours. I know that if he gets a phone call from a member of his family that things will probably grind to a halt because he usually stays on the phone with them for hours.

20 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 19, 2017 - Mondays

I remember a song from the early 1980s by a group called The Boomtown Rats that was titled “I Don’t Like Mondays”, and right now that song is an earworm in my head. In addition to a migraine headache that I am trying my best to avoid, the whole day is just blah. The weather is supposed to turn nasty this afternoon when I am scheduled to take Hal to work, so I will have the joy of rush hour traffic in the rain to look forward to.
    In spite of those things, I will make the best of today, knowing that it is the only Monday I have to face this week. The only saving grace is that I will visit the chiropractor after taking Hal to work and I know that I will leave there feeling better.
    At least today has been a quiet one at work and I have had the time to get ahead of things even with a nagging headache that just won’t go away. I have taken Aleve and I suppose that the headache isn’t quite as bad as a result, but that really isn’t comforting to me right now. I will do my best to get through to quitting time. The real challenge will be taking Hal to work if the bad weather arrives right around rush hour. That is an issue to deal with when the time comes.
    If I feel better after taking Hal to work, I will try to cook and write. If I feel much better, I will practice guitar, but I believe that quiet will do me more good than anything. Just another example of why I don’t like Mondays.

    The storms arrived around 1500, and they got here very quickly. Some wind was followed by some very heavy winds and then rain and lightning and thunder. It got extremely dark as the rain poured down for at least 15 minutes. Just as quickly as it had arrived, the storm passed although we are still having rain but the wind has died down. If the storm had to hit, I am glad that it has passed now rather than when I take Hal to work or go to get him later this evening. I wonder if the headache will start to ease as the cold front approaches. I certainly hope so because this has been bugging me all day long. Now I have one last conference call to participate in before I can call it a day here. 

18 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 18, 2017 – Fallen Shipmates

For the last day, I have been following the tragic events from Japan involving the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) off the coast of Japan. Sadly, 7 sailors are dead following a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a merchant ship. From all the details that have been made public, it seems that the accident occurred at 0230 local time, in the middle of the night and the sailors who lost their lives may have been sleeping at the time. Judging from the picture of the Fitzgerald that was taken as she was arriving back in port. It is very likely that some on the berthing compartments that might be below the waterline might have been directly hit. I never served on a DDG ship such as the Fitzgerald, so I am not sure of the layout of the interior of the ship, but I am familiar with the Navy since I served myself.
I feel so sorry for those sailors who lost their lives due to an accident. A Navy vessel is an incredibly complex piece of engineering, and when something like this happens there will be an investigation regarding the events leading up to the collision. Ships do not operate without being aware of their surroundings, especially at night. This means that there will be a trail of evidence to identify exactly what happened that night. The Navy will find the cause of this but it may never be made public. Careers will be ruined, but that is nothing compared to the lives that have been lost. From what I have read, those 7 sailors drowned when the compartments that they were in were flooded. While every effort would have been made to reach those sailors and to save them, at a point the ship itself must be saved and compartments that are damaged must be sealed off. For those who have never served, think of the Titanic, where there were no completely watertight compartments throughout the ship and the water continued to rush in. Exactly how those sailors died isn’t clear. It is possible, and extremely disturbing to think, that they may have been asleep and if they weren’t injured in the collision that they were drowned.
    I have some experience with Navy vessels that are involved in collisions at sea. Over 20 years ago, I was serving on USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) when there was a collision in the middle of the night with another navy vessel, the USS Theodore Roosevelt. I found an old picture online and included it. As you can tell from the picture, we were extremely fortunate that the collision was at the bow of the ship (the front) and not along the side, as with the Fitzgerald. I still remember that immediately before the impact that the ship took a sudden and violent turn as one of the Boatswains Mates swung the wheel hard over to bring the bow of the ship in line for the unavoidable collision. This is the reason that the middle of our ship was not struck, and that is what saved lives. This is the thing that saved lives that night. I was awake and on watch when the collision occurred and I remember grabbing onto the nearest piece of equipment that was mounted to the deck to avoid being thrown around like a rag doll. The only way I can describe the feeling is that it must have been the same as being in a car that has been hit by a train. You have no choice but to wait for the impact and the momentum to stop before you can really respond.
 As you can see from this old picture, the bow (nose) of the Leyte Gulf was smashed, fortunately the quick action by the Boatswains Mate’s decision to turn the wheel hard placed the bow at the point of impact from the oncoming USS Roosevelt (pictured in the background). If you can picture in your head, the area where several sailors are standing on Leyte Gulf and have the crane behind them would be above some of the berthing compartments where people were sleeping that night. This was the margin between the accident that I survived in which there were no casualties, and the tragic events on the Fitzgerald.
    The accidents involving the Fitzgerald and the Leyte Gulf were both avoidable. They should never have happened. But that is like saying that with all the experience and safety equipment available in cars today that no one should ever die while traveling in one. Accidents do happen, and they need to be fully investigated to teach others what to be cautious of in the future. It is sad that there are 7 fallen shipmates who are gone forever because of this accident.

FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS

Dreamer's World June 17, 2017 - Saturday

Today is Saturday. Today belongs to me, just like every other day. I will NOT let the world determine how I feel today. I will live today on my terms. I CHOOSE to be HAPPY today.
These are just a few of the things that I use to guide my day. I find that repeating these guidelines whenever I start to feel down will give me strength for the remainder of the day when I need it the most. One of the hardest things to do was to ACCEPT the fact that I do have that much control over my life. Far too often we are conditioned to feel and to believe that we are totally helpless against the intrusions of the world. BULLSHIT! We need to take control of our own lives now more than ever exactly because of all the intrusions that the outside world wants to throw at us. Our parents never had to deal with the amount of information that hits us like a tsunami each and every day. We have become slaves to our devices and find that we feel incomplete if we dare to turn them off even for a few minutes. To be controlled to that degree is unnatural.
I made my trip to the grocery store earlier today and I have things for dinner if I find the energy to prepare them. I have chicken breasts and asparagus and baked beans that I can fix later. I also drove out to see more of the area this morning. I didn’t really see anything interesting, but the scenery was nice since I traveled about 20 miles towards the mountains.

The slow afternoon is here and I am relaxing at home. Hal will be home in a few more hours but I have no idea if we will be doing anything after he gets here. I am undecided about that myself to be honest. I am in one of those moods that defies explanation. I know that if I do go out, I will regret it if I spend any money. If I decide to stay here, I will regret not going out at all. A dilemma without a clear solution.
Of course, Stevie Nicks is here to help me write this post. Honestly, I don’t know how I would write without at least one of The Stooges around to help me out. Her elegance and grace just remind me that I have to be nothing more than myself in order to write and to be happy. I do envy her the self-confidence that just emanates from her, however. Hal The Cat and Spartacus are asleep somewhere in the apartment, so I will let them rest. They will each take their turn to inspire me later in the day.
The weather remains unsettled. Every time the sun looks poised for a major breakthrough, the clouds arrive again. There is a lesson to be learned about the value of persistence and I am making a note of it right now.
Hal made it home safely and it looks like we will be staying home this evening. This is fine with me, I have said before that I am happy with my life and the choices that I make on a regular basis. I might cook up the food from the grocery store, or I might wait and do that tomorrow. There is no rush. I have time and I appreciate that. Any regrets that I might have will be temporary because I am happy with my life.
And so, the evening approaches and things are calm. The Stooges are happy and content, and as always, there is something to learn from them. Life is as complicated as we choose to make it. The more complicated we make our lives, the less happy we are. And yet, we constantly make our lives more full of shit rather than trying to simplify things and have more time for ourselves. In this way I am glad that I have the intestinal fortitude to walk away from the news, and from social media without suffering from pangs of guilt. I will take peace and quiet and happiness any time I can find them, and when necessary I will make the time for those things. The stresses of life will still be there when I am finished with living, the sense of urgency is not real.
I know what the evening has in store for us. Hal will want to watch TV and I will be with him occasionally since I cannot watch anything but sci-fi, movies, cartoons and sports for any length of time before my brain rebels and forces me to move. The true bane of my existence is talk shows, I firmly believe that they cause brain cancer due to inactivity of the brain cells. I talk with Hal through the evening and can tell when he gets tired and is ready for bed. Most of the time I follow him to bed. During the times when I am not sitting with Hal I will be reading, or writing and almost certainly listening to music to keep my mind moving.
Life is never perfect, but mine is as close as I can expect it to be. This makes it easier to enjoy the time and keep a positive outlook on things.

16 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 15, 2017 – Our Own Little Jungle

One of the things that Hal, myself, and The Stooges love is having live plants around the apartment. They bring a sense of calm and nature into our lives.
With the warm weather, most of the plants are outside to get more light. This provides a playground for The Stooges. They are constantly at the balcony door, begging to go outside to enjoy the weather themselves. It is a constant effort to open and close the door for them and to keep the insects out of the apartment at the same time, but it is worth it for the enjoyment that they receive and for the pleasure that Hal and I get from watching them revert to their more natural state as they explore their own little jungle and make their own world to relax and play in. Of course, when I decided to write about this, The Stooges all decided that they wanted to be indoors. Hopefully, they will venture out later today and I can get some pictures of them.
    If they decide to remain inside, you can use your imagination to see Hal The Cat laying among the leaves on the table, Stevie Nicks curled up around the plant at the bottom of the picture, and Spartacus off camera relaxing in the chair that he has claimed as his own. Occasionally, Hal The Cat and Stevie Nicks will sit on the railing to see more of the world beyond their little private jungle.
    For me, the environment makes me relax. Nature has a calming effect on us and it is sad that we spend so much of our time disregarding it. Fortunately, I can walk to the balcony whenever I want to during the day as I take breaks from the job and being tied down to my desk and computer. We are fortunate to live in a nice area that is very quiet. There is a lake less than a quarter of a mile away where I can go to relax in the evening while there is still daylight.
    We all need our own private jungles to retreat to from time to time. Give it a try and I am sure that you will feel much better as a result. A small investment in time will give great rewards over the long term. It gives me an escape from all of the unpleasantness that makes me so disheartened with the world because it makes me realize that some things are not affected by the things that I find unpleasant, they remain constantly good and pure. Let things like this into your life.