31 August 2016

Dreamer's World August 31 2016


Today is the last day of August. This month has both crawled and sped by at the same time. I was in some severe pain throughout the first 2/3 of this month due to back problems and that affected my writing. For that, I apologize because I simply couldn’t find the energy to sit and write after work.
The summer will be ending soon. It is time to celebrate the change of seasons in about 3 more weeks although I doubt that the local weather will change that much. We have been struggling with excessive heat this summer, and I am looking forward to the cooler weather. When I travel to meet with the client, I am rather tired of sweating my ass off at the bus stop on the way home in the middle of the day.
As far as my back, at least I now have a repeating series of appointments with my chiropractor for every other Monday beginning on September 12th. I am in need of more regular treatment since I am getting older. In fact, the chiropractor recommended that I check on Yoga classes in the area in order to strengthen my back to avoid more trouble in the future. That task is on my to-do list for later this week. I want to find something that is low-impact to get me started because I don’t want to get discouraged right away.
As far as my experience with Project Fi from Google, I am still thrilled with the service. I am now convinced more than ever that the traditional cell carriers deliberately throttle time spent on wifi in order to keep the user’s data usage higher than it actually is. The last few months, I was supposedly using around 7GB per month. This concerned me as I decided to switch to Project Fi, but now I find that I have not managed to crack 1GB of data on Fi. I still recommend that anyone who wants to give Project Fi a try to do so.
Between all of the things that I have just written about, I am managing to get along here. Hal and The Stooges are all doing fine and there is no trouble at all here with the exception of my back.

I apologize once again for not writing more often, I promise to do better in the future.

27 August 2016

How could our country lie so completely?': meet the North Korean defectors

'How could our country lie so completely?': meet the North Korean defectors http://flip.it/-Als0X

Southern Poverty Law Center to list White Lives Matter movement as a hate group

Southern Poverty Law Center to list White Lives Matter movement as a hate group http://flip.it/S.GB-T

23 August 2016

Dreamer's World August 22 2016 - Monday and Google Project Fi Update

After a good night of sleep, Monday has arrived. That’s about the nicest thing that I can say about Monday so far. It isn’t a bad day so far but I still miss the weekend. Each Monday I wish that I had done more over the previous weekend, and this time is no exception. The thing that kept me at home was my aching back.
The morning has started out with a few issues that I have had to address. These involve some research and they are not that taxing. At least they keep me busy until the afternoon round of conference calls starts.
It has been awhile since I wrote about my Google Project Fi experience. I have had nothing but good luck with the service and the phone itself, the Nexus 5X. My bill is tremendously lower now and I have money to use that was previously tied up with cell plan payments. I cannot say enough great things about Project Fi. In fact, today is the day that the latest version of Android is set to be released and I will get it right away on my Nexus 5X! No more waiting around for months on an upgrade to the OS because of manufacturer or carrier restrictions. I am already looking forward to it. If there are any of my readers that are remotely interested in Project Fi, my suggestion is to go ahead and join.

I am impressed enough that I will probably upgrade to one of the newer Nexus phones that should be released by the end of this year. The Nexus 5X is a great starter phone and is relatively inexpensive. All things considered, switching to Project Fi has been a great decision for me.

20 August 2016

Dreamer's World August 20 2016

I am going to enjoy this weekend. I have been slowly removing a bunch of negative shit from my life over the last few months and I feel better than I have in years. Simply refusing to fit into the pre-defined categories that society wants to put on us is easier than it sounds. It takes a conscious effort to put this plan into effect and then the discipline to see it through. I have had times when I wanted to just surrender to the everyday routine, to turn on the news so I would understand what the hell people are talking about when they really sound like nothing more than complete idiots. It is the sense of being outside of the normal that makes it all worthwhile.
If nothing else, the peace of mind is amazing. I am convinced that this earlier decision made it easier for me to reach conclusions on other things, suah as the decision yesterday to get rid of my Evernote account. I no longer have the fear of decision-making that is the inevitable byproduct of having tons of useless information floating around in my head. My life feels like it is my own once again.
Thankfully, the weather has returned to more normal summer conditions, the extreme heat has gone away. With late August here, it seems safe to say that we won’t see more 100+ degree days this year, unless things are really messed up with the climate. The more normal conditions mean that getting outside is not as much of an exhausting thing as it has been.
The morning has been quiet and uneventful, as I hoped it would be. I brought out the resistance bands and have done some exercises in order to get the blood flowing this morning before I get into the shower. Hal (person) is already at work and he will be home sometime in mid-afternoon. As always, we will decide if there is somewhere we would like to go after he gets home. My instinct tells me that he will just want to rest. That will be fine with me, it will help to save some money for both of us.
I hope that whatever we decide to do, that it will be pleasant and enjoyable for both of us. We deserve time to rest and be together rather than rushing around all of the time.
Hal (person) got home at the regular time and he was exhausted. After he showered and went to take a nap I thought “A nap sounds like a great idea”. I went to bed at 1630 and slept until 1930 and I feel much better. I only hope that this won’t completely mess up my sleep later tonight.

I will finish this post here. I hope that everyone will have a terrific evening and a great day tomorrow :)

19 August 2016

Dreamer's World August 19 2016 - Farewell, Evernote

As I ended the day at work early this afternoon I came to an important decision regarding my writing. I have deleted my Evernote account effective immediately. I had read up on the staggering price increase that was due to hit me in a few months time, and I decided that there was no more reason to wait to simply cancel Evernote and be done with them.
Surprisingly, the decision came rather quickly. In less than 5 minutes, I had made up my mind. I began by making sure that all of my notes had been saved to another location (I did this regularly), and then I proceeded to delete all of my notebooks and notes from Evernote. At the conclusion of that effort, I finally hit “Submit” on the “Delete my account” button.
And I was done that quickly. There was no time to feel panic or anxiety over my decision. I am glad that things went so smoothly for me. Evernote has been a wonderful tool for my writing, but it has outlived its usefulness if it thinks that I will accept a 50% price increase each and every year!
I started with Evernote back in 2013. At that time, there were not nearly as many options available for getting my blog into a proper format. For the time being, I will be using Google Docs to compose my blog and then I will use the old cut-and-paste to get the entries to both WordPress and Blogger. I have thought about using OneNote to work on my blog, but the link to WordPress and Blogger never seems to work for me and I am out of patience right now to keep fighting with it. Perhaps I will try again at some point in the future, but Friday evening is here and it is time to relax.

Dreamer's World August 19 2016 - Getting Older

     As one grows older, things happen that remind us of this fact. I went to meet with the client Wednesday at their office. As usual I went via Metro but when I arrived at the destination I found that the escalators were out of service. I decided that rather than wait in the long line for one of the elevators that I would simply walk up the long escalator steps to reach the surface. By the time I got to the top I knew that I was getting older. My hip was starting to throb as I exited at the top. Normally I would think that I must have really given it a good workout and that it would get back to normal by the evening.
     Everything went as planned. My hip did stop hurting and the rest of the day was uneventful. I went to bed early last night and slept well. When I woke up this morning however, my hip was really painful once again. I had not slept on that side to the best of my knowledge, I woke up laying on my other side but that is no guarantee that I had slept that was all night. I have done some stretching this morning prior to work, but I know that one of the problems is that I need to get to the Chiropractor. I was scheduled to have gone on August 5th, but he had a family situation and had to cancel that day. My new appointment was today, a full two weeks later and I can tell that I need the adjustment more than ever.
     All of this points to the inescapable fact that I am getting older each day. As much as I want to believe that I will be young forever and somehow immune to the ravages of time, my wishes are irrelevant. I will take a nice hot shower later in an attempt to relieve the tension in my hip, but I know that it is related to the troubles in my back that won't be properly addressed until some pint in the future.
     Speaking of getting older, Spartacus just left for the vet. Hal (person) is taking him because it is time for a checkup. Spartacus has been through a lot in his life, but he has always been with us. Since his brother from the same litter, Maxwell, died last December we have kept a close eye on Spartacus. I don't expect any bad news, but it is another example of time passing along and taking its toll on each of us. Hal should be bringing him back in a while and I hope that there is good news to report to everyone.
     The afternoon has arrived and as normal it is filled with meetings. I will do my best to maintain focus as I struggle with back pain and also keep Spartacus in my thoughts until he returns home. There is one trip that I have to make immediately after work and then I am coming home to rest and relax for the evening.
     Hal just brought Spartacus home and everything is fine. Spartacus does need to have his teeth cleaned on his next visit, but the vet didnt find anything really wrong and that is a relief, and a load off of my mind. After that, it will be my weekend and I hope to really unwind and relax.
     Well, my plans for today just went to hell. The Chiropractor called to cancel my appointment. There is a good reason for all of this trouble, his ex-wife passed away and he is now getting his daughter into school closer to his home. I cannot blame him for any of this, but it means that I will be dealing with back pain for longer than I want to. I will see if my supervisor can re-submit my timesheet to cancel my scheduled time off so i won't lose it, or I might just take it anyway to try and relax. I haven't made up my mind yet.

     I decided to just go ahead and take the time off that I had scheduled. It would have involved 7 layers of administrative HELL to change my timesheet and I am too tired and sore to really care about that right now. I am starting Friday with the knowledge that at least I am out of here at 1300. I will try to get a nice hot shower after work to help relax my back.

16 August 2016

Dreamer's World August 15 2016

     And the new week at works has begun. I was so busy last week that the Friday off wasn’t much relief for me. I am hoping that things will be much calmer around here as this week starts. I can at least look forward to finally visiting the Chiropractor on Friday afternoon after a two-week delay due to a scheduling problem that he had back on August 5. I will be working a half-day on Friday and leaving around 1330 for my appointment.
     My boycott of the Olympics and the news continues to be successful. I find that I am feeling better about things as a result. The constant drumbeat of bad news was just wearing on me in ways that I didn’t fully understand. Removing myself from the storm of chaos has brought me peace of mind that I so desperately needed.
     The Olympics boycott is nothing more than my refusal to watch something that is being forced down everyone’s throats. Just like the info-porn news. When the only thing the media is doing is giving people subjects to talk about, rather than actually reporting on issues and possible solutions to problems, they are wasting my time.
     It feels much cooler outside today, at least so far. Hal (person) and I will probably be going to the store right after work to pick up necessities for the week. I have some prescriptions to pick up at the pharmacy as well. Hopefully, the ridiculous heat is over with for the time being, but it is still August outside and things can change rapidly around here. As long as it cools off at night, I can sleep well. When the temperature stays around 80 degrees however, it is nearly impossible to get a good night's rest. That has been a problem over the last week that I do not want to repeat.
     As the afternoon arrives, I am feeling OK. I have managed to get some walks in during breaks in the work routine, I will try to meet my goal for the day if my back doesn't act up in the meantime. The heat is returning outside, but it is nowhere near as oppressive as it was over the last several days. The sky is alternating between clouds and sun, hopefully it will be sun or at least not rain when Hal and I go to the store after work this afternoon.
     The day is almost over. Just under an hour left until quitting time and there have been no emergencies that rerquired my attention. For this I am grateful. I am looking forward to a quiet evening at home once we get back from the grocery store early this evening.

     Everything went well last night until the storms arrived. We lost power several times and that prevented me from posting this entry until today. No damage, and it was much cooler last night and easier to sleep.

14 August 2016

Dreamer's World August 14 2016

The last week has been incredibly hectic for me. I had to plan a surprise birthday dinner for Hal (person) for Saturday, I also had to complete 5 days worth of work in just 4 days since I was taking Friday off due to the planning for Hal’s birthday, and the temperatures were at or over 100 degrees, making every day extremely uncomfortable and each night was a true test trying to sleep.
I then received a surprise when Hal (person) told me that he was taking this weekend off due to his birthday, this necessitated more effort to make the plans for his surprise very quietly, not an easy task.
As for work, Our WIGS (Wildly Important Goals) were due last week as well. I hate these times of the year because I work closely with a team of people and it is rather difficult for me to proclaim great achievements strictly for myself. I managed to get through before Friday, so that is behind me for another 4 months.
My off day on Friday was planned to spend with Hal as we went around the area and looked at apartments. We have decided that it is time for us to move on from here when our lease is up in 9 months, and we always look well ahead of time to save rushing later on at the last minute. Around the first of the year, we will really know exactly where we want to go and can then begin the process of applying and determining availability dates.
As you probably have guessed by now, I simply ran out of time and energy to write last week. There are drafts of blog posts that were floating around in my notes, but they were trash and I deleted them and decided to write again when I finally had the time and all of the obligations from last week were finally behind me.
As for Hal’s birthday, that was yesterday. I am glad to say that my surprise went off without a hitch. With all the other things going on, I still managed to get reservations at Laporta’s, a live jazz dinner club here in Alexandria.





I left no paper trail for Hal to see, and he was pleasantly surprised last night when I took him there.
We had a wonderful time. The food was outstanding, and the live entertainment was world-class, a singer with an acoustic bass and piano accompaniment. I did NOT indicate that it was Hal’s birthday because he hates having people singing to him in a restaurant. We began the evening with an appetizer of mushrooms with small biscuits and it was probably one of the best things that we have ever eaten. I did encourage Hal to join me for one round of Hennessey as we started our appetizer.
Hal decided to stick with a large entree’ salad with salmon, and he told both me and the waiter how wonderful it was. I settled on a small house salad followed by salmon fettucine, and I told the waiter the same thing. We hung around and listened to the great music for about 2 1/2 hours after dinner before heading home. I am glad that Hal enjoyed his birthday so much.
Today the weather remains HOT, over 100 yet again. We decided to stay at home, and I am glad of that. First of all, it has given me the opportunity to write once again, second, it keeps us out of the heat, and last, it gives me the chance to prepare something for dinner here rather than being out and grabbing something on the run.
I hope that we can get the apartment cooled off sufficiently to sleep this evening. I have already closed the blinds on the west-facing windows to prevent the late afternoon superheating as much as possible. The A/C is cranked right now to stay ahead of the late afternoon heat. The Stooges have all been laying in the cool air all day and we know that they are thankful for it. So are we.

I am glad that I have gotten this much written down. I will do my best to get back into the daily routine of writing starting tomorrow :)

07 August 2016

Dreamer’s World August 6-7 2016 - Ready For The Weekend, Whatever That Really Means

Saturday is here at last. I have no real plans for the day other than to rest and recharge my internal batteries for the next 2 days. I remember when the weekend meant going out at night and partying until the early hours, but time has a way of stopping that. As we get older we realize that we cannot burn the candle at both ends like we used to and we begin to settle down into more established routines.      Occasionally, I still want to rebel against the unfairness of getting older. Each time that urge gets too strong I remind myself of how I felt the last time I did that, and I usually quickly return to my senses with no real damage being done.
     I am feeling much better after the massage that Hal (person) gave me yesterday morning. I will still have to reschedule my chiropractor appointment at some point in the next week, but I suspect that things will be more complicated than at first glance. Without having been told the reason for the cancelation, I strongly suspect that there was a death in my chiropractor’s family, and we all know how that can trash schedules. I will survive until I can get over to see him, but in the meantime I will be avoiding any extra exertion so I don’t further aggravate my back.
     In fact, Saturday morning is a time for me now to sit around and wish that I had more sleep, regardless of how much or little I slept the night before. As always it never seems to matter what the answer is, I usually end up going back to bed for a nap at some point during the morning. I have the place to myself since Hal (person) is at work. The Stooges are also in total relax mode on Saturday morning, so I suppose that inspires me to take the same course of action.
     The most wonderful thing about this time is the silence. The TV is OFF and I prefer it that way. I would much rather let my mind be at ease than being turned into jello by the incessant ramblings of the TV. I might put some music on later, but right now I am just enjoying the peace and quiet. I will think about lunch later, right now life is too good to interrupt with small details like that.
     We just had a thunderstorm roll through here and I hope that Hal (person) isn’t driving through it. HE normally gets home around this time so I will be watching anxiously for him to arrive because I want him home safe. With the rain still falling, I am sure that we will be home for the early part of the evening. After that, if Hal (person) wants to go out, we can make plans then.
     Thankfully, I was just interrupted by Hal (person) as he came through the door, arriving home safely. I informed him that the plans for next Saturday, his birthday, are complete. The only thing I have told him is that he cannot question me about it and must do exactly what I say he should do. I am planning a surprise for him that I hope he will love.
     With each bit of good news, karma demands that there be some bad news. My iPad is not responding properly when hooked up to iTunes, so I am having to do a factory reset on it right now. It should go smoothly, if not I will be rather upset. I won’t lose my temper, but I will be angry. If this is the worst thing to happen to me today, it will still be an excellent day.
     I have some jazz playing right now to soothe my neck and back as I type. Hal’s massage did wonders, and this pain is probably nothing more than my body adjusting after 24 hours or so. It does make a nice hot shower and an early bedtime rather appealing though. I am still dumbstruck when I think how Hal got his massage table out yesterday morning and told me that he was going to help me out after my Chiropractor canceled due to family reasons. I will never be able to properly express how much I love Hal, and I know that it is mutual.
     After repeated attempts, I finally got the iPad to begin restoring from factory boot condition. At least I can back up from iCloud, which is what I am doing now as 1630 rolls around. I am sure that this will take forever plus 37 days, so I will keep listening to music until it finally completes, hopefully without more problems. Hal The Cat is keeping me company as this goes on, and Hal (person) is in the living room watching something on TV. That is the one major difference between us, Hal likes TV and I generally have no use for it, but we manage to still get along after all these years.
     The sun has come back out again, and I hope that tomorrow will be a nice day. If I choose to go out, it will be while Hal (person) is at work tomorrow. Even then it will depend upon the weather as much as anything else. If the forecast is to be believed, tomorrow will be sunny and beautiful around the DC area, so I am hopeful it is accurate.
     I did get to bed rather early last night and the morning is indeed, sunny and beautiful. Hal (person) has gone to work and I am thinking about where I might want to go while he is away. Nothing more exciting than lunch is the plan and that won’t change.
     I did manage to get things lined up for Hal's (person) birthday next Saturday. I am looking forward to it and hope that he will have a great time.
     As for my day, I started out by scrubbing the bathroom within an inch of its life. After that ,I went against my own advice and went to brunch. While the food was delicious, I regretted the decision since I was sitting alone, surrounded by tables full of groups of people laughing and talking. I finished quickly and left to come back home. I won’t be doing that again anytime soon because I hate being alone in places like that.
     I am happier at home with The Stooges. I accept that and am used to it now. While I wish that Hal (person) didn’t have to work on weekends, I understand that he has to do what he has to do in order to make a living.

     After Hal came home from work, he went to bed. I have remained quiet in order to not disturb him. I got everything done that I needed to and am finishing up this weekend blog post before I think about a shower and then bedtime for myself.

06 August 2016

Dreamer's World August 5 2016 - Grateful

This morning started out with a bang. I was scheduled to go to the Chiropractor this morning to get some relief for my back. Just before 0800, the phone rang and it was the Chiropractor’s office. They informed me that the doctor would not be in today and that I would have to reschedule my appointment for a later date. I was not upset about this, because I know that my Chiropractor has been dealing with his ex-wife, and she has leukemia. The first thought I had was that something terrible had happened to her. I still do not know the reason for the cancellation, but I am hoping that things are OK.
I looked at my schedule for the next week and there is no time that I can spare away from work to make a new appointment. I had already taken 4 hours off this morning so I was resigned to doing some stretching and hoping that the pain would ease throughout the day.
I stepped out to the balcony to smoke a cigarette and then Hal (person) came to the door and told me to come back inside. Hal (person) is a Licensed Massage Therapist and he had brought out his table and set it up and was waiting for me to come inside to give me a full massage. I was so grateful for him, even more than normal.
I had not asked Hal for help because he will be working all day on Saturday and Sunday giving massages to other people. I didn’t think it was fair to impose on him at the last minute since he likes to rest and be ready for his job. The fact that Hal did this for me without being asked is wonderful and a sure sign that I have so much in my life to be grateful for. Granted, a massage isn’t the same as a chiropractic adjustment, but it still can do wonders.
It was such a wonderful experience. Hal took his time and really attacked my neck and back as best he could. We could hear The Stooges running around the apartment since furniture had been moved in order for Hal to set up his massage table. I cannot remember the last time I felt so grateful for everything.
After a wonderful massage, I spent some time in a nice hot shower to further ease the tension in my back before finally starting my afternoon at work here from home. I have already told Hal that I am taking him out to whatever restaurant he wants for dinner as a small way of showing my gratitude.

Far too often we take the people who mean the most for granted, particularly if we have been with them for a long time. Today was a lesson for me to make sure that I never let myself fall into that trap. I am the luckiest man in the world!

02 August 2016

Project Fi

http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/08/you-should-sign-up-for-project-fi-unless-you-hate-money.html