31 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 31 2016 - Real World Trick Or Treat

Today is Halloween. This is supposed to be a day when children dress up and wander the streets begging for goodies from strangers in the vain hope that they will remain unrecognized by their benefactors/victims. There is supposed to be an element of fun attached to the day that is reminiscent of our childhood.
Sadly, Halloween has become a metaphor for our country. We are now faced with an election just over a week away that features 2 ridiculously costumed candidates begging everyone for money and votes. The real sad difference is that these lunatics beg for these things constantly. This goes without mentioning the other politicians who are also going proverbially door to door with their hands outstretched as well.
How have we come to this? Did the Founding Fathers have a warped sense of irony when they placed the election so close to Halloween? I don’t think so because Halloween was not observed during their time as it is today, but it does give the conspiracy theorists something to think about. Personally, I think that politicians are always in costume, and that every single day is Halloween for them when they attempt to scare everyone out of their minds if they don’t get treats and then threaten us with dirty tricks if they don’t get their way.
This year is especially depressing since we have the two most dreadful candidates in history. The entire process seems to be deliberately fucked up in order to benefit the MSM, who I despise, so they can flood our airwaves with endless infoporn all the time. My boycott of the MSM continues and will even after the election because I am no longer going to be manipulated into what I should be thinking or talking about. I am a free man and my mind is my own.

When the children arrive later today to claim their treats, things will be right with the world because children are special and worthy of attention. It is a shame that the adults in this nation cannot behave as adults instead of acting like the most spoiled and rotten of children who never grew up.

29 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 29 2016 - More Progress

I made it through to the weekend. Sadly, insomnia struck early Saturday morning and I was unable to get back to sleep. I am using this time to update my laptop and have some quiet time to write once again. I am also planning out what needs to be done later today after Hal (person) heads off to work.
I am sure that a trip to Costco will be on the agenda, followed by some more reorganizing here in the apartment to get rid of some of the clutter, although this is an ongoing evolution that will not happen all at once. I will definitely be able to get some clothes into the new small dressers that are now positioned under the new bed.
This will eliminate one of the current eyesores and that is the pile of clothes that is currently occupying a corner of the room. The guitars now have new prominent places in the room thanks to some over-the-door hangers that I found to hold them.

I might check at IKEA for some drawer compartments to help keep things sorted out in the dressers while I am out later today. Plus, it is always a good thing to browse through IKEA and get ideas for improving the apartment overall.
The Surface Pro 4 is going through its update cycle and I will have to do a restart in a few minutes once the full virus scan is completed. I always do all of the maintenance when I start the Surface Pro 4 because I don’t use it every single day and I want to make sure that there are no shenanigans going on.
The updates are all installed now, it took almost an hour when combined with making sure that all the protection software was also updated. It is now about 0715 and Hal (person) is awake and starting his morning. The Stooges are fed and I am beginning to feel the 3 hours of sleep that I didn’t get catching up on me. I will survive without too much trouble and then be able to rest later.
In the meantime, I am enjoying the silence and trying to focus my thoughts for the upcoming day. We are supposed to have this one last glorious summery weekend with temperatures in the 70 today and the 80s tomorrow before cooler air settles back in. This is another reason why I want to get things done as early as possible today.
I haven’t written recently about my Project Fi experience, but that is mainly because the service is so awesome that I haven’t had any reason to think much about it. That changed this morning only because I have been considering upgrading to the new Pixel XL phone but I saw an article this morning that said the supply problem continues and that those who already have confirmed orders will be waiting at least an extra 2 weeks or more to have their orders filled. I am on the waiting list, but I do not have a confirmed order yet, so this doesn’t impact me. I am extremely interested in getting one of the Pixel XL phones when they are available again, but I missed the last opportunity to purchase one due to the high demand so I will just have to wait until things stabilize with the supply of the devices.
I suppose that this isn’t really a bad thing because it gives me a chance to read reviews written by those people who already have the phone and might identify potential issues with it before I buy one. Therefore, I am not at all disappointed with the wait to get one for myself. I would rather have a good idea of exactly what I am getting prior to spending the money. I must admit that I think that the Pixel and Pixel XL are overpriced, but I cannot do anything about that. THe worst case scenario is that I would just wait until the 2017 versions are released. Until something changes, I am still perfectly happy with my Nexus 5X.
I am also happy to report that my smoking is diminishing further as I continue to vape. I will probably get more cigarettes at some point, but as I am running out the urge and panic is not nearly as great to replace them as it was in the past. I have to remember that this will not happen overnight and that I have to be patient as I make progress. I know that this is the right thing to do and I am glad that I have found this method to help me gradually quit.
The evening is here. I did get the trip to Costco done, and then I came back home and took a nap. Hal (person) came home from work this afternoon and is now taking a nap of his own. It is time for me to wrap up this blog post and enjoy the beautiful evening here.

27 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 27 2016 - The Pleasure of Vaping


I have smoked for a really long time. I know all about the risks associated with it, but I just haven’t been able to find the willpower to finally quit. Recently I broke down and purchased a vaping stick from one of the local shops and I think (and hope) that I might be onto something good.
Smokers or former smokers know that the hit of flavor and nicotine is what keeps pulling us back to the habit. I have become conditioned to behavior patterns that are hard to break. Since I began vaping, I find that I can almost completely simulate the feel of smoking and still get the nicotine hit that I need. I know that vaping cannot be any more harmful than cigarette smoking, and that has made me focus my efforts to make the complete switch.
I am becoming more comfortable with vaping each day and I find that I am smoking fewer cigarettes as a result. Since I have smoked for a very long time, I am not so unrealistic that I believe that I can stop smoking overnight, but I am noticing a real reduction. I can vape indoors in the apartment without upsetting Hal (person) or The Stooges rather than running outside when the urge hits me. As the weather turns colder this will be even more of an incentive to completely quit.
I have to admit that the biggest adjustment was the coughing when I started vaping. Since I am just inhaling vapor, it caused me to cough quite a bit in the first few days, but I am better now. I will gladly go through this adjustment if I can finally quit smoking for good.
I was lucky enough to find a good store to get started with vaping. It is called Eco Vapez and is located here in Alexandria. The people who run the store and the employees are almost all former smokers, or are quitting like myself. It makes a real difference being around people who are going through or have gone through the experience themselves. Initially I was hesitant about the upfront cost, but I realized that I would be spending as much on continuing to smoke, not to mention the long-term costs down the road, so I broke down and bought a nice medium-priced kit to get started. I am still using nicotine juice, but I hope to eventually get away from that as well.



USA must come clean about civilian deaths caused by coalition air strikes in Syria

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/10/usa-must-come-clean-about-civilian-deaths-caused-by-coalition-air-strikes-in-syria/

25 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 25 2016 - Feeling So Much Better

Where to begin? The last week has been a blur of things that were going on around here. I suppose that I will start with the news that the new bed frame and mattress are finally here. I have never had such great sleep, and this has really turned my life around in almost every conceivable way. The bed frame itself came from a company called Zinus, and I am attaching a YouTube video that shows just how simple it was to put together. I thank the person who posted the video to YouTube.



Setting up the frame took less than 15 minutes from unboxing to completion without having to use any tools at all. The frame sits 18” off of the floor so there will be room to put two small mini-dressers under the bed and save that space in the rest of the room for something else. The mini-dressers are arriving from Target hopefully by tomorrow. I will get pictures once they are in place.


The mattress came from Brentwood Home in California. It is a memory foam and gel mattress and I absolutely love it.


The mattress arrived vacuum-packed and the setup was incredibly easy, as shown in another YouTube video I found. I thank the person who posted the video to YouTube.


All of the efforts I have made to improve things seem to be paying off as I feel better. Of course a visit to the Chiropractor on Monday also helped. I noticed that I was very sore from moving furniture around over the weekend when I went to bed on Sunday night, but when I woke up Monday morning to go to the Chiropractor, I have no pain after sleeping on the new bed and mattress.

With all of those things finally taken care of, life seems so much more manageable right now. As of next Monday I will start my new earlier work schedule and that will also help to improve things overall for me. Shifting my hours to the left will stop the late afternoon blahs when I sometimes barely make it through to the end of the workday. It will also ensure that there are more daylight hours to get things done after work as well.
I continue to boycott the MSM and their infoporn. I have walked away from political conversations rather than stoop down to the gutter and know that nothing I can say will change anyone’s mind. I have learned that I am responsible for my own life and happiness, everyone else has to decide things for themselves and live with the results of their own decisions. This has been part of the lack of writing recently, but the sheer exhaustion I was feeling also contributed a great deal to that lapse as well.
As for the rest of this week, I am hoping for some time to get caught up and ahead on some of the projects that I have lined up right now. I attended a company town hall meeting earlier today and will be attending an off-site employee function on Friday afternoon in addition to my normal meeting with the client tomorrow morning. All of these events should make the time go by faster and keep the exhaustion away from me.
This evening is still up in the air as far as plans are concerned. Going out for a quick dinner is not out of the question, but I will wait to see if there is anything that Hal (person) wants to do as well. I am not terribly interested in the World Series this year because the narrative of “Cubs vs Indians” will be over-hyped to the point of nausea and I have no reason to get involved. I hope personally that the Indians win because I have never cared for the Cubs and their “lovable loser” mentality over the years. If this means that we spend an evening doing something else such as listening to music or talking, that is just fine with me.
At any rate, things are going very well. Since my back feels better I might start off walking again. I was up to nearly 9 miles per day when I hurt my back earlier this year, and I hope to recover quickly once I get started again.

19 October 2016

TRUTH

White Privilege wages jihad: The Kansas plotters are “militia members” not “terrorists” — because they’re “crusaders” not muslim bogeymen http://flip.it/.xAd3n

Dreamer's World October 19 2016

The halfway point to the week has arrived. Although I will be working an extra hour this afternoon in order to have time for my chiropractor appointment on Monday, I will still leave work 1 hour earlier than the normal routine. I am hoping for a quiet evening here at home unless there is something that Hal (person) needs to do when I am finished.
On the down side, the delivery of the new mattress now appears to be Friday rather than tomorrow, at least according to FedEx. I wish that this would turn out to be a mistake, but it doesn’t surprise me anymore about a delay in getting relief for my back. The only immediate impact this will have is that we will wait until tomorrow to take out the old mattress and box spring and then disassemble the old bed frame. This will give us the time to install the new bed frame and have it ready for mattress delivery on Friday, unless that is delayed once again. In the meantime I will be sleeping as best I can on the spare bed, but that isn’t helping my back much. The pain is not as great when I sleep on there, but it still not acceptable to me either.
At least I am ahead of things here at work with some time to work on projects that normally fall by the wayside. This will allow me to stay ahead of everything that is on my plate. I already have the meeting slideshow for tomorrow completed, although I will proof read them once again in the morning before I send them out. I find that the last review often discovers some small item that I missed.
I am nearly through with the last hour here at work. I am going to suggest that we stay home this evening and I might take a nap if I am able. I do know that I will NOT watch the clown show between Clinton and trump this evening. There is enough negativity in the world without adding more to it.
I will hope that somehow the new mattress arrives tomorrow after all, but that hope is rather fleeting right now and I am prepared for another night of attempting to sleep rather than actually getting a real night of enjoyable and relaxing sleep.

This last conference call would be the perfect thing to put me to sleep if it were bedtime right now. Just another example of the meetings that I am required to attend for the sake of form, rather than substance. I checked with Hal (person) and we are not going anywhere after work, so I am happy with that answer from him. Perhaps I will write more later this evening if I have the energy.

Dreamer's World October 18 2016

I am so glad to report that my new mattress is finally on the way and that it will arrive here on Thursday. After an evening of pain, I did finally fall asleep and I slept extremely well, but that was more due to exhaustion than anything else. At any rate, the new bed frame is here, the non-slip pad for the mattress is here, and now all that remains is to get the new mattress on Thursday when it arrives via FedEx. Once that happens, we will disassemble the old bed frame and then put the new one in place, put on the pad and then place the mattress on top of that and everything will be done.
The morning is good so far, my back is not hurting as much, but we will see how that fares through the rest of the day. I have several meetings to dial in to, of course, but I hope that my back will hold up and not give me any more trouble. I am looking forward to getting more and better sleep soon.
It is another beautiful warm day here in the DMV. We will have 2-3 more days of this before fall weather really arrives by the end of this week. As is usually the case around here, we go from one extreme to another overnight. I will be ready for the change because there is no alternative to it, just a part of the changing of the seasons around here. The only drawback is that I am still working until 1730 and that means less time to enjoy the daylight after work. My schedule will change on October 31, but by that point the weather will be cooler anyway.
I hope that after work I will be able to relax and that I will NOT be in pain again. Tomorrow I travel to meet with the client and I hate being there when I am uncomfortable because it impacts my performance. If things are terrible in the morning, I might have to cancel my appearance there. At least I have everything ready to go for the meeting.
I am nearly finished with the day. All things considered, it has been a good day. My back pain is still present, but much less than yesterday.

18 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 17 2016

Another week has begun. I am getting ready for work and am happy to report that my back is not acting up as badly this morning. With luck, the new mattress will be here by Friday and I can begin adjusting to it and getting better sleep. This will be great since I will be going in for my regular chiropractic appointment a week from today. When the mattress does finally arrive it will be time to disassemble the old bed frame and haul out the old mattress and box springs in order to put the new bed frame in place. With the new frame, there will be no more box springs and I have no problem with this.
As sleep becomes more and more difficult most nights, I get more and more exhausted with each passing day until I have an occasional night like last night when I do feel somewhat refreshed and not in pain when I wake up in the morning. Until things are corrected, I realize that this is only a temporary reprieve from the pain and discomfort, more of a way that my body expresses total surrender for a night before resuming the issues later. I will try to get things done at work today while I am feeling better because I know that this will not last long.
At least the weather remains brilliant here, in fact, it is supposed to be warmer today than it has been in about 2 weeks, with temperatures reaching the lower 80s this afternoon. I don’t know if we will be doing anything after work, if not I will do some cooking that I have been putting off here at home. I don’t know how many more days like this we will have before the cooler weather really arrives.
I will be glad once things calm down and I am more relaxed. I am looking forward to more and better sleep sometime soon. Until then, I will try to keep my focus on the important things, such as Hal (person), The Stooges, and then work. If I am not happy at home, no amount of satisfaction from work will make me feel better.
Of course, it would not be Monday without some type of technical issue with the network. I hope that my trouble ticket gets a response quickly because I am suffering from one of those annoying things that happens from time to time when on a VPN and settings have been changed or a software update has caused issues. As is the case most of the time, I managed to get the problem resolved before I got a call back from corporate IT.
I am hoping that the day remains relatively quiet. I am getting some things caught up here at work, and I have maintained my decision and tuned out the MSM bullshit info-porn garbage. I am hesitant to even go onto Twitter because of all the paid trolls that are out there attempting to ruin the experience for everyone. My sanity is more important than their immature rantings. The election cannot get here and be over with soon enough.
At least I am now halfway through this workday. It is amazing how much I can write when I am taking a lunch break. I hope that the afternoon meetings go by quickly and painlessly for a change. There are no plans for after work, but as always, that can change very quickly according to what Hal (person) wants or needs to do. Regardless, I want to get another good night of sleep, if that is at all possible as I await the new mattress.

The meetings are dragging along, as feared. I really wish that I was no longer a required attendee at these things, but I have asked to be excluded before without success.

16 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 15 2016

The weekend is here, and not a moment too soon. I am really tired today, but I did manage to get a few things done before I decided that it was time to come home and relax. I got a comforter and 2 duvets for the new bed, which is supposed to arrive here by the end of next week. The new bed frame will be here tomorrow, but it will stay in the box until the new mattress arrives. I only want to mess with the old bed one time before then, and that will be to disassemble the frame and then haul out the old box spring and the old mattress in order to have the room to put the new bed frame in place and then get the mattress on it. I am happy with the purchases I have made and am looking forward to things finally being resolved by this time next Saturday unless there is a delivery delay before then.
I finally feel like I am getting things done that have been bugging me for far too long because I wasn’t able to deal with them financially. Although I didn’t like spending the money, I know these things are for the best and will make life better in the future. It will also get rid of old furniture that would not likely survive another move since it is so old, but not valuable. I consider 15 years to be a good life for a cheap mattress and bed frame.

I’m glad that Hal (person) is home from work this afternoon. I don’t know if we will be doing anything later, but at least we are together and safe with The Stooges. There are times when I forget how lucky I am for the little things like that. I need to appreciate these times more often.

14 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 14 2016 - Struggling Along

I have written before about my ongoing back problems. I have consulted with my Chiropractor and he recommended a new mattress in the hopes that would resolve the problem of waking up each morning feeling like a truck had run over me. He did not recommend any particular type or brand of mattress, so I began looking on my own.
I had completely forgotten that mattress salespeople are just slightly above used-car salespeople on the evolutionary scale. I have dealt with some of the most unscrupulous bastards and bitches on the planet as I have looked in vain for a new mattress that won’t cost the equivalent of a moderately successful bank heist. My resolve has turned to frustration as things have gone on.
I actually finally placed an order for a mattress from a local furniture store. The problems then began to mount up. First of all, the mattress was not available, so it had to be shipped from the warehouse. I was told that the mattress would easily fit into a normal car because it was shrink-wrapped. This, of course, was a LIE. When I get the call that the mattress was available for pickup at the store, I discovered that a full-sized SUV would not hold the container. I complained about this and then the company FAILED to offer free delivery because of their error. I immediately called for the manager and canceled the transaction, even after they “graciously” offered me the free delivery once they realized that I was extremely pissed off. The damage was done, and I am through with them.
I have another mattress on order from a different company, and that should arrive before the 22nd of October. The price is a bit higher, but the delivery is included as well as a free return guarantee if it doesn’t work out. Until then, I will suffer through intense back pain that doesn’t go away until lunchtime most days. I hope that the mattress on order will be one that I can be happy with and will last me for many years. Only time will tell and I won’t be able to start the assessment until the 22nd of this month.
I wonder why the things that should be relatively simple always end up being so frustrating? It seemed that at every turn I was being pressured to spend more money than I wanted to on something that was promised to be worth the money. However, the people applying the pressure were not going to be responsible for paying for the damned thing either!
I hope that things will work out for the. I really look forward to waking up without being in intense pain for the first time in forever.
As the end of the week is finally here, I realize once again how much the pain and poor sleep has been affecting me and my writing. I have had to refocus all of my energy on work to make sure that I am not suffering from a decline in productivity, and that has resulted in less writing than I would have liked. I want to get this problem solved, and I made a start on that yesterday.
I finally found a mattress that is rated very highly by consumers, one that is made in America by a well-respected company, and also one that will have the shipping cost included (although they claim that it is free, we all know the deal). The only drawback is that the mattress won’t arrive until next Friday at the earliest, but I feel better about this purchase compared to the disaster mentioned above.

I know that this is available via Amazon, but for a large purchase I prefer to deal directly with the company for the same price in order to get a better warranty and protection. The mattress is designed to sit on top of existing box springs and that meets a key requirement since I don’t have the physical space for another bed frame right now.The mattress will be made and shipped, rather than sitting in a warehouse for months. I am looking forward to it arriving and to no longer waking up sore and exhausted every morning.
Once our move occurs next Spring, I will look into getting a new bed frame as well, probably one with storage drawers underneath the bed so I won’t have to clutter up the bedroom with a dresser. I don’t have that many clothes that need to be stored in drawers anyway, so it would make sense at that time.
Anyway, back to writing. I have to put time and energy back into this blog as soon as I can. I miss the daily routine of writing, provided that is isn’t just incoherent ramblings. I have dozens of aborted posts that will never see the light of day again because they are just awful to read through. Somehow it seems appropriate that all of this is happening as we all struggle to get through what will undoubtedly be remembered as the most vile and awful election in US history, one that has been conducted without regards to issues because everything is focused on one Nazi who wants to rule the world and is bragging about it as he attacks women and anyone else who dares to disagree with him.

I hope that things will improve for me once the new mattress arrives. I hope that I will sleep better and not feel so awful each morning. Until then, I will be struggling along.

06 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 6 2016 - Hurriccane Matthew The Never-Ending Storm

I have lived all over the US as an adult. People often ask me where I would prefer to live, and my answer is very easy, it would be California without a doubt. Growing up in Kentucky I knew plenty of people who would vacation in Florida and loved it there. I was never one of those people. I visited Florida as a teenager, and while it seemed nice, I realized that it simply wasn’t the place for me. It was too humid and that was the reason I never felt too strongly about living there.
As an adult, I joined the Navy and sure enough I spent several years in Florida, mainly Pensacola and Jacksonville. Once again I was not overly impressed with the place enough to want to live there by choice. I know that there are those who will claim that neither Pensacola nor Jacksonville are really “Florida” but they were enough of a sampling for me. I have visited Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando and Miami, but my impression remained the same.
At that time, it had nothing to do with the people there. It was the weather, plain and simple. Fortunately I never had to go through a hurricane while I was in Florida. I have gone through a few here in the DC area, but the simple location of DC means that the impacts are not nearly as severe.

Since everyone is following the progress of Hurricane Matthew, it is worth noting that hurricanes are just another reason that I never wanted to live in Florida or anywhere along the East or Gulf Coasts. The idea of being constantly bombarded with statuses on storms and dealing with  the prospect of evacuations or extended power outages on a widespread scale is just a hassle that I can do without. I know people who live in Florida, and I hope that they will be OK. I have no desire to ever be one of them.

Disgusting

Report: North Carolina Republicans try to to suppress minority vote, despite court ruling http://flip.it/IMfLoX

05 October 2016

Dreamer's World October 4 2016

Tuesday has arrived, and with it the chances seem more and more likely that we will be getting some impact from Hurricane Matthew here in the DC area by this weekend. There is no prediction for a real hurricane here, just lots of wind and rain. It seems somehow ironic that it is forecasted to ruin the long weekend unless things change. If that is the worst thing that happens, it will be nowhere as bad as what the people in Haiti will have to endure from the hurricane.
Haiti seems to be a magnet for disasters. I don’t say this to demean the people there, but they cannot seem to catch a break. Whether it is a corrupt government, completely inadequate infrastructure, grinding poverty, or natural disaster, Haiti just seems to move from one tragedy to another. I was reading about the expected impacts of Hurricane Matthew being amplified because so much of Haiti has been deforested as people burn wood for fuel. This leaves the hillsides and mountain slopes susceptible to landslides, and this can add another disaster to the list.
As much as I feel for the people of Haiti, I cannot but help being critical of all of the “help” that arrives there only to end up lining the pockets of corrupt politicians and businessmen. That makes Haiti just like the totally developed nations, at least in the sense that the people are the first ones to be ripped off by the rich and powerful.
There will always be hurricanes. As the population of the planet continues to grow, more and more people will, by necessity or by choice, live in areas that are prone to damage from these storms. A lack of preparation and resources to protect these people insures that there will be more and greater tragedies. At this point, I could not conceivably care less about the property damage because that is replaceable. Human lives are not replaceable in the same way.
Those who bemoan property loss are the same ones who bemoan property loss in this country when riots break out after decades/centuries of continued injustice. So long as people place property over lives, nothing will improve. Property has become a way of ignoring the suffering that goes on all around us because of the totally misguided notion that somehow poor people deserve to be poor because “they don’t work hard enough”. I would love to see any of those who feel that way work as hard to just survive as far too many on this planet are forced to do on a daily basis. It would certainly weed out the spoiled, greedy rich bastards among us.
I only have one voice. All of the things that I say mean the world to me, but until enough people agree that the system we have is failing, nothing will be done. Even if enough people agree, those in power will never give up their privilege without a terrible fight and tremendous bloodshed. Not a pretty picture, but a real one as we sit here comfortable, awaiting the inconvenience that a hurricane can bring while ignoring the real suffering that the same storm will inflict on others.

I hope that the storm is not as terrible as the forecasters want us to believe it is, but as it moves closer to the US, we can rest assured that the inconveniences suffered here will get much more coverage than the devastation that will happen in places like Haiti or Cuba.

04 October 2016

Sickening

Next ‘Renewable Energy’: Burning Forests, if Senators Get Their Way http://flip.it/L6WF8a

TRUTH

Listen to the children: What Jeremy Mardis and Zianna Oliphant tell us about race and police brutality http://flip.it/J.KSeI