30 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 30 2017 – Changes

The weekend brought lots of changes around here. First of all, Hal was in Florida from Friday until Sunday due to the funeral of his Aunt. I took him to the airport on Friday afternoon and then picked him up late Sunday when he returned. In the meantime, I was on my own and I decided to do some more looking at cars. I found a 2011 Ford Fiesta with less than 40K miles on it and I managed to arrange financing through my credit union. Yesterday, Hal and I went to the dealer and everything is done. All that is left is for me to take the paperwork from the credit union to the dealer after work today since yesterday was a holiday. This means that I will be very rushed after work today with a chiropractor appointment and then getting back to the dealer with the final paperwork.

    I didn’t realize that things were going to move so quickly. I had given up on the idea of trading in the Beetle until this vehicle showed up and more importantly, the financing was lined up to make it doable. I felt guilty about letting go of the Beetle because it has been a terrific car for the last 5 years, but I also know that it was on its last legs, or wheels, and would not have lasted much longer because of its age (15 years). I hope that the Beetle will find someone who will work on it and keep it going for a long time, but I am not that mechanically inclined. I will miss the Beetle.
I swore to myself that I would not take on another car payment, but I realized that this was only a matter of time and that I needed to make a deal when I still had the option. Thankfully, my credit union was very reasonable with the terms of the financing and I can manage with the payments and perhaps get it paid off early. I realize that I am fortunate to be able to make this change right now. In the past, I would have been faced with impossible choices, but now I can make them more clearly since I am in better shape financially. I am glad that this episode is finally over with. I can plan to take trips now if the mood strikes me because I will not be in fear of the car not making it all the way.
    The new car is a 2011 Ford Fiesta that has less than 38K miles on it with no accidents from Carfax. Since it is LIME GREEN and a 5-speed, those are the reasons it was such an inexpensive car.

I am not concerned with the color and I prefer a manual transmission. It runs like a little demon and that is what I want. It is only a 4-cylinder, but it does get up and go when it needs to. The Fiesta also give more storage space with the hatchback than I had in the Beetle, so the main challenge will be to keep it clean and uncluttered. This means that the first task once the weather improves will be to take all the stuff I got out of the Beetle and put into the Fiesta and then dump what I no longer need from there.
    I just returned from my credit union with the check in hand so I can go and complete everything this evening. I will not be breaking the bank with the monthly payment and that is a great relief to me. I will get some pictures of the FIESTA this evening and tomorrow. It will be better if the sun ever comes out around here.
    We made it back from the dealer before the storms hit. I am closing out today’s post and then shutting down the laptop for the evening. I have an early day tomorrow with my trip to meet with the client. I hope that everyone has had a great day and will have an even better tomorrow.

27 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 26 2017 – Arrival Of A Holiday Weekend

Snoopy and The Gang have a new setup this morning. The old presentation was rather awkward and needed to change, so I found some new risers that allowed me to position them better. This will also allow me to experiment with other potential locations since these risers are independent of each other. This is one of those little things that help to make the new place even more of a home.
    The main thing on the agenda for today is to wrap things up at work in preparation for the long weekend and then to take Hal to the airport to catch his flight to Florida. Sadly, he is going because of a death in the family and he will be back here Sunday evening. This means I will have to stay out of trouble all weekend here alone with The Stooges. I will have time to write and practice my guitar at the very least. I have no plans to go looking for trouble. After I get Hal to the airport I have my chiropractor appointment later in the afternoon and then the real weekend starts. After that, I might check out one of the local vape stores to see what they have.
    The morning at work has been quiet. This is not surprising since so many people have taken today off to get an early start on the holiday weekend. I cannot blame them, but I want to save my vacation time I have remaining and build it back up for the future. Besides, without Hal being here there is no point wasting time off when it can be used later.
    One advantage to working from home is that I can get some house chores done as I work. Right now I have laundry in the washer as I continue my research project for work, and I can take a few minutes to shift the clothes to the dryer without impacting my productivity at work.

    The day started out with brilliant sunshine, but the clouds have returned. We cannot seem to break out of the gloomy weather around here. The entire weekend is supposed to be like this, cool and cloudy which is hardly the start of summer that we are all waiting for. Eventually the sun and warm weather will arrive, but we don’t know when that will be.

25 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 25 2017 – Happy Towel Day To All You Really Hoopy Froods Out There

To all of those who do not know about Towel Day, I request that you Google Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, which is a truly remarkable book. Since today would be the birthday of the late Douglas Adams, all of us Galactic Hitchhikers celebrate by proudly carrying our towels with us, because a towel is about the most useful thing that you can have.

24 May 2017

Dreamer's World May 24 2017 - Making Progress

The middle of the week is here at last. I just returned from my weekly meeting with the client and now I have the afternoon meetings and normal work to get through before quitting time this afternoon. I am glad to report that I feel much better today after a good night of sleep.
    Yesterday I went to the acupuncturist for the first time and I must admit that I feel tremendously better. She believes that she can help me with my occasional insomnia and lack of quality sleep and I am perfectly willing to give her the opportunity to help if she can. I believe that she inserted approximately 20 needles into me during the session and some of those were connected to an electric pulse that helped to relax some of the trouble spots. Acupuncture, like reflexology, works on points in the body that correspond to areas of concern. For every part of the body, there is a spot along the spine for the most part that corresponds to it. She helped me to get some real sleep last night. Since this was my first visit to her, she is going to chart out what she found and then we will meet again next week to see about a recommended course of treatments and negotiate a price that I can live with.
    After work this afternoon, I will be marinating some steaks to cook so we will have some good meals for the rest of this week. I enjoy cooking in the new kitchen because the appliances are up to date and there is more room to move around, especially with a hot oven in use. I don’t expect that we will do anything after work other than me cooking, but Hal will always have a say in the decision. Personally, I want to cook because it does save money in the long run and we can have what we want already made here. I spent most of my lunchtime preparing the marinate and getting the steaks in do they will be ready immediately after work. With the new oven, it won’t take long for them to be ready and we can still do something if Hal wants to.
    I am looking forward to the end of the workday. I want to get a routine established now that all of the chaos of the move is over with. I need some stability and order right now so I can get back to practicing my guitar and having time for myself. I am starting the oven now so it will be ready for the steaks as soon as work is finished. Hal is taking a nap now so I don’t know what that will mean for later on, but I will be ready regardless.
    The steaks are in the oven now. Hal is on the phone with his relatives since an Aunt of his died yesterday in Florida. He told me that the family has offered to pay for him to go to Jacksonville for the funeral this weekend and I suspect that he will go. In fact, he is on the phone with one of his relatives now so I won’t bother him until he is finished. That can be tricky because he can spend hours on the phone with them. My situation is less complicated and consists of “Are you dead yet?” “Better luck next time” types of conversations. I have a weird family that isn’t close at all, at least to me. I have managed to survive for this long without constant aggravation from them and I will continue to do so in the future.

    At least the steaks will be ready for either dinner tonight or for meals starting tomorrow. It feels good to get ahead of things for a change. I took a few minutes to change the appearance of my WordPress blog because I have not altered it in a long time. I hope that it is an improvement.

23 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 23 2017 – Inspiration On A Cloudy Day

I’ll be completely honest. Until last night I had never heard of Ariana Grande. She represents a genre of music that I personally just don’t like. I go out of my way to avoid listening to any of the music from that genre, let alone wanting absolutely nothing to do with hearing about the singer who makes the music. Perhaps I am a musical snob because I dislike bubble gum pop, and country/western music. I can live with that very comfortably. However, I was truly disgusted at the tragedy in Manchester, England last night when a coward attacked a group of concert goers and killed at least 19 people.
    We live in a fucked-up world, there can be no doubt about that. We have become so immune to MSM  like this one. Honestly, when I say I was disgusted I meant it, but I just cannot continue to generate outrage each time something like this happens. I want to feel a more genuine emotion, but what I feel seems more like a recording of the last time that something like this happened. The “shock” doesn’t feel real anymore. The media collectively wets themselves over the story. The same footage is shown on an endless loop. The media begins to emote about how people are supposed to “feel” about something like this. The media finds people who have no credible information to report other than their emotional response to the event. The same “experts” appear and tell us the same things that they told us the last time.
    19 people are dead. That is the fact. That is the cold, hard, honest, truth. Everything else is sensationalism designed to promote a point of view or an agenda. FEAR INC is doing a brisk business as of last night. Their ratings are high once again and there are those who secretly rejoice in the deaths of innocent people. The people celebrating are not all “terrorists” in the Middle East. They are also rich and powerful people with business and political agendas to promote who know that they will PROFIT from the FEAR.
    Yeah, I’m a fucking cynic when it comes to things like this. I see the pattern that repeats over and over with the same result. We never see or hear about any response to a tragedy like this other than “prayers” and then “revenge”. When you really think about it, those two things can never really achieve anything. Prayers and Revenge are placebos that we are given to keep us in line. They cannot be effectively measured in terms of results, they appeal to an emotional level this is deliberate, because this relieves those in positions of power from actually having to DO ANYTHING meaningful to stop the madness. IGNORE the cause, focus on the result and attempt to deal with the result in a manner that will only cause the symptom to reappear. Like putting makeup on a mole, it only attempts to hide the real problem and makes no attempt to actually treat the cause.

    I have said all of this before. The cycle repeats. The wheel spins around and around without moving. People still die for no reason and yet nothing is ever done about it. The only “inspiration” I can offer right now is to attempt to prove that we are all getting played once again. Let that sink in.

Dreamer’s World May 22 2017 – A Fitting Start To The Week

I didn’t sleep well last night. I went to bed early, determined to get a lot of rest to be ready for work this morning, but in the middle of the night I found that the AC unit decided that it was not going to work. I opened the window but it never really cooled off enough to let me get any real sleep. Therefore, I start this workweek and this blog post slugging caffeine in a desperate attempt to stay awake. Days like this are awful to get through, especially when I consider that I take Hal to his job after I am finished with work and then go and pick him up late this evening. Add to that Microsoft Outlook is not working this morning and I am ready to call it a day. Sadly, I don’t really have that option right now because there is too much that I must do at work.
    We all go through days like this. I keep telling myself that when I look back it will make other days seem much better in comparison. That will help at some indistinct future point, but right now it is of little comfort. When I look at my timesheet and see that I am running below my normal accumulated vacation days I always tend to focus more on not taking any time off for a while. I know deep down inside that one of these days it won’t matter how many days I had saved up, but until then I want to try to build that balance back up. At least I work from home and the days accumulated aren’t as critical as they once were when I worked in an office.
    The rain continues to fall lightly here. It is supposed to end later this morning and then warm up, although it looks like it will be an overcast and rainy week until Friday. Another thing that matches the mood this morning. I have written about times when I enjoy the rain, but this isn’t one of those times. I just have to endure and keep moving ahead until the sun returns.
    A friend asked me yesterday how the effort to trade in the Beetle was going. I told him that I am keeping the Beetle since there is no trade-in value. Of course his next question was what new car I was going to get? I told him that I am no longer looking and am no longer interested in that. He said that he would have jumped on the chance to trade in his car for a newer one, so I asked him why he didn’t do it. He told me that he still owes on his car. I smiled, looked at him carefully and said “I don’t have a car payment”. He stopped questioning me after that. I know what I have with the Beetle and I don’t see the need to give money to any greedy salespeople right now.

    I just hope that the AC works tonight when I need it. I need a good night of rest.

20 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 20 2017 – Time For Quiet

Saturday is normally a day without any set events for me other than making sure that Hal gets off to work on time and spending time with The Stooges. Today is different because I have an appointment with the chiropractor at 1000 as part of the new treatment regimen that was discussed after a review of my x-rays. While my spine is on good shape overall, there are some slight problems with alignment that need to be addressed. I think that it is time to get these things taken care of since the new chiropractor is close to home and I won’t have to spend an hour or more to get home afterwards. Although the idea of going to run some errands after the appointment is tempting, I know that the best thing for me to do is to come home and relax.
    I do feel much better after the visit and I did come back home and will be here for a while. There is nothing else that needs to be done today, so I can enjoy some quiet time. I can write, obviously, and catch up on some reading and listen to some music as well. There are a few more hours until Hal gets home from work and it is nice to have the quiet time.

    After a few hours and a few naps, Hal will be home soon. I don’t know of any plans for the evening but I will ask Hal if there is anything he wants to do or anywhere he needs to go. We will have roast beef for dinner and can easily spend the entire evening here at home without a complaint from me 😊

19 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 19 2017 – Taking Time Off

I took today off from work because I deserved it. I need time to mentally relax and restore myself. The last month has been incredibly hectic and I know I need to let a lot of stress escape from my system. Looking back I took on too much for such a short period of time, I really made a mistake when I tried to see about trading in the Beetle. Luckily for me, sanity was able to reach up from its bunker and stop me from doing anything right now. I am fortunate to NOT have a car payment and taking one on would have been a huge mistake right now. The experience taught me a lot about patience and how to sit back and evaluate my situation from a long-term perspective rather than trying to do everything all at once.
    My goal for today is to spend time with Hal and The Stooges. Hal and I might get out during the day if the weather is nice. Last night we had some serious thunderstorms roll through here that produced some small hail, but luckily nothing more serious than that around here. I was caught at the chiropractor’s office when the storm hit and had to wait out the worst of it there. I found out that I have a few issues that the chiropractor can repair with some treatment. I am honestly not that surprised to hear about this, but the x-rays were pretty clear that something needs to be done. On Tuesday I go to see an acupuncturist who works in the same location to see how she might be able to help me out as well. It has been many years since I last had an acupuncture session, so I am looking forward to it and it is covered under my insurance.
    Right now, I don’t have any major topic to ramble on about but that might change as the day progresses. Until then I will just summarize my day as always and let the words flow out freely.
     I did sleep well last night after the chiropractor appointment. So far the day has not produced anything exciting with the exception of lunch, which was delicious. Hal is on the phone with some of his relatives now, so we haven’t gone anywhere yet.

    The afternoon was quiet. After we had lunch, which consisted of the roast I started cooking last night. I am glad to say that it was delicious, and we will have several more meals from the roast over the weekend. We did some shopping for Hal and then I picked up my guitar after it was re-strung. After that we had a nice dinner and then came home because Hal has to go to work in the morning, and I have another chiropractor appointment as well. 

18 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 18 2017 – Ready To Throw In The Towel For This Week

There are times when we all realize that we have reached our breaking point, and today is that day for me. All the effort of the last few months has seemingly caught up with me all at once and I feel like the wall has collapsed on top of me. I have already submitted my request to take tomorrow off work and try to get some rest and recharge my internal batteries. I suppose that my recent flirtation with the idea of trading in the Beetle was the straw that broke the camel’s back. There was no real need to put myself through that nonsense. The Beetle is old and relatively useless as trade bait. I really suspected that when I started, but now it is a fact. I still enjoy not having a car payment more than acquiring a payment for another vehicle, and not trading isn’t damaging my ability to trade later because the Beetle is not going to lose much more value. The pressure was self-induced. I know that it was based on a WANT rather than a NEED. I must re-establish my own internal discipline and stay out of those situations.
    And so, after work is over with this afternoon, I am off until Monday. I have an appointment with the new chiropractor this evening to go over the x-rays he took and to set up a course of treatment. I can also finally get a refill for a prescription that I have had to wait on for nearly a month because our health care system is based on profit and not on medicine. I will make certain that I have that done today as well.
    Once my workday is complete, I can then prepare to take care of the personal things like the Chiropractor and the prescription. After that I can finally try to relax and do whatever I can to release all the stress and negative energy that is affecting me so I will finally feel better. An early morning call to the pharmacy indicates that my prescription can be picked up later today so I will have it for this evening when it is needed.
    During the afternoon, I received a text from one of the car dealers that we recently visited. The “urgent” text informed me of a “limited-time, only for me” type of offer designed to get me back to the dealer to finalize a deal. I was rather annoyed at the timing because I was in the middle of a conference call at the time. I took my time and then responded to ask for more details about this “special” deal. The first response was that they wanted to talk with me in person later today. Another alarm bell went off in my head and I told them truthfully that I had an appointment this evening with the chiropractor as noted above before this section started. This resulted in a few details being sent back to me via another series of texts.
    By this time, the conference call had ended. I took a few minutes to draft my reply so it wouldn’t seem rushed or cause any hard feelings. I informed them that I was not going to pursue a new vehicle for reasons already noted in my blog. I explained that I wanted to be able to walk into a dealer the next time and have the luxury of a substantial down-payment to lessen both the amount that I would have to finance and to lessen the monthly payments. I also noted that the Beetle wasn’t going to lose much more value so that was not a point that concerned me. Thankfully, that detailed text seems to have stopped things. I didn’t want to burn any bridges and I think I succeeded.
    The whole things got me thinking about how life does progress when we are able to look back to a point in time and reflect. Several years ago, I wasn’t even able to get a test drive in a used vehicle due to my credit rating. In the past, I wrote at length about the struggle to pay things off and to maintain financial discipline. Obviously, that has succeeded because now I am being sought after to purchase another used car. Small steps that take some reflection to be able to see. I feel good about the whole thing now even though I am keeping the Beetle. At least I know that I am keeping the Beetle because I want to and not because I have no choice. Because I refused to be pushed into a decision without careful consideration would have been the wrong move for me, I have come out ahead.

    The important thing is that I am much better off than I was a few years ago. Sometimes it just takes an event like today to fully realize how far I have come. Since I took the time to think clearly about this, I feel much better about my response

Dreamer’s World May 17 2017 – Yesterday Was A Disaster Attempting To Make A Trade On The Beetle

Our trip yesterday to see about making a trade on the Beetle was a complete and utter disaster due to a dealer that was nothing but greedy. The price that was listed on the vehicle was ignored in favor of a higher price. That higher price was then inflated by close to 20% when the offer was presented to me. I could not get a clear admission from the dealer that this is what they had done, so I told them that everything was off and to forget the whole thing.
    Naturally, this resulted in the manager trailing me out of the showroom, begging and pleading with me to reconsider their offer. I stopped and said that if he didn’t immediately cease that I was going to make my displeasure very LOUD where other prospective buyers would HEAR what I had to say. That promise ended the conversation and we left for home.
    I was also offended by the offer that was made on the Beetle. I know, and I mentioned yesterday that age has reduced it’s value, but I was not ready to have to fight over what amounted to me donating the vehicle to the dealer in exchange for the 20% over the price offer that they wanted me to accept. I am proud to say that I did not get emotional, but I did give the Beetle a pat on the dashboard as we drove home because it has never let me down.
    The likelihood of me making a trade is now greatly reduced because I have not found another vehicle that I like enough to attempt a trade. I have a pre-approved loan that will expire if it isn’t used and right now I am perfectly content to let that happen and just keep the Beetle. I don’t need the hassle and aggravation of trying to work with sleazy car dealers right now. Life is going too well to soil myself with them.

    The irony of ironies is that I have to spend time this afternoon at the same sleazy dealership in order to get my free oil change that is a part of the package that still applies to the Beetle. If I can find another participating dealer that is about the same distance away from home, I will use them from now on. My main goal will be to avoid the people who so completely pissed me off yesterday because I am NOT IN THE MOOD for their BS right now.

17 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 16 2017 – Not Enough Sleep With Things On My Mind

I messed up my schedule last night and suffered for it with a lack of quality sleep. I suppose that there are too many things going on in my mind at once and I need to resolve some of the issues soon in order to get more rest. I mentioned them yesterday, there is the issue of trading in the Beetle or dealing with some repairs that will have to be made on a 15 year-old vehicle that will cost a lot and there is also the looming departure of my friends to Scotland forever.
    As I mentioned yesterday, I can do nothing at all regarding Nicola and Connor leaving to return to Nicola’s home. This is out of my control altogether and no amount of thinking about it will change that fact. I have to simply put it on the back burner of my mind.
    The issue with my decision on the Beetle is more complex and immediate. I am not sure when I will be in the position again to make a trade for something that I am interested in. There is a vehicle that I test drove over the weekend and I was favorably impressed. The decision must be made sometime this week or I stand the chance that the other vehicle will be sold to someone else. I am exploring my options so I will have the best information available when I make that decision. It could come as early as this evening, but will definitely be made by tomorrow evening since I am taking the Beetle in for an oil change. Since the oil change is free as part of the service agreement I have on it through the dealer, I don’t have to worry about that cost right now. The potential new vehicle is available through the same dealer, so that gives me the peace of mind knowing that I can wait until tomorrow if necessary.
    As far as work is concerned, today will not be any busier than normal and I am grateful for that. I did my long day yesterday and am glad that is behind me. I did leave the guitar at Guitar Center last night for a restringing and it should be ready by the end of the week. I will be glad to get back into the practice routine to have some more discipline in my life. I need more structure right now for a change with the important issues that are demanding my attention.

    At least the new apartment is wonderful. Hal and I are enjoying it more and more each day. We made the right decision several months ago to move here after several months of searching for a new place. This one meets all of our needs and the price is much more reasonable than the others, and substantially less than where we just moved out of. We are very happy here. The Stooges are all set as well. After a few hours of adjustment on the first night, they are now very content with their new home.

As the day moves along here, I am getting quite a few things done before the afternoon meetings begin. I hope that they go smoothly and I will get away from work on time this afternoon. Whether we decide to go and look at some cars is up in the air right now. As the day wears on, my main concern is that I will have enough energy at 1530 to go anywhere, but I think I will manage somehow.
    The afternoon is slowly passing by and Hal has gone to the grocery store to get some food for The Stooges as I wait for the last meeting of the day to start in a little while. Once that is over with, I think that we will go to look at a vehicle that has caught my attention. It is certainly possible that I will make a deal later this afternoon or early this evening if it is to my advantage to do so. Only time will tell on this. Every research tool at my disposal indicates that the Beetle has outlived its value and there won’t be much trade in value, but that is no surprise for a 2002 regardless of the shape that it is in. It makes the incentive to deal now stronger, but not overwhelming. I must consider that the money that would go into some repairs down the road will exceed the value of the Beetle and that it will never recoup any more value afterwards.
    By the time we got home from our trip, we arrived back here in the Beetle, I was too exhausted to write and went to bed. After an early morning traveling to meet with the client I can finally begin to catch up with things when I open today’s blog post.

16 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 15 2017 – Start To A New Week And Thinking About Change

A new week has begun and I am preparing myself for the usual onslaught of work-related issues and challenges. At the same time, I am adjusting to the new place and am even more happy with it as each day passes. Since Monday is always my long day at work and I won’t leave until 1630, I will be taking Hal to his job after I finish and then picking him up late this evening. The sun is out and the weather will be warmer today than it has been in quite a while, so I will have plenty to do to keep myself busy.
    One thing that has started to enter my mind is the Beetle. It is still running very well, but there are some maintenance issues that will require time and money in the future and I am beginning to think about exploring the possibility of trading it in on a newer model used car. I do not see the need to even think about a brand-new car because they are simply too expensive for my taste and budget. This would be a difficult decision for me because the Beetle has never let me down, but it is also 15 years old and that means age is creeping up on it regardless of the best efforts to preserve it. If I can make a deal on something else that I like, it would be the first time that I have ever traded in a vehicle that I felt what I guess would be called affection for. The Beetle was obtained at the end of a disastrous relationship with the previous vehicle that cost me thousands of dollars in maintenance and the countless hours of aggravation and stress that the previous vehicle caused me.
    I have taken a few preliminary steps in exploring a trade for the Beetle. I am looking at some possible vehicles and there are a few that have caught my eye. If there is time this week I will probably go and look at a few of them to see if the personal appeal is there for me. It will be a process that I will take very carefully and without rushing into things.
    Another issue that is weighing on my mind is the upcoming departure of Nicola and her son Connor for Scotland. After she dropped the bombshell last year, I was not surprised by the decision but now as the time for her to leave is less than a month away it is really starting to sink in for Hal and I. When they leave, it will remove a big part of our lives here. Although we don’t see each other frequently, there has always been the comforting feeling that they were about an hour away, and the knowledge that we would always see them around the major holidays. I know that her life was thrown into turmoil when her husband Don died. Don was an old Navy buddy of mine who I still miss dearly. Nicola threw herself into working on the house and raising Connor and Brianna, who is now at Towson University in Maryland, but her decision to return home to Scotland was not totally unexpected, but it did come as a shock when she simply announced it without any prior hints being dropped.
    I suppose that the topics of the Beetle and Nicola are related. Each represents something or someone who will eventually be departing from my everyday life. I am sad to think about losing the Beetle, but it is only a car and can be replaced if that is the decision that I make. Nicola, on the other hand, is a true friend who is making her own decision and I cannot do anything but help her and support her.
    The Beetle has no definite timeline for a decision, while Nicola will be departing exactly 3 weeks from today. It is possible that the Beetle will leave my life first, but that is a constantly shifting time as compared to Nicola whose departure is fixed. The Beetle is with me all the time until something changes, and I take it for granted. Nicola is not here and that makes the time spent with her that much more special.

    Life is a series of people and things what arrive and depart from our lives on a random basis. We have more control over some things and people than others, but it still gives us a sense of perspective when these things happen to us. The key is how we learn to adjust to these changes and how we keep on living. We cannot stop living because of change, change is what makes life interesting and challenging for us all.

Spartacus has made an appearance on top of the couch this morning. He normally hangs out with Hal, but occasionally he ventures out to be seen and admired. He has the correct approach to life, he lets it come to him rather than worry about things that he cannot control. I envy him his casual approach to life as I listen to meetings that really don’t affect me in any tangible way. Spartacus has this elegant quality just like his brother Hal The Cat, and his sister Stevie Nicks. I wish that I could spend my time each day just enjoying life like the Stooges do.
    I will be taking Hal to work soon and I must get ready. I don’t plan to go anywhere while he is away, but that can change. I will write more later this evening.
    Hal is at work and I am back home in time to take out the trash for pickup and to get back to writing. I was tempted to go and look at a few used cars, but that can wait because the traffic is awful and I would not want to be late picking Hal up from work. I also found out that 2 strings on one of my guitars are broke so I will get that taken care of while Hal is at work. I will either have it repaired while I wait, or I will leave it there and pick it up later in the week. Since Guitar Center is not far from Hal’s job, it isn’t a big concern about getting to him on time. 

15 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 14 2017 – Welcome Back, Mr. Sunshine

I am so happy to see that the sun has finally decided to come back to us or the first time since last Wednesday. While the rain was welcome and needed, the monotony was getting rather boring and the cooler weather was kind of a drag for May.
    Of course, today is also Mother’s Day. Sadly, Mom is no longer here. She died in 2001 but remains in my thoughts daily. I miss you, Mom
Hal and I did go out for a wonderful dinner at our favorite local Indian restaurant after he got home from work. It wasn’t meant as anything, but I suppose that both of us in our own ways, reflected on our Mothers as we enjoyed our meals.

13 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 13 2017 – Time To Reflect

There are times when I feel the need to sit and just be quiet. This is one of those times. So much has happened over the last three weeks and it seems almost impossible to tell everything. The move is now officially complete after turning in the keys to the old apartment yesterday. We have our new place feeling like home as well and all of the heavy work is behind us.

    I actually got up this morning to see Hal off to work and then I went back to bed for a few hours and got some more sleep. I will see what Hal would like to do when he gets home from work in about an hour. At least the rain is over with for now and tomorrow will be pleasant and sunny for the first time since last Wednesday. I am glad that I decided to just take the time to recharge and reflect this morning. I feel much better as a result and am ready for the evening and for Sunday before I have to go back to work on Monday.

12 May 2017

Dreamer’s World May 12 2017 – Feeling Much Better As The Weekend Approaches

Friday is here at last! I am glad to report that the visit with the new chiropractor went very well and I slept great last night. I feel tremendous this morning as Friday starts and I am ready to take on the world.
I was rather hesitant when I got to the new chiropractors office, but I quickly became comfortable because the staff was extremely friendly. The office was busy, unlike the old office because of the location. This was the first adjustment I had to make to the way things will be, but I was treated very well. The best thing is that the new office also offers acupuncture and my insurance covers that. I already have a consultation set up with the specialist and will take advantage of it as soon as I can.
Since today is a short day and I am off work at 1430, Hal and I are going to the old apartment one last time to turn in the keys and complete our transactions with them. This should be the final step in the process and we will then be completely free of the old apartment for good. The apartment has been cleaned and is ready for turnover so there should not be any problems. If there are, the old apartment community can stand by to get lit up on Yelp because we have done everything that they stated had to be done prior to turning in the keys. Personally, I don’t expect any problems.
Once the apartment has been settled, we will have the late afternoon and evening to do what we want to do. There are no plans yet, we tend to make them up as we go along. Hal does have to go to work in the morning, so we won’t be out late under any conditions.
The apartment, as opposed to the “new” apartment, is looking terrific. It has become our new home at last. The atmosphere is tremendous and the peace and quiet are awesome after the constant noise in Alexandria. On a rainy day like today it is just wonderful to have no noise coming in from outside. The rain is supposed to linger through tomorrow and then we will have more seasonable weather with much warmer temperatures.
The day is over, the old apartment keys have been turned in and we made it home without incident. I wanted to post this before I go to bed in order to get back into the routine of posting each day.

Dreamer's World May 11 2017 - Rainy Days

The day is rainy and cool. It is supposed to be this way through tomorrow. It makes me glad that I am working from home and do not have to get out in the rain other than to go to my chiropractor appointment after work this afternoon.
Luckily, I changed chiropractors since the move, but it was a bittersweet experience because I valued the relationship that I had with my old chiropractor. I had been his patient for 15 years, but after the move the trip of almost 60 miles one way and then back was just too much for me. I went to him 2 weeks ago after the worst of the move had been completed and by the time I got home through rush hour traffic I felt as if I had not gotten any adjustment or relief at all since I had been in traffic for nearly 2.5 hours by the time I finally got home.
I will hope that the new chiropractor is as good as the old one. Life does move on and things change. We have to change with them but at times we simply have to make do with the way things are, and that brings me back to the weather. We are getting a late taste of mild winter weather here over the next 2 days. The temperature might not hit 60 tomorrow with all of the clouds and rain. Today might manage to get into the low 60s, but that doesn't seem likely right now. The steady patter of raindrops is rather relaxing, to be quite honest but it will be nice to see the sun again hopefully by sometime this weekend.

Rainy days are necessary for reasons other than the obvious. We need them to more fully appreciate the beautiful sunny days when we have those. I am happy with a rainy day now and then to keep my perspective in order. I am certain that my visit to the new chiropractor will help as well.

08 May 2017

Dreamer's World May 08 2017 - Best Laid Plans

Monday has arrived far too soon. As I noted in my earlier posts, the weekend basically didn’t exist and now I am starting the work week all over again. At least we won’t have to do all of the one-time things next weekend and I will have more time to relax.
Once I am finished with work, I will venture to the new kitchen and prepare the first real meal in it since we moved in. Unfortunately, the kitchen was one of the last areas to be truly organized and I use that term very loosely. It looks much better than it did, but it remains a work in progress. Actually preparing a meal here will make it feel more like we are finally home. The chicken breasts have been marinating since yesterday and I have the side items ready to prepare as well. If there is any trip to be made, it would be for emergency necessities for other areas of the apartment, and I think that Hal can handle that.
The last phases of getting comfortable in the new apartment are nearly complete. I will be cooking noodles and gravy, baked beans, mashed potatoes and chicken breasts after work. I am looking forward to having dinner with Hal here at HOME for a change.
    As for the day itself, the maintenance people have been in the apartment through the day to replace air filters and smoke detector batteries. This has caused numerous interruptions to the work that I am doing, but it is something that must be done. Of course The Stooges have to be kept away from the workers as they enter and leave because we don’t want The Stooges getting out because then we would have to spend time and energy chasing them around. All of this activity impacted my normal lunch time, but I will catch up later in the afternoon.
The flow of people in and out of the apartment has caused Hal The Cat quite a bit of stress. He is hanging by my side in order to feel safe throughout the day.
It would not be Monday without a splitting migraine headache developing as the afternoon drags along with 2 hours left at work. I am slowly shutting down without any conscious decision to do so. I want to get things done as much as possible before I finally surrender to the migraine so I will not have more to do tomorrow than I already do.
The best laid plans, or something like that. Hal just informed me that he works this evening. That means I won’t start cooking right after work because I will not leave the apartment with things in the oven. At least everything will be ready for tomorrow.

After I dropped Hal off at his job, I swung by the mall and found a new A’s cap
I will pull for the A’s because they are committed to remaining in Oakland, as opposed to the Traiders, who are leaving.

Dreamer's World Catching Up Part 2 - May 07 2017

Sunday was a day that passed for an entire weekend. After the Saturday adventures, I managed to get a few errands run and also picked up a new vaping stick. Hal worked once again and we ate out once more. I did start to marinate come chicken breasts and I have everything to cook tomorrow so we will have dinner at home and I will actually try out the kitchen for the first real cooking attempt.

Dreamer's World Catching Up Part 1 - May 06 2017

I apologize for not writing over the weekend. Saturday was a very busy day. I had to get up early and travel to the old apartment to be there when the cleaning ladies arrived, as well as the contractor who was repairing the holes in the wall left from Hal’s TV mount in the living room. I was with them until early afternoon and when I got home I was ready to take a nap. I did this and then Hal and I went to dinner and to the store for a few necessities.

Saturday was Hal’s first day working at his new location and that was somewhat stressful for him although they did make things much easier than he had expected. This meant that he was also tired when he got home after I did, so we did the necessary trips and then watched TV for the rest of the evening.

05 May 2017

Dreamer's World May 05 2017 - Somehow I Survived The Week

Snoopy and the gang have reached the end of the week and are happy about it even if it is rainy and dreary outside this morning. We are all looking forward to the sun making an appearance later today if things go well.
 Personally, I just want to make it through until 1430 so I can try to get some rest. I didn’t sleep well at all last night for some reason and I am feeling the effects this morning.
With luck, I can get to the ATM after work and withdraw cash to pay the cleaning ladies at the old apartment tomorrow. Unfortunately, I will have to get up early on Saturday to meet them there when I would much rather sleep in for a change. Hal starts work at his new location tomorrow so he cannot go to the old apartment. I don’t mind doing this, I just hope I feel better this evening and tomorrow. Perhaps it is all the stress finally oozing out of my system, I just hope that it happens quickly and is over with soon.
On the other hand, the new place is looking better and better with each passing hour as Hal continues to organize the things in the living room. I have made my bedroom office presentable but it still needs some final adjustments as well as getting some pictures up on the walls, but I am in no hurry about those things. I need an oil change for the Beetle sometime soon as well as attempt to sell two antique lamps and an antique dresser to get some extra money and to clear up some extra space around here. Those two items have each been pushed back by at least a week with the activity at the old apartment tomorrow.
As lunchtime approaches here, the weekend is much closer as well. I feel a bit more alive right now, but I am still not near 100%. I hope to get through this last round of meetings without too much difficulty so I can then start my weekend at last. The rain has stopped and we are hoping that the sun will make an appearance sometime later today.
The sun did come out for a while this afternoon. Hal and I went to the store and to the bank and came back home. I proceeded to fall asleep on the couch as he was watching Captain America, which doesn’t surprise me at all. After I woke up I managed to find my way to the Surface Pro and start to write again before it gets too late in the evening. As I mentioned earlier I do have to get up very early for a Saturday morning to meet the cleaning ladies at the old apartment. I plan to be in bed before 2200.
I hope that everyone will have a great night and an outstanding weekend. I will try to do the same.

04 May 2017

Dreamer's World May 04 2017 - May The Fourth Be With You

Another day has passed in the new apartment and Snoopy and his pals seem to be adjusting rather nicely to things. While their exact location in the new place has not been finalized, it is encouraging to know that they seem to be happy with what they have now. This is an important lesson for all of us when you take the time to think about it. How often do we chase some goal only to find that once we have it, that we are not satisfied?
There are too many opportunities to be happy that we simply ignore. It is so easy to let things pass us by and not realize what we missed until it is too late. Don’t let that happen to you.

03 May 2017

Dreamer's World May 03 2017 - Halfway Through Another Week

Wednesday turned into a better day than expected for me. Even though I was up an hour earlier to make my trip to meet with the client, I felt good because I did get to bed early last night. The morning trip was less than a mile to the neighborhood Park-And-Ride lot where I caught the bus that got me to the Metro station via the HOV lanes and so there was no delays due to traffic, at least for me.
I managed to time my departure for home extremely well. I will do my best to keep this routine on Wednesdays from now on. I made it home at about the same time of the late morning that I managed at the old apartment, so I didn't have to rearrange my schedule that much. As the day at work winds down, I am attempting to complete the official transfer of the Beetle from Alexandria to Fairfax County. Virginia is very backwards with the way that they handle vehicles because they collect a tax on each vehicle and I must make certain that Alexandria (the old jurisdiction) releases the Beetle or else I will pay a full year of tax on it until hell freezes over, although the vehicle is now registered in Fairfax County (the new jurisdiction) for tax reasons. After a few phone calls, everything is FINALLY settled with both Alexandria and Fairfax County.
Hal spent the morning at the old apartment with a contractor to repair the holes in the wall from his TV mount. He decided that here in the new apartment he would just use the TV stand rather than mount it on the wall again. From what he told me, everything looks great and the last coat of paint is drying. I will go to the old apartment on Saturday to let the cleaning ladies in so everything will be in perfect condition for the return of the keys. The contractor was the person who recommended the cleaning ladies to us and Hal has no reason to question him on this.

I am not sure what we will do this evening, but I am looking forward to the end of the week and the first weekend in the new place without all of the clutter in the way. We have made tremendous progress and the place looks much more like home now. Hal is in charge of the decorating and where to place the pictures so I will let him take his time with all of that. Once everything is complete I will get some good pictures of the new place.

Dreamer's World 02 May 2017 - A Day Of Adjustment

There is nothing quite like the feeling of starting a day at work and then almost immediately noticing that there is a hardware problem that you did not anticipate. In this case, the batteries to the wireless keyboard and mouse have decided that this morning is a great time (for them) to go on strike. Of course, since we are still organizing after the move, any potential replacement batteries are nowhere to be found. It seems as if all the batteries conspired all at once to cause this. Fortunately, the keyboard to the Surface Pro is available and I am quickly back at work after less than 5 minutes.
I hope that this marks the high end of the unplanned excitement for the day. I am waiting until 1530 to leave work and then we will try to relax and get some more things done around here. I will also make every effort to get to bed early this evening since I must try out the new commute to meet with the client tomorrow morning. I will try to keep as close to the old schedule as possible, but since there is no formal meeting anymore, I can alter the time accordingly if I make sure to show my face and keep them advised on things. I might or I might not see my coworkers who also filter through on Wednesday, but since I am there every week, I don't feel any guilt about missing them.
Speaking of feeling, I have been rather cold all morning, and this is rather unusual for me. I hope that I am not coming down with something because I really don’t need the hassle. I suspect it has more to do with lack of a solid 8 hours of sleep than anything else, but I will monitor my BG closely for the rest of the day.
I can hear Hal hard at work in the living room as he organizes things in there for what we both hope will be the last time. Arranging the furniture is much easier with all the crap out of the way. I will help him later this afternoon, or sooner if necessary as I participate in meetings until quitting time.
As quitting time nears, Hal has already morphed the living room into something usable and he is now putting up pictures on the walls to make even more room on the floor. Even though the living room is slightly smaller than the last place, it will turn out looking even better after he has finished. I am glad to report that I no longer feel the chill that I felt earlier in the day. This is good because I really don’t need to be under the weather right now.
For the late afternoon and evening, I suspect that I will make a run to the local consignment store with some old items that we no longer need and drop them off there in the hopes that they can be of use to someone else. I am getting closer to the first round of cooking in the new kitchen, but it will probably wait until the weekend to happen. I have alerted Hal that he should be ready to go when I finish work so we can avoid the rush hour later on. Living this far outside the Beltway means that the rush hour occurs later than we are used to.

01 May 2017

Dreamer's World May 01 2017 - Back To The New Normal

And so, after a week of moving and reorganizing that still isn’t quite finished, it is time to restart the blog. As promised, Snoopy has his new friends to watch over the new apartment with him and I think that they will do a fine job here. The final location for them is still a work in progress, but it will eventually be settled.
    The actual move itself went without major problems. Of course the purge of things that I mentioned a while back certainly helped with that. We have begun our secondary purge after everything arrived and that will be going on for a while longer here as we decide what will end up where for the long term. The closets are still minor disaster areas where items accumulated as we worked to arrange things in the rooms. I hope to get started on one of them after work today. It should take less than 2 hours to get it neatly arranged provided I can find the proper motivation at the time.
    The living room is still a work in progress, but I am leaving that up to Hal since he prefers to do the arrangement and decorating so I will stay out of his way. I have been busy with the kitchen on the other hand because that is my area of expertise and it is getting more organized each day. I am wondering how Hal will fit all of the furniture into the space, but he will find a way.
The biggest effort in the kitchen has been to get rid of containers, pots and pans that were no longer being used. After that I began to organize things according to use and then to start putting food into the pantry while dishes and cooking utensils found a home in the cabinets. It is starting to look more like home with each passing day.
    My bedroom is actually in pretty good shape this morning. I have my desk set up with the monitors in place attached to the arms so I have more surface area to work with. It is a great feeling to NOT have to crawl against the wall to make up my bed anymore, I actually have plenty of room compared to the last place.


As you can see the new room is much more spacious than the old one and that makes me happy.
The workday continues here. The afternoon meetings are dragging along, but at least I am this far along with the day. Once I am finished at work, Hal and I will take the apartment inspection sheet over to the office since it is due today. There are always some minor problems that have to be addressed, but nothing serious. Once that is over with it will be time to think about dinner for us. I am not yet at the point of cooking in the new kitchen and won't be until the last of the clutter is out of the way. Thankfully, there is a Giant supermarket nearby where I can stock up and get everything in my shopping list.
Of course, it would be nice to have
the dining room table cleared off so we can use it for dinner, but I have learned that things take time. The main goal is to get everything in its proper place and only then to worry about the small odds and ends.
I know that this blog post has rambled on, but of course I am still exhausted from all of the efforts so far, so I will end this for today.