30 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 30, 2017 - Adventure

    Today I am embarking on a new adventure. I am going to start writing a separate post each day about a word that I see, or one that comes into my mind. I have become rather proficient with writing about my daily life, and I want to expand my horizons, so to speak. I suppose that the best word to start with is “Adventure” because that is what this will be for me.
    I want to unleash something that is buried deep inside me. I know that there is more than a spark of creativity lurking somewhere that has yet to be unleashed. I am tired of the gnawing feeling that I am capable of much more and I want to give that feeling free reign and see what happens. I have tried following the “writing prompt for the day” but I find that while it does make me think, it really just distracts me from things in order to write about what someone else thought would make a good blog post. I will do my very best to keep these topics separate from the everyday journal types of posts that I already produce.

    I am excited to see how this goes. Life is an adventure and I want to take advantage of it. I hope that the trip is an awesome one.

Dreamer’s World June 30 2017 – A Short Day At Work

June is now almost over with. July makes its appearance tonight at midnight and the seasons continue their slow march as our lives go on. I am glad to have made it through to the weekend, today will be a short day at work due to the company off-site Happy Hour this afternoon. I will not be drinking since I will have to travel about 25 miles to get there and then get back afterwards. I suspect that there will already be more than enough idiots on the road who have started their own parties early, and I don’t need nor want to end up as a statistic.

    The afternoon Happy Hour was fun. As I drove the 25 miles to get to the place, I passed 5 cops who were obviously prowling for anyone that might have started their holiday weekend a bit early. As a result, when I got to the place, I settled for plain lemonade as well as some fish and chips. I wanted no trouble on my way home and I made it back safely. Hal and I then went a few places and that made me even more grateful that I had not had anything strong to drink. We are home now and resting for the evening since Hal has to work in the morning.

29 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 28, 2017 – A Very Busy Day

Today has been extremely hectic around here. I was up an hour early to make my trip to the clients office, and I gog caught there for some extra meetings that delayed my departure for home. I wasn’t able to leave there until 1000 and after nearly an hour to get to the Metro station I commute from, I missed the connecting bus by 2 minutes and that meant that I had to wait an extra hour for the next bus that would get me back to my car about 10 miles away.

    It was after 1300 when I finally got home. Luckily, Hal was here during the day and was able to accept delivery of the new furniture. Both pieces were assembled by the delivery crew and were waiting for me when I got here. Hal and I got the items positioned where I want them, and I think that they look good. The dresser fits snugly into the closet
And the chest of drawers makes a nice addition to the bedroom
I will start packing things away this evening or tomorrow, since I have a doctors appointment this afternoon and then chiropractic and acupuncture early this evening. I am not suer how much I will want to do at that point when everything else is finally complete. With the old dresser gone, things can get organizaed much more efficiently around here. After putting clothes away, the next thing will be to organize the closet shelves to better utilize the room that I have. At least I have a project for the upcoming holiday weekend. Since there are no other plans, and Hal has to work both Saturday and Sunday, I might as well have something here to keep me busy.

26 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 16 2017 – The Noise That Prevents Us Hearing

I will post articles about politics that I find interesting on a regular basis but I have recently sworn off posting about politics. I must break that pledge just once to talk about how toxic the political environment has become. No piece of information can be announced without an army of professional naysayers instantly discrediting it to promote their own agenda. Those of you who remember some of my earlier political posts don’t need reminding which side of the political spectrum that I fall on.
    It worries me that all important issues are now being decided upon by who has the cleverest Tweet. There is nothing wrong with the exchange of ideas, but the concept of groups deliberately manipulating social media to try to convince people that only they are correct is abhorrent to me. We have a NAZI in the White House (that should demonstrate where I fall on the political spectrum) who creates fake news with his tweets. We have MSM (mainstream media) that pounce on these insane rants and neglect to INVESTIGATE other issues such as Health Care and CORRUPTION and ELECTION INTERFERENCE, or GLOBAL WARMING, or INJUSTICE.

    I just had to get that off my chest. I hope that I will be able to abstain from more political posts in the future so I can write more about life and things other than politics.

Dreamer’s World June 26, 2017 – Preparing For Change

After the weekend, which has ended too soon, I am starting another week. At least I know that this week will be the lead-up to a long weekend at last since I am taking next Monday off prior to the holiday on July 4th. In addition, there will be the company off-site Happy Hour this Friday afternoon so I can make certain that I complete my weekly assignments prior to that.

    After removing the old dresser this weekend, I am looking forward to the new dresser and chest of drawers arriving so I can finally get things properly organized around here. I have always been a fan of furniture made from pine rather than the overwhelming trend of dark woods for furniture. I prefer a lighter color that doesn’t eat up the light in a room, and so I honestly had to shop in the kids’ section at the furniture store for what I wanted. I found it and the items will be delivered and assembled on Wednesday.

I like the fact that the color inserts on the drawer panels can be changed to give some individual character to the items. Since I am the person who will look at them each day, it is important that I found something that I really like. Once the furniture arrives I can really get everything into a proper place and have the room looking clean and efficient at last.
    As fate would have it, I will be extremely busy on Wednesday when the furniture is delivered, but Hal will be here to take charge of things if I am absent. I will be out most of the morning to around lunch with my weekly visit to the client’s office, and then I have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon followed by chiropractor and acupuncture in the early evening. Eventually, I will find the time to start storing clothes in the new dresser and chest of drawers. I don’t want that to go any later than Thursday because it will defeat the purpose of getting the furniture in the first place.
    A change is sometimes necessary, even if we want to resist it. I waited a long time to get this furniture. I held on to the old stuff for too long when I look back in hindsight. I let emotions and a false sense of practicality dictate my actions. I hope that will not happen again.
    Today will also be a busy one. In addition to the normal work and meetings, today is the day that I take Hal to his job and pick him up afterwards. While Hal is at work, I also have a chiropractor appointment and I might try to stop at Costco before I pick him up. If I am lucky I will get to bed around 2300 tonight. I will make the best of the day and evening, and tomorrow will bring me one day closer to the new furniture.

25 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 25 2017 - Catharsis

I didn’t plan to not write yesterday. Things just kept happening and before I knew it, the day was over with. Nothing bad happened, and I know that part of this lapse was my own fault due to procrastinating, but then something did happen that really changed the way I looked at things.
    Ever since Mom died in early 2001, I had kept and used an antique dresser to store clothes in. Due to moves through the years, it had seen better days
Some of the drawer rails, which were original wood had broken and this rendered one of the drawers unusable. I can remember Mom looking at herself in the mirror and Dad making sure his tie was on straight as well. I remember the little love pecks that they would give to each other in front of the dresser as they got ready to go out. I had shopped the dresser around to antique merchants as something to donate, but no one was interested. I tried Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity, but they also declined to take it. I decided that yesterday it was time to let go of the dresser and do the only thing remaining, and that was to take it to the dumpster.
    This proved tougher than planned because we live on the 3rd floor and I was in no mood to carry the dresser down the stairs. Hal and I decided that the only thing we could do was to break it apart and then transport the pieces to the dumpster. I rebelled internally at first, this was something that came from my home and there was a sentimental attachment. Then I thought about it and realized that it did me no good to keep it. It ate up space and could no longer be useful to store clothes in, so out came the hammers.
    I cannot describe the feelings that came over me as I was dismantling the dresser. The initial feelings of guilt were gone, as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The dresser was nothing more than wood and nails, the sentiment that attached me to my home and my parents remains intact. If someone had told me that I was going to break the dresser apart, I would have imagined myself getting emotional, but that never happened. Instead I was filled with a sense of purpose and of moving on with life.
    After Hal and I had finished with the dresser, we showered and then went to a furniture store. I purchased a new dresser and a chest of drawers that will more than replace the old dresser. I did buy something that is also solid wood so that it will last for many years, although I hope that Hal or anyone else would not hesitate to move on with life if something happened to me. Things are transitory, feelings are what endure.

    And so, I completed that catharsis yesterday and I have not looked back. The sun shone brightly and I went about my business and got the errands complete while Hal was at work. Life does go on, and we don’t need any unnecessary baggage (or furniture) to weigh us down on the journey.

24 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 23, 2017 - Getting Started On A Friday

My daily routine is already screwed up this morning. I got up at the normal time, but I did not shower and do all the necessities since I had to be at the doctor’s office at 0700 to have some blood work done and to leave them a gift (urine sample). That is over with, but it is amazing how much a small change to a daily routine can make the whole day seem off for hours afterward. I will take time around lunch to get my shower and then I know that I will feel better. At least, this is my early day and work will end at 1430 so Hal and I can start the weekend. Of course, this is always affected by his work schedule so we won’t be out late this evening.
    Today was supposed to be the day for the off-site Happy Hour with local employees. As I predicted several days ago, it was canceled because one person decided that they could not make it to the designated place. The choice of location was not theirs to make, it rotates among the 3 of us because we live in different areas around the DC Metro area. The person who decided to say that they weren’t showing up had the nerve to ask that is be held closer to them, just like the last one had been. Apparently, they see the world as bending the knee to their whims and that isn’t the way things work. I was prepared to make the 20-mile trip to be there for the original destination, and the event prior to that was at the location that the hard-to-please person had wanted. The next event will be the one that I choose the location for and it will be a place convenient to me. That was the agreed upon plan for the events.
    Surprisingly, the person who had made the efforts for today’s canceled event sent out an email and stated that it will happen next Friday, regardless of who can attend. I wholeheartedly agree with that approach. Sure enough, the third person once again asked that it be held close to them or they would not be able to attend. The organizer stated clearly that the event was going to proceed and the matter had been closed. I will be there next Friday, even though it is another 25-mile trip. It is the basic fairness of the arrangement that should be respected.
    It is no surprise that we get together so infrequently. Episodes like this are just a layer of drama that no one really needs in their lives. Personally, I try to keep all outside drama away from Hal and myself. We spent too many years being too heavily involved with the lives of other people without realizing the toll that it was taking on us. When we initially moved further away from those “friends” it didn’t take long for them to all but disappear from our lives. We have moved on, but from what Hal still hears, they are still stuck in the same old routines as they were years ago, and I suspect that they will never break free from them and grow up.
    To be fair, Hal and I obviously have our own routines but they have evolved over time and still change based on our circumstances. We work together to make the best of each day and we are very happy with our lives today and I know that will be the case in the future regardless of what new circumstances arise. The key to us being happy is the knowledge that we will work together to get through anything that life throws at us, and that we will emerge stronger as a result.

    As for the day, I am looking forward to quitting time. There was rain overnight, but things have cleared up. I hope that there won’t be any more rain today at least. If it rains tomorrow, I will still be able to get out and run errands since Hal will be at work. I already have things to cook tomorrow that will feed us for a few days. I will make things up tomorrow to keep myself occupied and out of trouble while Hal is working.

23 June 2017

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

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

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

22 June 2017

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

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

21 June 2017

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

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

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

20 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 19, 2017 - Mondays

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

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

18 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 18, 2017 – Fallen Shipmates

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


Dreamer's World June 17, 2017 - Saturday

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

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

16 June 2017

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

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

15 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 15, 2017 – The World Can Fuck Itself

If the tragic event in Alexandria yesterday proved anything, it is that we have become so polarized politically that we can no longer hope for real meaningful dialogue to solve our problems. Apparently, the group that SHOUTS THE LOUDEST will get their way, regardless of whether their position is correct. The days of one person issuing a clear call to Justice are long gone. I have avoided writing about politics as much as I can and instead focused on my daily life. I will continue that process.
    The world as we know it now consists of social media whores who have their little bots to echo their points of view to make themselves appear more intelligent and popular than they could ever hope to be. The sheer volume of the hate is just too much to bother with anymore. My positions have not changed, and the response to this latest tragedy simply reinforces my opinions. It is also a tragedy that we can no longer discuss important issues without the sound-bite, 140 character mentality drowning out everything else.
    I choose to be happy and that will govern my writing. If I feel the need to address an issue I will do so, but for the most part I will continue to write about the things that go on in my own little part of the world. I don’t give a FUCK about celebrities, or TV, or internet sensations, or kittens playing the piano. I never did follow those things. I will read my books. I will do the best at my job that I can. I will be the best partner that I can. I will be the best parent to The Stooges that I can. I will continue to learn and grow as a person. I will continue to ignore the MSM and their garbage. I will put myself and Hal and The Stooges at the top of my list for things that I will spend time and effort on.

    I love to write, and sometimes things like this must be said. The world is a really FUCKED UP place right now. It doesn’t need my help to FUCK IT UP even worse, that is taking care of itself.

14 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 14, 2017 – The Madness Continues

I woke up this morning and prepared to travel to the client’s office as I always do on Wednesday morning. As I browsed through the news, the big story was the tragic fire in London. I was heartbroken to think of the people who had died in such a horrific way but knowing that it was thousands of miles away, I was able to quickly put it out of my mind to revisit later for more information. I got to the client’s office at a little after 0700 and because it is a government facility I turned my cell phone off as I entered the building.
    The first part of the morning was spent with the usual watercooler BS as I updated my laptop computer with the latest software patches and waited for my main point of contact to show up around 0900 as he usually does. Due to the awful traffic around DC, it is not unusual for people to arrive late for work, but I noticed that there were lots of people who had not shown up as 0830 approached. I had performed the software patches on my laptop and was prepared to leave just after 0900. I even had the time to drop off my old license plates from the Beetle at the local DMV office which was nearby.
    Then I heard the news about the shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria. This shocked me because although no one I knew was involved, the location of the shooting was extremely close to the old townhouse that I used to work from, less than 2 blocks to be precise. I instantly understood why more people had not shown up at the office, thankfully none of them were at the baseball field, they were just caught up in the ensuing monster traffic problems that the shooting created. People who were slowly filtering into the building were talking about how much security had amped up outside, which was perfectly understandable, and I realized that my arriving at the normal time had meant that I was already in the building when things were tightened down.
    As always, the first reports were sketchy, to say the least. It wasn’t until I got back home to resume my work that I finally was able to locate where the shooting had taken place and I realized that if I still worked at the old townhouse office that I would probably be caught up in the traffic trying to make my way back there. Thankfully, since I work from home and we no longer live in Alexandria at all, I could exit the building and get to Metro and travel away from the area. I arrived home at my new normal time.
    As for the tragic shooting, at least no one died, as of noon and I hope that everyone recovers fully. I personally detest republiKKKans, but I have NEVER called for violence against them and I am saddened that this country is in such terrible shape that something like this happens. We have more than enough troubles with too many guns in irresponsible hands as it is. Violence is NOT the answer to our problems, communication is. Sadly, our MSM have become nothing more than amplifying stations for POVs and not sources for information.
    Having something like this happen so close to me is somewhat unnerving. I am glad that I work from home and not in town where things like this would probably be more likely due to the concentration of politicians and lobbyists and any other people that have a grudge held against them by whatever lunatic fringe groups or individuals are out there.

    Events like this morning seem to indicate that we are losing our control as a society. If we value a piece of metal over human lives we will only be subjected to more events like this and it makes me sad to think about it.

13 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 12, 2017 – What Happened To The Weekend?

After a Saturday filled with conflicting emotions about PRIDE weekend and the sad truth that so many people are still left out, yesterday was a day that just sucked. The weather was beautiful and warm, I did get out for a little while since Hal was at work. The main thing that I did was to deal with comments made by “friends” about my PRIDE and Prejudice Weekend post. I don’t want to get into that right now, perhaps in another day or two once I gain some perspective on things.
    To say that the weekend seems to have vanished without a trace is an understatement. Sometimes we just lose track of time and we feel that we have been cheated. I used to feel that way until I began to realize that the feeling is trying to tell me something and that I need to listen closely. Taking time to meditate and concentrate is never wasted. This is a valuable lesson I learned the hard way. I used to live for the weekends, nothing mattered except getting through the week on the job so I could run myself ragged and then regret the time that had passed. Now, I still enjoy the weekend, but I have a different perspective on things. I still struggle with the feeling that I didn’t do enough to make the weekend memorable, but I am getting better about that. I find that I can enjoy the silence and focus internally and find pleasure in that. For so many reasons, the thought of going into DC for PRIDE never entered my mind. I have a life here with Hal and it was not pleasant the time that I did forsake my pledge and went into town to meet up with friends. While everyone else was having a great time, I was too busy thinking about how Hal was doing at work to focus on what went on around me. I found myself wondering if The Stooges were doing OK while the “friends” were ogling the eye-candy all around them.
    The people in the group were all talking about the things that they were looking for to make their futures happier. I realized that I already had those things and I quickly become bored with listening to them. Hal and I had grown apart from them for many reasons, but I had not wanted to let things go so easily. That PRIDE weekend years ago convinced me that it was time to move on and be happy with my life as it is, because I didn’t have reason to want anything other than what I had already found. I realized that it wasn’t the atmosphere of PRIDE, which is wonderful for the most part if you suspend reality for a few days to ignore the fact that so many people still are being hurt and oppressed within the community that is supposed to be celebrating its freedom. The truth is that the people Hal and I had hung out with were toxic, they were never truly happy and seemed to take great pleasure in trying to bring others down to their level of misery as often as possible.
    So many times, Hal and I got together with these people and never thought about the real issues that were driving them. The sad truth was that they would pick out a sacrificial victim from the group and spend time criticizing that person under the guise of “helping” them. It finally became obvious that Hal and I were not that easy to pick on because we presented a united front to block their criticism. I cannot say that we were innocent of talking about others however, and I am ashamed of that. Eventually I began to defend the person being singled out, and this caused great friction within the group. It did not mean that the person I would defend became some great new friend because they probably considered that my action was part of some bigger game that was being played on them, and that is a shame.
    As Hal and I drifted apart physically and emotionally from these people, we grew closer to each other. Our lives got better and theirs stayed roughly the same. As we moved from place to place within the DMV, they stayed in the same place, kept the same routines, and they stagnated. We all grew older, but Hal and I managed to get out of the game zone.
    And now, weekends are still my refuge, but not in the same way. I no longer care about getting together with the people who we have drifted apart from. I know that the time is my own while Hal is at work, but that means I can use it to make things better for both of us. At times, that means that I use the time to simply relax. That is my new normal and I suppose that this weekend my comments brought those people from the past into my present for a little while. They reached back from the past and dredged up all the old stuff that had been buried and almost forgotten. It wasn’t pleasant for me, and I let it take a toll that wasn’t necessary on me. This Monday I vow to never let that happen to me again.
    I have more than enough for a full life here and now. Once the workday is over, I will take Hal to work and then pick him up later in the evening. While Hal is at work I have a chiropractor appointment and then I might go to pick up the new license plates for the Fiesta at the dealer since they are open until 2100. That trip might not happen because of the traffic between here and the dealer, if that is the case then it becomes a top priority for tomorrow after work. Other than those things there is dinner to be prepared and The Stooges to be cared for. If I can find the time, I will also practice on my guitar. It isn’t the most glamorous or exciting life, but it is mine and I am very proud of all that Hal and I have accomplished over our 17 years together. I will take what we have any day over the way things used to be.

    I think that is the key to being happy in life. Weekends will come and go, but the important things last through each and every day. Learning to enjoy each one of the days is the important thing.

10 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 10 2017 – PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Weekend?

After suffering from a mild case of writer’s block yesterday I wasn’t sure how today would go with my writing. I was prepared to write about getting older as a Gay man and not attending PRIDE this weekend because Hal always works on the weekends and it is never an enjoyable time being there without him. I had the blog post almost written in my head when I saw that the local news channel was going to cover the PRIDE parade. Perfect! I thought that Hal and I could watch it together after he got home as we enjoyed a nice evening together. Like so many plans, this one was about to be derailed without warning.
    Things started out normally enough. The TV coverage was all about the happy atmosphere in DC as the parade prepared to get underway. Hal got home and we started watching until it became apparent that something was going wrong. We have been to DC PRIDE in the past and we know that many times the parade can be delayed for some reason. We weren’t that concerned, but after close to 30 minutes of no commentary from the talking head reporters, I began to check social media to see what was going on. Sure enough, the parade was BLOCKED by protestors!
    Like so many, my first thought was that some lunatic RWNJ group had managed to stop the parade at some point. This was quickly disproven by people on the scene who, erroneously, said that it was a BLM protest. They were only partially correct. The protestors were opposed to the police and corporate involvement in DC PRIDE. While at first this might seem a silly thing to protest, it quickly became apparent to me these protestors had a very valid point. Black and other minority LGBTQ people are much more likely to be stopped and harassed and arrested and abused by the police while at the same time, these people are also subjected to discrimination by the corporations that are sponsoring DC PRIDE. This was the voice of those who could not make their voices heard any other way. The fact that the media had not even addressed why the parade had been stopped proved this fact. DC PRIDE was exactly what the protestors said it was, a corporate money grab designed to appeal to the majority of “acceptable” LGBTQ people while leaving those minorities out in the cold.
    I wrote last year about how corporatized DC PRIDE had become. You could basically show up there, get life insurance and open a bank account and have a brokerage agree to manage your money, all while being subjected to harassing advertisers trying to peddle worthless shit at every opportunity. But a rainbow flag so you blend in. Get some cheap rainbow sunglasses or a rainbow fan to try to stay cool. All designed to separate a fool from his/her money. Oh, and don’t be overweight or older because that doesn’t fit with the brand that we are creating here. Bears over here, twinks on that side of the street, attractive lesbians over here, other lesbians behind those trees, fat LGBTQ just go a block away and don’t act like you’re associated with us, etc. It was very disgusting to see that people were being pushed into pens based on stereotypes, and those pens were targeted by the “appropriate” corporate sponsors. Want to have a good time at DC PRIDE? NO problem if you are white, or attractive or young or non-BTQ. But don’t try it if you are in one of those 3 unfortunate categories, especially if you are also a minority. That was the modus operandi of DC PRIDE that last few times we went to PRIDE.
    The protestors represent those who literally must fight to survive. They are the people that the police can abuse and even kill with impunity and even the majority of the “acceptable” LGBTA community won’t say a word. To casually ignore this problem is a problem that cannot be forgotten, and if it takes stopping a GOD-DAMNED PARADE, so be it! If your PRIDE dinner plans are thrown into chaos and that means more to you than the suffering of other human beings who desire the same amount of freedom and liberty that you seem to enjoy, then congratulations, you are the problem and NOT the protestors.
    To the eternal annoyance of the RWNJ lunatics, LGBTQ equality is more accepted than ever and won’t go away. The challenge we face is making sure that is extends to EVERY LGBTQ person, and not just to some. DC PRIDE reflects the limited acceptance that I just mentioned, so it is fair game for protests.
    Remember that Stonewall was NOT a corporately sponsored event, it was a RIOT to PROTEST discrimination. What happened today at DC PRIDE should be viewed as no less monumental than Stonewall, and it should serve as a rallying cry to bring not just the LGBTQ community, but as many people as possible together to END THE HATE and the discrimination and the abuse of power by the police and their corporate masters.

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08 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 08 2017 – Preserving My Sanity

After a good night of sleep, I start my day with the resolve to not pay attention to the news still in place. The few glimpses that I have had offer nothing but a view of the desperation that those in power want us to feel as we go about our daily business. I am reminded of the image from George Orwell’s 1984 where the gray, nondescript workers trudge along performing their daily tasks without love or enthusiasm as a huge screen blares on and on about how important they supposedly are to some greater purpose that is never achieved. This bleak vision of the future, written nearly 70 years ago has come to pass.
    We are constantly being reminded that we are at WAR with some group of people that cannot be seen or identified. The “enemy” can change its name or location without any logic because that suits the purpose of those in power. Whenever the population starts to show a semblance of self-awareness, to realize that we are being duped and exploited, the enemy changes and the FEAR level is ramped even higher. There are people today who live in actual fear of their little piss-ant town being subjected to some type of global terror attack. This warped view proves that the propaganda is working. When enough people become too fearful of the world outside their own little micro-environment, those in power have won.
    I always find it interesting that those who live in FEAR the most are those who have never traveled, those who have never seen other countries or other cultures, those who have only the images of FEAR INC about the evil people that live “somewhere else”. They live in fear that those “others” are going to hurt them, and that their only defense is to keep them out at all costs. The town that I grew up in is one of those towns. People I knew growing up in my Kentucky hometown are now terrified and ready to be led by the nose like lambs to the slaughter. Those are the people who never ventured more than 200 miles from our hometown. They are trapped there and feel that it must be “someone else’s fault”. The people that I grew up with who, like myself, truly got away and have seen the world are all well-adjusted and informed, and I am happy for them.
    I have traveled to many parts of the nation and the world and it has left me with a sense of wonder at how great people are. It has also given me the perspective to see the sinister manipulation that has been used on those who never ventured outside their little protective cocoons. My sanity is preserved and nourished by my experiences, just as theirs is preserved and nourished by theirs. The difference is that my experiences have been much more varied and inclusive than theirs. So many of the people I grew up with have died young, those that never left the hometown. They sought solace for the vacuum in their lives through alcohol, or drugs, or religion yet so many of them are now gone forever. I look younger than most of the people I graduated high school with because I got away from there.
    My sanity is preserved because I carefully choose what to focus my attention on. The information age has its wonders, but it also has its dangers. We cannot allow ourselves to be so saturated with useless information that we lose sight of the bigger picture. The information overload is just another tool that those in power use to keep control, never forget that. The world is just as wonderful as it has always been, just don’t let all the negatives that are being forced upon you wash away that fact. The key to preserving my sanity is to be as happy as possible, go through the rough times, and then recover and keep moving forward.

Dreamer’s World June 07 2017 – A Change To The Routine

This morning I could sleep in for an extra hour, and it feels terrific. I do not have to travel to the client’s office this morning because so many people are on vacation or are out for other meetings. This means that I could sleep in and start my workday at the regular time this morning. Another added benefit is that I still have the time blocked off through habit so that other people don’t try to contact me until lunchtime because I am normally not available. This will give me the chance to really focus on one of the other tasks that I have on my plate right now and put some quality work in on it. I would like to keep ahead of schedule on this task and finish before the deadline next month if possible.
While Stevie Nicks and Spartacus are sleeping off their morning milk, Hal The Cat is taking his time to enjoy the morning as he surveys his provinces from the window in the bedroom.
While I work today, I will be waiting for some packages to arrive through Amazon. Just a few items that I ordered while I had the urge to do so. One of the items is an Android smartwatch that I have had my eye on for some time now. My old fitness trackers have reached the end of their useful lives and require charging far too often. I realize that the smartwatch will also require almost daily charging, but I will get more functionality from it in exchange rather than the knowledge that the frequent charging signifies the end of the product’s lifespan. With luck, the smartwatch will arrive by quitting time this afternoon before I have my chiropractor and acupuncture appointments.
    I am really looking forward to the acupuncture treatment this evening because after each session I feel incredible. The specialist says that she has an accelerated treatment plan that will help correct some issues and then I will go on to a regular maintenance routine. I am happy with the results and will continue treatments if I feel the benefits. The chiropractor has also noticed improvement with my back and I can tell the difference. After so many years of nagging pain, the change is wonderful and I don’t want this great feeling to go away.
    I have yet to hear from Nicola after her arrival in Scotland but I know that she is busy getting everything organized and preparing to start her new life there. From what she told me before she left, she is supposed to have a date this evening and I wish her the best since she felt that one of the main reasons she left here was that she was tired of being known as the widow of her late husband rather than for being herself. I always felt bad for her in that regard because she had done far too much to preserve Don’s memory and deserved to make necessary changes in her life, sadly too many of her friends felt that she had no place other than as the widow. The fact is that she held the family together wonderfully during that terrible time and Brianna has stayed in college and Connor has grown into a fine young man as well. If she did nothing but sit and mope, things would have been so much worse.
    Back to the here and now, I am waiting for later in the day to start the laundry. It is nice to be ab le to accomplish chores as I work. It gives me a sense of perspective and helps to keep me focused when I take breaks throughout the day at work. I still remember my initial hesitation about working from home and now I wonder why I was no hesitant about doing it before.
It certainly looks like we will get more rain today. The sun has made a few brief appearances this morning, but it looks like the clouds have finally won. At least I am not having to travel through the weather. If I had gone to the meeting with the client, I would be about to venture out into this on my way back home.  My normal trip involves waiting on a bus for up to 30 minutes and although the bus stop is protected from the elements to some degree, it would still be miserable if I was stuck out in the rain. By the weekend, we will have a return to hot and sunny weather with temperatures into the 90s during the day. I certainly hope that it will be a beautiful weekend that I can enjoy.
    By the time work had ended, I felt much better about how things are going. I will have plenty of time tomorrow to work more on the projects and I can also start looking forward to the weekend. I am still waiting on the smartwatch to arrive, it still says out for delivery for status. My main goal before the chiropractor and acupuncture is to relax and rest. Since the weather remains cool and overcast I think that we will be staying in tonight once I get home from the appointments. That will give me time to hopefully tinker with the new smartwatch since it should have arrived by then.

07 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 06 2017 – Moving On

     This morning I have been waiting for news that Nicola and Connor have safely arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland. After an all-night flight to London and then the trip north to Edinburgh, I am not surprised that nothing has been said or posted yet. I will feel better once I truly know that they are safe and sound because I do care about them both and we will miss them dearly. Now, I can begin to slowly move my writing away from this subject because it has been such a deeply emotional time for me.
    Although I am very tired this morning, I will focus on the job and make it through the rest of the day. I want to get one task cleared off my plate today so I can concentrate on another, larger task for the remainder of this week. Because of vacation times with the client, I will not be traveling into DC tomorrow and the real key is that I will not have to get up an hour early in the morning as a result. This makes me happy.
    The task I mentioned earlier has been completed and it feels like a tremendous weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I will get things started on the next task this afternoon, but I will also take a well-deserved break and clear my head. I would like to do something after work, but Hal has said that he wants to simply stay here at home this afternoon. Perhaps I will just go myself to get away for a while. I am avoiding the news because I value my own sanity. I refuse to be suckered into attaching myself to the TV with some psychological umbilical cord only to be force-fed total garbage designed to make me think a certain way. The constant fear-mongering just makes me glad that I don’t watch the news anymore and I keep a balanced perspective on things.

    As I get into the afternoon and the next task, I will probably have some music playing in the background to make things calmer and relaxed around here for the rest of the day. I have a channel on Spotify that I follow called Brain Food that always puts me in a great mood. Music makes work go more quickly and more pleasantly for me.

06 June 2017

6/2017 Dreamer’s World June 05 2017 – Once Again

And so another week begins with a cloudy morning that matches the mood. I am working to get ahead of things for the week and also juggling appointments at the same time as taking Hal to work this evening and then picking him up. I suppose that this is just another typical Monday around here. I cannot help but think about Nicola and Connor as they prepare to leave for Scotland this evening. My heart is heavy not knowing if or when I will see them again. I try to balance the joy over Nicola making her decision and my own selfish desire for her and Connor to stay, but it is difficult at times. I wish them happiness and success in their new home.
    As I struggle with putting that chapter in my life behind me, I wonder what will come next? I really don’t need another heart-wrenching event right now. I need the time to recover from this last one first. I know that my wish is futile, life moves at its own pace and the highs and lows are not always evenly spaced out. The only thing that I can do is to keep moving forward and not spend too much time looking back. In the grand scheme of my life, this is not the worst thing that has ever happened, but because it is happening now, it certainly feels like it. Time does heal all wounds if we allow it to. And so, I make my way through another Monday that is not like the others. I will deal with my own issues and put on a brave face for friends who are leaving. I wish that things were exactly how I wanted them to be, but that is impossible, and would make life rather boring. I suppose the toughest thing right now is to imagine what things will be like once this episode is over with. I will try to get back in charge of things on a personal level and then see what happens.

    By the time mid-afternoon had arrived, I felt like I had to take a break from work. I was completely drained and I needed to rest my mind for a few minutes to stop an onrushing migraine that was steadily building. I took a shower to clear my head and felt much better.

04 June 2017

Dreamer’s World June 04 2017 – Getting Things Done And Finding Closure

The weekend is rushing by and I seem powerless to stop it. At least I heard from Nicola last night. She won’t be able to get together with Hal and I before she leaves for Scotland, but we had come to expect that to be the case. We spoke for about an hour and we said our goodbyes. Hopefully, she will come back for Brianna’s graduation sometime next year, but that might very well be the last time we see her.
    I have been preparing myself for this event for several months now, but this weekend the realization has finally set in that she is leaving. We wish her the best and perhaps someday we will be able to get to Scotland to visit her but I honestly have no idea when that would be. So, I have reached a point of closure in my life. We know that from now on we will have to find another way to get through the holidays without being a part of their family gatherings. We will work something out to get over this, but it won’t be easy.
    In so many ways, Hal and I are closer than ever before, and yet, the friends seem to be vanishing from our lives. Some are by our own choice since they screwed things up and never matured. Some are by the choice of the other people, as with Nicola and her desire to return to Scotland so she can rebuild her own life after the death of her husband. And finally, there are those who decided to move on without consulting Hal or myself. Some of these people will be missed, such as Nicola, while others won’t warrant a second thought.
    Even with all that, the sun is still shining and the birds are singing. The Stooges are happy because they know that we will never leave them. Hal and I are happy knowing that we still have each other. All things considered, I have a great life and I believe that things happen for a reason even if that reason isn’t always apparent right away.
    Life is a journey into the unknown. We make the best of things and try to do no harm to others. That is the best way that I know to live. I am grateful for each of the people that have been a part of my life, regardless of how brief their stay, because from each I have learned something about myself and about other people. It is this accumulated knowledge that makes the future less foreboding and more manageable. In the past, I have written about my seeming destiny to be a more solitary person. I see no reason to feel bad about this because I try my very best to not leave others on bad terms. Of course, this isn’t always possible but I try anyway.

    The weekend is rushing past far too quickly, so I will sign off for today and wait for Hal to get home from work. We have an evening together and we deserve to have a wonderful time together.

Dreamer’s World June 03 2017 - Realization

Saturday has been rather busy for me. I slept in and when I woke up, Hal had left for work. The first thing that I did was to go to the Fiesta and start emptying out some of the stuff that had been put in the hatchback from the Beetle. Most of the things were considered necessary at some point for some reason, but all they ever did was take up space. I am glad to report that almost everything is gone from the Fiesta now and I can reorganize things at my leisure.

    After that adventure, I went to Target for a few items and then made my way back home. I am debating what to do for lunch right now. As I wait through the afternoon for Hal to get home I know that we will do something after he gets home. Originally, there were plans to have dinner with friends but they have not been in touch with us for several days and no real time or place was ever set. Therefore, Hal and I will do what we want to do this evening.