My Mini Vacation

For most of the day, I anticipated the trip with my usual calm demeanor. I was excited days earlier about the planning, making sure I had everything for the trip and preparing the cat for my few days away. By the time the actual day started, it was all set and there was nothing left but leaving work and getting to the airport.

My coworkers, on the other hand, were excited for me. Well, probably excited is too strong a word. They were happy, or relieved because I wouldn’t have me around for a few days, that I was going on this trip. I was asked if I was excited I was going. There were lots of well-wishers hoping for a safe trip. I think they were hoping I would sight see and have wonderful adventures. Really, all I was looking forward to was some rest away from all the distractions and responsibilities of home and work.

I kind of didn’t want this vacation. I would have easily have worked, or I could have stayed at home on my time off vegging in front of the TV watching the usual crop of daytime TV. I needed some time away, because after the dealings with my parents on their current health crisis and the awful and sorrowful incident at my friend’s wedding, I needed to get right with myself, as the saying goes. I assessed myself and the path I was heading on, especially after the wedding, was going to end up in a world of hurt for myself and possibly others.

So I started to take steps to turn things around. Not having alcohol was an easier step than I thought. I was always more of a social drinker rather than an addictive one. For addictions, I have comics and Star Wars collectables. Drinking was never something I needed or craved. What I desperate needed to have, especially when people talk about drinking, was to constantly be reminded that I am a problem drinker, that it is a struggle for the rest of my life and at any time I can fall off the wagon and I need to be vigilant at all times.

I’m sorry but I’m a rare exception to that rule. All that means is that an addiction approach is the wrong approach because it was never about addiction; it was about acceptance, it was about fitting in. There isn’t a craving for alcohol, a desire for alcohol nor a need for alcohol. I’m sure if I drink I could go into the same tailspin as before, but I don’t feel the need or the craving to have a drink to fit in. As long as I can be my weird, semi socially awkward self, I’m good. As long as I can feel good as who I am without the need to be someone else who is counter to who I am, I’m OK.

So far, it’s been two months since I’ve had a drink. I’m not craving for a drink. I don’t longingly look down the liquor aisle wanting one last drink. My bartender friend can honestly say I have been to her bar on a few occasions, have ordered a beer and water, and at the end of the day I have left without the beer being touched.

I needed this trip to reconnect with my awkward, slightly insecure, geek self. I’ve been not me for so long I’m not sure I know what it is to be me. Do I have a new definition for me? Am I becoming a different me? Is this an existential exercise which will determine what I’m changing can never change, did I make the change a long time ago, or is this a dream of what I want to become and the reality is I already, or never did, change?

Does this all mean I seriously need a vacation? That I need to let loose and have fun?

 

THE TRAVEL

Up to boarding the plane, the vacation started like most of my vacations. I planned a lot, causing a lot of added stress on myself because by now I know my routine. I had the usual minor annoyances of my fellow travelers complaining about things you can’t change or with a little bit of forethought you could have avoided.

There were a couple of college students who were talking constantly in the TSA line who definitely had traveled before but had no clue about preparation. While they jabbered with complaints about why they had to take their shoes off AGAIN and trying to figure out what was and was not allowed, I was all prepped and ready to have stuff separated and out well before I got to the grey trays. By the time I walked through the metal detector, two of the five students, who had already gone through, were waiting because their bags had to be checked. Why? They had saved large bottles of sand from the trip and, well, when you scan a bottle of sand through an X-Ray machine what does resemble? If you say explosive, give yourself a star! So, if you’re three other friends, who have not yet had bags go through the x-ray machine, see you and hear your ordeal, would you think at some point they might separate the memento of sand from their packs? Would you might think, upon the TSA repeating that materials need to be separate, might want to think about separating the material? Nope, these fine examples of higher learning asked the TSA about if gum was a food (?) rather than asking about the sand that was in their bags that their friends also had and were in the hand screening line.

So, after than bit of drama, I had 30 minutes left before my flight. Once I boarded the plane, and felt real lucky because I had one other passenger in my row which meant no crowded seat (got to look for the little miracles) that’s when the tide changed. Ten minutes before takeoff we were told there would be a delay. There was an issue with the backup AC and there were two passengers who had a connecting flight delay and we would be working on both issues for about 10 minutes. We were scheduled to leave at 8:20 and I knew the delay would have a cascade effect with meeting buses and the trolley for the trip to the border.

There was no need to overly upset about it. I had to just ride the wave and deal with the delays. As it turned out, I was late but right on time. Yes, we came into San Diego almost an hour late. By the time we de-boarded the plane, I had three minutes to get the next bus and it was a 10 minute walk. There was no way I could make it and I didn’t rush through the airport. When I got to the bus area, there was massive traffic and miraculously I saw the bus about two minutes away! When I got to the trolley station it was three minutes before they departed.

The travel deities smiled on me for whatever reason!

While slightly late, I got checked into the hotel at 11:40pm.

 

VERY LOST AMERICANS

I woke up this morning and went straight to the computer. I was up at 6am but since I’m normally awake at 3am to get to work, I really felt like I overslept. By the time it hit 7:30, I wanted to take a look around and see a few things. I could stay locked up in my room all day, and I didn’t want to do that.

There has been a lot of construction since the last time I was here. I thought they had moved the border crossing. It turned out there is a new location which most people flock to but the branch I go to seems to be active. I will have to be sure on Friday when I leave. I’d rather spend a half hour tops including a walk from the hotel rather than take a taxi, then endure foot traffic that can take anywhere from an hour to three hours.

While exploring the new border crossing, I saw this lost couple of Americans. They had the look of being lost, because they were desperately trying to seem like they knew the lay of the land and were really bad at it. The picture of the two were so typical. She was deferring to her partner, yet she wanted to ask questions because she was afraid they were lost. He was the trailblazer, not wanting to believe he was lost but he was. How could I assume that? Because I overheard them wanting to go to downtown, and the direction they were going was wrong.

The arch I pointed the couple towards. Instead of walking forward, they walked to the left.

I went up to them and told them, “If you want to get to downtown, cross the bridge and walk to the arch. If you make a left at the arch, you will get right to downtown.” They thanked me, so feeling my good deed for the day was complete, I went along my way. The couple was heading in the same direction as I was, crossing the bridge, and in the back of my head I thought about making sure they were heading the right way, but I decided not to.

A few years before, the Tijuana Bridge was not a safe crossway. I was almost positive a few years ago I saw a dead body in the river. In the past, homeless encampments dotted the area. It looked like a scene from a post-apocalyptic low budget film, with dangers lurking around the pillars and wash ways. Today none of the homeless people are around. I figured there was only one area where the couple could get into trouble, but I laid the path clearly for them to follow. Head for the silver arch. It’s easy to spot. No not waver from that goal.

By the time I got across the bridge, I saw the couple found the one direction you didn’t want to go to. It was like something from a bad horror film. They were heading in the opposite direction of the arch, towards the main street, and the only way to get to the main street was to walk through a littered and filthy alleyway which was partially fenced off. It literally screamed DO NOT GO HERE. They headed straight for it.

I tried to shout down from the top of the bridge, “Go for the arch” and “You’re going the wrong way.” I thought at first they didn’t hear me, but I realized they were lost again and didn’t want to look up because it would look like they were lost. I tried to get their attention again but they moved faster to the wrong spot. The last I saw they were going through that gap in the fence, going into that dirty alley towards the main street.

 

FOOD, WONDERFUL FOOD

One reason why I love staying at Pueblo Amigo is less than a block away there is a grocery store. It’s a big store, which includes household items, toys, electronics and a food court. The prices are incredibly inexpensive, especially by hotel standards. What I’ve done the past few trips is I’ve spent money on dinner at the hotel, a little splurge, but I would get all other food at the store.

Today I got a chicken leg and rice, two large juice boxes and a bag of grapes. How much do you think that cost? Just for comparison, I got grapes a few days ago in Phoenix. They were on sale for $0.77 a pound and that part of the bill came to $3.50. When I did the peso to dollar conversion the bill came to $5.50! The large juice boxes alone, in Phoenix, are $1.50 each if they are on sale. By my thinking, I got the chicken and rice for free.

 

KICK IN THE TEETH

A few moments ago I got a call from my mother. I thing that I find annoying about my mother is she decided to reveal things well past the time you can do anything about it. She will deal with the issue, ponder it and sort through the pros and cons. By the time she brings me into the loop, she really already made the decision and any input I put in doesn’t matter. A few years ago she wanted to make a decision about a partnership in her will with a relative I don’t know. She had discussed the situation with him for over two weeks and she wanted me to sign off on it, we were literally 30 minutes from the lawyer’s office when she dropped the bomb on me. Naturally I had some concerns, but she told me it was kind of a done deal. You know what? When we got to the lawyer’s and before we signed the paperwork, she mentioned something and when the lawyer looked into it the whole dynamics of what she wanted to do was changed.

Right now, I think the news is too fresh. I need to take time to process everything. Yes, I hate to do this but I’ll take a few moments to stew on this, just so I can properly write and express my feelings appropriately.

 

STRANGE DAYS

Today I dealt with someone who had no thought about what I was saying and as a result they asked a question that was bad. I didn’t want to talk to them about this subject, but I’d been thinking about what my mother told me and about the implications of the news. I had to speak to someone, just for my sake to think about the issues I learned about.

Now I see where that was a mistake.

I had to make changes to this section. I went through explaining the issue my mother discussed yesterday; the thing I had to deal with. I had to erase the page or two I wrote about it. It’s a very personal thing to talk about and the repercussions about the issue effects my family and how I have to cope with some future issues.

Today, I think I made the mistake of trusting the wrong person. I was looking for a sounding board, a sympathetic ear, maybe even a shoulder to cry on. I just to talk about it in the open, just to share and not think I was crazy or cold about some of the feelings I was having.

The blank stare I got from sharing about it made me realize I had made a mistake. I think they struggled to understand but it was for me like the couple who were looking for downtown Tijuana yesterday. I laid out what I thought was a simple, straight forward path, and somehow the person got completely and utterly lost.

I decided to gently drop the subject, talk about other things, but 45 minutes later, while things were well off the subject, there was a pause of about ten seconds. Out of the blue the subject was brought up again. We were done, well off the subject, and for the longest time we talked about a lot of other material, but for some unfathomable reason they asked about the same subject again.

I share a lot on social media and my websites, but some things take time for me to process. I will probably share fully what has caused all these issues with my parents but I’m not going to lay things out bare without considering the consequences. I had hoped talking with someone would have helped ease the process, but it hasn’t. In fact, it has made things a little worse.

This vacation was supposed to give me a break for a few days from every day struggles. It hasn’t. I’m not going to say things have gotten more complicated. I need to hear the information from my parents. I need to see what one acquaintance was capable, or not capable of. What am I going to do at the moment? I’m going to do something I should have done on this trip. I’m going to have fun. I’m going to walk away from the keyboard and just have a few laughs. Tomorrow I head back bright and early to 110+ degree temperatures.

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Dream Big and Real

My dream job was to work for one of the big two comic book companies and have a long and distinguished career. Writing came natural for me and knew what was involved in having a career because I knew several people who had careers for writing for comics. Some I would call a friend, because we worked together at a certain comic shop in San Diego (this is the comic book writer, not the novel writer, oh yes, not so subtle name dropping without mentioning names) had a wonderful stint at Marvel and DC Comics.

Yes, I knew how to get to my dream job and I just needed luck to get in.

Well, as Obi-Wan said, “there’s no such thing as luck.”

Luck is what you forge yourself and luck is dependent on what you consider luck.

There were a lot of writers I studied in the 80s when I was working to break into comics and get the dream job. My friend you got to work for Marvel and DC became so successful that he had two or three movies, depending on how you count, made about his character. (Hint: Winter is coming, soldier) I would have imagined this would bring fame, fortune and financial security.

He’s not working for the major companies right now. He still produces comics, very successful comics but they aren’t household characters. People in comics will know where to find his material but you won’t see is work mass produced on T-shirts and jumping out from cereal boxes. He’s content where he is because the one thing I never understood about the industry is the amount of control you can lose when you are tied into the massive money-making machine.

I’ve read about the commerce vs. art wars all the time. I’ve been involved in small scale skirmishes myself; where I felt the integrity of the work was sacrificed because of sales or higher ups wanting to take a safe path. It’s a battle that the artist will always struggle with. What happens is you begin to realize how fickle fame is, especially on the level with a massive fan base like Marvel and DC with the whole movie and TV universes. You may want to make a dramatic, life altering change to the character, but that might be counter to possible product and merchandising options down the road. You want to make the change for the art, the company, the people who pay your salary, wants to keep things the same. You butt heads but it is fruitless to fight the battle. Either you keep the status quo or the thousands of people who also dream of becoming the next big creator will gladly grab the brass ring and you will be fired.

The artist life, be it music, acting or writing, they always must think about the struggle of being successful and the “be true to your art” attitude. If you want to define your craft, whatever it is, by how much material things you have, well, it will be a beast of a struggle. People sometimes talk about being edgy or different, but acceptance and compromise will make you successful. It’s contrary to what we believe because what we think is edgy and different isn’t measured by what small town safe Middle America is thinking in a clutch the pearls moment.  The successful creators will instinctively know when to push the envelope and when to pull back. They will learn what battles are worth fighting for and which ones where you take a bullet for the greater good.

But, coming back to the main point, you must define what is successful so that you know what is a compromise, what is fighting for principle and knowing what your goal is. I am by no means successful in terms of fame and fortune. My parents remind me of that every chance they get. The problem is I don’t have the same definition of success as they have and that is why we aren’t on the same page. My parents have a general 50s attitude on success. They want me to have the wife, kids, house, car, church going, God fearing, community leader kind of success. I’m not looking to be the next pillar of the community, because from my POV, many of the strong community leaders haven’t been leaders. They haven’t been happy with the responsibility. Because they have been held up as examples and community leaders, when they have fallen, and they have fallen hard, many will look at them with shame and pity.

I don’t want to be Kirk, Picard, Sheridan or Blake (from Blake’s 7). I’ve always been comfortable as Scotty, La Forge, Garibaldi or Avon (from Blake’s 7). I’m the guy who will got down and dirty to get the job done. It’s might not be pretty but I’ll get results. I don’t need a lot of the fame, but a little recognition goes a long way for me. I’m making a little money from writing, or from any creative stuff in general, but I have a job that pays the bills and I can have a bit left over so I can enjoy myself. That all I’m looking to have right now. I just want to be happy and even keel.

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My Friend Insomnia Returned

I got a couple of hours sleep today. Three I think. No, two. I went to bed just after 11pm. I noticed the radio was off just before 1am. I lost internet connectivity, which I knew was a bad sign for me because without listening to something, I would stay awake for hours. I tried stay in bed, but I was frustrated because I had no internet and because I wasn’t getting back to sleep.

Five minutes later, slightly annoyed and frustrated, I woke up. I went to my computer and yes, there was caution sign showing I had a local connection. I should have realized it might be a minor glitch, but I wasn’t thinking. I reset the modem and I figures I’d wash some clothes and watch some bad TV, which at 1am, turned out to be Dateline: Mysteries. This is a show where they show real life crimes and with dramatic music, a serious and gravelly voiced narrator, and just a few missteps to make you guess who is the real killer, it is the kind of show that sneaks up on you with interest on a late Sunday night/ Monday morning.

By the first commercial break, I was reminded I wanted to do the laundry and I loaded some clothes in and started the wash. By the second commercial break, I remembered I wanted to check the internet connection.

The good news that the connection was back. The bad news is I’m wide awake. So now I’m washing clothes, watching Dateline and surfing the web. I can’t sleep. Starting the day right (not!).

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Life Lesson from Star Citizen

Sometimes frustrating advice can be helpful in seeing past the BS and clarify the issue.

Yesterday I posted an article about the ships I had in Star Citizen. I was trying to work out an ideal formula for the playstyle I have in the game, the options I wanted for professions I wanted to pursue and to do this on an affordable amount. I put the information on my website and I posted the information to Spectrum, the official Star Citizen forum.

After an unrelated call to my mother (which went alright until the last five minutes of conversation when things turned sour) I checked the responses to my Spectrum inquiry. It seemed like it was a continuation of the call to my mother because instead of helpful information I was lightly criticized for my post. To be precise there were 3 responses at that time, and they were either confused as to the actual question or I was accused of being naïve because the ships were of unremarkable value and they assumed I was bragging about the ships I had.

A few hours later I had three more responses, still wondering if I was bragging with mediocre ships or not understanding the question. I will say that I didn’t put the inquiry in the form of a question, but I thought I had been clear about looking for options for my profession. By 6pm I decided to terminate the thread.

What I found interesting about the thread was before I terminated it I had close to 70 people reading the thread. For a post being up for 13 hours that was a good number in my eyes. Probably if I focused on the reads I might have been satisfied with that as a positive take away, but with the few responses and my mindset, there wasn’t a way for me to put a positive spin on things.

What confused me about the inquiry, especially about the bragging aspect, is that I didn’t think by listing the ships I had constituted bragging. On constant videos on YouTube, I’ll see ship reviews or players doing test on ships. I will see them scroll through the ships in the kiosk. Some have a little, some have a lot. I don’t assume they’re bragging about the ships they own.

I did explain how I wanted to stay focused on my profession in the game, but I wanted to multi-task. I used as an example the Drake Caterpillar, which is a ship I think is very cool looking and would love to buy if I had the money, but since it hauls freight and I have two ships capable of hauling freight and it needs a crew of 4, as much as I like it I will probably pass on it.

That’s how my thinking goes with purchases. I think of the uses, the options and ultimately I will decide if it is a good fit or not. I figured, since there are sites and videos that goes through explanations and options for determining ship purchases, I could explain my thought process.

Like I said, I was more confused than mad about the misinterpretation of my sentiment. There was a time soon after I joined Star Citizen that I had a problem with griefing and the response, basically, was for me to suck it up. I didn’t like the responses, but I took measures to make changes to my play style, which meant learning PVP skills. Now, when it arrives that I get griefed I can handle the situation a lot easier.

I have had to handle the “pressures” of work in a way I have to deal with “griefing” in Star Citizen. When there are certain obstinate sites or vendors at the site, I try not to get mad at the situation. When I try to push my way to the resolution I want, there can be unwanted pushback, which makes me push back and it could get ugly. If I put a smile on my face (it’s fake since it’s on the phone) and listen and work to find the core issue and get it resolved, it tends to end up OK for all involved. I may not give them the answer they want, but at the end the stores and vendors know I’ve exhausted all avenues to resolve the issue.

I’ve realized I’m better off as roleplaying in Star Citizen and that is how I’ll handle issues in the future. It has already paid off because that evening Star Citizen had a Father’s Day sale with two racing ships for sale. The redundant explorer ship I owned I traded in for the one of the racing ships. It didn’t cost anything as I traded in hanger for the price difference. It looks like I might be making a few trades in the next few weeks which will further stabilize my multi-profession activities in the game.

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James Comey Day

Yes, I will say it now. I’m going to procrastinate today. Wait a minute. The James Comey testimony is today? Do I really want to see this? My political junkie side says, pull up the popcorn, fix me a non-alcoholic drink and let the games begin. My non-political junkie side says, by the time this is all over, there will be smoke but no fire. It will mean nothing in the long run. The end result will be no blow to Trump no matter what pundits may say.

Maybe I’ll make a leisurely day of it.  Fix a decadent brunch and chow down and watch the hearing. I know regular coverage will be pre-empted, and being that it daytime TV schedules disrupted, what is left to watch, should I choose to watch something else, will be limited to the bottom of the barrel Springer/Povich baby daddy/stripper fight drama or QVC clothing marathons. This is the life without cable.

I already know the answer. I’m going to try to fight not watching the hearing, but ultimately I will be pulled in. It’s in my nature. I might watch the hearing while working on some writing projects, but I know I’ll be watching the hearing like a lot of my political friends.

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A Rough Anxiety Day

No radio noise for sleep last night, so I’m up and groggy. Not a good start of the day.

That was the tweet I sent early yesterday morning. Yesterday was a struggle. Bad anxiety hit me just as I got to work. Kept myself quiet, forced myself through the issue. I know that a contributor to the issue was the internet connection on my tablet I use next to the bed wasn’t working. I thought it was a wide range internet outage so I ignored it. It turned out the device was the issue and my router just needed a reboot.

It’s been so frustrating that the little things are causing so much difficulties right now. I know intellectually it has to do with the stress of dealing with my parents’ condition. The thing is, as much as I know rationally what’s going on, meaning I should be able to identify and work around it, I haven’t been able to do this as efficiently as I would like.

Oh, to the guy with the flip phone who was texting or something with the sound on so every type could be heard; you figured because you look like a homeless crazy guy you act crazy? Seriously, I saw other people pissed off and wanting to do bodily harm to you. Very jerky move on your part.

So, what broke through the anxiety? Well, the Star Wars toys (trust me, a small display) at work subliminally reminded me that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, came out yesterday. It didn’t hit me it was out until I left work. That little reminder worked and I felt a lot better. Picked up the Blu-Ray before I got home.

When I get off work today, I’m going to see if I can get an affordable tablet to replace the defective one.

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Don’t Want Nobody’s Name on My Behind

I took a photo of this woman on the bus yesterday. When I did a quick edit and posted this morning, I noticed the woman, who was obviously striking, but what shook me were the amount of company logos she had on. It wasn’t NASCAR crazy but to me she was a billboard. 

I remember the early 80s crazy of designer jeans. It was a sign of status to have the designer’s name stitched on the butt pocket of jeans. Nothing got between 16 years old Brooke Shield’s Calvin’s. I know manufacturers try to get symbols and logos synonymous with a product so we automatically associate their brand with a product. I think I was taken aback because I’m used to the caricature image I see of advertising. Its that NASCAR example I mentioned which I used to think as a thing but it isn’t.

You get coffee from a fast food place or convenience store and that logo advertises that chain. Jeans, shirts and other clothes have logos stamped on them. I might take some time to see what Android phone you have but an Apple phone can be spotted yards away.

We tell ourselves we get those items for style or quality, but we are influenced by little things we don’t notice. I probably won’t buy a Nike jumpsuit, but was craving a soda later that afternoon and I’m not a big soda drinker.

Traveling this morning I’m seeing subtle and blatant advertising on everybody. From designer clothes and accessories, gadgets from phones to headphones, shoes, bicycles; I feel like I’ve been dropped into the They Live movie. Everything I see seems to have subliminal consumer messages. Well, not really so subliminal since its plain to see.

Too bad I’m all out of bubblegum.

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Focusing on Productive and Necessary Planning

Ever since getting the call on Friday from my mother about the state of her and especially my father, I’ve been mentally scrambling to figure out how to raise the money, get affairs in order when I have to leave and other issues that, in the pain of grief, I probably will not be thinking clearly about.

I’m feeling a little better now because in planning things out I know a lot of panic issues have been avoided, because there were assumptions I had about travel in times of grief that don’t apply today.

The first thing I learned is most airlines don’t have bereavement fares anymore. I was disappointed when I learned that because I figured having to get a short notice flight, especially with grief, a person would be taken advantage of. However, I’m planning all this out to try an avoid that. What I found as a good option for an out of pocket expensive sudden flight is using your airline points if you have them. It was a surprise to me that I had points available, which, on the formula I saw the airline my credit card is with, would give me a free one way trip.

I don’t have enough for a round trip ticket at the moment, but I could purchase points or use the card more often to earn points. In thinking though the possibilities, right now I’m probably going to use the points for the one way ticket. The sad reality is, and I’m sorry but I need to have gallows humor to deal with some of this, there will be another shoe that will drop and that will be a harder situation to deal with because that will have me dealing with a lot of things alone as the only heir to the estate, such as it is. So while I’m planning, I need to make sure the network is set up so when I’m faced with this happening again I’m even more prepared.

My parents don’t live near a major airport hub. The closest airport is in Columbia SC, but it still over an hour drive to their town. I thought about renting a car but the price of renting is pretty steep. Also, when I factored in the one way ticket, I didn’t want to deal with trying to find a rental place in their town to return the car.

Something I just saw I didn’t mention, which will make sense for the rental car issue, is I decided for the return trip to take a bus. It will be about two days to return back, but the cost of the bus, at the high end, will be $200. That is manageable for me now. I was tempted to take the bus round trip, but I know when I get the news, I’m not going to want to take two days on the road and end up at the end of the trip miserable then face the family. I know if I took two days to get there, they will gossip as to why I wasn’t there right away. Better to get there early.

I was able to see that Greyhound has two trips, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, that will get me into town and, what shouldn’t be a surprise but it was, they have Uber drivers. From the bus terminal to my parent’s house isn’t that far. Between bus fare and Uber the cost from the airport to their house is less than $40.

Once I’m at the house I’m sure I’ll do a lot of traveling and will be using one of the cars.

This plan helps a lot because there’s no telling when I will leave. I didn’t lock things down with an airline because if the plans changed I didn’t want to pay steep fees for flight changes. The bus fare is reasonable no matter the time and it is only a 10 minute drive from the house to the bus station. While it will be a two day ride back home, that might be what I need to decompress.

Now, how I’ve planned things at the moment is for a sudden emergency. When I mean sudden, I’m talking about the dreaded call coming within a month. Hopefully, that won’t happen and I can breathe and possibly come up with other options.

I’m doing a lot of organizing to keep myself busy. I’m gotten over the initial weight of the information and in getting this information gathered I’m not as panicked and stressed as I was days ago when I was certain I had no plan on how I was going get everything in order. What I’m doing is taking the procedures I would do for a trip and apply to this task. Unfortunately it not a pleasant idea to think about but I’m sure that’s what blocked me from working on this earlier. I always have nervous anticipation when I go on a trip. I go over the checklist in my head and, importantly, I have a set date when I’m leaving.

This planning is different because I don’t know when it will happen and when I get the word it’s not going to be pleasant.

What I’ll be working on in the next few weeks will be the trauma kit. I still have my 20+ years travel through Europe backpack which barely makes regulations on flights. Trips to the 99 cents store and Walmart will be made to get fresh clothes and the like for the bag. I want to have things set so when I get the call and I’m away from home, I can head back to the house and to the shutdown procedures before leaving. I don’t want to think about what to pack. When the shutdown procedures are complete I want to grab and go. That’s how I do my vacation and that’s how I want to run this.

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Pot, Kettle, Have You Met?

A few days ago, when The View panel was talking about health care, Sunny Hostin was vigorous in stating the Obamacare was working wonderfully for people and even though others on the panel used personal examples of the program not working. She was quick to say that you can’t use anecdotal evidence and need to look at the whole picture. A few days later, a discussion was going on about proposed cuts in the budget, including Meals on Wheels. Sonny Hostin, on this issue, was quick to use the personal example of her grandmother using Meals on Wheels to illustrate how vital the program was and when confronted with statistics, argued that people with the statistical information should talk to her grandmother.

What I saw on The View is the reason a lot of conservatives can laugh at liberals. I get where liberals can call conservatives silly and not sticking to facts, but when you don’t do it yourself, you have no supporting arguments when criticism is thrown at you. I understand why Hostin would use her grandmother as an illustration of a benefit of Meals on Wheels. Using her grandmother shows a benefit of the program, much like others, in illustrating the concerns of Obamacare, used personal examples illustrating failures of Obamacare.

I see this happening too many times with talking heads. They’re very quick to silence, over talk or otherwise intimidate people on subjects they’re passionate about. They will use whatever they can to convince the crowd they’re correct. Logic has nothing to do with winning the hearts and souls of the audience. It’s all emotions by personal stories, cold facts or gotcha moments. It’s not about presenting information and letting the viewer decide on the issue.

Look, you can’t one day you wants stats and no personal stories then the next use a personal story to buttress your facts. As a lawyer Hostin knows better, but I believe part of the reason why no one called her on the double standard she used was because she is a lawyer and, because it was a heated discussion on both topics and days apart, there might not have been pause enough to look back and think through how her argument was contradictory.

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Thin Skinned Bully DJT

The man in the Oval Office got offended by a video by Snoop Dogg, posting the following message of Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This said by the same person who spent years accusing Obama of being born in another country, demanding to see his birth certificate and college transcripts. Mr. Trump, you didn’t get jail time for your false claims and accusations. You became Commander in Chief, and even with that accomplishment you continue to make false accusations against Obama.

Sad.

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