Drought in Arizona

One of the bad financial issues that happened to me was my water was cut off. The water was off for almost a week as I was trying to get caught up after facing some financial issues. I made a call yesterday to what I thought was the agency that handled water issues, but I was told I needed to contact another agency, an advocacy agent, that handled the particular issue I had.

I sent an email to the agency in the afternoon and as of this morning I had heard nothing from them. This morning, at 1am, I did a check of the water and it was mysteriously on. I flushed the toilet, washed some clothes that had piled up, and water was flowing to my home. I don’t know what happened but I was glad to have water again.

A few minutes ago, I got a message and it was from the first agency that told me I didn’t to go to another agency to get a resolution of the water issue.

We do not turn the water off even if the homeowner may be in collections. We also do not contact the City to do any water shut offs. The community manager went by today to check the metering service and stated it was on.

So, I read this and was a bit confused. The water has been off from Saturday to Thursday morning. I was told, and I do have an email copy, that your company doesn’t shut off water yet the water was shut off. Do I think it’s unusual that water would go off then brought back on in the middle of the night? Of course. Do I find it odd that a community manager came by today and the meter was working, yet didn’t knock on the door or otherwise contact me that they were here and saw the meter was working? Not an issue at all.

I’m willing to say it’s an odd coincidence that the water was off and on in the course of two weeks. I may have questions as to why water was cut, but the desired effect was achieved. I’m catching up on my delinquent bill and I have running water. I’m not fully sure I buy they don’t have control over the water system, and while I do find it unusual that water would be restored in the middle of the might, my personal observation is I had water cut off for a few days last week, then as soon as I put in money towards paying the bill water was restored. I was given the run around as to who to contact about getting water restored, then once it was restored and the one time I was away from my home for an hour and a half, I get an email saying someone was out here and verified the water was working.

It was just coincidence the person was here at the one time in the day, since I’ve been up since 1am, that I was out of the house and they couldn’t ring the doorbell or leave a note.

While I have questions about the events, as long as I’m up and running with water I can live with the outcome. Like I said, I have water and I’m working on getting myself back in balance.

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Morning Miff

This morning I’m already modifying my plans. My plan was to get up early and start doing a massive cleaning of the house. Last night I visited two places after work. I went to Big Lots and picked up some discount apple juice and hit up a cafeteria Chinese restaurant near my home.

I don’t know if it was the juice or Chinese food but I woke up this morning with a rumbling in my tummy. It was good that I’m off work today because my guts are just under the surface angry. So, I’m having a slow go this morning. It will be over 100 today so I’ll head out later today to grab some light food and I may still end up cleaning, but not with the full force I planned on.

Something I learned on my work drama was that I’m not as up to date on tech as I’d like to think. Now that I’m getting back into a routine I’m going to jump my game up on tech just a tad. I must make the tech work for me and there are areas, like WordPress, where I know enough to do what I need to do, but I don’t know as much I need to know. I want to up my game and I’m going to have to study to do it.

The push for this, as always, goes to my parents, but don’t read this as a praise to them. Two days ago, I made a call to my mother, and I’ll just say it didn’t go too well. I’m trying to be respectful because all the health issues my parents are going through, but I’m getting frustrated with every call I make to them turning into an argument about my life choices. It’s a tennis match between praises on how a good son I am and disappointment that I haven’t turned out like some relatives I’m constantly compared to.

Of course, I dwell on the negatives but the support I didn’t get from my parents I got from friends. There were some posts I put on Facebook and the support I got, the encouragement I got kept me going through these last few weeks. I’m in an interesting place right now. I feel I was crazy lost and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (and no, I don’t think the light is the headlights of an oncoming vehicle <grin>).

Yes, so I’m under the weather this morning but I’m still going to get up and do stuff with the day. It won’t be a lot but it will be progress.

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I Can’t Catch a Break

I take 2 steps towards and I get knocked back a step. I should think of myself as moving forward ultimately but I just want some breathing room. I want to have 2-3 months where I can breath easy without worrying about bills or emotional issues. Just had another setback which I should blame on myself.

I have to take some time to sort myself and get on track.

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Getting Back on My Feet

It’s been some time since I’ve posted. I’ve been pretty busy with my crazy employment. Now that I’m employed again and getting a steady income, I hope I will be able to get back into the writing routine.

I will say my house is a mess. I really need to do a good cleaning with my free time this week. When I had free time, I didn’t want to clean because I was wallowing in a funk because I didn’t have any job prospects. I didn’t want to do a lot of anything other than search for jobs, which was depressing.

Getting into that funk mindset was debilitating for me because the more I focused on not having a job the more I felt I was a waste of space. I don’t like thinking that way but that’s where I was going. I would think those thoughts and it would sap all of my energy. If you add that the house was hot (summer in AZ in August tends to be that way) and all I was interested in on TV were the Law and Order franchise, well that wasn’t a good combination.

The only things that was a benefit to the ordeal was I didn’t have alcohol, but since I had no money to drink I’ll chalk it up to will power but I suspect being broke was a big factor to the effort.

I mentioned in a Facebook post that I found out I had to stay in my skin. That was a big takeaway for me. I have to constantly remind myself that I understand what is best for me. I cannot allow myself to be manipulated by outside individuals who don’t understand me. I don’t really want to elaborate more on this, because it will take volumes to write about it and rehashing everything would be upsetting.

Well, I’m looking forward to cleaning my place. My cat will be happy.

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A Little Reality in a MMO Game

There was an interesting post I got this morning in regard to a piece I wrote for my Star Citizen character.

Quick background: the piece was a fictional account of a LA police officer who shot an unarmed Banu woman. The Banu are an alien race within Star Citizen. The family of the victim called it murder and the officer claimed it was self-defense.

So, the main critique of the person who posted stated I got a lot incorrect about the Banu, such as they don’t have a traditional family structure and they have short life spans. When I thought about it, I could have tried to fudge and defend the writing by saying the lifespan wasn’t really established and maybe a Banu at 40 years old might be old if their lifespan is 55 years old. What I realized was I wrote the article in January of this year and there, as they pointed out, an article detailing the Banu in March or April of this year. I should have checked and revised the article.

The second issue they had with the article I gently disagreed with. They wrote:

Another side side note… cops usually don’t have a gun out on you unless you are being openly hostile even when someone goes for a gun or weapon that is usually the time a cop will unholster theirs pushing a person back and stepping back to get their gun free in the same motion

This was my response to the second issue they had:

As far as the police procedure, I based this story on an actual incident where the police didn’t follow the correct procedure. That can be further documented by other incidents in the news where the correct procedure wasn’t followed. It could be possible that the officer hated, disliked, mistrusted or didn’t get the proper training in handling suspects under the influence or wasn’t trained in Banu traditions or culture. Even with the proper training, mistakes can happen. As I was interpreting this incident, the officer overreacted and, not to say she outright lied about the events, but she may have misinterpreted the events as they occurred. Remember, the Banu is dead and cannot give her side of the story and other officers on the scene would have been influenced by what Peyer said at the time.

One of the reasons why I went with the Law and Order style of writing for my approach was to inject some realism into this fictional roleplaying universe. People aren’t perfect and they don’t make the right decisions all the time. One of the backstories I have in the lore I’m creating is a small group called Earth First. They do not like aliens influencing the culture or Earth. Some are full on isolationists and want to drive all the aliens off the planet, but a majority of the Earth First people, and as a reminder the Earth First people are a small minority of the population at less than 105 having those views, but the Earth First people worry about the culture of aliens having a corrupting and accepting effect on society.

That’s kind of the broad perspective of where I was coming from. Take it out of the alien concept, c’mon, how many cops shootings have there been in the past few years? This was based on one real life incident, which the names and location changed to protect the innocent.

I’m glad this person responded to my post and I’m glad I didn’t just ignore them or send out a flame laced response. With a calm and laid out answer to them it is possible to educate and move forward.

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If This Sounds Like a Rant . . .

I think of myself as a person who can put up with a lot of drama. I don’t like drama other than fiction. I try to let it wash over me, try to walk a mile in another person’s shoes and will try everything under the sun to avoid confrontation.

I may be seething under the skin, but I will try, whenever possible, to try and avoid expressing frustration and anger. If you see me in an angry mood, the best thing to do is to say nothing. I will probably work it through, calm down and I will be back to my normal self in no time.

I’ve told this to many people, I’ve talked about my secluded moods and how I work through them. If you can understand that about me, we can go a long way in resolving any perceived conflicts or misunderstandings on my end.

Time and again, despite my warnings, there are friends that push the buttons over and over again. I tell them the story, hoping they get the message, but a few people still will test me. When I’ve hit my limit, when I’m tired of giving excuses and trying to justify the actions of those I feel that have wronged me, I just cut them off.

I’m done, it’s over, I’m out of there.

I have two examples of exercising this. A few days ago, I was having some real struggles at my job. It just seemed that the world took a big dump on me. At the end of the day, I took a few deep breaths, assessed why I was feeling and reacting the way I was, and went to work the next day determined to have a positive outlook on life. The reason I did this was because I realized, despite me being angry with some people, there were things I could have done to better prepare myself and because I was in a new environment, I was reacting to the unfamiliarity to the environment more than being upset with the situation or individuals.

I stayed positive, open and engaged and the day was better. In fact, by the end of the day, I was able to contribute and engaged with all of the information we got that day.

Then I got home!

Someone sent me a text message asking for money. There are people, and you know who you are, that I have given money to in the past. I can be generous but I’m not a bank. If I think you have a need, sure, I will help out. However, if you come to me with a “I’m starving and I need some money” when I see you smoking cigarettes, downing some Hennessy and you just ordered some Dr. Dre Beats from Amazon, I’m going to be slightly inclined to help out.

If this has happened a number of times, you’re gonna get Juiced. Remember the old song The Rain by Oran “Juice” Jones? You gonna be dismissed. You gonna be out, all packed up out on the streets. It’s my world, you just a squirrel trying to get a nut!

This person was on the fence as far as friendship’s go. I was slowly beginning to trust them again after the last encounter a while ago. I knew they were trouble, but I kept telling myself it was me misinterpreting, me jumping to conclusions. After that long and uplifting day yesterday and to be met with that tweet (you can’t call?) I was done.

I’m sure they will try to contact me more, maybe even saying it was a mistake to ask and profusely apologizing, but I’m done.

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Uncle Trump and the Boy Scouts

A week ago, the President gave what many commentators have called a very inappropriate speech to the Boy Scout Jamboree. Not only was the speech incredibly political, but the speech seemed, maybe inappropriate is too strong of a word but it seemed an odd tone when you realize the audience was made up of mostly 12- 18-year-old boys.

To me, it was a lot of locker room mentality in the speech.

One thing I need to clear up, which will not be seen on Fox News, is that contrary to what Trump said in his speech, Obama did send a pre-recorded message to the Boy Scout Jamboree in 2010. To be clear, he did not physically attend but he did have a pre-recorded speech at the event.

As a side note, this is the most infuriating thing about this President. He exaggerates to such an incredible degree that he misses the opportunity of less is more. If he didn’t mention former President Obama in his speech, or if he said President Obama never physically attended a jamboree, he would be on very soft but kind of OK grounds to say Obama didn’t attend a jamboree. No, he must say he never attended. Yet, there is proof he talked to the crowd.

The thing is that the Fox News crowd will never split the hairs, will not do the analysis and comparison. They will take the current officeholder at his word. Speaking of Fox News, I heard on the early morning radio broadcast that a host said why are people are concerned about the speech of the President? He said the Boy Scout organization should have known what they were getting into when they invited the President.

Excuse me?

They expected the President to be presidential. They expected the President to understand he was speaking not to voters but to the freaking Boy Scouts! This is not your drunk uncle giving a winded, bringing up family secrets Thanksgiving speech. This was not the time to be regular Trump; the guy who can’t let go of a grudge.

Trump is less like the President of the United States and more like John Candy from Uncle Buck.

The sad understanding coming from this is Trump, and I guess some at Fox News, find this normal and shame on the Boy Scouts for not understanding what the President is like. I guess from now on we cannot expect this President to rise above petty litigation of the previous election and focus on inspiring us and the youth of this country to become better than we are.

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My Fourth of July

For a lot of us, and I saying us in the minority POV, we can’t appreciate the Fourth of July. We’re supposed to be proud of country, feel honored to be living in “the greatest country in the world” and all that, but we don’t feel the sense of pride of country as we probably should. There are too many reminders about how imperfect this country is.

Whenever you start to bring up criticism about America, many of the gun-toting, freedom loving ‘mericans are willing to pounce on you, saying if you don’t love America then you can get out if the country.

So, if you criticize America, the answer to that is to leave? Where should someone who isn’t red, white and blue go?

You say, on the one hand, the whole reason the country is great because these shores accept all peoples from all countries to this land. Bring me your tired, your poor, those yearning to be free, all that stuff. Also, you have the freedom to speak out, the freedom to voice opposition, the freedom to speak about a true and diverse country.

If your answer is to challenge and oppose that freedom with others, to deny them the allow dissenting opinions, then what does America stand for?

Right now, the way I feel about America is that America is a dream unrealized. I don’t blindly shout USA for America. There are many things about America I dislike, but part of my birthright, since I was BORN in this country, is to criticize and point out those flaws I see with America without the fear of being ostracized, ridiculed or banished because of my speech.

There’s a lot to love about America but there is a lot to improve. I very thankful for being born here; I realize how lucky I am, but I also realize my freedom isn’t really free. There could be some, reading my words, that would insist I don’t love this country. Why, because I point out some rather obvious issues with America? Here’s the thing; those same people who claim to love this country blindly are the same people, just a few years ago, hated there was a black man as President.

Oh, why did you want to put race in this discussion?

Well, of you are bothered about me bringing race into this, in the words of Yoda, that is why you fail.

You want to take my country back and you want to make America great again. You say the slogans but you don’t understand the meaning of those words. When the old guy was in office, and I mean Reagan not the new person, he had the same slogan about bringing back the greatness of America. Back then, there were the same discussions about how in the world could people hate America and would not love to turn back time to a simpler time?

What is rarely taken into consideration how foreign and how discriminating those good old days actually were, from a certain point of view.

Back in the 50’s, the good old days, the color of your skin determined where you would live, what jobs you could have, in some cases, even where you would be buried. Of course, a few people “made it” and they were touted as examples of escaping the poverty and despair of their race to glow in the wonderment of the American dream. But very few were permitted that dream and still, if they got a little too comfortable in their skin, they would be strongly reminded of their place in society.

Yes, we have had strides, we have made progress. Yes, we had a black man as President of the United States, but look who we got in return. Yes, we had a black man as President, but black people can still be shot randomly by the police, by security guards, and in more cases than not, the perpetrator of the killing will get away with it.

You may want to couch the issue by saying the person caused their own death by doing “illegal” activities, but I don’t recall instances where the theft of cigarillos or selling loose cigarettes was punishable by death.

America is a country strong enough to withstand the criticism of a few voices who are pointing out issues and concerns that if addressed, can make this an even greater country.

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What would it take to convince people that Trump should not be the President?

My friend posted as interesting question a few hours ago:

Honest question. Donald Trump said “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters”. Looking at the FiveThirthEight analysis of polls, he actually enjoys an approval rating of around 40%. His supporters echo his claim that he has done more than any other president in his first days of office. They don’t care about collusion with Russia or his tweets or his conflicts of interest that violate the constitution. They don’t seem to care that he has alienated our allies or about any of the myriad actions that in a normal world would disqualify him from ANY government job. So my question is, what would it take to convince 40% of the population that this man should not be the president?

The cold simple fact is they will not be convinced.

The big problem is with Trump is the same problem with your garden variety common criminal, scoundrel or worthless baby daddy. As a person on the outside, you can try to convince how wrong Trump is, how detrimental Trump is, but if some have convinced themselves Trump is going good, you will not change their minds. The reasons for sticking with Trump could be because of a political agenda, maybe because they are profiting from Trump or it could be dumb luck that Trump has no impact on their family. As long as Trump isn’t seen as a threat in their eyes, and since they have invested so much in Trump, they will lie, deflect and ignore any thing that hurts that gravy train.

Have you seen Kellyanne Conway on interviews today? Have you seen Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator trying to defend Trump yesterday? If you saw that spectacle a week or so ago where Trump asked for and got almost every cabinet member in the room singing the praises of Trump, then I feel it’s unlikely many people in Middle America, who voted for Trump would change their minds. Conway, Lord and all those cabinet members are sticking with Trump and every day, in the case of Conway and Lord, they go to the American people, look them in the eye and lie us.

I heard this morning that just under 35% are in favor of Trump. Sure, you can say that 65% are against him, but since the Republicans are trying to get their piece of the pie they aren’t going to challenge Trump. With the Democrats, you literally need to have a “come to the deity of your choice moment” and unite against one candidate.

Here’s what I see at the moment; as much as there are reports about dissension in ranks, the Republicans cannot mount a coup for new leadership. They’re going to be stuck with Trump with no one to challenge him. As long as they, and Trump, have an Obama obsession they’re going to think about the short and not the long term. They’re hitched their wagon on hatred of Obama, it got them Trump, and most of the power players in the Republican party figure they can ride the wave for 4 to 8 tears and position themselves for life after Trump.

The other side of the coin is that Democrats want that savior to come in and unite the country. Unfortunately, they keep thinking old guard candidates right now. Do you see one candidate that has overwhelming support of the Democratic party that can challenge Trump? Four special elections and four losses. OK, so you might mention Elizabeth Warren or . . . that’s the problem. You can name Warren but I don’t see her doing any better against Trump. There is no one out there on the national stage challenging Trump.

As long as the critics of Trump are comedians and talk show hosts, he will continue to keep the support of the hardcore followers. Get some real, out of the box thinking politician, of which there are none at the moment, to really go for the heart of Trump. Otherwise, we will be stuck with Trump for longer than expected.

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It’s My Obsession

When I got home Wednesday around 8pm, I wanted to do a little project to change some wording on the organization (guild) in Star Citizen. A few words being changed turned into making a “few” other changes. It’s now Friday and I finally got a few hours of sleep. I spent most of the day and evening making those “few” changes, which went into a graphic overhaul of the page as well as creating a Facebook page for the site.

The frustration, OK sort of frustration, I get from getting so focused is I can get tunnel vision and I will plow through a project. Between 8pm Wednesday and 9pm last night I got 1 hour of sleep, and I know the reason I woke up was because I had turned off the AC and it was hella hot inside the room.

I did have a food break at 10am on Thursday, but every time I wanted to get something to eat I kept thinking I would finish one last little thing and I would take a break, and I find something else to focus on.

The thing I didn’t count on was Photoshop. In the past I’d used another graphics program but it got corrupted a month or two ago to the point where it wouldn’t recognize jpg files. I signed up for Photoshop but I hadn’t taken the time to do full navigation of the program. In the back of my head, I thought that I had to learn Photoshop and the best way to learn was by diving into something.

So, I stumbled through Photoshop while getting the graphics prepared, and the presentation for the site set up, then I got the idea to set up a Facebook page for the site. That’s when I realized, other than the hour of sleep, I have been glued to my computer the whole time. I missed a call from a friend, I missed visiting my bartender friend because I knew she would be working until 6pm and I was pretty sure I was going to be at a stopping point so I could stop by.

At 9pm I went to the grocery store to pick up stuff, specifically to make breakfast this morning because of yesterday.

It’s now 8:30am and after going to bed at 2am and waking up at 6am, I’m back at this blasted computer and I keep saying, just a few more minutes. Right now, the graphics changes I made yesterday aren’t displaying on the main game page. It is probably a glitch on the server site, since all the other graphic changes in game are working and I did find someone with the same issue. After taking an hour to reproduce, document and sent the information over to the Star Citizen site, I’m kicking myself why I just don’t start a new organization. It would be easy (I have all the files copied) and I don’t have other members I need to inform of the change. I just keep seeing that 200+ day counter on the board. I don’t want to start over again, but that might be the best and sanest option. I know doing an investigation as to why the issue is occurring is at the low end of task, especially since there is 1 other person who initially reported the issue.

I have to break away from the desk because I feel another narrow focus coming. Already I’m thinking about just starting over, but I also want to get a formal website up. It’s just weird that I spend my days off locked in a room staring at a computer screen.

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