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Some Reasons Why I Moved

May 20, 2012 3 comments

Locals ask me, “Why did you move heeere?” with a questioning sneer. It’s simple really: small town living, even with its different political/religious views, over-abundance of Bud Light, lack of “things to do”, is more palatable at this point in my life than ever before.

I love my little trailer. Sure, it’s a mess, but it’s our mess to change, clean up and fix up.

I love that I can drive to work in 10 minutes or less. I actually love that my in-laws are 20 minutes away, more because it makes my wife very happy to be close to her mom.

Most of all I love that it is quiet. Before I moved we heard gunshots daily, sirens all the time, noisy neighbors, bratty neighborhood kids screaming at all hours, general noise. I’m sitting on my porch and all I really hear is the wind in the trees and the occasional traffic on the highway.

Did I mention trails? Yeah, that too, literally right around the corner.

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Some nice double-track in the pines.

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Nice vistas.

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Where the pavement ends.

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And hills.

Yeah, I’m a happy camper right now. Hopefully in 6 months I’ll still be signing this tune!

I’m not dead, yet.

May 11, 2012 1 comment

Truly, I’m not dead. I just feel dead.

In the week I moved I climbed thousands of stairs. Never, ever, living in a three story building again.

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It took 2 days, well, actually 3 if you count the two hour jaunt the first day, to travel 1500 miles. The wife and I, along with our two cats in the front of a 24 foot Budget truck filled to the brim towing a vehicle.

Now comes the fun adventure of homeownership with all the little things. And finding a job. Yeah, still need work, but things are looking up.

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Things are a’changing…and I couldn’t be happier!

Personal Archaeology

April 17, 2012 1 comment

The thing about moving is finding all the stuff you know you once had but had seemingly lost at some point.  Case in point, found a box of old NES cartridges buried in a box deep in the basement.  Next to them was a box full of old nursing school books… why I kept them I have no idea, but there they were in their spine-busting weight.

On top of those things I’ve been rewinding my personal mixtape thru Spotify, revisiting songs from years ago, finding new ones and having a good time.  One tangent led me to an old favorite, Less Than Jake, I can remember spending hours with them as the soundtrack of my life back in the late 90′s, reading some of the books I found in another box,  like The Master and Margarita and a collection of Lord Byron’s writings (I was a humanities major the first time through).  Heady stuff.

Thanks to YouTube I can pseudo-relive seeing them live.  The venue is very similar to where I saw them twice.  Small, dark, dingy, hot and sweaty.  They put on a crazy, zany goofball show, and I had a blast.  Seeing them again makes me smile.

It’s Been A Week

March 11, 2012 1 comment

English: U-Haul van being refueled on the Rout...

It’s odd, I figured this unemployment thing would be like a vacation.  Sit back, relax, catch up on things left unread, do some housework while slowly getting things for the imminent move together.  I figured I would not miss working, prepping for work or the actual time spent going to work.

Yeah.  Wrong on all counts.

Admittedly I’ve done a fair bit of relaxing.  There have been many days of sitting around in sweats like some somewhat thinner suburban version of Jabba the Hut, dropping whatever snacks were within reach into my maw, ordering minions to do things (at least in my head).  I’ve spent some quality time on Twitter, on some blogs, scoping out new places to ride when we move, but have done little of anything constructive.  The place looks pretty much exactly like it did the week I stopped working.  Packing?  Psshh.  Attacking the list of things I need to accomplish for the week?  Did (the easy) 50%.

Never thought I would say it, but the hardest thing is not going to work.  I see the #nocshift tag come up on Twitter for all those headed to slay the dragon of work and while I may be there in spirit, I’m really just an impostor now.  I wish them luck and go back to doing nothing of consequence.  But it’s the odd things that seem to mean the most to me.  Not buying food specifically for work.  Not staying up ’til all hours to readjust my internal clock to stay up for the next three nights.  Not having the in-person interaction with my friends as we strive towards a common goal.  It has made me slightly off-balance and I don’t like it.  Coming from a long line of Scandinavian hard working folk, the need to work is etched indelibly into my DNA.  Go too long without and I become insufferable to be around, pacing like a wild animal trapped in an enclosure but unable to do anything.

Worst though it has allowed my fear of not getting work even more real.  It has allowed that nagging voice, the one that I used to continually tell to “shut the fuck up!” a little more volume.  That little voice has been very, very talkative of late.  Doubt, the killer of initiative, has been working overtime.

All this after only a week.  I’m going to be a psychic wreck by the time I get to Arizona.  And I will have probably driven my wife insane.

At least though, things are slowly coming together.  It appears we have a place to call home lined up.  There seems to be some jobs in the area that I could pursue.  I just have to realize that things will take some time.  This isn’t going to happen overnight, no matter how hard I want it to.  The last time I was unemployed was so painful, more for factors beyond not having a job/income, that issues I thought I had dealt with long ago are bleeding into the current discussion which makes this more stressful.  I have to remember that this is not like last time.  I have experience.  I have money coming in.  I’m not running from death, disappointment and despair.  Instead I’m running to something new, exciting and different.  And you’e all along for the ride!

Just for Fun

February 5, 2012 1 comment

Still reeling from my momentous decision of last week, I’ve sunk hours and hours into YouTube, Twitter, Batman Arkham City and MW3 trying to forget, all the while realizing that shit just got very real.  I’m safe in the knowledge that it is the right thing, but the prospect of no longer having a steady paycheck freaks me out.  These got me back on track though…

Not Even a Thousand Words

September 2, 2011 2 comments

Went out on the bike the other day, just a map, some snacks and water. Too much stress lately, too much bullshit to deal with, too much loss to work on coming to grips with, all lost beneath the sound of rubber on the road and the roaring quiet, and drowned out by the amazing scenery surrounding me. I lost 6 hours that day, but gained a good bit of me back.

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Gratitude

March 27, 2011 1 comment

Perusing my stats last night before heading to work I realized something:  I had broken the 100,000 visits mark someday Friday.  I know, big deal.  Yeah, there are blogs that do that in a day or even an hour, but they aren’t mine.  This little creation that started as a place to vent, educate and regale keeps growing.  And all thanks to you folks, my loyal readers, or at least the one that has visited 100,000 times.

Thanks for everything, y’all rock!

Going Digging in the Bins

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Every now and again my wife and I go to our “crazy Goodwill“.  While most Goodwills (a for-profit company that provides training, education and employment for the disabled through their thrift stores) are an adventure, but on a whole the merchandise is useful, well organized and in true thrift store fashion priced ranging from “wow! that’s cheap” to “you want how much for that?!”

Our “crazy Goodwill” is a totally different beast as it is an outlet.  If it didn’t sell in any of the retails stores it ends up here.  It is is the thrift store of thrift sores.  Organization?  Yeah, not really, only in the following categories:  stuff, clothes/fabric stuff, books/old media stuff.  All loaded into big blue bins on wheels.  To find what you want, one rummages through the piles of stuff searching for the hidden diamonds of the rough. It is the epitome of “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

Big Boy by Hipstamatic

Every now and then you can come away with some cool stuff.  I found a copy of the Lippincott Manual of Nursing Practice, 2nd edition from 1979 – that was a little different, and a copy of Dale Dubin’s Rapid Interpretation of EKGs in German – very different.   We even found a pair of Bob’s Big Boy Figurines by luck.  And yes, that is an ashtray, get over it.

The best thing about going shopping here is the experience.  It is surreal.  First, the space is intimidating.  Large is an understatement.  Second, the odor.  You know that funny thrift store funk?  Add in unwashed humanity, dust, mold and you have a pretty good sense.  I imagine it is what the inside of a hoarder’s house smells  like.  Third, the feeding frenzy. In order to keep the stock fresh they periodically rotate bins on some preset interval.  They start pulling the old bins away and folks start to line up next to where the old bins were in anticipation.  A crowd will gather, more as each old bin is removed until they start bringing in the new bins.  People are jostling, pushing for a place next to the new bins, eagerly vying for the best spots based on what they can see in the bins.  But until the entire row of bins is in place it is look, no touching.  When the attendant walks away from the last bin, all madness breaks loose.  You’ve seen film of piranhas going after hapless prey, or a school of sharks with blood in the water, right?  Yeah, like that.  People are digging like their lives depend on it, throwing elbows, frantically rummaging like old miners searching for the elusive flecks of gold.

The people , like the stuff run the gamut.  The are the eBay hunters, hipster folks trying to get stuff for their stores, bored housewives, hoarders, people buying stuff for their next yard sale and then some.  It is amusing.  Some walk out with cart load(s) of stuff, so much they have issues loading their cars!  It is the consumerist American Dream distilled and crystallized into sharp focus.  I’ll admit, there is a rush when you find something cool and it can drive you back for more if you let it. And it’s fun.  See you at the bins soon!

All This Water But I Can’t Drink a Drop

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment

my World Blog Action Day post…

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...
Image via Wikipedia

Years ago, before I became soft and sedentary I used to go hiking.  Not just this go for a walk in the woods for an hour or two, but those multi-day, carry everything on your back, see really incredible sights and camp where few have camped prior type of hike.  Deep back country. Even in those remote areas we were always worried about water.  Part of the daily camp ritual was get up, filter a couple of quarts before hitting the trail.  And this was in unspoiled national and state forests.  Imagine if it was along some of the thousands of miles of polluted rivers and lakes in our country alone.  Here are some sobering facts courtesy of Do Something.org:

  1. 40% of America’s rivers and 46% of America’s lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life.
  2. The Mississippi River – which drains the lands of nearly 40% of the continental United Sates – carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year. The resulting dead zone in the Gulf each summer is about the size of Massachusetts.
  3. 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are discharged into US waters annually.
  4. Polluted drinking waters are a problem for about half of the world’s population. Each year there are about 250 million cases of water-based diseases, resulting in roughly 5 to 10 million deaths.

Water is essential to life.  To have inadequate access to water is a damn shame in our modern world.  To have polluted rivers and lakes is ridiculous.  That so many should die from water-borne diseases is an affront to our civilization.  That’s why we need stronger laws and regulations that prevent polluters from destroying our water.  We need technological evolution and invention to create less costly, more efficient and larger scale ways of providing clean drinking water across the world.  Most of all we need to wake up to realize this is a problem.  We need to wake up to realize we can do something about it!

House of Representatives “Find Your Representative”

Senate Contact Information – E-Mail, Phone and Addresses

Do it!

Monday Potpourri

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Potpourri.  Funny word.  Always reminds me of Jeopardy.  But it’s a collection of things.  Randomness in a bowl.

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It’s fall, finally.  The leaves are changing and soon I’ll be back to sliding on leaves as I ride to work.  Rain + leaves + cement = road rash.  Happens every year at least once.  But it’s good.  Fall is my favorite.  I don’t mind cold and wet, makes me want to curl up with a book, cook soup, plus there are a lot of good memories from growing up that are from the Fall.  I can tell it is coming because of the smell.  It’s a fresh, almost funky wet smell.  It smells like time to pull out the woolies, hoodies and hot toddies.

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Insomnia sucks.  Once again I fell asleep for a couple of hours then woke up.  For no reason.  Wide awake in the middle of the night.  Tried to go back to sleep, but just lay there tossing and turning.  Too late to take an Ambien, to early to get up.  It’s frustrating at times.  Before I used CPAP I would have times like this and for a good 6 months after CPAP I haven’t had to deal with this insomnia, but in the last month it has happened more often.  Probably have too much on my mind, ate pizza too late or some other reason to mess up my sleep cycle.  My doc thinks that it’s related to my shift and he has a point, but until I can not take a pay cut to do so, I’m not working days.

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I watched a bit of Hoarders last night.  Made me very self-conscious about our house.  While we don’t have garbage laying about, we have too much stuff.  I despair looking at it thinking that we’re going to be moving in the next year and I have no intention of moving so much again.  It comes down to buckling down, sorting and deciding on stuff.  Not the easiest thing in the world.

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Halo: Reach.  What can I say?  It has consumed far too much of my time of late.  And why not?  It is an amazing game.  I haven’t had this much fun with a game for a very long time.  People give me shit about it though.  Yeah, I’m in my thirties and probably shouldn’t be so into games anymore.  But why not?  It is something I enjoy, something that provides a little escape from the grind and it’s fun.  Too many people are far to serious and take themselves far too seriously and want to project that onto everyone they come into contact with.  Sorry, I’m a gamer.  It is my hobby.  Deal with it.

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I wish that the hospital would supply scrubs and provide a decent place to change.  When they remodeled our floor they got rid of the bathroom with a shower in it.  It was a nice luxury when you got covered in blood/pee/sputum/blood/assorted nastiness to be able to change scrubs and shower.  I liked it when I rode in the summer for a quick rinse when I stunk from sweating my brains out.  Ixnay on the shower though.  But scrubs, they’re expensive.  Admittedly I like the ones with multiple pockets to carry all of the detritus of floor nursing and they cost more.  If I had a house I could write them off, but I don’t so I eat it.  Would be nice to not have to worry about them.  Show up in street clothes, change and work, then repeat.  Would be nice.

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