Entry 12/08/2012 07:19:29 PM – Mentat 671
“Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.” – George Bernard Shaw
It’s been quite the day gallivanting all over two-states running chores and what have you with my mother. During one of the longer stints in the car — not because of the distance, but instead because of the amount of insane people trying to do their Christmas Shopping — I was reminded that it has been a long time since I’ve tried to write anything substantial or even qualitative. Part of the reason is because I’ve been sort of dead inside. Not because of the humdrum or the day-to-day living that I’ve done, but instead because of the amount of anger and rage that I’ve had since moving out from the deadbeat that still lives next door. Part of the reason has been because of the chaos that I’ve had to deal with from one human being that I didn’t think would effect me in the way that he had, and then trying my damndest to bury the chaos and return to the semblance of peace that I’ve become accustomed to. And finally, part of the reason is because I’ve been doing everything in my power to avoid being me.
Strange thing that. I’ve hardly been able to escape me in the four plus (almost five) decades that I’ve been wandering around the planet. Even in my moments of attempting to delude and/or fool the world — there had been a strong part of me that was there either staring out at me in the mirror or around at the world going on around me. And yet, now… It’s been a blank. A wall somewhere between the center that I’ve been used to being near and the man that I am right now. It’s not always a blank wall. Sometimes it’s a wall of unbridled fury. The fury that comes from being betrayed, and used, and even stolen from (be it in fact, or even in feeling). Sometimes it’s a noise: the sort of noise that comes from something going round and round until it sounds either like a cacophony or white noise, but neither one nor another.
And no matter for me just how far I tried to run away (from self, from whatever’s eating me, from even the responsibilities that come with this life): how far into the world of denial (either to the world or self-denial), there’s always been a part of me that absolutely, positively refused to wander out of the realm of reality and into the Netherrealm of delusion. But that didn’t mean that I wouldn’t try to get as close as insanely possible.
So as I was sitting there on Route 1 in Attleboro — either on the way to or from GI Joe’s — and talking about nothing in particular and what it was that I wanted to do when I got home from shopping, I realized that the thing that I missed most wasn’t my actually sitting down and writing. It’s the peace that I used to get sorting my thoughts out into written words and for those moments (and the time before I eventually went to bed to sleep the wild and borderline insane dreams I call “normal”), having a sort of peaceful calm not to mention making of the chaotic jumble of flotsam and random thoughts that life often throws in our directions.
I realize that it’s extremely hard to find that peace when one is doing everything in their power to avoid everything else that seems to be between where I am now, and where I want to be by the end of a journal entry. I admit that I find myself blaming my ADD entirely too quickly. The thing is though I’ve had ADD for the better part of 20 years and comparing it now with when I first started feeling its effects after the grand mal seizures stopped, it’s far more manageable now than it was at the end of my relationship with Darin. And I know it’s not from the extended periods of anger and betrayal of living with the deadbeat. Sure at the time of the betrayal was the sort of frightening that I had the time that Eric (aka the First Asshole), but the same amount of time has passed (more actually) and while I did go through the emotional crash that happens afterward (stories there, but for another time), I’m on the other side and… well… This is just a shade different.
Perhaps it’s because I’m older. Perhaps it’s because with age, I don’t bounce back quite like I used to. Perhaps it’s even because the environment is different. I mean sure back then — like now — I’m living on my own. But the difference between now and then is that I’m more reclusive: a thousand times more reclusive. Not to mention that I don’t quite have the same support system then I as do now. I mean sure, I have family — and they’re certainly more supportive now than then — but I don’t have a tenth of the friends in the area (as a great majority of them are scattered all over the world). Not to mention that my approach to dating is a million times more discriminating.
Sitting here going from one show that I’ve been watching to another and in between writing parts of this entry — I realize that I need to make due with what I have to the best of my ability. Not so much as to try to recreate the environment that I once had in the efforts to heal/salve the hurts and or pains that I’m currently going through, but instead, “…to bend like a reed in the wind…” and accept what I have in the here and now to heal/recover/salve/whatever is needed to being less of a runner, and more of a fighter. Well at least fighting without the want to throttling the life out of users and thieves and pathological liars (or in the deadbeat’s case, all of the above).
Anyway, I think I’ll come back to write a bit more on this tomorrow. Right now, I think I’m going to finish up watching another show (Haven) and then head to bed. I’ll be back.
[Last Edited: 12/09/2012 08:12:45 PM]
Back for the moment, and feeling a bit more at peace with some of the admissions that I had made yesterday. Though for a while this morning I was feeling pretty vulnerable. Part of the reason was because of the dementedly weird dreams that I had after a bit of soul searching last night (can’t remember them at the moment, and not going to really try to remember at this time of night). Part of the reason because this morning I was hitting at least five different tangents at once. While I did pretty well sitting at my mother’s place while having dinner and having Toy Hunter on the television, I found myself getting seriously annoyed listening to the over-acting of the host. Seriously I couldn’t tell what was worse… Listening to the inaccuracies or the way people were seriously stupid about what collectibles (and how much they were worth) they had in their hands. Seeing shows like this, I’m reminded how much of a desolate wasteland television has become and makes me wonder whether it’s going to take another decade before Hollywood and Television Stations realize that their “reality television” took the last exit from reality back at the turn of the 21st century.
I have quite a bit to think about the next couple of weeks. While I might try to put this down as a New Year’s Resolution for 2013, I realize as I think this in my head that I should start working on it as soon as possible. If not because there’s some of time constraint. No, instead it has everything to do with the less I push it off, the less likely I am to try to glaze it over and forget about it until some other time. And this is something that should be faced in the here and now. Not in the tomorrow, and certainly not for any regrets coming up when I look back at yesterday.
This time I’m off… A little gaming, a little movie watching, and a little music before I pass out in bed later on. Until the next time.
As part of one of my New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve decided that it would be sort of therapeutic for me to use the camera on my cell phone (and a bit of my imagination and not-so-sharp-eyes) to capture a moment in time in my wanderings outside of the house (and more importantly getting out of the house as often as possible – even during the winter). These will be by no means professional (or quality) even in my most deluded imagination.
Hopefully though, they might in fact be insightful…
This is the other end of my street here in Providence, RI, USA as I decided to say, “to hell with it” about making my own coffee and instead hitting the local Dunkin Donuts to get an iced coffee instead. While the architecture of the area is extremely reminiscent of the turn of the 19th to 20th century, a lot of these houses are in serious disrepair and abandoned. It saddens me given the history (and past culture) of this area and of the city on the whole. Here’s to hoping this area will go through a revitalization as the Broadway area did during the mid 90s.
“If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” – Zaphod Beeblebrox, H2G2
Blah to this cold weather…
Blah to the insolence I’ve been getting from the Hellbeast as I’ve had to get up to do laundry…
Blah to doing the chores that I routinely do on Sunday…
Blah… Just blah…
Friends and family keep telling me to be patient and keep calm as Spring is right around the corner, but seriously the teaser of warmer weather that we got in the Tundras of New England last week where the temperatures reached to almost 70 F (21.1 C) was enough to wake up the dormant bear and seriously wanting to open up the windows more, and perhaps get some bike riding in just to work off some of the pent up energy that’s been building for the last three weeks. I’m sitting here regretting the fact that all I did was open the windows for a few hours and sat there for a bit near the open window reading and with the cat on my lap; instead of getting out for a bit and feel the warmth and chill of the air. To basically feel as though the illusion of spring was in fact right around the corner instead of the reality that Spring is actually still almost a month away.
Of course it doesn’t help matters any looking at the weather forecasts for the next 10 days and the only time I’m seeing anything close to 50s F (10s C) will the one day that we’re getting showers. Which is actually more winter-like weather in the south than spring-like weather attributed to the North. If anything, it makes me more crotchety because I feel as though the winter’s never going to draw to an end any time soon. I’ll try to persist on through and hope that the forecasters and charlatans that we call meteorologists will might be wrong and there will be more warmer weather in the next 10 days… And if not, then I’m going to have to man-up and just deal with the cold for a bit to work out my winter-blahs impatience.
I had an interesting talk with my aunt yesterday when we had stopped for a late lunch as I volunteered to go with her to BJ’s Wholesale Club, as my uncle wasn’t up for hobbling about the central heated and air-conditioned comfort of a pseudo-warehouse shopping experience because he had spent the day before hobbling about a funeral mass, burial and wake. It seems that my aunt’s back to taking a full pill for the geriatric diabetes that she’s been suffering through for some years and the pill that she’s taking it one of those one-a-day, long acting prescriptions that’s used to control her sugar levels. One of the side-effects that she’s having is that about 4 hours after she takes the pill, her sugar plummets hard and that she starts suffering from various side-effects that I suffer through because of hypoglycemia. She was telling me her sugar levels have reached a level of 43 causing her to suffer through various forms of disorientation, dizzy spells, sweating and palpitations, and extreme tiredness once her sugar levels are normalized. Yesterday though she tried to say she has always had issues with saying certain words, I did catch her with one symptom that I recognize all too well: difficulty being able to speak coherently.
The problem is that she doesn’t know how to eat properly and worse, she doesn’t know how to watch out for the routine warning signs and take the proper steps when the prescription kicks in and her sugars begin to drop. And so, as we were sitting there eating a bit of a late lunch and after I stressed to her she needs to talk to her doctor about this particular pill and seeing about alternatives or different dosages with it, I explained to her some of the dietary habits I’ve had to adopt since I had been diagnosed as hypoglycemic when I was a toddler. Although there seemed to be one problem that she has with her diet that I don’t and couple this both with what I understand of diabetes/hypoglycemia in my family and our dietary habits is causing her issues later in the day: her intake of High Carbohydrates as a means of abating her low sugar.
When I begin to notice my sugar getting low the last thing I tend to eat when this happens is Heavy/High Carbohydrates. The reason why is that it’s a complex sugar that stores first and then breaks down later. While this isn’t a bad thing, it can often mean for me that I will continue to suffer the side effects of low-blood sugar before I begin to normalize. As I told my aunt, while eating something with high carbs can help with normalizing sugar throughout the day, by the time you’re already feeling the effects of a moderate hypoglycemic attack, the last thing you should be looking for is high carbs. Simple sugars from fruits and vegetables, proteins, some fat and whole grain breads should be what’s on the menu. I explained to her why a PB&J is more my best friend than glucose tabs any day. It’s quick to get into the system, the side-effects can pass as quickly as ½ hour and you can be on your way without the fear of having to go to an ER for a glucose IV drip. Further — add this to the high carbs that my aunt tends to cook come supper time, while it might help me get through the night without issue — for her it usually means that she’s looking at her sugar readings at 200+ both by the end of the night as well as in the morning before her next dosage of her prescription.
As we were finishing up out lunch and heading out to Franklin, MA (to BJ’s), I admitted to her that since coming back to being a Daywalker, I’ve noticed my sugar levels tend to drop a hell of a lot more than they did when I was working at night. For example, when I used to work nights, I would get up between 6 PM and 7 PM at night and after a quick/modest breakfast of cereal with milk or oatmeal, ride a mile to the bus stop, and another 3 from the stop to work, picking up an iced coffee along the way (a big no there as caffeine saps sugar, but it’s one of those vices I refuse to give up). By 11 PM (5 hours after I woke up) which was my first break, I usually had either granola or oatmeal bars. Three hours after that (2 PM) I would have lunch which was pretty much a “meat & potato” type meal (combination of heavy carbs, proteins/fats and simple sugars/vegetables) . Three hours after that was another break and Pop Tarts. And after an 8 mile ride home that took an hour, four hours after the last break I usually had something simple like a salad with or without some sort of meat to it.
Heh, of course sitting here writing this out after talking about it, I realize why my sugar’s plummeting more the way that it is. I’m eating traditionally like I would if I were a Daywalker instead of Nightbreed: My lunch is the equivalent of a simple supper, and my supper is actually the heavy lunch that I used to have. Because of this swap out, I’m noticing that I’m having serious sugar drops at 2 PM and then again at 5 PM (just prior to actually sitting down and having supper). So it would seem that come next week, I’m going to have to swap around my meals and see if that abates the sugar drops that I’ve been catching myself having.
Now if it were only just that easy for my aunt.
I’ll be back shortly. I’m off to take a quick power nap.
[Last Edited: 03/27/2011 06:28:47 PM]
Now that I’ve gotten in a nap, got caught up on my queue (Fairly Legal and Fringe), and had the last big supper for a long time to come, I’m sitting here realizing that I’ve worked out the problem with why my system crashes the way that it does because of the video driver. It seems that during boot up time, if the PATA drives are already on, the system’s sure to crash. When during boot up it does a diagnostic on the PATA drives, things work out for the best without a crash or any sort of init weirdness. This is why when I reboot in the morning after it’s been sitting idle for 6 – 8 hours it never crashes, but when I’ve been moving files and playing hard on the workhorse that it does.
So the next time I need to reboot, I’m going to drop into the BIOS and check a couple of settings between the PATA diagnostics and the NVRAM and see whether it’s something that needs to be tweaked. I suspect because I had updated the video card (as this is a significantly different video card than the one I had loaded in prior), something isn’t quite right in the settings causing it to crash the way that it does. And if worse comes to worse, I’m going to try the old tried and true method of reset. Shut down. Leave off for a minute or two and then start up and see if that fixes the problem. (Just love that self-tech support).
As for the rest…
Yesterday on the way home from shopping with my aunt, we made a stop at Warehouse Liquor and picked myself up a six pack of Bass… Something that according to my checkbook — did sometime toward the end of August for a fifth of bourbon — and in the right sort of tipsy that can only happen when one is a lightweight, found myself confounded with all sorts of feelings and emotions that I’ve been doing my best burying just beneath the surface for apparent and obvious reasons.
For you see, once everything had been mashed up and brought up to the surface, I realize that the issues that I have going on involve old elements and an older story. The story of desiring the one thing I cannot have. Instead of moving on like a typical human being should. Instead of finding alternatives to that one story — I find myself holding a torch, patiently waiting for some sort of change that what I cannot have can slowly become what I can. The thing is that I know better. Too many years of it in my life holding the torch for those that I feel strongly for, and those feelings aren’t in the least bit reciprocated had in the past ended in frustration, anger, and even a shade of hostility (more as a dramatic means of moving on from the situation for that “clean break” feeling). And still I continue with the same willful and even hopeful determination that I can.
I know the reason why too. Another old story there that feeds into all this holding torches and wanting what one cannot have. One that stems from the decisions that I had made in 1999 when I had a choice between someone that lived 1,000 miles away and someone that lived only 60 miles away. One was shy the other seemed alright, and I ended up making the wrong decision between those two of which affected my life for the next 4½ years and even now, 12 years later. So since then, when I meet someone I can relate to, is extremely nice and even gentlemanly regardless of age, locale, and temperament I will hold out for them, waiting patiently. After all, the last thing I want to go through is another abusive or even desolate relationship.
I don’t know… Sometimes I think I do the right thing in breaking away cleanly. I tend to handle the unknown far better than I do when comparing the difference between the known and unknown. I’m also less likely to compare that which I have in my life (even if it’s wanting more) and those that I’m trying to learn. Other times, I’m not sure whether I’ve needed to learn the lesson about love/intimacy, attraction and friendship and think what I do is simply the easiest answer for myself.
It’s just one of those things that I find myself routinely struggling with. To the point where everything — even my life — often feels as though it’s at a standstill.
Then there’s the creative muse that seems to sit just out of range from me, smirking in that capricious sort of way. Like she gives me something to work with and yet it’s just enough to whet my passion to wanting to write a story, and yet failing to give me enough to work with. Take for example — the sequel to Companion that I wanted to do. I can see writing it and I can see some elements that I can work into the story given the way that I had ended it. The problem with that is the theme to the story that I’m trying to write about is Fighting for what’s right no matter the odds is something I’ve never really experienced before. In my life when it comes to that crucible — that point in a relationship that one needs to prove what’s right in order for things to end happy — it has never happened to me/for me. Either the break up occurs anyway, or they simply didn’t feel the same way for me as I did for them and things just end.
I mean sure I can write it however I want and end it in a way that I’d like it to end… the problem is that my method of writing involves being able to relate to the feelings and then writing them into the story in a manner that other people can end up reading (and ultimately relating to). Without being able to personally relate to the situation I don’t think that others can or will either. Let’s face it — Talos — is certainly proof of this given that when I went back to reading it for editing and continuing to write the story; the happy and strained relationship between the two protagonists was unreal and unbelievable even by my broadest standards of writing.
Well, that’s about it for the time being. Off to fold my laundry and listen to some more music before I pass out for the night. Until the next time.
Hurray that we’re getting a bit of a heat wave here and warming things up enough that I can actually turn down the heat and open up a window for a little bit…
Boo that it’s also causing a new section of the basement to show a bit more flooding than I had expected at this time of year.
Unlike the last couple of years where I could clock precisely where the water would be coming into the basement and causing a bit of puddles to avoid while it dries out, this year they’re showing up in new places where in previous years no water ever showed up at all. While it was good that I was able to catch it before the flooding was able to take over a majority of the basement, at the same time I’m thankful for my intervening with my uncle as to where the raised pallets were to be placed in the front of the house. He had originally wanted to put it on the west/outer wall of the room where some of the spillage/flooding was going into with me wanting it on the east/inner wall. My reasoning was because the way the floor was poured in the basement would put the water towards the edges/foundation and it would make it easier to handle if we had another basement flood it would be easier for us to move things to “higher ground” while having the sump pump running. Had we left it the way he said, half the front part of the basement would have standing water halfway into the room before I would’ve seen it. As it is now, it’s only a tenth of the way into the finished areas of the basement and is pretty easy to contain with the use of a wet-vac.
Not that I’m patting myself on the back for forethought or anything. *smirking*
So last week I got a hair-brained/half-baked notion of merging my journals to one location (well technically two; the desktop and the laptop) for easier access. See, in the past because of computer calamities, hard drive crashes (and improper backups), and even natural disasters that have been inflicted on my paper journals, I had made it a habit of making “volumes” — yearly copies — that I would squirrel away onto CDs and DVDs to prevent the potential loss. Now that this system has been running well (of sorts) for a couple of years, and my laptop has been mostly flawless as well (in spite of the spill it took back in May 2010 when my bike axle broke as mentioned in Entry 569)… It seemed logical not to mention convenient given that now I can do a search on something and find it, instead of having to pull out the archive CDs/DVDs and then forcing OneNote to open them individually…
The fun and challenging part was moving the 2004 journal in as it was originally written in the journal portion of Outlook’s PST. I was able to convert it in about 2 hours and even then it was a strain on the eyes as a good portion of the 2004 year was in the Dungeon Truetype Font and rather small for the resolution my current monitor. Prior to that though? From 1995 – 2003 I was using a proprietary program called ActiveDiary, which hasn’t actually been supported by the programmer since 2002. While I’m fairly sure I would be able to move it, I’m not entirely sure the earlier program for it would be supported within Windows 7. Maybe sometime this month, I’ll give a go in loading it up in Windows XP VM and see if I can’t access it. Hopefully the password I’m remembering is still the same for it… if not… Well at least I have since 2004 readily accessible.
For grins and giggles, I decided to see what it would be like to print as a single PDF all my journal entries from 2004 to my last entry… Comes up to a modest 950+ pages. Glenn says I have too much to say…. Given it’s my life and the events therein, I think it isn’t enough really as looking at some entries from 2005 and 2006, I know I intentionally omitted some information/events going on in the day. 2004 though? Eerie experience looking at those entries. I barely remember half of the things I said during that year (which is also the year after Rick had moved out and I know I wasn’t exactly in my right frame of mind). Still, it’s interesting reading, and a majority of it (Entry 155 and on) can actually be found on my WordPress Account).
Cricket celebrated her 14th birthday Friday by being a complete Clingon. While she’s calmed down over the weekend, Friday I couldn’t have shaken her off with a sledgehammer or flamethrower. Heh, in fact she’s sitting on my lap right now as I’m taking a break from checking/vacuuming the water in the basement while I’m writing this journal entry and having a bit of crumbs from my Red Hot Blues Corn chips. Crazy cat…. She’s worse than a dog sometimes; anything that will end up in my mouth she’ll eat as well. Further, it doesn’t seem to stop at vegetables and grains like when she was younger. Spinach & Cheese Calzones, Spinach Pies, Pizza Crust, she’s even shown interest n Ramen Noodles and corn as well. At least the good thing is that she’s eating her food and mine for some months now, if only she could gain just a bit more weight back.
Oh, and out this week is an update for iTunes to 10.2.0.34 that I was expecting to see since the announcement of the iPad 2. Fixed is the problem that I had reported in Entry 600, with iTunes restarting automatically because of the third party hook in MSN Live Messenger 2011. Didn’t even realize it was fixed until I made the mistake of setting how information about the song I’m listening to on so that I could prove to Glenn I was listening to something while he was.
Also out for updates within the last couple of weeks was Java to Version 6 Update 24. Admittedly I wasn’t in any rush to fix Java in spite of the fact that I did get my routine warnings on it, only because I don’t use Java half as much as I do Flash and Shockwave (as I tend to run NoScript along with AdBlock Plus and pretty tightly controlling what sites have access to Java, Flash and Shockwave).
So with these updates, I fired up the old laptop and was able to update and synch up everything. After all, with the weather warming up I plan on being out of the house more and when I’m out of the house more, I tend to do more mobile writing and file moving from my camera to the laptop for organizing for upload when I get back to the house.
Well, that’s about it for the time being. Off to fold my laundry and watch another episode of Athena: Goddess of War on Hulu. Until the next time.
Have you ever had the feeling like somewhere just at the twilight between consciousness and unconsciousness there’s this germination of an idea that’s looking for a way to get out through writing and expressing? And yet, the instant you stop whatever it is that you’re doing and sit there looking at the white of your medium for writing upon, doesn’t seem to want to come out? That’s what had been happening to me the last day or so. I would be happily playing a game, and then get this want to sit down and write. Then when I actually tried to sit down and write, ended up feeling so antsy that whatever ideas came popping into my head were either just too banal, or just too unformed for me to want to sit down and write.
Wash, rinse, repeat throughout the entire day regardless of what I was doing.
Admittedly though, television or listening to music was worse because when I tried to sit down and write even this part of my journal, I found myself so distracted by the sounds that I couldn’t even coherently put them down into the entry that I ended up discarding it and thinking that it was just too unformed for me to write about. Now that I’m sitting here with a bit of quiet I find that I’m able to think and act coherently. Well let me rephrase that; relative quiet. The homestead has all sorts of noises going on in it from my aunt cleaning her part of the house, to my uncle stamping about like a mad bull in a china shop, to the neighbors going up and down the stairs because it’s wash day for them).
Honestly, I still don’t know what’s going on with my head at the moment. It’s like a flotsam of random half-baked thoughts, the overwhelming want to being entertained, the pre-Valentine’s Day stress that comes ’round almost like PTSD because of the years of putting up with shitty expectations for couples for the over-commercialized “holiday” (heh, not that I’m bitter/jaded about it, oh no!), and generally a review of many of the events/observations/what not that I know while sitting here; I should write about and not entirely sure I should. Yeah, I admit that I still have some self-conscious problems about what I should and shouldn’t say to an entertained audience.
So, the side stairwell is looking particularly gruesome at the moment. I slacked the hell out yesterday because I didn’t want to venture out into the sub-freezing cold, uncle was out of the house for the majority of the afternoon, and our neighbor has given up on the side stairs using the front stairwell to get in and out of the house. So it basically looks like a glacier has slowly made its way down the stairs and is creating an ice flow on the walkway and into the driveway. I’ll be going out there in a couple to see what can be done about it, as uncle’s nearly completely given up on it and my aunt is telling me it’s a lost cause. No surprise there given that the gutter warmer’s still on and is the culprit of this stair/walkway glacier as the front gutter it completely blocked up and has no where else to go at the moment.
Although I’m now concerned that one of the other wires is about to meet the same fate as the electrical line from the pole, as it has a rather nasty piece of ice dangling from it and pulling the wire down. From the side porch it looks like the analog telephone line; though I’m not sure whether it’s ours or the neighbors. I’ll have to take a look at it in a bit when I try to go out and assess just how easy it’ll be to break the glacier a bit.
Ugh!!!! Looking at the weather reports at the moment — with the temperature being above freezing at the moment (34 F/1.1 C) it looks as though we’re looking forward to rain and light rain which I’m sure is going to freeze by sundown and cause the yard, driveway, walkway and rest of the city to become another frozen-in-hell nightmare for traffic. Not to mention that it’s going to cause my aunt and uncle to want me to check the basement routinely to ensure that it’s not flooding… Seriously, last March/April’s basement flooding was because it rained for a week straight giving about 1′ (30.4 cm) worth of rain in a two week period and without the ground being sufficiently thawed had no where to be soaked up. Currently we’re looking at .08″ (.2 cm) of rain to date and hardly going to cause the basement to flood up to our knees. Still though, I might hold off until tomorrow to see whether I can do anything with it, as the rain (and later snow/sleet mix) might be able to get under the ice flow and separate it from the concrete/pavement making it easier to break apart. Or it’ll make it worse… Heh, in either case I have my work cut out for me.
All my refunds have finally been happily deposited and I’m currently going through the checklist of things I should buy, things I want to buy, and places I want to see. Always a joy when getting back almost two-grand in taxes and not knowing what to do with it. I’ve been eyeing a printer this time around. Sure I don’t print all that much, though when I do it’s always something I need printed immediately (and not something I can drag along with me to my aunt’s computer or out and about when I’m at the library or café. Though unlike my aunt who has an inkjet for her needs, I’m thinking more about a laser instead. Not sure whether I want an all-in-one given there are times when I do need a scanner as well; and not surprisingly I need a scanner about the same time as I need access to a printer. Given the pricing on them ($150 – $300 American), it’d be fairly easy to get one even locally. Chances are though, I’m probably going to table that idea for a purchase again. After all, I’ve been doing fairly well (all things considered) the last 6 years about being paperless here at the homestead — why break with that tradition?
As for the trip… Still no idea where or how. Then again that might be held off until next month when things begin to melt off. Travel at the moment seems hairy even by plane — particularly given all the inclement weather advisories that have been going on and even a simple commute to Boston for a day or two is going to be pretty hairy given that the sidewalks here are about waist high with snow… I can only imagine what it would be like in an urban setting like downtown Providence or Boston. And forget New York City — I’ve seen what it’s like in the inner city — it’s like some apocalyptic weather catastrophe going on there. No thanks to that.
Though until I make up my mind — I’ve been relatively happy adventuring even if it’s been in my head and imagination (which is part of the reason why I’ve had all these half-baked ideas). Modern Warfare 2 is a lot easier than I thought it was once I figured out the health mechanics of the game. Sitting there in a huff one day and not in the mood to listening to my angry music, I decided on playing one of the Spec-Ops missions in Rio de Janeiro with the to-hell-with-you-all attitude and barring grenades (which I’ll get to in a minute), the protagonist (you) can take a hell of a lot of damage before succumbing to jell-o splattered death on the screen. And unlike Fallout 3 healing is by far more instantaneous than I expected (which sort of goes against the physics of injury that I’m familiar with, though it does assist in keeping the gameplay going). Once I figured that out, the single-player aspects of the game are far less stressful than I thought. Sure there’s moments when you’re really having to move to keep your character going, though it’s not as stressful as I originally felt when I played the game.
Of course there’s a downside to this game that I’m feeling is also adding to my frustration: game physics. Grenades are just inhumanly powerful when you consider how quickly you can recover/heal from getting three gangsters in single-player mode unloading a clip each into you. One grenade too near you and you’re listening to Ghost telling you, “We need to rethink our strategy“. Grenade launchers are another aspect of the game that annoy the piss out of me. Having experience with them on an M-16a4 during my days in the military I was an expert the first time out. Using the same physics that I understood from holding a rifle/grenade launcher in the game — the launched grenade doesn’t even remotely come near the target as I expected. If anything, I find myself not able to hit the broad side of a barn based on the physics I understand. If anything, it seems that if I’m random about the aim, the game seems happy enough to actually hit the targets as expected with successful kill ratios. Heh, yeah — made the Spec-Ops mission Suspension especially easy to run through the first half of the mission. The only reason why I died during the second half of the mission was because I did the Hollywood tough guy routine and was shooting my semi-automatic at the helicopter instead of picking up any of the rocket launchers that were laid out on the blanket. Heh, what can I say? I’ve been shooting at Vertibirds with an Atomic Pulverizer and taking them down with a single power cartridge that I forgot where I was for the moment! *grinning*
Another thing that I noticed is the way that the game absolutely and positively penalizes shooting from the hip. Shoot from the hip and you end up spraying bullets away from the target even at close range than you would aiming down the sights. This is particularly annoying given that in Fallout 3 close-range and mid-range shooting from the hip actually works to your advantage particularly when dealing with human-sized targets (it’s a boon for larger targets like Deathclaws and Yao Guais who barrel down at you if you get in their field of vision). Really? I have to aim down my sight to get a clean kill even if the target is ~3′ (1 m) away from me in semi-automatic mode? This seems sort of nonsensical even to me.
I’ll probably write a complete review of this game when I get about ¾ of the way through Spec-Ops and the Campaign… Until then though, these are my initial thoughts of the game.
Reading Plato has certainly been quite the chore. Even in English, I’m finding the rhetoric that he practices in his apology to be such a sing-song that I’m wishing he would get to the point instead of leading the audience of the courts (and readers 2,000+ years later) around the thought to get to the point that he’s trying to make. Still though, I have to admire the fact that when he does make the point, he does so beautifully that the rhetoric that he practices slips away and is completely forgotten. Hopefully things pick up a bit more later on in the book.
Though I will say this much… I can see why I avoided reading Greek Philosophy when I was younger. Reading Plato and skimming Aristotle and Socrates even the first couple of pages of it are so filled with rhetoric that the sing-song is enough to drive me to distraction. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of story-telling in order to make the point all that more poignant. The problem is that if the rhetoric and the story-telling goes on too long, you face the grave risk of losing the attention of your audience and whatever point you were trying to make is going to be missed.
It’s entirely possible that with the changes over the millennia that people now would prefer to move along faster then during the birth of civilization in the Mediterranean and that rhetoric as an art-form has changed, but I can’t shake the instinctive impression that they were all self-important (perhaps even egocentric) windbags. Either that or I’m simply cynical to some of the messages that they’re trying to impart.
[Last Edited: 02/05/2011 11:07:42 PM]
Checking the basement it would appear that my aunt and uncle’s fears had started. The back door from the basement is showing drip and some minor seepage below the first landing. Not to mention a small part of the front of the house is also showing some leaking and seepage. Nothing major at the moment, but just enough for them to justify their feelings of paranoia with the need to watch and make sure that this is the worst of it. While sitting there reading and accessing the world through my laptop and checking the basement every couple of minutes, I saw that the rain is over. Still, experience dictates that even though the rain might have stopped, it can take a couple of hours for the seepage to also stop. Good thing that the weather reports also show no more rain for the remainder of the night, and probably for the next three days. Even then, it’s a probability of snow and not rain then… Which won’t be bad; though I’m not sure where we’ll be shoveling it to if it ends up being more than an inch or two (2.5 – 5 cm).
[Last Edited: 02/06/2011 02:38:04 PM]
Okay the last edit and update for this journal entry. I promise.
God, I’m rather sore at the moment.
As some folk can see in my photos, I was finally able to clear out the glacier that had taken over the side stairs and now that I’ve shed the wet and cold clothes that I had been wearing while I was chopping away at the ice under the drip from the roof, I’m beginning to feel a bit sore from it. Though admittedly it’s not as bad as the first time I did it a couple of weeks ago — it’s been a year since I’ve had to chop ice and the old bones forgot what it felt like.
I had a near miss outside while I was chopping the ice. Seems that our next door neighbor’s roof is finally loosening up with the snow and ice and as I was taking a break away from the side stairs and walkway, a 40 pound (18 kg) block of ice came sliding down from the second story, missing me by about 3 feet (1 m) and hitting my aunt’s Volkswagen. Fortunately for my aunt, it didn’t crack the back window where it had fallen.
Flooding in the basement picked up for a bit this morning while I was outside breaking and moving ice from the side of the house. For a while since I got back into the house I was vacuuming up the water that was seeping in every half-hour or so, but now it looks as though it’s slowed down enough that it’s once an hour. Good thing too, I was fearing for a moment that it would be another long night tonight… And definitely not the sort of thing I want to put up with tonight. If it continues to slack off as it is, I probably will be able to head to bed early while laying down a couple of towels to make sure the water doesn’t leak its way into the laundry room. Seems that the reason why it does that is because of the way the concrete floor’s been laid out. It wasn’t an even pour for one, and for another the man that did it didn’t really do the right sort of planning for water evacuation either. Pity that given that this basement’s been flooding for as long as the house has been put here from what I’ve been able to find out from my aunt & uncle (who also accumulated the information from the prior owner).
*knocks on wood* The bottom line though is that I think we escaped the gauntlet this time. Hopefully things will remain relatively uneventful for the remainder of the season.
Well, that’s about it for the time being.. Off to take a quick nap and then off to get my sanity pummeled by insurgents. Until the next time.