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Middle-Age and Exams? Pfft, I’ve had my fill…

11/02/2016 Comments off

Entry 11/02/2016 08:00:45 AM – Mentat 1204

Welcome to Babylon 5, the last best hope for a quick buck.” – Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5

While I’m not sure whether or not this entry’s going to be going out to the world, I think that quote is rather apropos for at least one of the subjects that I’m going to be covering in this entry.  However, as I’m sitting here breakfasted, caffeinated — mostly, more to explain there — and the happy little Hell-beast is up on the desk gingerly flicking its tail, I’m wondering how to approach everything in an orderly fashion…  Yeah, the usual sort of chaos that comes from the fact that there’s much to cover in the wide, wide world of the Baldelli Homestead.

My annual physical has come and gone.  I’ve gained about 17 pounds mainly due to laziness and more than unusual intake of junk food in the form of chips, crackers and candy.  So much so that after the blood work had been processed, the doctor’s office called me to tell me the usual that my sugar’s a little high and the unusual that my triglycerides are of a concern and that I should change my diet a bit more.  Yeah, sure no problem there.  So at the time of this entry, I’ve cut out all sorts of junk foods from chips to crackers to anything that would be chocolate (yeah, that part’s killing me at the moment, but at least the jonesing hasn’t really started yet).  Instead, I’ve been doing my best trying to eat more healthy snacks — raw fruits and vegetables, less pastas and that sort of thing.

I’ve also cut down on my caffeine intake with my morning coffee, either picking up decaf iced coffee if I’m out of the house or drinking half-caf when I’m lounging about the house in the morning.  While my sleep might be a bit knackered if only because of other influences — like middle-aged — at least I’m learning that if I’m working I need 7½ of sleep a night and when I’m not working 6½ is more than adequate.  At least the good thing is that I’m more than happy about mid-afternoon naps when I can have them just in case.

Oh yeah, and thanks to the more temperate autumn, I’m more than happily picking up my habit of walking at least 3 miles (4.8 Km) during the afternoon.  The good thing about this is that couple this with both quick galivants in the morning and the usual walking of my mother’s Monster Child™, I can average more than 10,000 steps in the day; which I’m sure my doctor’s going to be happy about the next annual checkup.

Then yesterday, I had the pleasure of the other-half of the annual checkup/preventative measure that come with Middle Aged:  the dreaded colonoscopy examination.  Pfft, I say to that.  While I might understand the need for such things when it comes to people from families that have histories of various forms of cancer to even smoking in one’s life — for someone like me I’d prefer to perform an enema with Dranō especially after that gallon of swill consisting of Gatorade and MiraLAX with a Dulcolax chaser.  The day before fast can also go.  I made mention to the doctor an enema with distilled water would have been less of an annoyance than the pre-prep that’s handed out to all patients, but he explained to me that with a cleaned out system they also do checks between the large to small intestines, so that suggestions for that discomfort are out.

While I can barely remember the post-operative conversation because I was still loopy from the anesthesia they used, I do remember that the doctor had explained to me that they had found a couple of polyps — although my mother being present at the time explained they also found them on her and had confirmed they were benign, so I’m playing the waiting game at the moment until it’s confirmed they’re benign from me as well.  I do also remember something about the doctor saying something about looking forward to the next exam in 3 to 5 years.

Thinking, fuck that, I nodded, shook his hand and hobbled my way out to the car.

Yeah, no…  As I said to my mother, if they ever confirm the possibility of cancer, I would rather die than go through the chemotherapy and the various other horrors that await someone trying to get their cancer treated.  Besides, I have other concerns that might be happening later in my life, from the possibility of Parkinson’s Disease from my mother’s side of the family, Alzheimer’s from my father’s side of the family, a stroke in my later years from both sides of the family up at least 5 generations, just to name the ones I’ve seen in my years on this planet.

As a side note, the first thing I did was completely cheat any dietary restrictions and bought a Chicken Ranch and Bacon Calzone from my favorite local restaurant: Vasilio’s, apparently screwed up my maths between cost and tip by at least $0.20 cents, ate that while watching Xmeagol’s stream has he was playing something, passing out in my chair in the office and then hobbling to bed to sleep another couple of hours with the cat on my chest.   It was surprising how I was able to function in spite of being in a post-anesthetized state.

The homestead has been in a state of chaos, disrepair and blackmailed repairs when the issue gives me the feeling that I’m not living in a house, but out in the forest like the Radical Faeries I knew used to in Atlanta, GA.  Starting with the roof, apparently there had been water damage to parts of the roof on the eastern side of the house.  I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it publicly, but I’ve made quite a bit of noise on it privately as there was one night when it was seriously lashing out that when I took a break from whatever gaming I had been playing, went to the toilet and heard that the facet was leaking in the kitchen.  Without turning the light on, I checked the faucets and when I got dripped on, realized that the dripping water was coming from the third floor. Investigating, it turns out that the water dripping was coming in from the roof above the third floor with it running down the walls and straight onto the floor on the third and as gravity is a harsh mistress, was coming into my apartment in the process.

I can put up with a lot of things going wrong in my part of the shelter, but water in my apartment is definitely not one of them.  I talked with the landlord and his temporary solution while he was dealing with things in his life was to put a basin down  in the hopes of catching the water before he had to call out for someone to work on the roof.  Turns out that his temporary solution was as useless as a screen door on a submarine, and I was forced to hold back the month’s check as a means of blackmailing him to getting someone to work on the roof.   And so before the next rainstorm that we had, he got someone to work on the roof and since it’s rained more than few times in the following weeks — my apartment (and the third floor apartment) — have been bone dry.

Then yesterday, as I was prepping for the colonoscopy exam, I was entertained with a very lukewarm shower.  Without my morning coffee, by entertained I actually mean tortured.  After investigating the problems in the basement, I encountered water from one of the three sewer outlets in the basement (seriously three of them for a three by three apartment building).  Seems to be the front one that deals with the sinks (for the kitchens) in the front of the house.  After relighting the pilot on the water heater and checking it a couple of times between last night and this morning — so far it’s remained lit (knocking on wood) — and while the water’s definitely warming, it’s not the piping hot that I’m used to…  I adjusted the temperature upwards a bit, it’s significantly warmer, though not as piping hot as I remember, but then I just changed it less than an hour ago, and it’s a large tank so I’m not sure.  Let’s hope that ends the problem, but if not I might need to look into a new water heater sometime in the future.  More on that I’m sure.

On my off time, I’ve been playing the usual games and added one more game to the repertoire.  First and foremost ties into the reason for the quote that opened this entry:  Star Trek Online.  While I play games my way and solo, I often watch chat (and sometimes the exchange/auction house) the price gouging in that particular game has been astronomical.  With the introduction of Tier-6 Kelvin Timeline Constitution Class Cruiser  (otherwise known as the JJ Abrams’ Enterprise), pricing for starships has gone from the rather insane 500 million energy credits to well over 1.2 billion (there’s an EC cap on players that’s only to 1 billion) and have incorporated exchange of Master Keys as necessary for the purchase from sellers.  While I had no issues on the Energy Credit Costs, going into real-world money — upwards between $270 to above $300 USD — for an in-game item seems to be  the epitome of greed.

Perfect World/Cryptic  seem to well aware of the greed and seemed to have instituted Energy Credit requirements for Fleet/Clan projects, but the truth of the matter is, this instituted method of greed control is too little and much too late as the price gouging and greed going on within game, as the sellers have now completely moved onto Master Key exclusively for exchanges for sellable ships.   PW/Cryptic’s solution is too little and much too late and I’ve suggested that PW/Cryptic look into a solution this morning, but I’m pretty damned sure it’ll go ignored.  The game is making more money now than when it was subscriber based.

Then there’s Warframe.  I’ve covered that game’s ongoing issues in this forum thread.  While I’ve made my peace in that posting (and pretty much ignored the comments that were made on it), I’ve pretty much said my piece and made my piece with the imperfections of the game.  I continue to play the game in spurts — what I like to call burst playing (playing missions in a burst of one to three per run) — either based on the alerts that I see, or for the grind for leveling up weapons (and later warframes).  After that I wander off to do whatever else it is I want to do during that time.

As of the last time I paid attention to the developer news (through their weekly Live-Streams on Twitch), I was moderately pissed-off that I lack one of the many requirements for doing the recent story about to be released next week (The War Within), but also made my peace on it as I’ll be able to check it out sometime in the future.  Hell, thinking about it, it almost took me six months after the release of Second Dream to actually play and finish it, so I shouldn’t be too miffed that I won’t be ready for the newest part of the saga on release.

In place of Rift that I’m dumping again, for two reasons; in its place I’ve picked up and starting playing Elite: Dangerous. Unlike Warframe (which also gets called Farmframe from the amount of grind in the game), E:D is clearly grind from the time you start playing the game (either in Solo or Open area Modes).  I’ll definitely playing this game much like I do Warframe in burst mode to prevent the potential burnout that can occur from playing a game with more than a little sameness.  I still haven’t figured out how I want to play this game, given I’ve seen some pretty impressive Twitch streams covering aspects of taxiing for money to YouTube for bounty hunting and from what I’ve been reading on the wiki there are other choices and combinations thereof.  I’m still trying to make up my mind on that, although knowing me I’ll probably go with something Privateer and legal.  I don’t like fines and I hate the thought of being hunted down by other players.

And that’s about it for the time being.  Tomorrow it’s the 0400 laundry run and then it’s back to life as usual.  Until the next time.

Entry 10/06/2011 12:22:00 PM – Mentat 621

10/06/2011 1 comment

Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything.” – Floyd Dell

Hard to believe that it’s almost been a month since the last time I sat down and wrote a journal entry. Quite a bit to write about though a good majority of it has been more of the same up until the beginning of this week. Starting with the weather — looks like autumn is finally here and that things are getting chillier. Right now while I’m still in shorts and the windows are all still open, the temperature outside is currently a rather chilly 57 F (13.8 C). Only just struck the middle of this week too; as prior to that temperatures were still pretty warm and summer-like. Of course this means that with autumn finally being here, the maples are going to be changing color soon enough. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch a bit of it on camera before the leaves completely fall off the trees.

We’ve also had a couple of days worth of rain since the last journal entry. While it wasn’t enough to create the tidal pool I had talked about in the last journal entry — we did get enough damp and seep going on in the Southeastern part of the basement. It was just enough to cause some concern and a little worry — enough for me to head down routinely during the heavier part of the rain and make sure it wasn’t leaking into the finished parts of the basement. I put a bit of waterproof caulking in during the last part of the flood, and while it didn’t quite pour in as it has in the past (or as I mentioned in the last journal entry), it’s still enough that left unattended can cause the tidal pool to grow. Sometime during the winter, I’m going to need to get my uncle involved in stopping up the holes where the water is coming in.

The job search had been extremely annoying during the next couple of weeks after the last journal entry. Seems that the only people giving me calls were temporary and contracting agencies. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m seriously over working for them now. 18 years of their crap, lies and bottom-feeder attitudes has soured my want to return to being a temp. Had one contracting firm calling me from the Waltham, MA area tell me they had an opening for a job that I would be interested in. I told them flat out that unless it was in the Rhode Island area, I wasn’t interested. The man that contacted me said it was in Rhode Island and when I said I’d listen to what he was pitching then told me the job was in Waltham. I spent the next 10 minutes talking with his supervisor explaining the importance of not lying to someone when pitching a contract, for if they’re lying about the location of the position, they could also be lying about what kind of contract it was.

Sometime shortly after that rather annoying call, I received a call from the first agency I worked at when I moved back to Rhode Island — Robert Half Technology. Seems that they have all sorts of new contract coordinators there since the last time I talked with anyone there none of which seemed to have any clue as to what was going on. Not surprising really, given the turnover for such the business. For giggles, I feigned interest with the coordinator and when he asked when I could stop by to fill out the necessary paperwork to work for them again, also asked me for three references that they could call. I said to him that I had worked for them in the past and when he confirmed that they still had my information in the archive section of their system explained to him then there was no real need for me to go through the first hire process. The coordinator got insistent that I give the information that he requested, I explained until they waive this nonsense, I wasn’t interested. I haven’t received a call from him since.

After that? Well, I simply began ignoring any business calls that were coming from Temp/Contracting Agencies given that they were calling me after I had updated my resume links on Dice and Monster stating I was not accepting calls from Temporary and Contracting Agencies. And they still kept calling in spite of those updates, which indicates to me a complete lack of respect not unlike the BS I have to put up with on LGBT Dating/Hook-Up sites that write me from countries like the Philippines and Ghana in spite of my saying I want to chat with people within the USA.

I tried for a couple of full-time and part-time jobs at the local colleges and universities knowing full-well that even the part-time jobs paid well for part-time (providing you weren’t actually a student at the school), but either got turned down or haven’t heard from at all. And unlike my job search from some years back prior to landing the job at Cox Communications — every company (save one) that I had sent a job application or resume to — had written me back telling me that they had filled the position. The only one that I didn’t hear from was AT&T, but then again given their online application process seems to have a gaping hole in it that needed the EEOE information filled out without any means of actually filling it out, I’m not really surprised. Chances are it’s sitting out in limbo somewhere without any way for AT&T to consider the information.

Like my job at Cox, I was able to successfully land a job with a local IT/Tech Support company in what could only be described as one of the speediest processes I’ve experienced since moving back to the Tundras of New England. I received an e-mail on Thursday from the company in question asking what times I had available for an interviewing the following week. Explained that I was available any time after 10:00 AM, which they scheduled the interview for Friday (the next day instead). Got there and was interviewed for about ½ hour and was told that I was one of 4 candidates they thought eligible for the position. Seems that the pickings for the sort of experience that they were looking for was rather slim particularly given that they had sent the job posting to one of the IT-type boards. When done with the interview, I was informed they had two more interviews to do and that they would contact me next with by e-mail either telling me the job went to someone else, or with the offer for wages and salary.

Me being who I am and second guessing the longer it took to getting the response back after the interview , by Monday thought that I had in some way screwed up the interview or the e-mail correspondences and that I didn’t get the job. I held out schlepping my resume out to other places a day longer and by early afternoon on Tuesday, I was informed that I had been offered the position and they would like me to start the position on the 24th of October pending my acceptance of their offering. I had accepted the position and offered to start earlier if they needed, which had been revised to this coming Tuesday (11, October). So, in less than a week I’ll have a new job and needing to hit the ground running according to what the interviewer was telling me (seems that their current employee is being deployed and won’t be back for a while).

It pays well, given the position is a day job. Although I’m going to be away from the house longer than I’m used to as it’s a 45-hour a week job (9 hour days, 5 days a week). Says that it’s really busy, but I suspect that he was giving me a worst-case scenario particularly given that my experience with IT Helpdesk for the New England area is that after Halloween up until New Year’s Day — things tend to slow down for IT-related work.

My cat’s realizing something has changed as she’s been sticking to me like wet on rain since I received the news. She hasn’t given me a tenth of the problems about being fussy for her meals, actually finishing them within the allotted time between feedings. Right now, I got a reprieve from her wanting to sit on my lap right now, as she’s off on the bed, sleeping under the covers. Well that and yesterday she got a wild hair across her butt and decided that she didn’t want to touch her middle of the day food at all, sitting there and looking at it with the sort of disapproval that said, “I’m not touching this anymore”. But after getting it force fed to her, she’s back to normal and without too much issue. Hopefully this isn’t going to be an ongoing problem with her, given that the hours I’m working at this job mean I’m out of the house by 05:30 in the morning and won’t be home until after 8:30 in the evening. So for the next 4 days, I’m going to watch her and see how she handles the new feeding times. As for the middle of the day meal — my aunt’s going help out by checking on her and giving her a can between noon and 2 PM which should tie her over until I get home at night. Heh, of course she’ll probably be sleeping and eating through most of the day when I’m away and at work.

[Last Edited: 10/06/2011 05:44:15 PM]

With it being autumn, I’m finding my loathing of homo sapiens to be growing with leaps and bounds so I haven’t been socializing online as much as I did during the summer. Even when I’m there, I’m not really, usually feeling the lure of wanting to play a game or six in the process. I know I have a couple of reviews to write (namely: Spiral Knights, and Champions: Free for All), but won’t be getting to those for a bit. Also been replaying some of the games in my library (TFU, TFU2) for the sheer hell of it. There’s something rather satisfying about taking a lightsaber to enemies and storm troopers… Well that using Force Lightning as a means of venting frustration. Always fun watching storm troopers electrify and become crispy and then ashen after a good hit from Force Lightning.

Automatically got the Peer Review DLC for Portal 2 on Tuesday thanks to the way that Steam works. Man, Valve seriously upped challenge level of this DLC for cooperative/competitive play. So far it’s been well worth the surprise of finding out a couple of weeks ago that Valve was releasing it for free and quite the right sort of frustration of realizing that all these levels require absolute cooperation and teamwork in order to get through the level. Still have about 4 levels or so to go through, but might take a bit of time to work on them as they require quite a bit of forethought and coordination to complete.

Well that’s about it for the time being. I’m feeling particularly impatient at the moment given that I’m also sitting in with the kids in chat, and they’re seriously working my nerves. So I think I’m off to re-play a level I screwed up in TFU to get all the Holocrons. Until the next time.