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 07/25/2014 01:02:38 PM – Mentat 706
As the month is coming to a close, and the laziness of summer is still upon me I’ve got to say that what we’ve gotten for the summer so far has felt quite atypical to me. While it’s had its typical moments of heat and humidity; there have been quite a few days like today: the free of humidity sort of days after a storm front has cut through the Tundras of New England. This is the sort of thing that I got rather used to living in the Crotch of the Bible Belt (Atlanta, GA) and during the winter. The difference though is that the amount of humidity during the summer feels infinitely more oppressive than getting it in the winter.
So there’s a couple of things to cover from the last time I sat down and wrote a journal entry. Sure, I didn’t write or even create all that much in the last couple of weeks; mostly because the temperatures has been swinging like a pendulum between beautiful and absolutely fucking miserable. Sure I have air conditioning and while it’s not the sort of necessary BTU’s to keeping the whole of the house cool (and dry), closing certain doors (and curtains) keep the vital rooms at least comfortable to sit in for the duration of the day until the sun goes down and everything outside is cooling off appropriately.
Fun thing about that was that I learned where the threshold for the fuses for the house are. Didn’t experience it the first couple of times I experimented, nothing really annoying occurred — and so I thought that the electrical balance for the household was better than my mother’s. Then when I was warming leftovers in the microwave and sitting at the desk waiting patiently for it to finish while the fans were running and the AC was quietly pushing cooler air into the kitchen, everything in the house shut down or went blank. A quick rush to the basement and fighting the eroding stairs and busy cobweb spiders, I was able to reset the power without my UPS trying to turn off my computer after an allotted amount of time (to conserve battery power). So like my mother, I need to shut off the AC if I’m going to use the microwave to warm up my food or else everything will shut down.
Then there was the beginning of the week where at 3:30 PM, it was time to go for a walk with my mother and her monster child Jack. My mother’s been walking the dog more the last couple of weeks to get her out of the house for some exercise and to get her used to walking the dog when I’m not around. Normally I’m just there for moral support and to teach my mother the commands the dog’s gotten used to (I don’t use heel or stay, as I use Stop and Go instead). Also to teach her how to handle the dog when he decides on going ape-shit (and more importantly how to avoid the potential). Of course, it doesn’t help matters any as the last month of so, Jack’s been getting more hyper and spastic about the potential of seeing dogs (or more importantly anything larger than an English Sparrow that he could bark at and/or chase) during the 3:30 PM walk.
My mother, Jack and I were in the parking lot on Adams Street on the way to the field off of Marcello and Atwells, when I was dawdling between Adams St and my apartment as I was indecisive about going back to the apartment about a piece of mail I was expecting and catching up with the two of them heading toward the field. Deciding against going back to the apartment, I was a bit behind my mother trying to get nearer to her and the dog when Jack saw another dog and its owner in the field and went completely ape-shit.
Needless to say that my mother wasn’t prepared for him going insane and bee-lining at the dog in the field and while she was braced, Jack pulled her off her feet and proceeded to drag her down the remainder of Adams Street and onto Marcello before I was able to get hold of him by the harness and get him to calm down a bit.
The poor man that was walking his dog in the field looked completely mortified at the fiasco, apologized and tried to get himself and his dog as far away from my mother sprawled on the road as he possibly could.
Jack only calmed down enough to get him back to the house after a couple of swats to the nose, and I only did so at my mother’s request. Though getting back to her after putting the dog at the house did I realize her ankle wasn’t the way it’s supposed to. We both had hoped it was a sprain, but given the shape of the ankle along with the connecting bones — my mother was more sure it was completely broken.
She was also scraped up along her right hand and arm and a bit of her shoulder from the pull down and drag across the asphalt. The thing about my mother (and her mother — my grandmother (RIP)) is the way that if they’ve had an accident in the street, they stay put and not move… In spite of the fact that they’re in the way of any incoming traffic. If I didn’t know any better she did it expecting the police to suddenly show up and witness it as a crime scene or something.
Hell, I tried to convince her when she was insistent I head back to her place and pick up some band aids, towels and antiseptic to move her ass to the sidewalk and out of the road while I’m getting the stuff… But of course she won’t have anything of it. She stayed where she was and waited for me to get back.
A few minutes passed between my going back to her place to pick up what she requested, and getting back to her while she was checking the cuts and scrapes she got from being dragged across the road. A few minutes after that it and after the call to her husband telling him he’ll need to find alternative transportation as she was unable to drive because of her right foot being broken and needing to go to the emergency room.
Then came the final part of the ordeal — supporting her while we hopped and hobbled our way from the corner of Marcello and Adams street to the car in the driveway. Sure, it’s less than 170 feet (51’ish meters) but when you’re trying to support someone that’s stubborn about help and tiring rather easily – it might as well have been a mile.
Fortunately for us, one of our neighbors was on his way to the garage so that he could take his motorbike for a spin and he was gracious enough to help us get her to the car so that she could sit there waiting for her husband get back to the house so they can scoot off to the Emergency Room of the nearby hospital (Roger Williams Hospital).
The final verdict after almost 4 hours at the ER: She had fractured her ankle, completely removing the tibia and fibula from her anklebone. After seeing the orthopedic doctor about it yesterday — it looks like they’re going to need to do an ankle reconstruction involving pins and a plate which is going to be performed this Monday.
My aunt on the other hand, hasn’t exactly been the model of compassion through all of this, as my mother’s pulled me off my aunt’s request for me to head up to the trailer park of the state (Woonsocket) to set up her e-mail so that she can read it in off-line mode. Stories there on that, but I’ll save that for another time. This of course will open up the same old BS with her when I do eventually go up there that will start with such things as, “When uncle…” (her brother) “…calls, you drop everything to help him. But you don’t do the same for me.”
What she always seems to forget is that Uncle calls and schedules something a week (or longer in advance). He always sets which date it’s going to be. None of this, “is this day good… is that day good…” never makes noise about picking me up at my apartment in Providence to bring me to his place out in BFE in Foster/Gloucester (and yes, that’s pronounced GLAW-stah). He basically understands the three-day rule because he lives by it as well. Nothing’s ever sudden or off schedule and if it is, it’s pushed farther ahead.
My aunt doesn’t though. Not in the least. Everything must be dropped immediately and if the schedule can’t be done when she needs, well… manners fly out the window.
My mother talked with her this afternoon on her way back from the CAT Scan and my aunt completely forgot (read: ignored) her pissy attitude from the day before.
[Last Edited: 7/26/2014 4:39:53 PM]
Finally comes the last part of what I’ve been doing during my down-time/lazy days of summer here in the Tundras of New England. I’m not entirely sure how I want to label it; but it’s been partially educational — and I have gotten quite a lot of entertainment from it. Partially it’s been an obsession with me trying to understand (and unravel it). Partially because of the fascination of how such things attract so many people (usually youngins) to watch, subscribe and comment.
What I’m talking about are Youtubers.
Truth be told, I can’t exactly remember how I stumbled across the ones that I did… Part of it I think had to do with how YouTube gave me random recommended when I was sitting at my computer and looking for something to watch without committing to watching something for hours. The rest of it had to do with my ending up in bed at the end of a day, and popping YouTube onto my iPod Touch and watching a bit of something as I either fell asleep – or worse – the random bouts of insomnia I’d get from suddenly waking up at 2 in the morning and not falling back to sleep until almost 4 AM.
Almost two weeks into this momentary obsession (and just the other day), I talked to Glenn (yes, my favourite attention whore and friend) about the discoveries I had made…. And of course being the sort of curmudgeon-in-training that he often is — went off on his usual tear of how fake and pretentious the lot of them are, using the usual disgust and sneer that he has for anyone (and anything) that caters to the 14 year-old girl mentality that he hates dealing with so much in daMN chat and on Tumblr, I personally gibe him relentlessly on it because of how he hates the competition for Queen Attention Whore™ that he gets from 14 year old girls. Well that and he’s so much like a 14 year old girl sometimes. But I’ll digress from my usual argumentative banter with him as this paragraph is sure to cause him to respond later on.
Then again the discussion Glenn and I had about Google/YouTube’s secret algorithm as I linked earlier is probably the culprit between why I ended up with the recommendations I get versus the recommendations he gets. I had been a bit more blunt about it, snarking the ever living shit out of him stating his love of crap videos and checking out the kind of garbage that 14 year old girls squee on is why he ends up with the pretentious, oftentimes fake and extremely controversial YouTubers he gets to watch. I thought about mentioning names as examples, but I won’t.. It’s about tastes and opinions and unfortunately for Glenn sometimes, he gets it in his head to chase after the things girls squee over so he can snark them, deride them and sneer because of his superiority instead of finding the sort of people and channels that would help with a more positive opinion.
While I only subscribe to 2, I find myself watching quite a few more for various reasons. Following is that list of YouTubers I watch regularly and/or subscribe to:
- Oli White. The first YouTuber I officially subscribed to (though not the first that I watched). Something about his nose and jaw line reminds me a lot of Callum. While Mr. White’s not as tall as Callum (a few inches shorter), there’s also something about his perfectionistic approach that I can strongly relate to. I honestly think it’s going to be interesting to witness when Mr. White reaches the culmination of life experiences that will either change his views to being more of a perfectionist or less. I strongly believe less of a perfectionist than more, but in any case it’ll be intriguing to watch.
- Tyler Oakley. The amount of energy this man can produce is staggering. While he describes himself as Ellen DeGeneres’ doppelganger; with the glasses that he wears, Mr. Oakley reminds me more of a young Peter Billinglsey from “A Christmas Story” (Ralphie). With the amount of energy that he has and the way he can remain so exuberant in front of and behind the camera he reminds me a lot of my adopted son Keagan. The guild I was part of on Rift (I still am, but not playing that game as much because of the summer and the amount of heat that game generates with my PC) would label him “Out the Window Gay”. Sure they mean it in a good way and have referred to me the same way once or twice; but I’m not quite out the window as they think I am. And certainly not as much as Mr. Oakley can be. Combine this with his enthusiasm that I find watching his channel the most infectious.
- Marcus Butler. Admittedly I first thought he was Australian until I started watching him more and realized he was a ‘southerner’ (Bristol, UK area). It was thanks to my experience with watching/chatting with Londoners, Cornish, Midlands, Geordies and the Welsh that hearing Mr. Butler talking that I finally got a handle on the various accents of the UK. I’m not exactly sure what it is about Mr. Butler that I keep watching him. Something about his personality or the qualities that he projects that reminds me of someone (or something), but I can’t put my finger on what it is. It’s enough for me to maintain curiosity until I figure out what and why.
- Joe Sugg. And indirectly with his sister, Zoe. There’s something about Mr. Sugg’s snarkish attitude that I find amusing. Even hilarious at some points. It’s also comical the sort of competitiveness that Mr. Sugg has with his sister. That and Mr. Sugg’s use of some (British) slang is enough to keep me on my toes. Oh and he’s an easy mark for practical jokes. There’s something about the straight man that I find enduring.
- Doug Armstrong. The second YouTuber I subscribed to, mainly because of some of his extremely easy, no-nonsense cooking he does on his channel. Well that and his absolute love of cheesecake and deserts.. And anyone that loves cheesecake at his level can’t be at all bad.
- Louis Cole. Pronounced (Loo-EE as opposed to the typical American Lew-ISS). Quite possibly the only YouTuber that took me quite a lot of his videos and a long time for me to warm up to. And I believe he might actually be the third that I subscribe to watch regularly. He reminds me strongly of the hippies my parents used to hang around with when I was a child coupled with the Radical Faeries I used to hang around with when I lived in Atlanta, GA. I think I was sort of put off with his “relaxed” attitude but realized that this was only a veneer to a very subtle easy-going’ish come adventurous approach that he actually has to everything. That and his love of coffee. Instant respect right there.
There’s so many others, I could mention I watch, but instead I’ll just give honorable mentions. MarkE Miller (who is the first YouTuber that I actually watched) along with his boyfriend Ethan Hethcote, Connor Franta (though there’s something about his Wisconsin/Minnesota attitude that puts me off. Well other than watching this video which has me cackling with sadistic glee), Good Mythical Morning, Alfie Deyes/PointlessBlog, Troye Sivan (and yes, he has an Australian Accent), Caspar Lee, Sawyer Hartman (although I find it camp when he and Tyler Oakley have their drinking contests), Joey Graceffa (from the Tundras of New England, even though he has a habit of hiding the Yankee accent when he’s in front of the camera) and finally Will Shepherd
Thinking about it as I was proofing this part of the entry, it’s like the old Public Access video channels on local cable television back in the day when I was used to watch it living here in Providence with Darin (early 90s). To answer the question I have in my head and knowing a couple of my friends would ask — would I do it? Would I put my memories to video? Nope. It won’t ever happen. I like my old-fashioned method of writing. I’ve been writing a journal since I was 17. I don’t see any reason whatsoever to change on this either. When I can’t type because of arthritis, I might consider it. Until then I will remain in print.
That’s about it for the time being. Off to make supper and perhaps to blow up things before I pass out with Moe. Until the next time.