Category Archives: Personal

Once More, the Breach

Today, I worked on a manuscript I’ve been avoiding for a while. I like to put a manuscript aside for a while before I attempt to edit it, but even for me the time I’ve waited on this one has been ridiculous.  I’ve been avoiding it for two reasons: 1) The subject matter borders on personal and I want to handle it correctly; and 2) I’m lazy.

Actually, the personal stuff isn’t that bad because it’s been morphed and modified enough that the parts based on actual events are now fiction. It’s the lazy part that’s the problem.

Because I hand wrote the original (it is literally a manuscript) I now have hundreds of pages to type into the computer and that means I have to translate my own handwriting. As I’ve written before, this is a horrifying thing.

However, as I did the transcribing today, I found myself getting back into the spirit of the book. I remembered what my goal was and I had ideas for organizing the mess.

I also had to do some research on Scotland to remind me what in the story was true and what I was making up. At one point, I was confusing myself.

One of my summer goals is to spend at least one hour a day transcribing the manuscript so that I can eventually print it and do a proper edit.

I suspect the boost I got from today’s restart will keep my energy and focus on the manuscript for a while. But eventually my own handwriting will annoy me and I’ll put it away for a while longer.

Registering Up the Cash and Disappointment

As I sort through the pens and knives I want to get rid of, my head continues to dwell on a lesson I learned, for better and for worse,  back in Hayden, Colorado in the early 80s.

For reasons I don’t remember, there was some sort of sale going on in front of the old Quonset hut gymnasium at Hayden High School. It may have involved raising money for a band trip to California and I may have had some things for sale but that’s been long cast down the memory hole. (I have a vague sense that we were raising spending money but all I remember is that a sale of some sort was happening.)

What I do remember is that one key person associated with band had decided to sell a vintage cash register. It was pristine and in working condition and was quickly snatched up for a few hundred dollars by the curator of the local museum who had driven buy, seen the cash register, and then had done a high speed turn whilst pulling out her wallet. (Something like that.)

The key person associated with the band acted fairly smug with a few hundred dollars in his pocket until another band associated person arrived with a similar cash register. That was was not in working condition but they’d bothered to have a professional look at it and the professionals appraisal was well over a thousand dollars. (This was 1981ish when $1,000 was worth over $2,725 in today’s dollars.)

This caused great depression amongst both of the cash register people. The first was upset because he’d sold something valuable for a lot less than it was worth and the latter were upset because the former had guaranteed that their expensive item would never sell.

All this has me questioning what to charge for the items I want to sell. Which, of course, makes me overthink selling them. Cash may be king, but my brain thinks that a little more cash is even kinglier and that not selling things is quite safe and kingly indeed.

Something like that.

Cleaning and Not Processing

I’m gearing up for a large sale, but first there is a lot of cleaning, picture taking, and second guessing to do.

I’m going to use the early part of the summer to purge a bunch of stuff and that starts with pens that no longer set my soul on fire. I cleaned two of them today and took several pictures of them but didn’t process the pictures so that I could use them. Also, the water wasted during the cleaning probably adds up to more than the pens are worth.

These pens join a large bundle of pens that have to go once I get past the “But, oh so PRETTY” phase.

This phase, I suspect, is what turns collectors into hoarders. Your brain tells you that this shiny object must go. You not only haven’t used it in months, you haven’t missed it. Sometimes you even forget you owned it. However, once it’s in your hands your only reactions are “Shiny!” and “It is precious…” as if Smeagol had spent the entirety of The Lord of the Rings trilogy collecting all the rings of power and only wanted the One Ring back in order to complete his collection. (It completes us, it does. Yessss, it doessss. We loves our sets completes, yes we doessss. Dirty Hobbitsess, breaking up our collection.)

Something like that.

(Meaningless Side Note: My ending for the Lord of the Rings would have involved Sauron recovering the One Ring and then Gollum killing him to get it back, thus making the entire trilogy a meaningless waste of time. Yeah, that’s the mood I’m in right now.)

The next phase is the fear phase where you imagine that nobody will want to buy them. Of course, that may be a secret hope that no one wants them and I get to keep them.

I have a few ideas for overcoming this in mind, but I’ll probably second guess those ideas.


Necessary But Not as Planned

Today’s plans were much different than what happened, but what happened was necessary.

The plan was to sort the posts from this bit of blather into something resembling a book and then to work on the final exam for high school second year students.

Instead, because, well, because, I ended up organizing and reorganizing emergency kits and even managed to assemble a get-home bag to take to the school where I work. This started because I’ve been wanting to do this for some time and because I had a bag tucked away in a drawer and I suddenly decided to dig it out of its storage place. That’s when plans changed.

Once the bag was out of the drawer it started a cascade of cleaning and organizing. The bag had stuff in it, but a lot of it was old and needed to be updated. This is the good news, as it means that six years after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami it hasn’t been needed.

Of course, a lot of it was crap, too. A shocking amount of it fell under the “at the time seemed like a good idea” concept. Also, the bag had originally been organized as a “get home from Tokyo during a disaster” bag and that meant it had a lot of fire-making and cooking related items that I most likely won’t need to walk home the seven miles from work.

Instead, I decided to turn it into a large first aid kit with a few emergency items, including flashlights, water, and multi-tools.

This required lots more extra work than I thought it would and led to me reassembling first aid kits for other bags. It also led to a couple trips to the internet to order replacements for things.

Somewhere in there I sharpened a couple knives and figured out in which order I’m going to eat the outdated emergency food.


Mostly Prep for Another Day

This was one of those days where I did parts of several projects but didn’t actually finish anything. This means I have a head start on lots of stuff.

I took pictures of a notebook, then cut up that notebook and passed the remainder to our youngest. However, I couldn’t be bothered to write the review.

I also tossed out brochures from last year’s ISOT. They formed the bottom layer of a pile that got slowly chipped away and eliminated today. I still have the pens and random souvenirs, but the next ISOT is in three weeks and I need room for the next batch of stuff I won’t look at more than once.

Tomorrow’s project is to write a couple reviews and try to organize the 1210+ bits of blather on this site into something resembling a book.

I also have to post ink that’s for sale and decide what to do with an old bag that’s suppose to be a second bug out bag.

In the end I’ll probably just end up playing tanks. Or watching other people play.


Reaching the Mark of the Beast

Today, in my lifestyle change/diet I reached the day that is the mark of the beast: Day 666.

I probably should have celebrated with a huge round of self-indulgence with my motto being “eat what thou wilt” but instead I’ve been in a phase where it’s time to rethink and retool what I’ve been doing.

I dropped a lot of weight and then put a bunch back on, but still remain well below where I started. That said, I’m still above where I’d like to be but seem to have settled into some kind of equilibrium where I bounce on either side of a certain weight.

I’ve partly sabotaged my progress by eating too much too late. She Who Must Be Obeyed has been in an odd late cooking phase for a while and it’s not unusual to have supper well after 9:00 p.m. (I know what you’re thinking and I’ve tried it and it resulted in less than positive reactions.) Moderation needs to be my theme for late night meals. The late meals has also thrown off my sleeping schedule, which hasn’t helped much either.

As for the actual diet, I’ve added in more carbohydrates for lunch, which is something I’d almost completely cut out during the best phases of the plan. I’ve also added in more processed sweets which I’d also mostly cut out.

My evening exercise has been spotty lately as well.

At this point, I’ve dug out the food journals from the time when I lost the most weight and have been comparing them to recent trends. I want to get back on the track I was on in those first few months and then see if I can find equilibrium a lot lower than what I’m at now. I’ve decided on a new weigh-in schedule of Sunday (the official starting day) and Thursday. I remain shocked at how much my weight can very over a few days and see no reason to keep scaring myself and/or building up false hope.


Other Kinds of Notebooks and Other Kinds of Stuff

I set out to do some prewriting about notebooks for this bit of blather, but distracted myself by installing a new operating system on my notebook computer.

That was not my intent, but after a few technical snags trying to install it into a partition, I finally said a few choice swear words, I finally decided to just to do a full install. That took a lot of time, and a few heavy sighs, but i’m pleased that it’s all working now.

However, as I approached the end of the install, She Who Must Be Obeyed decided it was time to Summer-ize our apartment, which is what we’d reserved the day to do before SWMBO started doing something else.

Summer-izing involves swapping the heater for the fans and hiding away the winter blankets. This requires clearing out the space in front of the variety room variety closet, removing stuff, putting stuff back, and swapping out dehumidifiers. Then everything has to be put back.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any extra dehumidifiers and SWMBO had to run get some. This left the variety room looking like something out of a TV show about hoarders. Eventually we got everything swapped and restored, and even threw away an old suitcase that hadn’t held up well under long term storage.

The house is summer-ized now. Which of course means that tonight is unseasonably cold.

Double Feature With Popcorn Meals

Today I got the chance to see a double feature which is something I don’t think I’ve done since the Jimmy Carter administration.

I was able to do this thanks to a day with no classes falling on the first day of the month. Most Japanese theater chains offer discounts on the first of every month. Prices drop from around $18 to around $11. Since both Logan and Guardians of the Galaxy, Part 2 were showing at convenient times, I decided to see both back to back.

(Note: Since I am technically under house arrest on days off according to the rules of the company I work for then, officially, I was doing research on local entertainment facilities and will write about them in the future. Really.)

For complicated reasons I’ll mention in a minute, I had to choose a theater chain I’d never been to before. This had me worried about the popcorn. As I’ve mentioned in the past, part of my critique of a movie includes the quality of the popcorn served by the theater.

The morning started with Logan which, although it is a great movie, is not a particularly good breakfast movie. That said, the only actual flaw with the movie was the popcorn. I don’t blame this on the theater though as I chose poorly. My Hokkaido butter and soy sauce choice turned out to be some kind of dry spice and not something buttery. Luckily, this didn’t ruin the movie for me. Also, since this served as my breakfast, I was hungry enough to finish it all.

The only other flaw was people.  When I chose my seat via the chain’s website, I chose the exact center of the theater, which put me far away from the nearest person. However, five minutes before the movie started, in a large theater with only a dozen people in it, a guy sat down in the seat immediately to my left. Right as the lights went down for the trailers, a second guy sat in the seat immediately to my right. My space was suddenly reduced and the popcorn wasn’t that good.

Luckily, the theater has terrific seats with adequate space and armrests so that it was still comfortable if a bit unnerving. Also, the movie was terrific and I barely noticed the company.

For the second half of the double feature, I chose regular salted popcorn as my lunch. (Note: this theater chain’s biggest weakness is they don’t have an actual butter-like substance dispenser.) This turned out to be a good choice, though, as the popcorn was good.

No one sat next to me, which surprised me, as it was a much smaller theater. However, it’s been hard to find subtitled versions of Guardians of the Galaxy, Part 2–my usual theater didn’t offer any at all–which tells me there must not be much demand for English with Japanese subtitles. As such, there were only a few of us in the theater.

Luckily, it was another terrific movie. In fact, these were the best major studio movies I’ve seen in a long time.  Unlike the original Guardians of the Galaxy, which I liked despite a weak third act, I may actually remember events from Part 2.

Tomorrow, though, it’s back to regularly scheduled work.

Getting Ready for the Sports and the Dust

Not much happened to day except I did a lot of running around and started getting ready for tomorrow.

Our youngest has her final sports day as an elementary school student tomorrow and that caused me to chase down batteries and chargers.

As I’ve mentioned before, the more sports days there are, the less interesting they become. The last four sports days haven’t been that interesting or important. The first was interesting and important because it was the first and this one will be interesting and important because it is the last.

Because it is her last sports day, our youngest will have lot of stuff to do, including dancing and athletics and running. My job will be to take still photos whilst She Who Must Be Obeyed takes the moving pictures.

This all has me checking cameras and charging batteries and trying to mentally ready myself for potential “encounters”.

Hopefully, it will be an entertaining show.

Same Verse Different Chapter

Today’s topic is pain. Holiday pain.

The most debilitating headache I ever had was migraine I woke up to when I was living in Mississippi. I’d woken up with migraines before but that one was special. I took medicine and drank coffee (and added a shot of booze when that was still a part of my home migraine cure) and tried to go back to sleep. However, the pain was bad enough that I couldn’t sleep. Every position caused pain and nausea and, in the end, all I could do was sit on the sofa in a slightly slouched position that somehow mitigated the pain and wait for the medicine to kick in.

Unfortunately it took most of the morning for the medicine to help enough that I could go back to bed. I was just a sad guy slouching on the sofa and unable to move. I couldn’t read and I couldn’t raise my head enough to watch TV comfortably. (Also, TV is pretty bad for a migraine especially as that was the era when the networks began blasting commercials at full volume.)

I do not remember if I missed work that day or if it was a holiday. All I remember is the pain and the sofa.

Today’s headache was almost that bad. I realized how serious it was and took the medicine and drank coffee and tried to do some work (today was a day off but I had plans to work on some things for my classes). Failing that, I tried taking a short nap. Luckily, I was able to get a decent nap. Unfortunately it didn’t help much.

Eventually I took a second nap that lasted most of the afternoon. I’m now in migraine hangover mode and taking a serious look at recent changes in my diet and recent weight gain.