Holidays

Over and Under Whelmed

Over and Under WhelmedIt’s that time of year again.  Where almost nothing seems to go according to plan.  What’s more, is since 2012 things have been different for me.  Suddenly I’m allergic to peanuts.  And I’m also 10 times more emotional than I’ve ever been before.  It makes for a very very difficult time to deal with all these things coming at me.

Healthcare

I can’t help but hate our new government assisted healthcare plans.  I was perfectly happy with the one my day job gave me.  However, thanks to Obamacrap, his premiums skyrocketed and now I have to suffer with Healthcare.gov’s crap offerings.  The first year I was able to find a decent plan and it cost me $163 per month.  The second year that same plan cost me $222 per month.  It was the only plan I could find that covered all my medications to where my co-pays were a total of $85 per month.  It’s an expensive way to go, but it was what I could get.  In 2016 that plan is going to be replaced with one that makes two of my most expensive medications uncovered.  Well a co-pay of $300 each.  Since they only cost $250 each, that’s $500 per month on top of all the other co-pays and the monthly premium of $217.  That’s way too expensive.  I’m in a panic trying to find a new healthcare plan and it seems that they all have similar offerings.  I can’t afford that.  Period.  I don’t know what to do and I don’t believe I know anyone who understands healthcare insurance that I can sit down with.  So if anyone does, I need to get with you before December 15th.

Christmas

On top of all that panic, here comes that holiday that always comes before tax returns.  Why is that?  Between dealing with snow removal, higher heating bills, tires and winterizing our cars, as well as more electricity usage due to shorter daylight hours; lets throw in a holiday where you need to spend a bunch of money to decorate and provide gifts to family and friends.  Since I’ve been a one person income, I’ve found it next to impossible to have a decent Christmas.  This year is no exception.  It’s going to be a cheap Christmas at best.  I’m sorry but a few gift cards, my popular Christmas Cards and a couple of gifts is all I can hope to achieve.  Especially since it’s the off season for both my jobs.  I’ve had hours cut from my night job, and it’s barely enough to cover my monthly expenses.

Moving

Speaking of money.  It’s been a very long year as far as saving up money to move out of this tiny room I live in.  Come January we hope to move into a place of our own and finally get our lives started in the right direction.  It’s going to be tough to get it done in time let alone moving heavy furniture in the cold weather.  My not being as spry as I once was isn’t going to help either.  Damned old age and heart conditions.  Then again, I always manage to find a way.  Just wish it was the easy way for once.

Wedding

Then… When we finally get settled in, we need to start saving for our up coming wedding.  This is part of the reason it’s going to be a low budget ordeal.  We have 5-ish months to save up for the basics and making sure we have a place secured for the reception and nail down tux rental, decorations, and someone to marry us.  Though from the lack of response to our recent Facebook posting, it seems not one person will be coming to our reception.  Or our wedding.  No one responded at all.  We had hoped to get a rough idea of what we need to plan for.  It’s been a huge question, “How many people are you inviting?”.  So when we asked who wanted to come, no one responded. ?

Christmas Cards 2014

All my 2014 Christmas cards have been mailed out.  Most should have been received by now.  I decided to make two versions this year.  One for the non-geek family and friends and a geek version.  This will hopefully avoid last years geek reference snafu.  I thought this Castle-esque house was adorable/awesome and it’s a nice winter scene.

Previous Christmas Cards
201120122013

Ho Hum Holiday

Christmas Snow GlobeTry as I might, I haven’t found a suitable job yet.  I know some would disagree with me, but I’m really trying to avoid retail and fast food.  Mostly due to my health.  I’m an overweight desk jockey who hasn’t done much physical work or long periods of standing in years.  Plus the occasional chest pains, dizziness and shortness of breath.   Having heart disease sucks.  I would hate to get a job only to lose it because I don’t meet their needs for a work horse.  I’m all about brain power these days.  While I do exercise and can walk for an hour or more a day, that’s not the same as standing still on concrete floors for hours on end or breaking my back carrying heavy things.

Speaking of heavy things.  The only serious job interviews I’ve had were dealing with heavy lifting.  Apparently a person with a lot of computer experience equals loading and unloading trucks and moving heavy appliances.  Well that’s the reason they called me anyways.  Once I showed up to the interview, they saw me and realized I am heavy lifting material.  So no second interviews or follow up calls.  Well I did get an interview from a local pizza place, but they didn’t offer me a job.  Which at first I thought was odd as we talked up a storm about the pizza biz.  Then I realized he was holding out for that nice girl who couldn’t make her interview because she was snowed in.  I’m guessing she is also really attractive.  Of course it was on a day when the roads were really bad and we got nearly two feet of snow as well.  Made me realize that not having driven in real snow for many years that perhaps that wasn’t the greatest of job ideas for me.  Plus I could use some new tires and an alignment.  Here’s to hoping for a decent tax return.

Other than that, it’s been very quiet on my email and phone.  Of course the dwindling income has forced me to cut back on any spending.  I haven’t been to church in weeks.  I don’t go many places at all unless I absolutely have too.  My vacation time and personal time have been bled dry.  My boss has been cool and offered to pay me for full 8 hour days for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That’s pretty generous, but not enough to sustain things.  Guess my next move is to file for some assistance.  Not real happy about it.

Hell I’d take a job at any office doing clerical.  Though I don’t have the wardrobe for such a job nor the money to make such a wardrobe.  Been behind the scenes so long, I own only a couple nice clothes.

Which of course Christmas hasn’t always been a favorite holiday for me anyway.  While it’s supposed to be holiday cheer and good will toward others.  It’s rarely the case.  Stores get more busy, people have harsher attitudes and it’s just generally not very Christmas like.  Even my town doesn’t decorate the streets like they used too.

Then there’s the dumb things that like to happen to me at Christmas.  Several relationships have ended at Christmas and other general bad luck.  For the past two years I’ve skipped Christmas just because of high medical bills.  I’m still paying on two of them.  This year, I’m part time and no longer have my apartment.  Not happy about either.  Was not what I planned when I moved here.  Though I’m not giving up, just adjusting.

The good news is I managed to get a little something set aside before the money went dry.  So I’m not skipping Christmas for a third year.  It’s not as cool as what I was able to do for some birthdays earlier this year.  I wish I could repeat that performance.  Alas it’s a low budget Christmas.

Also, a shout out to my friend Jeff.  Who paid for six months of my game time so I can have something to do when I’m not filling out forms and answering psychological questions about if I should steal pencils from my employer.

Christmas Cards 2013

So as it turns out, my “clever” idea for this years Christmas Card fell through.  My little home town didn’t go all out on decorations this year.  Thus, I decided to just do as I planned with a different Christmas Scene.  If you don’t get what “I did there”.  It just means you aren’t a Doctor Who fan.  It’s ok.  But you never forget your first Doctor 🙂

Christmas Card 2013Click for Larger Image

Merry Christmas!!

A Quiet Christmas

Quiet ChristmasI’ve decided not to celebrate Christmas this year.  I’m just going to enjoy the day off in the middle of the week instead.

Traditionally speaking, Christmas is a beautiful time of year.  Especially up here in the Great White North, where there is actually snow.  I’ve had so many green Christmases the past few years, this will be a welcome change.  However, Christmas has also been a time of year for bad things to happen to me.  I won’t whine about what happens.  That’s just the way it has been.

This year it’s just about money.  I know last year I only bought a few things for a select few people and said I’d try better this year.  Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out the way I had hoped.  On top of medical bills for my heart, now I have medical bills for the surgery I had done earlier this year.  Of course, the fact that I’m still making payments this far along, means that most of my bills have made it to collection agencies.  The payments are now going to them.  Whatever, I’m paying my bills.  It’s just taking time.

I’ve considered buying a small fake fiber optic tree like I used to have to decorate my place with.  Just couldn’t bring myself to spend the $20 on it.  So I’ll deal with my über-tiny USB tree.  Perhaps I’ll attach it to the top of my TV.

I still want to make my Christmas Cards, like I’ve done the past two years.  Providing mother nature cooperates with my idea for this year’s card.

Waiting, Weight, WoW and Windows 8

Waiting, Weight, WoW and Windows 8It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted anything.  While I am working on a project, it’s not ready for public view.  It’s a long view plan, so I may drop hints from time to time about it.  As for now, an update for those who still would like to know 😉

Waiting…  Yes, I’m basically just waiting.  I hate waiting.  Feels like I’ve been doing it all my life at times.  From waiting in the parking lot for my girlfriend to come out of school (way back in the day).  Waiting in line at boot camp.  Waiting for summer, waiting for special events.  The list goes on.  Right now I’m waiting to move.  May is the target month.  Still not sure of the exact date.  Some days it gets very hard to wait.  I made a promise to wait for someone else though.  Otherwise I would be in the car right now.  Still… Waiting sucks.

Weight…  Sadly I am still just over 300 pounds.  I did not make my goal by Christmas as I had hoped.  Just means I must keep trying.  I did stop doing my walk during the two weeks of shopping frenzy.  I know I could’ve just went elsewhere, but the idea is that I just couldn’t take the crowds.  Short of driving miles away from here just to get some peace, I just said phooey on the lot and took a couple of weeks off.  Probably was a good idea as the flu is running wild here.  Virginia is one of the highest outbreaks of flu this year.  I don’t relish having it along with all the other crap I deal with.  I’m back to walking, I will succeed.

WoW…  Yes, I’m back to playing World of Warcraft.  I just can’t find a game that “does it” for me like it does.  I’m sorry fellas (and ladies), it is what it is.  (I cringed typing that last part after the comma.)  The pandas aren’t all that bad, except for the Larry the Cable Guy references and a couple of others.  That and the whole Pandaria area is all about managing anger and feelings.  Over sensitive wankers are even taking over games now…  Annoyed I can’t fly there until I’m 90, but whatever.  Sadly, I can’t raid anymore.  Sitting for more than 2 hours is just out of the question for me anymore.  I can do dungeons, crafting, fly, do achievements, exploring, quests and loads of other stuff.  It’s basically what I was looking to do in a single player, except I still get the social interaction I want.  At least until I get back home to Michigan where I can visit friends face to face again and put together a garage band for fun.

Windows 8…  I’m still not a fan of Metro.  I don’t like it, I don’t use it and I think those responsible for it should be flogged naked in public.  Just so you know, I’m actually being nice about how I really feel about it.  Though I did actually upgrade both my desktop and my laptop with Windows 8.  As a tech I need to know it.  Like it or not.  Using Classic Shell, I can bypass Metro completely and it’s actually a rather nice OS outside of that.  If only Microsoft could see that.  I think they think they are setting a trend.  Although I think the sales records speak volumes of how the people think.  Then there are the calls I get from the poor unsuspecting bastards that just decided to buy a new PC unaware that there is a new version of Windows on the streets.  They call me and start with “What the hell is this shit?” as if it’s somehow my fault they see gigantic live squares of redundant bullshit.  I even had one guy ask when my company was going to fix the email problem (referring to the email app that only uses Windows Live mail accounts).  When I suggested downloading a free email client that would work, like Windows Live Mail, he got hostile.  (sigh)  People just don’t get it sometimes….  However, my official suggestion to friends and family is stick with Windows 7 or buy a Mac.  Don’t be a square 😉  (hehe Mac should use that as an advertising campaign)

Christmas Cards 2012

While I’m sure we’ll all be around on the 22nd.  I’ll post this now.  This years Christmas Card that I sent out.  I was feeling a mix of South Park and Early MMO’s.  So here’s my South Park me, with Santa in South Park wearing some old clothing found in the first MMO I played, Last Chaos.  Good times… Good times…

Click for Larger Image

Yeah…. Last Year‘s was better 🙂

This Old Abandoned House

Halloween is just around the corner.  Though I no longer hold a love for the holiday like I once did.  Thanks to the overly sensitive, wimpy ass society we’ve become.  Protesting things like skeletons hanging from a noose; or using old abandoned insane asylums for haunted houses because it badly portraits insane people…. Ugh… Effing pansy’s…

While things like that remind me of the old west, medieval punishment and scary ass levels in a video game; it also reminds me of a passion of mine that many folks may find weird.  I have an odd love of old abandoned buildings and houses.  Especially if the structure has remained virtually untouched for many years.  I find a kind of beauty or art in the way that mother nature has sculpted it over time.  The way it contrasts the world around it.  How it’s sort of begun to blend in with the tall weeds surrounding it.  I find it very photographic, although I’ve spent little time doing so, and what photos I had are now lost.

I love old houses, hospitals, asylums, old factories and especially train stations.  No matter the size or age.

I like sneaking inside, and exploring what people of the past have left behind.  Many times you’ll find photographs, old newspapers (some in mint condition preserved inside the walls), trinkets and machinery.  While I don’t go there to actually take things, a treasure or two can be found.  I like to photograph and sometimes just stand there using the light through the windows and try to picture what it must have been like when it was nearly new and at it’s peak of usefulness.  How the people may have dressed at the time and if it was a business, what jobs they may have been performing.  I also wonder why it was suddenly left to die.  Why they didn’t take everything.  It’s like the building lets me write a story in my head.

It’s one of the many things I miss about living in Michigan.  You can be out on a horse or motorcycle, walking through some trails and the like and suddenly you can happen upon an old cabin with all the paths overgrown.  Old abandoned cars with trees growing all around them.  Time has made it impossible to remove what at one time simply drove in.

I’ve been known to make favorite places out of these locations.  Either to just hang out by myself for some alone time, or to share it with a friend or loved one.  Some are so pretty, you can make it a spot to picnic at, or watch the fall leaves, or take in the spring flowers.  Even just lay down and look at the day or night sky.

Can’t wait to rediscover those places and new ones.

The person who runs the website English Russia, also has many articles and photographs of places all over Russia like this.

Happy New Year 2012!!

Well we made it another year with out ending the world.  Will we make it another?  (I ask as my dog cowers under my desk from all the gun fire going on….)  Although as with the many, many threats of the world ending at some point.  As I recall from many years growing up, there was a lot of different times the world was predicted to end.  This coming year, blame the Mayans.

A time of year for millions of people to fool themselves by making resolutions they generally never come even close to keeping beyond February.  Pessimism?  Yes.  Experience?  Definitely.

A time of year for millions to get drunk, stupid and possibly add to their family member count.  (or begin a family – planned or unplanned)

Sadly this year (and today) has sucked badly for me.  So…  I can only look forward to next year in hopes things will get better.

Here’s to hope, love and happiness!  May it be found by everyone (and me) by the truckload!

Happy New Year!!!

and hooray for living in Redneckland… (as more guns go off….  hope like hell they are blanks…)

Humbuggers by Foamy

Once again, my Lord and Master has successfully conveyed onto the masses exactly my thoughts and feelings as only he knows how.  It’s like… We are of the same mind, or… he controls mine.  All hail the Lord and Master!  Relish in his wisdom!

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