Life

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Be careful for what you wish…

Evil GenieMamma always said…  No I’m not going to quote Forrest Gump.  But I have heard that you should be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it.  Meaning not in the way you want.  That’s pretty much what happened to me.  Working two jobs has lasted far longer than I’d ever like.  It seems like all I ever do is work.  I generally work much more than 40 hours a week, especially since I don’t get overtime.  Fine, whatever.  It’s making money.

There are times I would wish, hope and/or pray for time off.  Just when I finally had as much as I could take, and started making plans to just get out of town for a weekend by myself…  I injure my knee.  All because I was rushing to pick up for someone who needed the night off.  I got to work, grabbed the orders and SNAP, SNAP!  I fall to the ground in pain.  Stubborn as I can sometimes be, I still finished the night out.  That was the last night I worked over two weeks ago.  Well at the night job anyway.  Thankfully my day job is a desk job.

I certainly got the time off.  In a good amount of pain.  I can’t walk without crutches.  I was hoping to be back at work by now.  Instead, my knee hurts worse today than it did the past couple of days.  I’m still waiting for the MRI I was told I needed.  Someone else who had a similar injury said he needed surgery and 8 weeks of recovery.  That scares the hell out of me.  Of course, someone is dragging their feet on authorizing the MRI.  Not helping at all.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be out of working the night job.  All I wanted was a break from the relentless work hours and some free time.  I got it.  It’s more costly than a weekend getaway 😕

Camping

CampingCamping is just not for me.  Not anymore that is.  It’s been years since I went camping.  I used to love it as a kid.  Though roughly in my early 30’s when I started having back problems.  So sleeping on the ground was no longer fun.  Just painful.  Air mattresses would deflate over night.  Unless you bought a nice one.

It’s not like I can afford a camper that I’d make monthly payments on to use maybe twice a year at most.  I don’t get vacation time these days, so taking any time off hurts the income to bill ratio.  Though let’s not forget all the costs needed to camp in a tent.  The tent, cooler, sleeping bags, good air mattresses, bags for clothing and food.  Oh and items for cooking, possibly fishing if you’re into that and many other items that you inevitably have to lug about.  If I have to buy a bunch of stuff, just to make myself halfway comfortable, I may as well just use that money on a hotel/motel room instead.  Sure once you use it, you can store it and use it again in camping.  Well mostly.  More than once I pulled camping equipment from storage, just to find it molded or found holes in the tent.

Especially in campgrounds.  This became very evident this past Memorial Day Weekend when I took a delivery to the County Park.  It was packed with people.  Kids and adults walking and riding bikes and it could be compared to a mall on Black Friday.  I almost gave up trying to make the delivery and tell the customer to come get the food at the park office.  It was all I could do to not run over people.  Took me longer to travel the park, than to drive there and back to the store again.

Why would you travel just to ride bikes and walk in tight quarters?  You can do that in your own neighborhood.

I wouldn’t enjoy camping like that at all.  People all on top of each other.  Folks who will certainly be disrespectful of others who want quiet time to sleep at night.  Fighting to get a shower the next morning.  Sleeping in paper thin tents while having to hear every little thing going on around you.  Or hearing Uncle Buck taking a pee behind the tent because he couldn’t hold it to go to the rest rooms.

With my health these days, I wouldn’t want to camp in a secluded place in the woods like I used to do.  I’d be afraid of just never coming back.

AAAAHH! OUCH!

MeniscusActually I think my first word after it happened was, “Motherfucker”.  With some serious exclamation points after it.  It started out so innocently.  I got called into work on Sunday the 4th.  I clocked in a 4:14pm and by 4:40pm, I injured my knee.

My first set of deliveries for the night.  Three of them, stacked in my arms.  All I was going to do was load them in the passenger side of my truck.  As I swiveled my body to the right, my foot decided not to follow.  Two loud cracks and I hit the ground in agony.  Dropping the hot bags of food on the ground.

A very nice woman in the parking lot heard my pain and went inside to get the manager on duty that night.  He and a young lady that works with us, helped me up and inspected the food.  All was good, and I limped my way to the first deliveries.  I call it dedication to my job.  Others may call me stubborn for not going to the clinic right away.  Though they closed at 4pm, so it would have to wait until the next day.  On my way back I grabbed my knee brace and continued to work the rest of the night, slowly but diligently.  That is until I couldn’t take the pain anymore.  About 9:30pm.  I didn’t realize I had actually injured myself more seriously than I had first thought.  I made an incident report, photographed it and went home to rest.

They took X-Rays of my knee at the clinic on Monday but didn’t really say what was going on other than that they didn’t see any broken bones.  I went back today and the physician on duty assessed it was a tear in my Meniscus.  While common, it takes weeks to heal.  Longer if it needs surgery.  Which they want to have me go in for an MRI in the next few days.

As you can imagine, I’m not thrilled.  Sure I have been complaining that I’ve been working too much this past several months.  Averaging 50 – 60 hours a week.  This isn’t how I wanted to spend my time off.  On top of which, now I’m losing money.  I am of course filing paperwork for Workman’s Comp.  Though that apparently doesn’t always go smoothly, otherwise we wouldn’t have so many lawyers that specialize in that category.  I guess I get to find out if the new owner is a good guy or not.  Pray for me please to not fall behind on bills and to heal quickly.

I was just planning a weekend getaway too.  Even if it’s just to a hotel out of town.  That and my plans to see my son and grand kids will be put off.  Can’t really play with kids when I can’t hardly walk.  I hope I don’t run out of food either, I don’t relish using one of those electric carts at the store.  {shutters at the thought}

The woman who got me help, left right away.  I wished she would’ve stuck around so I could properly thank her.  Maybe even buy her dinner the next time she comes in.  Maybe I’ll see her again some day.

Four… Four Years… Ah, ah, ah, ahhhh

4 YearsI’ve been back now for 4 years.  I have achieved some of my goals.  Not as many as I had planned to achieve by now.  As it is, my original plan for life never did turn out the way I hoped.  Sometimes it feels like I may as well just hang it up and switch to plan B.  Trouble is, I don’t have a plan B.

I’ve admitted my mistakes.  For those, I am sorry.  I know God has forgiven me.  I’m still here when he simply could’ve let me die and be forgotten.  I am truly thankful for that.  I say a prayer every night letting him know just how thankful I am.  I also pray that he bless all the souls, worthy and unworthy in hopes they too appreciate the blessings he’s given onto all of us.

I always made the best of the situations I was presented in my life.  Even when it all fell apart completely and I had nothing left (2011 – 2012).  I didn’t give up.  I put my best foot forward, saved up enough money and got myself back to Michigan.  I’ve reconstructed my life, my credit and I’m still working to be a better man emotionally, physically and financially.  I did it on my own.  Though, I still have some work to do.

If I could go back and change it at the beginning, I would.  I still want to be the Dad I intended to be from the start.  Now also, a grandpa 🙂

I enjoy spending time with my oldest son, and I love spending time with my grandson Noah.  Who is happy to see me and plays with me.  I’m still trying to spend more time with my youngest son and grandson Judah.  I pray that changes soon before my time here is up.

My Old Friend…

InsomniaDear Insomnia,

Hello my old friend.  Of course you and I both know that’s simply the euphemism we use.  We only kid ourselves with what we know to be true.  We are one another’s archenemy.  We have been for many years.  So long in fact I forget why we became unfriendly with each other.

I propose strike an accord.  I think we should work together.

Hear me out.  You help me break the secret of creating Flying Monkeys.  We train them to attack the stupid and the environmentally inhospitable.  You can prey on those you find despicable as well.  As the sleep deprived are much easier to conquer.  Our strengths combined we will be able to reduce the human population while keeping those who would save our way of life and the planet of which we inhabit.  Once we accomplish that, we can then rule the world!!  [insert evil laugh here]

What do you say old friend?  You give me peace and I give you an equal share in world domination 😈

Turning in my Gamer Card

Gamer CardI think it’s time to finally turn in my Gamer Card.  I don’t think I can call myself a Gamer anymore.  I’ve spent the last 2 years or so struggling to find a game I want to play.  Quitting and starting new and old games.  There is just no joy left in it for me.  Especially since all my previous gamer friends have moved on as well.

It was such a blast to play games.  At first it was fun to try new games.  Then when I started to play games with friends and with my children, that’s when it became an absolute, mind blowing, time of my life experience.  Playing Unreal Tournament and Carmageddon 2 against my family across the house.  Sitting watching my kids play Grand Theft Auto for hours on end.  Days and weeks spent with friends online fighting horrifically huge monsters go get the loot.  The loot though paled in comparison to the hilarious adventures trying to overcome the challenges.  Things most serious players never really like to do.  For them it’s do it right the first try or rage quit.  We, however, would spend countless hours dying and trying again and laughing it up.

I guess it’s time to move on though.  I can’t really say, time to grow up.  We are the Gamer generation.  Playing games on a tablet or phone is nothing compared to gaming on a PC or console.  I always thought I’d still be doing dungeons and raids while in retirement.  But the games have changed, the friends are gone.  I’ve gotten to know some amazing people along the way.  Some who have overcome life threatening medical problems, doctors and even good old rednecks.  Some of them from overseas.  Memories I’ll cherish forever.

Without them, it’s a very boring lonely place.  Even in a virtual world filled with other players to choose from.  I can’t log on anymore without being bored within a few minutes.  While I will never totally stop playing games, I won’t play them all that much anymore.  I can’t be called a Gamer anymore either.  Now I’m just a Geek.  A proud Geek, but a Geek none-the-less.

As I’ve said before, I was Geek long before it was cool.

No Plow … Yet

2005 Chevy SilveradoSay hello to my truck.  I know I said I wanted a truck with a plow.  However, this was rather a necessary move.  My Sebring may not last long.

Not an actual picture of my truck —- >
(See below for actual photos)

I took that trip to Traverse City like I said I would.  Hung out with my mom and we walked all over the downtown shopping centers.  Sadly I didn’t find one pair of shoes, any shirts or hats that I was looking for.  The trip was a bust and that shopping area is now reserved for hipsters, food connoisseurs and coffee snobs.  While I love coffee, I’m happy with Starbucks.

After hitting the mall yet again, there just isn’t any shops I’m interested in there.  I had much better luck when I was going to Saginaw.  We stopped for lunch, and as we were leaving my car started doing the most peculiar thing.  As we came to a stop light, the car felt like it just threw itself in park.  It was a sudden lunge and stop action.  We managed to move again, but the next stop the same thing happened.  I thought it was a transmission problem.  My mom felt perhaps it was a brake problem.  Neither of us really knew.  However we carefully drove back to Gaylord trying to avoid coming to a complete stop.  When we did, the car would do the same thing.  Strangely, once we got home, it stopped completely.  It was like it actually was in park.  I could rev the engine, and it wouldn’t move.  If I shifted to reverse, it would move a few feet and “park” again.

The following Monday, I had it towed to a friend/mechanic.  He tested the car’s electrical system.  His suspicions were confirmed, something wasn’t sending the right signals from the computer controller in the transmission to the main computer in the car.  The car deemed something was unsafe.  Though no “Check Engine” light ever came on.  He was able to clean up the harness connecting the two components, but trying to save me money as transmissions are BIG dollars to fix.  His advice to me was “trade it in”.  He said it with more flair that indicated “do it soon”.

I was never really happy with my Sebring.  It was the only car I could afford that wasn’t a piece of junk.  Most cars offered to me when my Lumina died were over priced rust bombs.  I paid way too much for the car, and right from the start it had tires not made for driving in snow.  The air conditioner was blocked with garbage and soaked the interior the first night I drove it for work.  Shortly after, the dashboard lights started to die and only flickered when it was really cold outside.  My radio would lose its programming.  I sunk nearly $1200 in tires, new rear brakes and minor engine repairs.  The list goes on.  Also, who the hell designs a car where the battery is in the wheel well?  [yes, that’s a video link]  Seriously!?!??  Not a Chrysler fan.  Between that and the insanely high interest rate from having bad credit 😒

Anyway…  I managed to find a very low mileage [less than 50k] truck at an affordable price.  It’s not new, but it’s in good condition.  A 2005 Chevy Silverado.  Hopefully with God’s guidance, I made a good choice.  Clean Carfax, one owner, all repairs documented; kind of find.

The topper will be for sale soon.  I’m not a topper kind of fellow.  When I can afford it, I’ll get a vinyl Tonneau Cover.

Little Red TruckDon’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to Simple Auto for helping me rebuild my credit enough to get out from under their Buy Here/Pay Here interest rates.  I now have a regular loan via a Credit Union.  Interest rate is better, though not great.  I will never again let someone else handle my finances and ruin my credit.

For some reason, it just had to be red.  Immediately I wanted to recreate a favorite photograph.

Damn, I’m just becoming a good-ol’-boy aren’t I?  Driving pickup trucks, shootin’ guns…  Though I will never concede to country music and beer.  EVER.

And NO!  You can’t borrow it!

I’ve Given Up

I've Given Up Soda PopOn Soda Pop that is.  It’s taken me a very long time.  Years in fact.  I gave up marijuana decades ago.  While still in High School.  As I didn’t want to turn into my uncle who merely sat at home after work and smoked weed.  That was easy to do.

Shortly before I joined the Navy, I was up to 250 and needed to lose 60 pounds.  I managed to do it in a summer doing a stupid diet.  I don’t recommend this.  I rode a Mountain Bike everywhere in Petoskey.  From Brutus at first.  Which is roughly 14 miles from Petoskey.  (Well at least until I moved into Petoskey itself.)  I worked at a Hardee’s.  So I only had one meal a day.  My free lunch.  Outside of that, I spent all day biking.  For energy I drank Pepsi.  I wasn’t into coffee then.  That was a bad, bad idea.  While I did lose the weight, I got addicted to Pepsi.

During the Navy I got hooked on cigarette’s.  Did that for nearly 15 years.  Took forever to get off of them, now I find it easy to keep off of them as the smell is intensely gross to me.  Turns my stomach just to be near a smoker or ashtray.  However, during the Navy it was hard for me to keep the weight off.  Desk job mainly while I was there.  Smoked and was stuck at sea for months on end.  Crap food.  The crappier, the better it seemed.  So junk food became a staple for me.  After the Navy, my love of video games took over and I kept a desk job.  Still have it.  Just part time.  So a desk job, Pepsi, junk food and video games.  A recipe for how I became overweight.

It wasn’t until I got weighed at the doctor at 360 lbs.  My marriage was on it’s way out and I said enough is enough.  I had just quit smoking finally but the damage was done.  More than I realized.  I started walking around the outside of a local mall.  Between that and changing my diet to lower my cholesterol, I lost 20 pounds.  Then I moved and started walking around the Patrick Henry Mall outside and walking up to 3 miles a day at the least.  More if I could take it.  Sadly I only lost another 20 pounds.  I still drank Pepsi regularly and it all caught up with me.  My heart started to fail.

It took me several weeks to regain enough strength to start walking again.  Thanks to my dog Chase, I at least walked in a field with him at first.  Then back to my 3 miles a day.  I got down to just under 310 pounds.  This is where I plateaued until this past summer.  Between working two jobs and still drinking too much pop/soda.  I just couldn’t shake the weight.  In fact I gained 10 pounds.  I’ve given up smoking, never really drank, changed my diet a couple of times and put in exercise.  It just isn’t enough.  Especially since winter keeps me indoors and working puts me at walking only in the summer on my days off.  And my exercise bike isn’t getting used much.  Currently it’s trapped among extra chairs and boxes that are still in my kitchen.  So as of two weeks ago, I finally had enough.  If I’m to lose more weight, I need to cut sugar significantly.  So no more pop/soda.  No ice cream or sweets in the house for me.  Yogurt will be my treat.  Frozen fruit (and my low fat smoothies).  Now if mother nature would warm us up and stop with all this insane precipitation.  (It’s flip-flopping between rain and snow and it’s driving me nuts!!)  I sincerely hope this will help me finally achieve 220 in the next year or two.  Where I want to be.

Rainy Day Bored

Rainy Day BoredBloody hell this town is boring in March.  Especially on a cold rainy day.  I took a long drive yesterday.  Enjoyed some music, wandered aimlessly in a mall and didn’t spend a dime.  Well other than the gas to get me there and back.  I just needed to get out of town.  Think and such.  Also browsed a truck with a plow.  Was a bit beat up and had that nasty double cab syndrome.  I don’t need all that seating.  I mean I want a truck, to use as a truck.  Not a damned family sedan.  Which generally reduces the box size.  Anyway…

Today is Sunday.  Not a lot going on.  Especially in Gayrock.  Turned in my growing collection of pocket change for dollar bills and that was about it.  I can either go out to eat, or shop at the same 5 lousy stores.  I’m in Walmart way too much.  Meijer is freaking useless in my opinion.  (If someone says produce one more time, I’m going to punch them.  If that’s all Meijer is good for, it’s not worth the effort.)  Can’t afford a new gun yet.  So Jay’s is out.  Kohls is way over priced and doesn’t carry any clothing for me.  (Three racks is NOT a Big and Tall selection.)  I mean seriously, am I the only one who thinks Kohls is just pointless and pricey?  Big Lots is slowly becoming a junk store.  Especially their furniture.  A chair bought from there didn’t last 6 months before it started to fall apart.  😕

It’s too rainy for me to want to go shooting.  Thanks to the extreme lack of indoor shooting ranges around here.  Still not playing Warcraft.  Well, at least the retail version.  Though the private server market isn’t much better.  I maybe play 30 minutes a day at most before it annoys me.  I’m praying Pantheon will return MMORPG’s to their glory days.  GTA Online still isn’t fun, good thing I didn’t actually pay for it 😉  (No it’s not pirated, I got it as a gift.)

Tomorrow I hope to head up to Petoskey to look at possible trucks and explore.  I’ve always liked Petoskey.  Loved the year and a half I lived there.  Maybe next weekend I’ll take an all day trip to Traverse City and browse the downtown shops.  If I recall correctly, there was some great ones years ago.  I hope they’re still there.

Other than that, not a lot has gone on in my life lately.  With perhaps one exception.   I’m actually surprised no one has asked about it, but perhaps no one noticed.  Darla and I split.  It’s not her fault.  It’s mine.  I made the decision.  I won’t go into detail, but I want everyone to know that I still think she’s a very kindhearted woman.  I wish her nothing but the best in her life.  I hope we can remain friends.

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