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Our First Castle

Our First CastleIt seemed like it would be an eternity before we’d find a place of our own, but now we have.  Darla and I have finally gotten together in our first home (castle).  It’s not exactly what we wanted as far as price and location, but it’s a start.

It’s a lot of long drawn out circumstances, but here we are.  I technically didn’t move at all.  Rather, the person I shared this place with moved out and Darla moved in.

We certainly have a ways to go to get finally settled.  Darla has yet to move all of her stuff from Bay City to Gaylord.  Basically to afford the truck needed, we are waiting on tax returns.  Then we can move her stuff.

So it’s a little bare in here.  No real furniture to speak of and we still have many things we need to acquire to complete our home.  Still we’re making it work rather nicely.  Sure it won’t be easy.

To our family and friends, you are welcome to visit.  Just please call ahead as we both work weird schedules.  Don’t have our numbers?  Ask 🙂

What you see below is what we have going so far.  Don’t mind the camping chairs, they are more comfortable than you’d think 😀

As for that giant Ford double cab truck, that was just a rental truck I had while my car was getting a new oil pan installed.  Only had 821 miles on it when I got it from Enterprise.  Sadly I really didn’t need it 🙁  But in order to have 3 photos on each row, I added it in 😉

Glad to be Back!

Happy to be Back in MichiganIt’s been just over a week and had the stabbing pains of a couple of spurs on my spine to deal with and yet I feel so good.  Emotionally mostly.  I can’t believe how much I really missed living in Northern Lower Michigan.  It’s so damned beautiful and it’s a clear difference when it comes to the folks who live here.  I’ve had so many random and pleasant conversations already with people I’ve never met.  You just don’t get that in the big city.

In so many ways, it’s almost as if I never left.  It’s still beautiful, it’s still has that down home feel to it.  Even if my town got a little bit bigger.  Not big enough to have it’s own Starbucks, but at least a tiny one in one of the more popular grocery stores.  Right next to the in-store Dairy Queen.  We also have a Cold Stone too, but it’s shared with some place that’s called Tim Hortons.  I guess it’s similar to a Starbucks.  Hell for indulgence, that’s all I really need anyways.  The hometown restaurants are the places to go for food.  Not those national chain places.  Just tried Sweet and Sour Coleslaw.  Never going to want regular coleslaw again, it’s freakin’ awesome!

I’ve already had friends greet me and more are on the way today and on Thursday.  There’s some nice little meeting places down the street from me that serves really good food.  Timothy’s Pub, Alpine Tavern, Gobblers and BigBuck Brewery & Steakhouse just to name a few.  They all apparently need a better web designer.  (hint, hint) Just about everything I need is in walking distance which will help me lose weight and I won’t need a car right away.  Besides, gas is currently $4.28/gal here.  Can you say Holy Bank Drain Batman?

My sons have grown so much, and are now fine young men who love me as if I had been here all along.  I just can’t wish for anything better.  I’m so looking forward to spending all the possible time I can with my friends and family.  I’m positive I’ve done the right thing this time.  For the first time in years, I’ve made a good decision.

Took a quick walk before work last Friday and it was just as I had remembered.  The sun coming up glistening off the dew covered grass, the smell in the air.  Somehow it just smells cleaner.  Perhaps due to the much smaller population and abundance of trees.  Only one dead shopping center that should be bulldozed down verses one every couple of blocks and traffic as far as thee I can see.

I do dearly miss my family in Virginia already and the fluffy dog that once stood by my side every moment I was home.  I so wished I could’ve brought him with me.  Sadly not one place I could afford allowed pets.  As for my family in VA, they all have an open invitation to come visit.

Feeling a bit of rock n’ roll over the whole thing.  Press Play! ↓

Second Example Why I Hate Unions!

Unions used to be useful when companies used to screw over their employees.  Now all they do is screw over companies and interrupt customers.  And in this case, cause a great American company to go tits up!!!  As per usual, Foamy says it best.  While you bitch about the government and unemployment, it seems unions are doing a pretty good job of contributing to the nation’s unemployment rate themselves.  Now all we’ll get is rip off Twinkies and more government spending as 18,500 people desperately look for work.  Again, fuck you unions!!

Once again, All Hail Foamy!

Once again, my Lord and Master has put things in perspective with exactly how I feel.  Some people say I’m too negative and I should be more upbeat.  They don’t understand because they refuse to see the world the way people like Foamy and I do.  (well, the creator of Foamy)  They don’t deal with the constant level of stupidity we do.  But rather than let it build up and we end up exploding like a gory scene from Scanners.  We vent.  Deal with it or move along!

Going back to the Big Mitten

Being in my current situation, I’ve had a whole lot of time to think.  Too much actually.  While the front view of my life looks devastating, there is as they say a “silver lining”.  See, since my recent divorce, I have learned my youngest daughter is moving to New York to be with her man after she graduates school in 2013.  My oldest daughter is moving to Kansas.  The only real family I have in Virginia is my Mom.  She ended up here after a bad circumstance of her own a few years back.  She’s never been really happy here either.  Everything I came here for is gone now.  My big job at Gateway only lasted 2 years until they pulled the plug and outsourced it all.  Since then I’ve been working for a small ISP that has been slowly going out of business for half a decade.  The kids will soon be moving away.

I haven’t seen my sons who live in Michigan since 2007 when my oldest graduated High School.  I missed my youngest son’s graduation.  It’s been eating at me that I can’t afford to go see them for a couple weeks each year.  It’s just too damned expensive with the economy being as it has been for the past few years.  If the economy is getting better, I surely haven’t seen it.  As well, they haven’t been able to come see me either.

So I got to thinking.  If I saved up a couple thousand dollars to go visit them and have nothing to come back here for anyways…  Why come back at all?  So I had a sit down with my Mom and she agrees, there is really nothing holding either of us here.  So we’ve decided to save up money enough to get us by for a month in Michigan, plus travel to Michigan and a truck rental.  It will take working two jobs for a while to save up the money.  But in a few months, we’ll be moving back to my home town of Gaylord, Michigan.  It’s a small tourist town, but it has a unexplainable magic.  I’ve heard of many folks like me who have left and most of them end up coming back.  No real reason as to why other than it was home.  I want to go home to see my sons.  This is the time and way to do it.

Hampton Roads, Virginia has never felt like home.  I wanted it too, but it never quite fit.  So all in all, this seemed to have worked out well.

Please just stop!

I cannot believe the stupid things we concern ourselves with in this country.  I’m so absolutely sick of signing on to my accounts to see the constant barrage of Gay Marriage (Pro/Con) issues, Bullying which is also coupled with whatever trivial mindlessness the media can dump down our throats.  Currently that would be the Olympics.

I cannot believe this is all we seem to give any consideration too.  Honestly, I can’t believe for one second that I am part of some minority group who also think there are far, far more important and immediate issues this country needs to address.  It simply boils my blood that we prefer to talk about where to buy a decent chicken sandwich because we don’t want to offend anyone.  That’s another thing.  What the hell is with all the overly sensitive people the past few years?!?!  It’s enough to drive someone insane!

Here’s my thoughts on the current topics and then I never want to hear about them again:

Gay Marriage

Honestly, as far as I’m concerned, Gay people can have marriage.  It hasn’t worked so well for straight people for several decades.

Bullying

I was, and several of my classmates were bullied when we were kids (teased, beat up and I remember being pelted with a can of vegetables in the back of the head once).  I still sometimes get teased because of my name.  I may have cried emotionally or in pain, but I haven’t committed suicide or shot someone over it.  I got over it.  Parents, take some damned responsibility for your children and teach them to handle the situation intelligently.  Today we don’t take the time to discipline children in nearly any faction.  They don’t fear reprisal, so they end up being the bullies, or they end up murdering or committing suicide from being the victims of bullying.  We didn’t have nearly this problem when mommy and daddy could whoop some behind for bad behavior.  Parents today also don’t seem to take the time to sit them down and help their children understand the shortcomings of others like our parents did.

The Olympics

This event has nearly bankrupt some countries who have hosted it in the past.  Sure it’s nifty that someone can ice skate all pretty, or flip around some bendy bars or do hand stands that many of us are incapable of doing.  But what does that do to help the worlds issues?  Might bring them some people joy or hope, but over all.  Nothing relevant.  There’s the old saying, put hope in one hand and defecate in the other.  See which hand gets a healthy dose of reality.


All of these issues are completely and utterly trivial as far as I’m concerned.  There are more important issues that this country needs to be concerned with and we need to put aside all the trivial issues to come up with answers to the following topics:  (These are in no particular order as they all are, as I feel , equally important.)

The Presidency

Obama promised us change.  Change he did bring.  I don’t recall him saying it would be good change.  So I guess he kept his word.  I hate the changes he brought.  I don’t want him in office this next election.  He brought us Obama Care.  But does he really?  However, I don’t like Mitt Romney either.  With the both of them campaigning, it’s like watching two clowns in full dress, with red noses and clown shoes, beat each other over the head with rubber chickens.  Why can’t there be a spot on the ballot to choose two new candidates?  As far back as I can remember, Jobs, Health Care and Income have always been on a Presidents plate.  Yet, term after term, promises and taxes later, the problems still exist.  We continue to have the problems and somehow still tolerate it.  I’m not understanding why.  Not that I know the fix, but doesn’t anyone else question why it’s still going on after all these years?

Jobless Rate

We keep outsourcing more and more.  I’ve talk about this before.  Soon we won’t have any jobs to offer.  If the products can be purchased online, we won’t have retail outlets for them soon.  Gas stations will be virtually unmanned.  Only jobs that will be left, will be governmental jobs and grocery stores.  I’m over exaggerating, but you get the idea.  This isn’t even close to including the issues of immigration, although they too won’t have any jobs soon either if this keeps up.

Income and Costs of Living

As a person who has worked in the tech field for over 18 years, I and my colleagues are still stuck in lower paying jobs since the whole outsource issue started in the early 2000’s.  There are many people in many fields of work in this same exact boat.  They have years of experience and do their jobs at an outstanding level, yet are so poorly compensated.  To find a better paying job at a parallel company is next to impossible.  In so much, that many of us still can’t afford a home, even with all the assistance in this world, the income is still too low.  While gas and food skyrocket in cost making each year making living harder and harder.  Personally I blame a lot of it on lack of local spending.  We do not support our community businesses like we should.  As well as we need to stop outsourcing everything.

Safety in Public

I guess this sort of relates to bullying.  Because these kids are shooting up kids in school, killing people at random in theaters.  Of course this also relates to the fact our educational systems are hurting and our local enforcement suffers from budget cuts as well.  But that’s OK, let’s just explore Mars while we cut education and law enforcement funding.  Yet, I don’t feel safe much these days trying to just catch a movie knowing some psycho can just waltz into a theater, whip out a gun and kill women, children and men without prejudice or remorse.  Some of my kids still go to college, I fear every day that some nut will just walk into a classroom and shoot them or stab them.  It’s hard to even walk through a parking lot anymore wondering if a child will be abducted or woman raped, or someone getting held up or shot just for shopping.  I am always looking around me when I take my walks for exercise, wondering if the person near me is about to rob me or harm me.  We shouldn’t have to live in this kind of fear.

Health Care

This topic is near and dear to my heart.  Literally.  Why is it that I can spend a 20 day vacation in the Caribbean and spend only a third of what it cost me to be in the hospital a couple of days?  I can’t even afford to take a vacation to the Grand Canyon, let alone one to the Caribbean!  The companies that run hospitals and medical supplies are unbelievably filthy rich!  They have to be.  Where does all that money go?  My doctor isn’t driving a golden McLaren and living in the Bahamas full time.  Someone, somewhere is getting a boat load of cash from all the insurance companies and patients.

Prescriptions

Also near and dear to my heart, is the medicines I must take daily now and pay for monthly.  Effient alone is roughly $250 per month.  Even with insurance, it’s $100 out of pocket.  Plus paying for the insurance, plus the 4 other medicines I pay for monthly.  What is this stuff made out of?  Plutonium?!?!  You’re telling me that a 10mg pill per day is worth over $8?  Someone is really filling their pockets with the paychecks of anyone who takes this medication.  I do get my Advair from Canada, oddly that costs $150 per month here, but if I get it from Canada, it’s almost a third of that cost.  So who’s screwing who over here?

So please just stop with all the stupid images, and protests of things that honestly should be taking a back seat to other more important issues.  Such as survivability of our own people in this country.  We are supposed to be the most powerful country, yet we are so close to having a large chunk of our population becoming hungry, homeless and dying.  A small chunk already are.

Back to the Castle…

Things in my life over the past six months or so have been crazy to put it the most mildly.  Divorce, Bankruptcy, Heart Attacks and more.  So I may have made a brash decision or two as well.  One of which was closing my website CastleRain.  Since that day I have been asked by numerous people why I did that.  My rational at the time was I had built it with the hopes that others whom I was involved with at the time would also get involved.  That never came to pass.

Friends have reminded me time and again of this obvious truth.  CastleRain was of my own invention and I have had it online since 1999.  Nary a word or assistance from anyone else ever.  So why should I abandon something because of someone else especially since they had really no part of it.

I almost gave the domains away to a comic book company who has been around for just about the same amount of time with nearly the exact same name.  It’s a good thing they never replied to my emails.

So in all, I brought it back.  It’s back to being my official blog.  I’ve pruned out all the gaming posts and kept them on my Gamers Den site.  Removed all my blog posts from there and kept them here.  Plus I still have my whimsical story site from my adventures in technical support going on as well.  All sites linked to one another.  Just so happens, I have another domain that was supposed to be a guild name for Warcraft, but I decided to use it as an anchor for all my websites.  I call it the Suspicion of Mischief Network.

EDIT: All sites have been recombined to just this one 🙂

It’s good to have it back.  Perhaps the next significant person in my life will appreciate what I do and who I am more than the previous has.

As with any move or changes, things get broken, lost, duplicated and so on.  If you see something I missed, please let me know so I can fix it 🙂

Carmageddon Reincarnation

You see, this is the kind of thing that happens when your personal life is in an uproar…  You miss out on hearing the event of a lifetime!  One of my most favorite and endearing game series that I ever played as a young gamer, was Carmageddon!  The original, auto-carnage and bloody-violent games that was the ultimate stress relief after a long day on the grind dealing with stupid people!

 

First came Carmageddon.  Bloody, exciting and while not the most graphically appealing game, kept me busy relentlessly causing chaos to the masses.

Then came Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now.  This allowed my whole house to play Carmageddon on our network against one another.  Hours of wreaking havak and screams of “damn you!” could be heard through out the house along with hours of laughter.

Finally came Carmageddon TDR 2000.  It was a bit of a departure from the original and more of a story line than the first two, but still loads of fun and the Thunderdome / Interceptors and the last of the V8 Interceptor was an absolute blast!

However, Windows for PC’s changed and my beloved Carmageddon faded away and made me sad.  I turned to Grand Theft Auto for comfort.

Though as I noted before, since my personal life was like a pair of bunched up panties wedged …. you can finish that thought on your own…  Anyway, apparently mid 2011 came the news of the Carmageddon Series coming back to life in …. Carmageddon Reincarnation!!!

 

From the Official Carmagdeddon Website itself it reads:

“Attention all competitors: This is your one minute warning. I repeat, one minute until race commencement. Members of the public: You now have one minute to reach minimum safe distance!”

Now, almost 15 years after that first warning announcement, we are pleased to be able to give advanced notification to all those of a nervous disposition that the Carmageddon racers are back. And just for the record – the break hasn’t done anything to improve their road manners.

Today, the team who developed that first game have finally been reunited with their creation. Carmageddon has come home.

You have no idea how excited I am to get this news!!!

Even if it is… months later…. {growls under breath}

It’s quiet… Too quiet…

That’s because I’ve been, packing, cleaning and throwing out the tons and tons of garbage that other folks left behind.  I’ve spent the past few weeks overloading the trash pickup with all the clothes, junk, lost remotes, thermometers, bits and bobs of all sorts.  Oddly none of it was mine in the first place.  On top of that, packing my own stuff up, organizing it and getting ready to put some in storage and the rest going with me to a temporary living arrangement.

It will be nice to finally live in a house where the others pickup after themselves.  [Edit] This is the part where I complained of the other inhabitants housekeeping skills or lack there of…  Let’s just say I took pictures just to promise myself never to get into another relationship like that again.  After a few years of that, I finally gave up cleaning up after everyone else and only cleaned up after myself and my pets.

Although I’m not thrilled having a roommate right off the bat.  It does, however, give me the ability to save up some money and prepare to go on my own for a bit.  Then later, should I hook up with anyone after that, then that would be just fine.

“It will be nice to get back to a normal life.” {ahem}

Williamsburg, a great place to live… NOT!

JAMES CITY COUNTY– A man was shot and killed Friday night on Centerville Road in James City County.

Police responded to a shooting at around 5 p.m  in the 5500 block of Centerville Road. Upon arrival, police found Elston “Deon” Brown, 25 of James City County suffering from a gunshot wound to his side. He was transported to Williamsburg Sentara Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Preliminary investigation indicates that Brown was talking with some individuals in a yard in the 90 Block of Theodore Allen Rd. when he was shot.

Brown walked across the street where he collapsed. The suspect fled on foot. The investigation is on-going.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crimeline at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

As quoted from News Channel 13 WVEC

That was yesterday’s headline as I came home to police cars, crime scene tape, fire trucks, ambulances and loads of onlookers.

Since I have a acquired a Williamsburg address, life has been nothing but trouble.  Within 6 months of living here my home was robbed while I was home!  The suspect only managed to get away with my (now ex) wife’s purse which he/she snatched through a kitchen window.  Two weeks later, the police closed the case.  Nothing was recovered, no suspects were found.

A few months later, our home was ransacked by burglars.  The police were about to close up shop when I demanded they at least take finger prints.  They did and two weeks later they closed the case.  Nothing was recovered, no suspects were found.

A year or so later, a drug bust happened at a nearby residence.  Damn near right next to this shooting incident.

I can almost spit to the crime scene near my home.  Though I’m surprised anyone noticed as there is always gun shots going off.  Never can tell if it’s violence or target practice or the neighbors shooting small animals for dinner.  (Yes, some of them do that here.  I understand squirrel is quite good.)

I wished I had stopped and taken a picture.  It looked like every police car in the county was there, several fire trucks and a couple of ambulances.  Though with the whole neighborhood crowding around I decided to go home and play with my dog instead.

I love this news story, The opening sentence says, “James City County Police made quick work of a fatal shooting investigation Friday evening, with the arrest of a Williamsburg man on a first degree murder charge.”.

The next paragraph has “turned himself in”.  So the police only had to fill out the paperwork.  There was no real work for them to do!  Besides had he not, they probably would’ve closed the case two weeks later without an arrest.  Seems to be their style around here.

Thank god I’m moving soon.  Fuck Williamsburg.  It’s only a great place to live if you are rich, retired and living in Kings Mill or Fords Colony (Private Neighborhoods).  Otherwise, the crime rate seems to be more than what I once believed Newport News to be.  Hell I used to live in a trailer park in Newport News surrounded by drug dealers and didn’t have this much shit going on.

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