Author Archives: Silk Cords

May the Fourth Be With You… Again :)

Yes, I’m still alive and not a force apparition. Long story there, which I shall save for another time. For now, it’s that time of year again:

image via nerdappropriate.com

In keeping with last year’s post (by sheer coincidence), I also scored a new lightsaber today during The Vader’s Vault “May the 4th” flash sale. 30 sabers gone in 15 minutes. Pics coming in a week or so once it arrives.

Also in keeping with tradition, a little Weird Al to liven things up:

Reboot It, Renew It, Reshoot It!!

Yakko, Wacko and Dot were more on target with that song than I thought. Yet another CBS program has been rebooted, putting them in a tie with DC Comics for most reboots ever, LOL. Who is our unlucky victim this time? A cash cow that CBS decided could be milked further:

‘CSI: Vegas’ Gets Series Order at CBS

15 years wasn’t long enough, so here we go again. O_o 😀

The new series will feature a few of the “old guard” from the original series mentoring a new group of CSIs using cutting edge technology to help solve crimes.

I’ve got to admit, I liked the old show (not loved), but another reboot in the CBS line up? When is enough enough? Even half of Netflix’s shows are reboots anymore. I’m wondering when Zorro is going to be rebooted by Disney anymore…

Honolulu Car Rental Price Gouging

I got an email about this from my friend in Hawaii. It seems with the return of tourism to Oahu (which had been down 90% for almost the entire pandemic), that the demand for rental cars has gone through the roof compared to availability.

No doubt the car rental offices were selling off their fleets to help cover operating costs during the pandemic. Now that it’s ended, their short sighted move has caught them flat footed. In typical predatory capitalism fashion they’ve decided to charge over $700 a DAY for basic rentals and over $1000 if you want a convertible:

$1,000 a day to rent a car? Low supply, surging demand are pushing up prices in Hawaii (hawaiinewsnow.com)

Normally, I’m quite pro-capitalism. I understand that TO A DEGREE, supply and demand are going to factor into cost. Doing so covers the cost of increasing the supply to meet demand.

HOWEVER… Where do we draw the line in this kind of instance? Where does the law of supply and demand become predatory capitalism? I’m not sure I have an EXACT answer there, BUT, 10x the normal going rate would seem to be across that line. We rented a Mustang GT convertible a year and a half ago for our honeymoon and only paid $100 a day, which is still pricey compared to most other locations.

Wouldn’t an ethical business simply go out and buy some cars from local dealerships to increase their fleet size? At $100 a day rental rate, the car loan note can be paid for on 5 days of rental per month.

Just because you CAN do something doesn’t make it right. Look at the price hikes on insulin as another example. Somewhere along the lines the idea of business ethics got flushed and replaced with the SHORT SIGHTED idea that the only duty a business had was to provide as much short term profit as possible to it’s investors. If one has NO ability to ponder consequences, that sounds great also. In the long term though, it destroys a business’s reputation and customer loyalty. Look at Banks and Airlines as two other examples. They’re both hated.

Worse, these greedy businesses are only fueling the call for Socialism or outright Communism by people who don’t understand these are even worse alternatives.

Dirty Laundry

Sort of a two-fer here with a double meaning. First after my most recent post regarding my mother, I decided it was time to draw a line. Time to follow Dr Henry Cloud’s advice and set some Boundaries.

However, given that I planned on using this video as part of the follow-up AND it does an amazing job of showing how I feel about the media, there’s indeed a double meaning to this post

Side note: The encouraging thing is that the video has 14,000 likes and over 1300 comments supporting it. People DO actually get it.

My Own “Dirty Laundry”

Getting back onto the main topic however… It’s time to finally stop the madness with my mother. I had previously written her, shortly after my last post, and more or less said the same things to her. No surprise; her response was “Maybe we just shouldn’t talk anymore since I always seem to piss you off. All that matters is that you two are happy anyway.”

I’ve stewed on that for a couple days. Here’s my reply to her:

Well, that was certainly an interesting reply… textbook narcissism and emotional manipulation: “We shouldn’t talk anymore, all I do is piss you off, and all that matters is you two are happy.”

I almost didn’t reply, but, I’ll give it one last try taking a more adult approach.  Yes, the last email was pretty fiery.  I solidly SHOULD have done better there.  That level of anger rarely accomplishes anything productive. 

THAT said, how many times over the past ten years have I tried to explain to you how bad my neck and back were though, only to have you pay lip service to understanding while your tonality and body language made it clear you thought I was BSing everyone?  Even medical paperwork wouldn’t convince you.  It’s easy enough to research how frequently spinal surgery fails and the best case scenario is almost always a chain of repeated surgeries with more and more of the back immobilized and in pain.  It’s just a matter of how soon.  SO, yes, I was very frustrated.

I’ve dealt with physical pain for decades. It had it’s ups and downs, also where I’d go through brief periods where I felt like I was getting better. As soon as I pushed myself more though, back to square one. Honestly, that’s even worse, because it makes you (me) feel like the problem is me, and not a physical issue… That I’m not just useless but choosing to be useless. To have you come along and continually make snide remarks and ask me when I’m going back to work, even after showing you all the evidence… Yeah it hurts, especially when the facts are so easily verified.

It’s easier to believe the worst of me though.  Always has been.  “Call a person a cow enough and they’ll start eating grass”.  It used to be one of your favorite tag lines.  Why am I the only one it doesn’t apply to for you? Didn’t grandma do the same thing to you and you rabidly HATED it?

You’ve never seen how it took me FAR longer than it should have to do the things you have seen me accomplish around the old house like staining the patio.  You never saw how sore I was afterward either.  Likewise, I could tell you about how I felt better after the decompression treatments, pushed myself into helping with the recent move and hurt my back again.  That I’m recovering from thanks to home decompression units.  As I tried to explain in the past though, this is a thing that takes time, and every time I push it, I only set things back.

It’s one thing to ask and genuinely try to understand and / or offer helpful suggestions.  It’s another to browbeat.  It’s yet another when 10 years of explanations aren’t enough.

Grandma’s toxic influence as an excuse only goes so far, especially when you say you’re over it now.  I know it is still a factor though.  I’d wager that you’re doing the same thing I did for years with our overall family dynamic; buried the problems and pretended that cured it.  The trouble is, it never does.  It all comes bubbling back up, especially when one doesn’t mean it to. 

I’ll even give you credit for part of it being frustration at being unable to do anything to fix the situation.  Typical parental feeling, even if expressed in an unhealthy way.  I don’t think you’re a monster, I’m just tired of the criticism.

I’ve got to voice a couple of other LONG terms suspicions here also…

First, accident or no, I didn’t ask to be born, and *I* am not responsible for how your life turned out.  Yes, I feel like you’re still acting like I owe you something there.  That despite the fact that overall, your life turned out pretty good.  We have had our issues, and things were rough with ****** (my first step dad for you readers), but it all has gone pretty well since, even if you didn’t become some big career success, whatever you imagine that to be.

Secondly, but related, I’m a unique human being with my own hopes and dreams.  It’s not MY job to live the life you wish you’d had.  Enough said there; it stands without need of further explanation.

And as a side note, moving to Tennessee was ONLY about the need to escape a state that’s falling apart and get someplace where we could afford to live.  It had ZIP to do with family in any way.  Family was what kept us there as long as we were.

OK, that’s the end of this one.  Things need to change.  It’s that simple.  You have every right to ask reasonable questions and make suggestions, etc…  Badgering and browbeating though, no.  Likewise, I do NOT want to hear that this is “dictating terms”, etc…  It’s setting healthy, clear boundaries.  Something I should have done earlier, and under calmer circumstances.

IF you can accept that, we can work at fixing things and maybe both of us getting some real healing out of this for once.  If you want to walk away, I’ve made peace with that too.  This will be strike three for me though.  I’ll either have peace with you in my life (even if it takes some work from both of us), or I’ll have it without you.  The choice is yours.

Wrapping it Up:

And there you have it. This is the kind of stuff I don’t like posting about because I think it too easily becomes a toxic pity party. Some blogs have built a pretty substantial following on that too. *I* don’t want to be that person though.

Why post it at all then? Personal accountability to follow through on what I wrote here, and to let readers know I’m acting on the issue, not wallowing in drama that will pop up here over and over.

Personally, I feel pretty good after writing that to her. Ball’s in her court and I reached out as much as I felt I could under the circumstances. She flushes the relationship, it’s on her and I won’t look back.

OH, and if you’ve never read “Boundaries”, do so. There are too many people nowadays that will run roughshod over your life and call you a bad person for saying “no”. This will help you see you’re not the crazy one, and how and when to draw healthy boundaries.

Where Do You Draw The Line?

Yes, I’ve been away for a few days here, but trying to at least answer followed posts. I’ve been dealing with the fallout of yet another battle with my mother. I’ve tried for years to get along with her, and when she gave me her wedding (ring) set, I’d hoped we’d truly rounded a corner in a lifetime long shitty relationship.

Image from depedkto12.blogspot.com

This time around, it was over my spinal problems and how I’m supposedly not doing anything to contribute to the household here. I’ve shown the woman my first MRI report from years back, tried to explain it over and over for almost a decade, and she refuses to accept any of it. At best, I should just got get surgery because I have insurance. As if it’s that simple.

After dropping hints repeatedly, trying to explain the problem and it’s side effects, etc… I finally had enough after our last phone call. I snapped and sent her a fairly strongly worded email saying I was sick of it, and if she spent not even half the time she did researching my grandfather’s alzheimers, she’d know what I’ve been going through. Also that I was sick of her efforts to bully me and destroy my self respect.

Her response was that “maybe we shouldn’t talk anymore since she always seems to piss me off”. Typical emotional manipulation and playing the victim card. If she’d listened the countless other times I tried to explain it all, it never would have hit the point it did.

I shouldn’t be surprised. She reacts poorly to any criticism. I’ve cut her out of my life for years at a time on two previous occasions too. This is the woman who ripped into me verbally if I brought home a B and had my first step dad beat me for Cs while I was in school. When I went to college, I was supposed to take double a full time load and work full time at a “real” job. I got crucified for any little mistake to the point I went from a major extrovert in elementary school to an isolationist level introvert from about the fourth grade on.

Oh yes, and I was told I was too much of a wimp to go take martial arts so I could learn to defend myself from all the bullies that I attracted. Belts in 6 styles later (Shou Shu Chi, Tae Kwon Do, American Sport Karate, Parker Kenpo, Tracy Kenpo and Wing Chun), I guess she can kiss my ass on that one.

Never got any credit for it either after I’d achieved it.

At this point, I want to just tell her “Fine, kiss off!”.

All the self doubt she beat into me over the years always seems to factor into situations like this though. *I* should be doing more, I should do something different, word things better, be more understanding.

She’ll quickly point out this verbal abuse goes back generations also and blame her behavior on that. It’s as close as she comes to taking responsibility. Otherwise she just blames me for not tolerating it.

I’ve worked hard to grow the last few years. Longer than that really, but it’s been a snowball; slowly picking up momentum and mass. Every time I start to do better, she seems to want to throw a boulder into my calm pond. I’m at a breaking point here, or rather the relationship is.

So, yeah… When is enough enough? Because where I’m sitting right now:

Unconventional St Patty’s Day Dinner

I showed the corned beef I smoked for this meal in a recent post. Being a contrarian, I had to do something different with it for dinner. We had a long day that day, and after getting stabbed, I didn’t feel like an ornate meal. Truth? They’ll take away my (part) Irish Card, BUT, I’ve always hated the “throw it all in a pot and boil it” thing for corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick’s Day. It takes all the flavor right out of everything.

So what DID I end up doing??

Corned beef sandwiches with coleslaw and Havarti cheese on pretzel rolls with fries.

Viola: Corned beef, cabbage and carrots (in the slaw) and potatoes (fries). Untraditionally traditional. 😀

Re-Farmer’s Kitty Still Needs YOU!

I reblogged a post a couple of days ago about Re-farmer‘s cat Ginger who broke a leg and is in need of surgery.

Picture of Ginger, ruthlessly bootlegged from Re-Farmer’s blog.

The MINIMUM it’s going to cost is $1300 Canadian. She’s trying to raise money to help cover the bill via Ko-Fi donation site. Thus far, she’s only raised 43% of the minimum cost. Canadian dollars are lower than U.S. dollars too, so even a single Dollar or Euro donated goes farther then it would at home. Yes, you can donate that little also, and with no service charge

Re-Farmer and her husband are on a fixed income, so this is a case of legitimate need, NOT somebody who wastes cash and wants others to clean up their mess. If she didn’t need it, she would not have asked.

If every reader donated just that single dollar, Ginger would be well on his way to having his surgery. We bloggers are a community, so I’m asking all of you to pull together and help, even if it is just $1.

711

Nope, not THAT 7 Eleven. 😀 I’m up to 711 followers. Not bad for a blog that’s often completely random and written by the world’s most frustrated aspiring author. 🙂

With that said, I wanted to add a “Welcome!” to the newer followers, and say that I appreciate you all.

I want to add a special Thank you to the rare few who truly read the posts, and even occasionally comment. 🙂 I know you may not always agree with me, but I hope I’ve kept you entertained and given you food for thought at least. 🙂

Broken Baby

I’m reblogging a request for help here folks.

Some of you know Re-Farmer, all of you should. 🙂 She lives out in the wilds of Canada trying to keep the family farm going while living on a fixed income. She also tries to look after the feral cats in the area, domesticate, fix and get them adopted out where possible, etc…

Well, one of the little cuties on the farm, named after my Mustang no less(!), broken his leg badly and needs expensive surgery or amputation. Read the whole story and help if you can, please!

The Re-Farmer

This morning, while doing my morning rounds, the kitties all came out to say hello.

Then I saw Ginger.

Walking on three legs.

His right front leg was dangling and swinging in a most unfortunate way.

I tried to go to him, but he “ran” away. I didn’t want to risk losing track of him or hurting him more, so I went inside. My younger daughter was handy, so I told her about it, and she went outside with the cat carrier to try and catch him, while I called the vet clinic.

The doctor was in surgery at the time, so we were told to bring him in for 3pm. My daughter had caught Ginger, and we had a few hours, so we set him up in the sun room, where he would be safe and we could check on him through the bathroom window.

It was encouraging to…

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