Tag Archives: Personal Update

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.

General Update

I’ve been idle again for a couple of days. My goal anymore is to do 2 or 3 posts a day (more often 2) and make only one of them “heavy” in any sort of way. I think keeping it at 2 or 3 keeps the work load manageable, and I don’t overload readers.

Lately I’ve been battling to catch up on sleep though. Around 5 years back, we bought a Sleep Number bed. Given the condition of my back at the time, it was a worthwhile investment despite the cost.

I should actually do a review post on them for my readers. Maybe the next day or so. 🙂

The sleep problem that came up is that the center of the bed is an air chamber. Taking air in or out is how you adjust the firmness. And, the air chamber sprung a small leak apparently. Ever tried sleeping on an air mattress and waking up with it half deflated and your back hurting? THAT is what I was dealing with for the past few weeks.

We got a new air chamber, and the bed is working fine again. It’s really been a matter of trying to catch up on my sleep now and let my creative batteries recharge.

The Back and Neck:

image from nata.org

As you can imagine, the whole incident with the bed set me back a little here. I was moving along fairly well on the rehab path after my spinal decompression treatments. The new traction devices helped, as did the rower and exercise.

At this point, I’m coming to the conclusion that healing the back to a meaningful degree and losing weight is going to take time. More then I’d like for sure. I’m making progress though. I can lift more than I could before without hurting, I’ve got more energy and more flexibility. It’s a mix of positivity that I’m making progress and frustration that it’s so slow.

The Shadow Hunt:

Overall, things have been going well here also. As long as I remember the prayer, meditation, ho’oponopono, etc… I’m having great days. When I forget, or the sleep issue was interfering, not quite as much. Again, progress even if this one will be a long slow uphill battle. Personal demons don’t disappear in a night anymore than they’re created that quickly though.

The Blog:

I’m still here, and there are no plans to change that. 🙂 As mentioned at the start, I’ve decided to limit my posting to 2 or 3 posts a day with an occasional day off. I’m trying to reorganize the whole daily topic thing that I had going before, but I’m not there yet.

I will be adding regular martial arts and self-dense related posts to the blog, once a week I suspect.

Politics specifically I still plan to avoid. It’s just too toxic anymore. I want to try to discuss some social issues in a non-political way though. Suggest middle of the road solutions, etc… That’s another thing I’m still trying to work out though. To be honest, a part of me doesn’t want to bring them back. Tuning out the news and politics has been like removing a dark weight from my soul. There’s just too much hate surrounding it all anymore. REALLY hard to deal with when you’re an empath too.

I want to get back to more writing related posts too. That’s what this whole thing was started for originally. The cooking posts will definitely stay also. I think you all have noticed there have been more of those thanks to the weather lately. 🙂 It’s something I’m moderately talented at and truly enjoy (usually, lol).

That’s about all I’ve got for now. 🙂

Still Drifting…

But the ship is coming under control ever so slowly. 🙂

So what to say here? I try to avoid personal drama here. It’s toxic, and it alienates good readers, and bad readers take pleasure in it.

LONG story short; my baggage goes WAY back. BAD childhood, equally bad first marriage, etc… For ages, I’ve tried the Western, new age BS way to deal with my “shadow”: all the pain, self-doubt and anger over it. That being to make peace with it, or bury it. Let me tell yah; that don’t work.

Shaka Zulu was credited as saying never leave an enemy alive lest they rise again and strike you down (paraphrased). That is exactly what happens with psychological baggage when you try that. You start to feel good, and it comes back attacking from a different angle. Even Seinfeld recognized that:

The only answer is to kill the bitch. How? Detailed instructions would be another, LONG post, and I can’t say as I’ve got all the answers YET. I do know I’ve made huge progress with prayer, meditation, grounding, energy work, and working hard to forgive myself and others. I can also honestly say that it takes some real introspection and self-awareness to hunt your own shadow as well.

Is it truly killable? Yes, but achieving that (IMO) would put somebody at the level of a Buddha or just short of that. Can *I* do it? Saying yes would be arrogant. Saying no would allow doubt and fear to creep into the fight, strengthening the shadow.

I’m already doing better too. I’ve come too far to let myself fall back also.

I will leave all of you with one VERY helpful tool while I continue to work, and compile a complete battle plan.

Ho’oponopono is Hawaiian prayer or meditation technique. It’s name roughly translates as ‘to release’. That’s exactly what it’s goal is also; to help you forgive yourself and others, and release the associated negative emotions and energy connected to people and events. The video above is one of several videos on YouTube covering Ho’oponopono. The process is as powerful as it is deceptively simple; an analogy would be the Israelites being told to gaze at Moses’s staff to be healed. Yes, it’s THAT good, especially with regular use.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life or just want to grow, give it a try.

Beyond that; I’ll leave you with this post’s theme song; dedicated to getting better and supportive friends:

Feeling Adrift…

Yep, a personal post. I haven’t been posting because I’ve been in sort of a funk the last week or so. I’ve had posts ready to write out, but haven’t been able to “get pen to paper” as it were.

Honestly, it’s felt vaguely like the esoteric definition of a ‘dark night of the soul’, but without most of the negative emotion that accompanies one. None the less, there is the feeling of being without direction and like nothing I want to try (such as writing) is going to move in the right direction.

The simple definition.

Aside from the same worries that everyone else is dealing with nowadays, I suspect there’s something I need to make peace with and release. That, I will have to meditate on.

In the mean time, the prescribed way to deal with a spiritual dark night is to keep pushing through it, so that’s what I’m here starting to do. 🙂

More posts to come… such as my scratch made chili verde.

What A Workout!

Yes, I still like my vague titles, lol. Keeps people curious.

OK, so I had hoped to be back here (and at my other blog) writing again sooner, but things have been busy. There’s alot of little chores with a house this old and a fairly sizable yard. We’re also still sorting and tossing things in an effort to trim back and simplify.

On top of that, I’ve been working HARD at one of my New Year’s resolutions… You know, that one that EVERYBODY makes:

I’m Going to Get In Shape!!!

THIS has been my torture device of choice:

It’s a water based rowing machine. LONG story short, we decided months back that when we moved we were going to get one more exercise machine to go with our stationary bike. I thought long and hard about it, and pushed for a rowing machine because it works so many muscle groups at once.

Picture from Amazon’s store page

It also works your back and shoulders. I even feel it in my forearms. Rowing around on a lake (in an inflatable boat) was how I first got in shape in my younger days, and it’s a habit I still enjoy, so this was a natural choice to me.

I still have yet to get a certain lazy spouse on it however. >_<

For those of you who have been slacking on your fitness… Let me tell yah; you don’t realize how badly you can go downhill before you truly feel it. I knew I was out of shape thanks to my back and neck keeping me sedentary for 8 or so years. I walked, I did things around the house, so I assumed I wasn’t THAT bad off.

The first time I got on the rower, I could only do fifty reps. 😶 NOT good, since the rower pretty much provides the same moderate level of resistance as real rowing.

I’ve busted my butt however, and am determined to NEVER go back to that condition I was in before decompression therapy. In roughly three weeks, I’ve gone from 50 reps to 1000 yesterday. Some of my improvement was probably just the exercise working fatigue poisons and other toxins out of my system. I know I’m feeling mentally and physically better, even if pushing hard leaves me wiped out afterwards. 😀

I’ve also lost 10 pounds and am determined to keep that up also.

The Best Diet Advice I Ever Got:

Was something so simple that most people wouldn’t believe it works; just SLOW DOWN and enjoy your food. Take your time, thoroughly chew it, actually make conversation with people while you eat, etc… The ideas being that first, it takes 15 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it’s had enough, no matter how much food you scarf down. So yes, closely related to that, it’s also better for your digestive system.

The hidden benefit to it though is that you AND your body will quickly figure out what’s truly good food. I was skeptical on this one and actually tested the idea on a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin one day. I used to love the things. Slowing down and chewing it though… truly giving myself time to sample the flavors… The sausage is REALLY disgusting, and the muffin and cheese aren’t much better.

Some of you may have had similar experiences with other foods. Little Ceasar’s pizza for example; it actually tastes good if it’s hot and you don’t truly take your time. Let it cool off even a little though… Yuck! Even if you eat it quickly.

If you want to read more about the whole concept, there’s a book called “The Slow Down Diet” that goes into more details, but I’ve given you most of the highlights here.

Just make that one simple change in your eating routine and see how much changes in your life.

The Ongoing Neck and Back War:

Speaking of the neck and back… Moving REALLY took a toll on both of them, given how rushed everything was. My worthless ProNex therapy tool broke on me also:

The damned thing tore in half at the narrow center section of the top piece, just from normal use. Talk about cheap! I mean I knew it was foam rubber, but still…

Pronex doesn’t stand by their products either, even if brand new. Needless to say, I’m changing my review to zero stars, wouldn’t recommend. After some meticulous research, I came across an alternative:

Only $50 more than the Pronex, but it’s solid construction, not low grade foam rubber.

It worked so well that we bought the lower back unit made by ComfortTrac also:

With my bad back and the auto accident my other half suffered in the Subaru, this unit has been a godsend for both of us. Chiropractic treatment never did anything long term for my back, but this is helping tremendously.

Neither unit is QUITE as good as full blown professional decompression treatment, BUT with common sense and regular use, they come VERY VERY close, for a good deal less. My previous decompression treatments ran almost $4000, and the moving undid a large portion of that. These two units had a combined cost of roughly $1000 on Amazon. That’s still ALOT of money, but we’re both benefiting from them, and it’s cheaper than professional treatment, and FAR FAR cheaper than surgery.

If there’s enough interest, I’ll do a more in-depth review on both. For now, suffice it to say they’re a large part of why I’ve been able to push myself so hard, and will help guarantee I never go back to that broken down state EVER again.

Oh yes… Remember that recurve bow I bought also?

Well, I finally got it out and started shooting also. The weather has provided limited opportunities there, but I finally got out the other day and shot a few flights. This was at about 30 feet of distance BTW. Not too impressive. My first volley was a bit of a mess also, LOL:

I hit the target with all 3 arrows though! I consider that fairly good since it was the first time I’d shot a bow since 1987 or 88. There was no nock point (a little piece of brass wrapped around the string) on the bow string, no sights, and the tab (finger guard) I was using on my drawing hand was incredibly sloppy.

Picture from Amazon’s store page of the exact one I purchased. Somebody sure chews their nails, LOL

I have to replace it with a shooting glove for sure.

BUT, I shot bare bow for the first time in 33 years and out of 50 arrows at between 30 and 35 feet, I only missed the target 3 times. By the last flight of arrows, my accuracy had improved too:

I even put one nearly dead center!

Funny… I was worried that a 40 pound draw weight on the bow might be a hair too much. It’s actually proving to be just about right for me, and is giving my arms a little extra workout also.

I’ve forgotten some of the technique I was taught back in college, but it’s amazing how I could pick up on what I was physically doing wrong with my shots; primarily being too tense, and sometimes not just simply releasing the bow string.

For those who have never shot a bow, the ideal release technique is to just simply let the fingers holding the bow string go limp. It prevents an accidental jerk of the string sideways, which will make your shot go wide. That can happen if you try to force your hand to release the string, or outright jerk your hand away.

ANYWAY… I need some practice for sure, but it wasn’t bad for a first outing. 🙂

I’ve also taken a few preliminary steps towards brushing up on my Kenpo and Wing Chun. That’s a story for another time however. 🙂

Five MAVO Points to anyone who can tell me what that last picture is though… WITHOUT an internet search. 😛

New Years Update & Some Thoughts

Let’s start with a slightly belated Happy New Year to everyone out there. Here’s hoping that 2021 will indeed be a better year.

As for 2020… The WWE had the best answer there:

Personal Updates:

I’ve been away the last few days just taking a break. It’s been a hellish last few months with the move and everything. Pack, unpack, clean a filthy house we moved into, enough yard work to keep a full landscaping crew busy full time, the holidays, and some other things I didn’t get into earlier.

My other half had to go into the hospital to have some heart blockage checked. Long story short, there was some modest amount and it’s treatable with medication. That much is a relief. I am hammering for better eating habits and exercise at this point though.

The situation had two other uncomfortable issues come up as well. A) I’m completely in the dark about most of our finances. B) The life insurance I thought was in place was never taken care of. We’re working on correcting *A* at least.

I was also forced to cut loose my longest running friendship also. We’ve known each other since my first run at college back in 1987. Unfortunately said friend has also drank the FAR right kool-aid, and become pretty classless. I already dragged them away from Stormfront (a neo-nazi forum) once before and thought they had their head on straight. Ever since the George Floyd incident though, they’ve been increasingly negative and using “BLM” as a replacement for the N Word, among other inappropriate talk.

Several attempts at reasoning had no luck, and in the end I got verbally attacked. Enough was enough, and I had to break ties. It’s something I’m not happy about on one level, BUT at the same time, I have to take a stand for what’s right. Yes, elements of BLM have acted very poorly (although more often than not it’s Antifa crashing their protests), and the things A FEW people that claim to represent them have said have been royally offensive. I can’t hold the whole group responsible for a few publicity hounds and loose cannons though.

So yes, my “we all need to shun the crazy extremists” talk **IS** something I back with action. While I wish i could have talked some sense into them, you can’t help anybody who doesn’t want to be helped. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way more than once in the past.

On a more positive note, I started on a couple of my New Year’s resolutions early. We got a rowing machine after moving to the new place, and I’ve been using it to get back into shape and rebuild the lost muscle from my being largely sedentary the last few years. We’ve actually turned the sun room into a fitness center. Our exercise bike is in there along with my old martial arts training equipment, including BOB:

AKA “Body Opponent Bag” – Century Martial Arts named him, not me.

I picked BOB up on clearance at a sporting goods store years back. Time to slowly start putting him to use. Luckily I have videos to refresh my former classroom (dojo) training.

Since we finally have a big back yard, I also picked up something I’ve wanted for ages; a new longbow:

It’s a Southwest Archery “Spyder” takedown recurve bow kit. OK, everybody say it with me:

OK, kidding aside, I used archery as my ‘out’ for a PE class back during that first trip through college. California had made PE a requirement at the college level if you can believe it. It *IS* California after all. Anyway, it turned out to be very Zen and therapeutic for me. I’m not the hunting type, but target shooting is something I find relaxing. I’ll doubtless write more here once the weather clears and I can actually get some shooting in.

There was more I wanted to write about plans with the blog and getting caught up on notifications, but that’ll have to wait until next time.

Back… Maybe? Ouch.

I’m not sure that I’m completely back yet, but things are FINALLY falling into place enough that I can take a break and let people know I’m still alive… barely, LOL.

We didn’t finish moving everything down until the third, and have been unpacking ever since. Two moves in six months seem to have finally been enough to convince my wayward spouse that we just plain have too much crap too. So, (thank God), we’re getting rid of some of it. One silly example; we have new pillows for both our bed and the guest bedroom bed… and still took 8 more to a Goodwill donation center and tossed 3 more that were too dirty to donate. I’m not even talking throw pillows either.

If that wasn’t enough, between what we bought and inherited from both sides of the family, we must have had 20 casserole dishes. Now, I love to cook, but not THAT much, lol.

LONG rant short, we still have a ways to go yet, but things are falling into place. I’m going to try to be back every day from now on, and should be able to truly kick it into full gear in another week. That should give my hand a chance to heal up too.

The Ouch:

Yes, there’s a story there too. Yesterday, I was making some homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup. Trying a new recipe I found also, which I won’t post. My previously posted one is actually much better; more savory and authentic.

ANYWAY… this other recipe made so much that it wouldn’t fit in the Crock-Pot, even after trying to cook it down some. So, I tried to transfer it to a bigger pot, and it spilled all over my left hand. Worse, if I had dropped the crock, I would have broken it and spilled soup everywhere. I held on to it long enough to safely empty the crock a bit more and drop it into the pot with the soup. Net result though; second degree burns all over the back of my left hand. Somehow it missed my actual fingers past the first knuckles.

Morbid curiosity compelled me to check the temperature of the soup after an initial cold water bath for my hand: 200 degrees.

I’ve remarked, almost half jokingly, in the past about my ability to suppress pain. After years of dealing with pain that turned out to be my neck and back, and being told there wasn’t anything wrong (until I got MRIs), even I was wondering how much of it was real. Well, the burn answered that. Yesterday I was in agony as the entire hand was one big burn blister. Today I’ve got it blocked out and it’s only mildly painful. It’s thoroughly bandaged however, for obvious reasons.

Yet Another Personal Update:

As recently promised, it’ll be relatively drama free however.

Mainly I just wanted to let folks know that we’re pushing HARD to be out of this apartment in the next week and be settled in our new place by Thanksgiving. Will we make it? Hard to say. Technically we have until the 6th of next month, but we want our peace, quiet and sanity back.

Bottom line though, I’m busy as heck, and I’m likely to stay that way for another week or two. I’m doing my best to at least keep up with my followed blogs, but even so, I’m 60 emails behind right now. I really am anxious to get the blogs fully rebooted again too.

Then there’s the new and semi-new followers also. I haven’t forgotten any of you, and you’re all appreciated. I intend to give your blogs closer looks as time allows.

We actually signed the lease on our new place on Wednesday, otherwise I’d have done a Veteran’s Day post or re-blogged my one from last year. The trip was quite an adventure in itself too.

We got caught in heavy rain, and the Subaru hydroplaned and then fishtailed, and I mean royally! We literally got half way to sideways 8 different times before I got it back under control. It swerved one way then the other and seemed to fight me every step of the attempted recovery. STILL, without the all wheel drive and traction control system, we probably would have rolled over. At least there would have been airbags also in that case. Not so much so with the F-150 (only front air bags) or the Mustang (nothing).

So yeah, we got a good scare, and happily there were no cars around us to put in danger, BUT it worked out fine.

Another thing that worked out fine:

Baby Yoda!

I canz has Baby Yoda Tervis Tumbler. 😀 *happy dance* I’m even vaguely less upset about the election now, LOL. As for the rest of you, never fear. Disney is hard at work motivating it’s exploited third world child labor force to make sure you can have goodies also:

Yeah, I know… killjoy, LOL. Not like I haven’t said the Mouse is Sith though.

Moving Update and Other Stuff

Today was actually a reasonably productive day. Also why I’ve been slow to get back to WP despite a fair number of comments on yesterday’s post. More there in a bit.

Today largely consisted of getting the F-150 emissions (smog) tested, and registered, and then a trip to Nashville to go to the bank and get funds for the deposits, etc… for the new rental we will be moving into SOON.

In a bit of irony, the first place we tried to rent FINALLY got back to us 4 or 5 days late and said we were approved to rent it also. Almost a shame since that place has alot of charm, but it’s smaller, fairly poorly laid out (the door to the back porch is in the second bedroom?!?), and the property management company just plain made a bad impression on us by taking 5 times longer than promised and not even contacting us; just emailing the lease to sign digitally.

Sorry Charlie.

The Truck:

The truck passed it’s smog test fine. Not surprising since we went over everything thoroughly and repaired a few things that we found. I’d go into details, but I’d lose most of you, or bore you with detailed descriptions of the systems.

Net result though; 4 parts per million of Hydrocarbons, and ZERO Carbon Monoxide… in a 26 year old truck.

Tell me again how gasoline engines are dirty…

For those who get lost on the parts per million thing… that’s 4 particles of hydrocarbons for every million particles of air coming out the tailpipe. In people terms… New York City has 8.33 million people. The HC coming out of the tailpipe would amount to 33 people in that population of 8.3 million.

And since Tennessee has a good 100 different license plate designs to chose from, I picked the Gadsden Flag one as my own little protest to what’s going on in the country:

Funny (sad)… I considered putting that same plate on Ginger (the ’67 Mustang), but I decided it felt a little confrontational at the time, and opted for the Bald Eagle conservation plate. NOW, I see it as my way of saying I’ve had enough without going out and picking a fight. Which brings up to a brief comment on yesterday’s post

Yesterday’s Post:

That post was the culmination of over a decade of frustration over being called every name under the sun by the far left; racist, sexist, homophobic, yadda yadda… all because while I essentially supported many of their social ideas, BUT I didn’t take it as far as they wanted, and I didn’t want them taking what little I had that I’d worked my rear off for, so they could give it to somebody else.

The voting irregularities scare me also, because it means we’re heading towards being Russia, where choice is a complete illusion.

Trump himself… I know I sounded like I was defending him, BUT I can’t stand the guy on a personal level. Even when I’ve agreed with his idea in principle, his obnoxious way of handling issues played right into his opponents hands and alienated allies.

Take the “NATO members need to start paying their fair and agreed upon share of NATO’s operating cost” as an example. It’s only 2% of their GDP after all, and on the surface that sounds reasonable.

A) I don’t recall hearing him acknowledge that some other NATO countries DO pay their share, and more. The UK and Germany in particular IIRC, and

B) There are a million more statesman-like ways to ASK the other members to sit down and work out something instead of going into the situation throwing a fit and threatening to take our toys and go home.

Playing the heavy may work when you’re kicking old ladies out of their homes to build a golf course (something Trump literally has done in the past), but is not how you handle relationships with long term allies.

So, while I think Trump was better than Biden, and I do NOT like the funny business in the election… Personally, I was pulling for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio in the 2016 primaries. I’d have been happy to see Trump drop out and let Pence run this time also.

NOW… I just have to sit back and wait to see if my fears are justified regarding the Far Left doubly down on their hate speech and persecution. I’d be VERY happy to be proven wrong here. Long winded explanation, I know, BUT I do NOT want people thinking I’m a mindless Trump-bot. I’m just tired of being blamed for all the world’s woes.

Another Conspiracy Theory:

It was tossed around by people more readily accepting of conspiracy theories than I am, that the COVID-19 epidemic would magically go away as soon as Biden won the election. Tin-Foil hat stuff, right? *I* said that was taking things too far.

BUT… Here’s Andrew Cuomo all but saying the Coronavirus will end in two months when Biden takes office:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/cuomo-predicts-us-will-see-worst-of-covid-in-long-2-months-before-biden-takes-office/ar-BB1aOMM0?ocid=msedgntp

That’s a top Democrat on a liberal site saying that, not some Fox talking head misquoting somebody.

And with THAT, I truly am done with politics here. It’s just getting too Alice in Wonderland and as predicted, I lost multiple followers yesterday.

Time for Some Changes

A mixed personal and blog update here.

Real Life:

has kept me fairly busy the last couple of weeks. We’ve got a new place in a different town lined up and NOW I have to contend with packing everything within a month to get us out of here. No problem. It only took us 15 months to pack for the move out here. *headdesk* So yeah, I’m expecting to not have much free time to blog as I’d like. I’m going to try my best though. I’m really fed up with drama messing with my work here.

The Blog:

I recently wrote about my frustrations in the NSFW Blog, as part of discussing my writers block. It’s similar to the grumbling I’ve done here in the past. After a week or so of pondering the big picture, I’ve decided I need to make some changes:

FIRST; I’m going to start a separate blog for political and social issues. I’m tired of readers dropping here over political stuff, and I want to be able to be a little more open with my feelings and opinions also.

Personally, I’d prefer to just stay in my own little corner of the world and ignore the rest of it, BUT this election has shown me that (Un)real life is just going to keep forcing it’s way in. I have NO illusions that I’m going to make a difference, BUT at least when this life is over I’ll be able to say I made the effort instead of deciding it was too awkward or inconvenient to stand up for what’s right.

Next; I’m going to start writing in my spiritual blog again also, in the hopes it will keep me grounded and remind me of lessons already learned. Being an Empath (or HSP if you’re a complete skeptic in anything beyond the material world) is a PITA when you forget said lessons.

Followers and Following: This has been my massive frustration lately. That’s because I’m putting HUGE amounts of time into networking with other bloggers and it’s NOT paying off the way it (theoretically) should. I’m literally spending a couple hours a day following blogs and responding to notification emails about others’ posts. Here’s just under a month’s email totals for me:

This was Oct 28th, and I’m already back up to over 2000 after the Deleted Items were cleared on the 29th.

That is with me being less active lately also. I had it go as high as over 7000 once or twice before. It would all be awesome if it was somewhat balanced, but 85% of it is notifications about others’ posts or a like to my reply. Another 10% is “hit and run” likes from people I know never read anything I wrote.

So, I’m going to be slowly and deliberately separating the wheat from the chaff; eliminating followed blogs that have never visited here after initial contact, don’t respond to my comments, never like or comment here, etc… The goal being to focus time on the people and blogs who ARE genuine. I want to spend more time commenting on their stuff and exchanging ideas. The heck with the users.

I’m also really hoping that trimming the fat will also fix the (lack of) notifications problem I have with a few followed accounts that I really like. We shall see.

Working towards a niche: This is one of those things I’ve had to be honest about being a shortcoming in my blogging. I’ve been all over the place with topics and information. Gaming, politics, cooking, etc… Cristian Mihai is right; people like consistency. They don’t want to go to a cooking blog and read about auto repair (to pull two examples out of the air).

To be real, I don’t know if I’ll ever fully get this down to a single specific topic. More likely it’ll end up a broad generalized topic that encompasses some of my more frequently blogged about topics, and lumped together under something like “Modern Living”.

I do know politics is gone. Social issues I may touch on lightly. I’m going to cut WAY back on personal posts also. There’s an adage that nobody wants to hear (or read) your drama day after day. I’ve seen a few people build quite a following that way however. Granted most of them were cute girls that complained about their sex life while flashing cleavage in pics… That’s another rant though.

The bottom line is we’ve all done it. It’s perfectly understandable in small doses also, but too many personal rants start to become psychic vampirism level pleas for attention. I don’t want to be *that* person. It’s also better to do something about problems than complain about them.

As a final note, I’m also going to do my best to work towards getting a daily topics schedule restored for the blog, so people know my food posts are on Monday (as an example from my former schedule).