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Good Riddance 2018

This is late getting posted because 2018 decided to suck right to the very end (and beyond). I have been physically going downhill fast since around the middle of October. I nearly died Christmas Eve trying to take a shower. I probably should have gone to the ER then, but there was no way I was going to force my parents to spend Christmas Day in the damn hospital. I had to do Medical Stuff (tm) the day after Christmas anyway, so while we were in the general area, we tried to get something resolved. The whole thing spiraled out of control until I ended up in the ER. Unlike previous times in the ER, there wasn't any messing around; I was admitted and in a room within an hour of walking in the door.

Long story short: Congestive Heart Failure and Kidney Failure. After nine days in the hospital with endless blood tests, CT's, X-rays, ultrasounds, etc., no definitive answer why everything crapped out. The leading suspect at this point is the chemo pill I've been on for the last 18 months or so for my Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, but we won't know for sure until the results of the needle biopsy they did on my kidney Wednesday come back in a week or so. I could hardly breath with all the fluid on my lungs, so when diuretics didn't really help, the lung doctor did a Thoracentesis on my right lung on Sunday, then my left lung on Monday. Between the two, they sucked 5.7 liters of fluid out of my chest. No wonder I got winded walking from the couch to the front door.

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Merry Christmas!!

As has been tradition here for many years (but apparently not last year), I give you some Youtube Christmas Cheer (tm):

And just because 2018 was the Year of Total Suck:

Christmas plans are minimal; we'll start at my parents place in the morning with a few gifts, have lunch at the clubhouse, then crash back here and try to escape in mindless TV or books. We really just ain't in the mood....

Ticketmaster and Other Scams

Well, nothing horrible happened the last time I tried this, so why not try it again?

One thing using Evernote to write drafts did that I didn't notice right away is change the font size on the post. I wouldn't have expected that to copy over, but it did and I think it makes things a bit more readable. [So of course this time it didn't.] Why everything on the web has to be in 8 point type (and usually light grey text on a white background) has always baffled me since some dweeb started that crap back in 2003. It's even bleeding into real-world printed material. The last channel line-up we got from Spectrum was in maybe 6 point non-sarif text. Really guys?

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Off line Editor Testing

Trying something different; instead of doing my rough draft in the on-line editor; I'm trying out writing at least the first draft on my computer, then copy over to LiveJournal. That way, no matter what happens, I at least have a draft. I've been using Evernote pretty much since the day it was first released for any and everything. I like the editor and it does most everything I would ever need it to do for a blog post. I noticed that LiveJournal has some "off-line" editing tools, but I figured why go to all the trouble of installing and learning yet-another piece of software when I already had something that will probably do the trick. What will be interesting is to see how formatting copies over to the LiveJournal editor. I assume at this point, everything uses some form of HTML for text formatting, but these things never seem to work 100%. Excuse some testing:
This is bold.
This is Italics.
This is just some regular text:
And then a quoted text block. (Oops; can't seem to do that in Evernote.)
Let's give this a shot.

Not horrible. There may be some clean-up, and I'll have to do some poking around on the block quote deal, but I think we have a winner!

Cha- Cha- Cha- Changes (Part Deux)

Well, just ran into my first big gotcha on Live Journal. An entire entry just went away somehow. Not sure what I did, but about two hours of work is just gone. Anyway, what follows is a bad recreation:


Monday night, right in the middle of the House Committee meeting, I told the board of Zephyrhills Moose Lodge 2276 to go fuck itself. I'd taken all the bullshit I was going to take. I'd been telling these jackasses not to make me the lodge Administrator, but it was easier for these lazy assholes to have me slide in by default rather than do the fucking job they were elected to do. It would have been different if it was some kind of emergency situation, but they've known for over 18 months that we needed a new Admin as the old one had taken a full-time job somewhere else and was doing the Admin work on nights and weekends. If we were a more-typical lodge of 40 members up in Elk Anus, Montana, that would have been OK. But we're a $1.3 million-a-year business with over 2,200 members just on the men's side of the lodge. When the old Admin decided it just wasn't working, everything should have already been set. Instead, it all landed on me.

We moved to the sweaty dick of North America for one reason only; keep track of my 80+ year old parents when they were down here in the winter and drive them back and forth to Michigan. All that was the first thing to go out the window. In fact, my parents felt compelled to buy memberships just so they could have fish dinner with me on Friday's. Otherwise, they never laid eyes on me. I never had any time for Debbie. All the work on the house came to a screaching halt. Hell, I couldn't even keep the grass mowed. It was just work and sleep.

Then my health started to go: Massive headaches that no over-the-counter med would touch. Eating was out of the question. Then the chest pains, shortness of breath and swelling legs. The best part was that I really couldn't do anything about it. I didn't have the time to go to a doctor, and the lodge doesn't provide health insurance for its employees, so I've been simply putting up with it. I'm sure that will end well....

A few weeks ago, it finally became offically-offical that I was the Administrator and the real fun began. There is a cabal on the board made up of the Governor Richard Riddling, Treasurer Dan Morgan and Jr. Past Governor Larry Robertson that is bent on revenge against the former Admin and his wife. Like cowards everywhere, they wanted someone else to do the dirty work for them; namely, me. At my first House Committee meeting I was too stunned by the unadulterated juvenile stupidity of the entire exercise to do anything. At the second one, I pushed back. Things got ugly very fast and I decided enough was enough.

So now I'm sitting on the sidelines laughing my ass off watching these fools scrambling around like ants whose anthill just got kicked over. I'm especially enjoying all the cries of, "Come back! Come back!" Yea. Right. It could happen, but only under my terms: One, the three people named above are off the board. That's non-negotiable. Two, I come back as temporary Admin while the remainder of the board gets off its fat ass and hires an Aministrator. Three, once the new Admin is in place, I go back to being the Admin Assistant.

None of that will ever happen, of course, so my feet are up while I enjoy the shit show.

Election Hangover

I stopped bothering to vote a long time ago, but I still get a kick out of watching the circus every couple years. Fortunately, I'm not alone. First up; Dmitry Orlov on Russian meddling:

and then some old-school George Carlin:

Look, it really is quite simple. Nothing you do can possibly matter. It used to be that local governments had some control, but Federalism is a long time dead. Any city mayor or state legislater who dares to defy DC will find themselves quickly brought to heel or squashed like a bug. Even at the federal level, we all saw what happened to Trump when he tried to end our pointless wars, normalize relations with Russia and slow illegal immigration. He was quickly set straight by the unelected bureaucracy.

So lower your stress level. Stop voting. Stop caring. Realize that in a thousand years, no one will know or care who was elected mayor of Miami in 2018.

Recycling to Armageddon

While we were in Michigan for Debbie's family reunion, I noticed certain of her family members digging through the trash pulling out "recyclables". I tried to explain that since China, in retaliation for Trump's tariffs, had stopped taking imports of American garbage, and that as a result, the nation's "recyclable" garbage was piling up in port cities and "recycling" facilities. A great deal of it is going into landfills. The rest is being shipped to other Asian destinations who don't even pretend to recycle it; they just burn the stuff in open pits. But at least we get to feel good about buying water in little teeny plastic bottles instead of just installing a water filter.

In any case, I thought of that little episode while catching up on my Lee Camp viewing and stumbling across this sweet little bit:

Being an old fart from when all this was called "ecology", I actually know what that little triangle/arrow thingy with the number in the middle means. A triangle was used because it was supposed to represent a three-step process: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. In other words, step one is quit buying so much useless crap. Step two, when you do buy stuff, think about what it could be repurposed for at end of life. Then as a last ditch effort to keep it out of a landfill, find a way to recycle it. But being Americans, we were quick to realize that there is no profit in buying less shit or reusing our shit. Recycling, however, could be a multi-billion dollar corporate business that is only profitable because the entire population is guilt-tripped into being unpaid labor and most collection is taxpayer-subsidized. The new triangle/arrow thingy now means: Buy! Buy!! Buy!!! Buy!!!! (but only at eco-friendly stores) - Reuse? Are you nuts? What will my hipster friends think? - Carefully sort the result into the proper bins and tell ourselves what wonderful people we are.

The irony in all this is, as Lee Camp points out, we are using more resources and more energy with all this "recycling" than if everyone just went back to tossing everything into a trash can.

Taking the Plunge

Well, I did it. I paid the $20 bucks to see just what I can do with this thing. The first thing was adding the rest of my links over there on the right. The problem is that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the Customize Journal Style without going into Help and searching on "link list". That seems like a cumbersome way to navigate, but I'll be damned if I can figure out how else to get to that page.

I'll get it eventually, I suppose. If nothing else, I'll have to ask the support types how to do it.

Anyway; the reasons we've been incognito for four months.

The first kick in the teeth was, of course, the death of Debbie's mom. We're still trying to get our feet back under us from that one. We do a lot of sitting and staring at nothing, not really interested in much of anything. So we were starting off from a pretty low baseline.

Then we had Debbie's family reunion the first part of August (her mom's family, natch). The drive up nearly killed us, then on the drive home, we ended up stranded with a dead car in the big booming town of Pioneer, Tennessee. We scrambled trying to get the car fixed and/or replaced, but we broke down on a Friday around 10pm and couldn't even get a tow until Monday morning. Meanwhile, Debbie's asshat boss was making threats about how she better get back to work ASAP. (More on those shitdicks in a bit.) We finally got the car running and managed to limp home, but we were both now so far behind at work and at home that it all seemed hopeless.

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Still Playing Around

A month later, I finally got back to this and I just ran into my first road-block. There is a limit on the size of the link list. It's about four entries short of what I need. That sucks. I use my link list every day. I could purge some links, but I've already got it down about as short as I can make it. There are a couple that can go, but I don't know that I can eliminate four entries. And then what? Every time I find something new to read I have to delete something else?


Maybe one of the paid themes? Paid upgrade? Dunno.

[Later] And the answer is.... Money. Like always. But at least it isn't too obscene; $20 a year and we get a lot more than just a longer link list.The biggie is getting rid of ads. We don't see them because we run AdBlock Plus in our browsers, but just in case anyone else ever pays attention to this thing, I'd rather not have them blasted with ads for boner pills and sex toys.

Testing, testing. Is this thing on?

So, I just signed up for this thing a bit ago, so I'm trying to see if this is going to be any kind of a substitute for Blogger. Not that I use all the vastness of Blogger features, but I do use some of them. I'm not all that sure that this will do everything that I want, but maybe it doesn't have to.

OK; that was a fail. My scanned photos are too big, which is no surprise, but Blogger automatically scales them down to "internet size". Lets try a digital photo.

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