Well, having accomplished what I set out to do with this blog, I think it is time to shut it down.
The reason I’m doing this now it simple: I had 90 days to renew my domain registration when they informed me that WordPress has decided to force a 2-stage authentication process that requires a form of verification that I literally can’t provide – a cell phone number. Since I do not have a cell phone, and wouldn’t tie it to my blog even if I did, it is time to quit WordPress. Besides, I’ve done what I set out to do with this blog, by laying personal claim to ideas that were hugely influential in the outcome of the 2016 election for the USA. Everything else was gravy.
So, I’m transferring all of my files and blog posts to my original blog at: http://mr-spock.livejournal.com/ and asking that if you want to continue to follow my journey of self discovery, you’ll bookmark that page or subscribe to it. I’ve been blogging on that page since 2004.
Thank you, one and all, for making this page feel like a resounding success.
After several days in a row with bad weather and migraine complications dumping on each other, I was desperate for some sleep yesterday as my wife left for work.
I actually went to sleep rather quickly – but it didn’t last long. About 2 hours later, I was sitting up from a dream that was so bizarre, and uncannily realistic, that I couldn’t get it out of my head. I spent the rest of the day playing video games to distract myself, yet even when my wife got back home, I still felt as if I’d just awakened from the dream.
It started off as simple as it was ominous. My wife had lost her job because the state had made huge cuts to it’s total budget for higher education. Because she’s tenured, her contract required a year’s severance pay, and she had a year to continue her work while polishing her resume’ and looking for a new job. Still, without a guaranteed income, we were faced with loosing our house. Then, out of the blue, I got a phone call from a childhood classmate. The little 1-traffic-light town I grew up in (founded by a war veteran just after the US Civil War) had lost touch with it’s roots, and I was the only honorably discharged veteran of my age group. In fact, there was only one other veteran my age, total. Such is the fact of life in a small town. So, they needed me to “come home”.
I told the caller that I’d consider the idea, but I had 2 conditions. First: I wanted a full-time job as a cop on the city police force, with appropriate benefits. The second was that there had to be a full-time job for my wife in the city annex of the county library (since the county seat is 24 miles away). It only took them 20 minutes to agree to both conditions. That was the end of the dream.
Then things got even more surreal. When my wife got home, she was fit to be tied. Just before she left work, the university president sent out an email to all university employees stating that, because of revenue shortfalls, the state was facing a $1.5 – 2 Billion financial crisis, and as a state regent’s college they had to be prepared to make some painful cutbacks.
I still didn’t get any more sleep until after 1:30 AM this morning.
Last night my wife and I were watching a disc we got from Netflix. I was sitting in my recliner, with a cat sound asleep on my lap, when she got up to go to the kitchen. Seeing her heading that direction, I held up my empty coffee cup and asked if she’d mind getting me a refill – so I wouldn’t have to wake the cat.
She wanted to know what she should put in it, and I responded with “something hot, brown, and wet.”
Then SHE asked me if I meant Zoe Saldana or Halle Berry.
I really should have just said “coffee”. Besides, even if they were willing, neither one of them would fit in my coffee cup.
Well, first off, most people probably don’t know what “havingness” means, since it is an invented word. It refers to a person’s willingness to have things – not desire, but ability.
After that post I wrote about not sleeping, my good friend Anita and I traded a few emails trying to brainstorm a solution to my trouble. I told her that, if all else failed, August was coming soon and historically it is the hottest and driest month of the year around here. Or, perhaps the PCH Prize Patrol would ring our new doorbell on August 31 – if they do, I would answer the door.
Yesterday was yet another very wet day. The storms moved into the area around 4:30 AM, and it rained most of the morning. Naturally, our mail was delivered in the rain. What was funny, though, is that there was an envelope from PCH – clearly marked on the outside, “You’re A Winner – Prize Check Enclosed”.
The envelope was so wet that it pretty much disintegrated when I looked at it. Still, with care and the acquired skill of opening soaked envelopes, I managed to get it open without destroying the contents. Yes, it was NOT a joke. We did win a PCH prize.
Well, I can have that. The check was mailed to our credit union for deposit yesterday. Now we need to work on havingness to get to that point of being able to “have” a $5,000/week income for life. The prize is awarded at the end of this month. *grin*
Slowly, but surely, our move towards a greener lifestyle continues.
One of the things that we’ve been looking at is that our HVAC system has been in this house since the early 1970’s. There is no doubt that it will someday need replaced, but in the mean time it is not the most energy efficient. So, I had the brain storm that if we could come up with a more energy efficient way to heat the house in the winter (i.e. using the fireplace) we might save enough money over time to pay for the update.
Well, it turns out that the reason our fireplace isn’t safe to use is that the liner in the chimney is cracked – and there is NOBODY in this area who replaces cracked liners. I’ve even used email to contact people in KC, Tulsa, and St. Louis – they won’t even consider traveling so far for the job. So, we started looking at other options. Or, we thought it would be plural. Turns out, there was only one option – get a gas-burning fireplace insert.
Of course, that isn’t as easy as just snapping your fingers. A gas-burning fireplace insert actually needs a gas line to provide the fuel, plus it needs a plug-in to power the regulator. So, we called our favorite plumber, and asked him if we could get a gas line to the fireplace. Naturally, he needed to know where it should go, and the salesman who talked to us about the insert didn’t tell us where to put the line. So, after a few delays over the telephone (the salesman took vacation while I was waiting for the plumber’s estimate) I got an answer on the location. We got lucky – the best place for the line to enter the fireplace was also the easiest place for the plumber to put it.
So, now the gas line is in place. The plumber even filled the hole around the pipe with a cement compound that was color matched to the brick, and painted the pipe to match. We’re very happy with the results. The next step is the insert itself – at a minimum cost of $3k – but I think we would actually want the $3.5k version. We’re going to be living with this for a LONG time, if fate is kind.