One Day At A Time

Some days rising above the challenges life throws at you is easier than it is on other days. For instance, one of the changes I am trying to make in my life is to stop eating so many meals at restaurants. I’m also trying to stop getting snacks, etc. from the vending machines at work. There are several reasons for this; the desire to lose some weight, to live healthier, and most importantly, to save money.
Over the last week, it has been remarkably easy to avoid all of these things as I was  in a temporary negative cash flow situation. In other words, I was broke. I didn’t have the money to spend on luxuries like restaurants, or snacks, etc. Today, however, was payday. After paying immediate bills, and after making sure I have money set aside for the trip to Crown List this weekend, and to make sure I have money for gas for the next two weeks, after doing all that I managed to drive by my favorite Chinese Buffet and successfully resisted the urge to stop and eat. I made, in other words, the better choice. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. I’m rather proud of that.
In fact I was so proud of that rather simple accomplishment, that when I got home I decided to overcome some other temptations. As I’ve mentioned before in this Corner, I tend to get addicted to online games. I played Warcraft for over a year. Since November I’ve been heavily invested in a game called Eve Online. WHen I get involved in these games I spend way, way to much time playing them. In fact I tend to ignore my real life, my real friends, in order to spend time in an artificial world. Now, three weeks ago both of my computers suffered some temporary problems that made it impossible to play. That was painful, but until I got them repaired, I literally couldn’t play. My time away from the game was not a choice.
I did, of course, get my machines repaired, but during the forced down time I had caught up on my reading, I spent some time making jewelry, which I hadn’t done for months, and generally found I was enjoying myself. Unfortunately, over the last two days I’ve been thinking a  lot about either firing up Eve again, or , even worse,  buying another  copy of W.O.W, and starting to play that again. I would have had to buy a new copy of W.O.W. because when I quit playing I knew I’d be tempted to start again so I not only removed the game from my computer, I actually broke the discs in half, so I couldn’t reinstall them. I knew it would be a mistake, but I was sorely tempted. WHen I had to quit playing Eve temporarily I didn’t actually remove the game from my system, nor did I close down my accounts (had two of them, pathetic, I know). Despite severe temptations to play again since getting the machine’s fixed, I have been able to avoid doing so, but it’s become more difficult to do so every day.
So, when I got home today, feeling so good after avoiding the urge to pig out the Panda Chinese Buffet, I decided to do something about the temptations of the online games. First, I removed Eve from my system and closed both accounts. Instead of then leaving the house and heading for the nearest Best Buy to buy copies of W.O.W. I logged into my instant messaging programs and spent some time talking with a good friend (thanks Charlie) and working on some paperwork I had to have ready for this weekend. Soon enough the urge to go buy the game went away. Well, it went away at least for today.
However, you can only fight temptation one day at a time and today I’ve won the fight. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.


Family Musings.

So, it’s Tuesday. My how time flies.

I had a wonderful weekend with my Mom and Sister. I talk to both frequently, but due to the fact that they are both in central Alabama, and I’m not, I don’t get to actually see them very often. For the last seven years or so it has been an average of once or twice a year.  I have always been amazed by the people that have lived their entire life in one place, that have all their family including grandparents, cousins, etc. etc all close by. My family has never had that, and it has worked for us. We’ve always been very, very spread out, and while at times we wish things were different, the fact is we like it this way.

Ok, I could have more to say, but dinner is done, and I’ve got both seasons of Lost on DVD. I’ll post more later this week.


It’s only Tuesday, and I’m already ready for the weekend

All my life’s a circle;
But I can’t tell you why;
Season’s spinning round again;
The years keep rollin’ by.

It seems like I’ve been here before;
I can’t remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we’ll all be together again.
No straight lines make up my life;
And all my roads have bends;
There’s no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.”

So, it’s been a week of sleeping with the damnable machine, and while I still can’t bring myself to say I like it, I do have to admit that it is having a positive effect. I am definitely sleeping better than I have in a very long time. It’s strange, but until I started sleeping better, I didn’t realize just how badly I was sleeping.

In other news I’m really excited about going to Crown List this weekend. To begin with, I’ve never been to this particular site. Add to that the fact that I always enjoy Kingdom events, and the fact that there is a particularly good group of fighters in the list, and it promises to be a good weekend. If everything goes right, we should be on the road by 2:45 PM on Friday, which should put us on site about 9:00 PM that evening. Drop off the Royal trailer at the site and then head back into Minden for the night (didn’t get bed space),  and back on site early Saturday morning.

Now all I have to do is survive the rest of the week. That should be a challenge.


Sunday Morning.

Much to my surprise, I find myself awake before noon today. I certainly didn’t plan to be. In fact I had planned to sleep until at least noon, if not later. Apparently the universe had other plans for me.

Since my last post on Tuesday I’ve been adjusting learning to sleep with  CPAP machine. I can’t bring myself to say I like the damn thing, but I do have to admit it is having an effect, a positive effect. I am waking up during the night less, and I am definitely sleeping better than I have in years. It’s strange, but I had not realized how badly I was sleeping. I knew I was waking up two to three times a night, and I knew I tossed and turned a lot while sleeping, but I didn’t realize just how much that was affecting me. In just the few nights I’ve been amazed at the change in how I feel. It does take me a bit longer to actually fall asleep when I first go to bed, but once I do, I sleep the sleep of the dead.

In other news I had an absolutely wonderful day at Quest For The Holy Pail 3 yesterderay. I’ve been to all three of these events, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself all three times. Rookshaven works hard, and they put on a very good event. The tournament, which was won by Caedmon, was entertaining to watch. The hours between the end of the tournament and court seemed to fly by. I spent a lot of time doing what I always do: talking to lots of people, and enjoying doing so.

Soon it was time to prepare for Court, and that was a different experience. Since Linnet was not at this event she had asked me to be in charge of organizing the entourage for the day. With our entourage team that was not any problem, these folks are a real joy to work with. What was different was that for the first time I was involved in the court prep: checking the troll records to make sure people were on site, find a scribe to make sure the scrolls had the proper names on them (Thanks Jane) , pulling regaila, etc. etc. This was a small court, with only a about eight pieces of business, but I was amazed at how complicated the whole process was. Court itself was very entertaining; Their Majesties really put on an entraining show at court.

The feast was very good, particularly the meat kabobs. I also enjoyed the soup. The Lemon Water that Kat The Strange brought was also good. Different, but good. The fact that the kitchen staff had to deal with horrendous problems with the site all day long just made the feast all the more impressive. For most of the day the kitchen appliances didn’t have any power. At one point they lost water pressure. With all those problems they still turned out a great feast on time, with no delays. A very impressive feat, folks.


Saturday night.

So, been a mere 12 days since I made a post. It feels longer than that.

I don’t really have a lot to post tonight. I had a wonderful, and quite surprising, time at Coronation last weekend. Quite surprising.
This week I’m missing Diamond Wars because my bosses demanded my presence at work. I think they lack imagination.

I spent most of the day making jewelry. Well, I should say I spent most of the day making components I’ll use to make jewelry. Winding the wire on the mandrel, cutting the rings, opening the rings. It’s a time consuming process, and extremely repetitive, but also somewhat mentally liberating. One portion of your brain is focused on what your hands are doing, but a much larger portion of your brain is free to think, to wander, to ponder. Got a lot of thinking done, and actually completed two of the men at arms chains I’m making for His Majesty Sir Uther. Once I get done with this piece I’m going back to it.

I don’t really have any real plans for tomorrow. Not during the day anyway. Tomorrow night I’ll be spending the night at a sleep disorder clinic. My Doc. thinks I probably have sleep apnea. From what I know of the condition I think he’s probably right. I admit I’m not really thrilled with the thought of trying to sleep with a bunch of electrodes attached to me, and even less thrilled by the thought of sleeping with a CPAP mask over my nose. However, I know several people that use CPAP machines, and swear they have made a large difference in their lives.

Ok, off to make more components.


Give me sticks and stones any day.

Before work today I went to lunch at my favorite low cost chinese buffet. I go to this particular restaurant once or twice a week. It is not high cuisine by any means, but I like it. While I was eating my lunch the two women were having a conversation about their children. …..
Before I continue this I should admit I don’t have any children, and the way my life is going, probably never will. Nor do I spend a great deal of time around children. I make no claims to be an authority on child rearing.
Anyway, I over hear this conversation, mostly because they were talking rather loudly, and I heard  one of them make this comment, “and then I told him to rememember that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me'”. I almost choked on a piece of sweet and sour chicken.
I know she probably meant well, and I’m sure she was genuinely trying to help her child, but what a load of male bovine fecal material. In my life I’ have been hit by sticks and stones, and while those incidents did hurt, they didn’t hurt nearly as much as some of the words I have heard from people.
I too was told by concerned parents, friends, etc, that little rhyme. In a way, I think it actually made things worse. I mean, if words couldn’t hurt, if they didn’t hurt the people telling me that “words could never hurt me”, then I must not be as good, or as strong, or as tough as the people that were telling me that the words couldn’t hurt me. I remember clearly having that thought when I was nine years old.  I had gone to my Dad crying because I was tired of being made fun of at school. He put his arm around me, and repeated that phrase, that rhyme. I know he was trying to help, but I still hurt, and I couldn’t make him understand that. Maybe he did, but didn’t know how to help. Maybe that’s what his folks had told him.
But it’s not true. Worse, it is a lie: words can, and do, hurt. Hurt a lot. Sometimes the hurt is deliberate. Whoever said them wanted to hurt. Far worse is when someobody that truly loves you says something that hurts without meaning to. When they have no idea the impact of what they have said has on you. That is much, much worse. Give me sticks and stones any day.

Weekend Recap

This has been a productive, pleasant weekend. Of course, I didn’t do much, but I thoroughly enjoyed not doing it.
Saturday morning I was at the place that pays me. I hate working weekends , but the time passed fairly quickly.  I didn’t actually connect with any of the people I was trying to call, but then on Saturdays we  rarely do.
After work I met Jim, Luca, Brenna, Gerald,  Ida, and Karl at the baronial storage unit. Jim and I did an inventory of the baronial property while Luca and Ida made a list of the things they will need to take to Ork Wars. Brenna spent the time organizing the contents of several tubbies. Gerald had brought his label maker along and made labels for the tubbies. Karl provided color commentary and helped out in several other ways. It only took a couple of hours and it was fun. It felt good to be outside. The weather was perfect; mild temperatures, deep blue sky with just a few clouds, a nice breaze. Almost no humidity. In other words, the kind of weather one rarely gets in Memphis.
When we were done at the storage unit, Luca, Gerald and I got a late lunch/early dinner at Panda. The food was good, the company was better, and the conversation among the three of us was great. We talked for a long time about a variety of subjects. I am fairly sure we annoyed our waitress because we lingered so long after we were done eating. Itried to make up  for it by tipping more than I normally would at a buffet place.
I spent Saturday night and most of today playing with wire. I had stopped at Home Depot and bought an electric screw driver and keyless chuck so that I could mount the various mandrels I have. I rather quickly learned a valuable, if some what painfull lesson: when you are using a power tool to wrap 16 guage wire around a mandrel, it pays to not lose control of the free end of the wire. It really does.


Big,Bald, and Back..

So, it was exactly a month ago today that I made my last post. My, my, how time flies.   I have been absent for far to long. However, I’m back. I’ve got my priorities straight, again. Life is moving again.

More to come, I promise you.


Enough Already!!!

Sweet jumping jesus! As I write this it’s 11:30 at night and the temperature  is STILL OVER 85 FRIGGING DEGREES!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve had enough! I want the cooler temps of fall, and I want them NOW. I want to be able to go outside and not have an attack of PSS (That would be Projectile Sweating Syndrome) in less than three minutes! I want to be able to drive my truck, my black truck, the one with no air conditioning, without feeling like I’m in a sauna!
Dear Gods, please hear my prayer. Please, please, please, send us some cooler weather, I beg you. We need some relief.


Sunday Evening.

Last Thursday night I wrote two, count them two, posts, and for some reason the posts got eaten. They disappeared into the great nowhere that is cyber space. I was not happy.

So, not a great deal has been going on in my life since my last post. Mainly I’ve just been trying to deal with the incredibly hot weather. For those of you not blessed/cursed to be living in Memphis, or indeed the southeast in general, it has been DAMN HOT for the last three weeks. I mean offensively hot. The kind of hot that when you walk outside the temperature literally takes your breath way. Anyone that knows me knows that I sweat a lot. The last three weeks or so I have discovered that I actually suffer from PSS: That would be Projectile Sweating Syndrome. I can literally walk outside and after thirty seconds I can hit sparrow in flight from a distance of twenty yards with a droplet of sweat. Not a particularly useful skill, I know, but it’s one of the few skills I can name.

I spent this weekend at Aphar Faire, and absolutely wonderful event hosted by the good folks of Shire Lagerdamm. This was a new experience, as I had never before had the opportunity to go to a Lagerdamn event, and I have to say I had a ball.
I traveled to the event with Her Highness Kenna and the royal children Allison and Jonathon. I don’t have a lot of experience with small children, but they are great kids. Very polite, very respectful, and a joy to be around. We didn’t stay on site, but stayed at the home of Karis and Kohlr ( I truly hope I spelled that right). I didn’t know them until this weekend but they are incredibly friendly, welcoming people. Their home is a very pleasant, beautiful place in the country side outside of Conway Arkansas.
Saturday morning we got to the event site around 9:30 A.M. We quickly got the Royal Thrones set up and went about enjoying the day. I guess there were roughly a hundred people on site. There were not many fighters, so the tournament was over before I had a chance to see it. I did attend Her Majesty’s class, and taped it for Linnet. I also listed to the round table discussion on Arts and Sciences documentation. I even asked a couple of relatively on topic questions. I impressed myself.
Court was held outside under a covered pavilion. The highlight of court was seeing Elena get her court barony. She was…..shocked doesn’t even begin to cover her reaction. Stunned, elated, disbelieving. That announcement was the first time I have ever seen a standing ovation in a Royal Court. There were also a couple of AOA’s given out, and Sir Leto received a Silver Ram.
I didn’t eat feast but all reports say it was a truly wonderful meal. Near the end of the day, the last couple of hours before we left site there was a bardic circle held in the main hall. Stu performed several pieces, including his famous (infamous) Squire’s Song. Her Highness Kenna sang a truly wonderful song called “The Fruit of the Yew”. A lady who I had never heard before, and who’s name I never heard sang a haunting and beautiful song about being far from home. It was truly a great time.
We left site about 9:00 PM and went back to Karis and Kohlr’s. I don’t know how late the other’s stayed up talking but I took a shower and hit the sack pretty early. I hadn’t really done much activity during the day but I was really worn out. It was the first shower I’d taken in a VERY long time that did not include any hot water.
This morning Karis made french toast for breakfast, and more importantly a pot of very good coffee. We talked and socialized for a while. We left their house at 12:15 and got some lunch before leaving Conway. The drive home was full of good conversation. The time literally flew by. Eventually I was home, the laundry was started, and I took a nap. Another great weekend in the history books.