Some odd thoughts for the week, sunburn, politics, a year of being single, unfinished work.

  • It really says something about this country when the two major political parties go out of their way to nominate the two candidates that the majority of the population has a negative opinion of.  I cannot believe I am saying this, but I might end up voting Libertarian this year.  I don’t necessarily agree with Johnson on a few major points–particularly the economy–but at least I can determine where he actually stands.  And he seems less likely to start World War III.  Of course I’m hoping for Sanders to pull off some kind of miracle.
  • I mentioned in the kayak post it will be one year of being single this week.  Figured out the official mark will be Friday.  Maybe I should throw a party or something?  Ha ha, that would be funny.  Pretty cool with it.  I suppose I’d like to get laid a bit more often, but whatever–did all that reading up on the Kamasutra last year, I’m a little saddened to not have taken more advantage of that.  Saw a gym meme about men vs. women and how they handle a break-up.  The joke was that months later the guy will be in the best shape of his life while the girl will be getting fat.  I have put on ten pounds of muscle since then, so… I suppose on my side there is some truth to it.  I’m just trying to enjoy life and wondering how much my gains would have increased if I was getting proper sleep.  I just feel I’ve proven everything I’ve had to prove.*
  • Got a bit sunburned the other day while kayaking.  It’s settled down nice and now I am tanning gloriously.
  • I think reviews at work should be done in the next week or two.  Probably a lot of back and forth about me wanting to go back to pushing cheese.  I can’t help but wonder, would things be better with a union in place?  We do have a good pay rate and benefits without the presence of a union, but I have to wonder if this staffing shortage and the events leading to it would have even happened with a union?  Or if a lot of the malcontents have lasted as long as they did?  You wouldn’t think that about the malcontents, but I think the arbitration of disputes might have a lot more steps without a union and therefore take longer.  Another side would fill in some gaps that create more bureaucracy?  I don’t know.  I think management has made a few missteps–not just on staffing matters, but overall–if only because they don’t really have a real check in place.  Idle speculation mostly.
  • Speaking of work, I had a bit of an interesting conversation there.  An older guy was giving me some wisdom on women and he asked if I knew the origin of the c-word.  It’s a word I rarely use, and if I have it was usually in reference to my coworkers.  He explained it to me as meaning “can’t understand normal thinking.”  Has that same feel as “fornication under consent of the king” to it.  Given the number of people I know that seem to function on their own logic, I can understand that sentiment.  Doesn’t change what a derogatory term it has become though.
  • Might order another Flex Comics tank top or two at some point.  The first one I got was awesome and helped that whole “Under Armour Spokesmodel” thing I had going.  Having comic or nerd related workout gear is really just me.  And brings balance to the force.


*Quick note:  I just wanted to add in some ways I might have taken more responsibility for things that went wrong than I ever should have.  Without passing judgement on anybody else, I can honestly say I tried to make things better.


Kayaking Reflections

June 3, 2016

I’ve gone kayaking three times this week.  Lightly sunburnt as a result, might have to even that out a bit.  Twice on Lake Dunmore, once on Fern Lake.  Lake Dunmore is larger lake and has a lot of boats and waterskis going on it, which was a bit of a challenge.  Water was a little rougher than I would have hoped for someone who hadn’t done this in years.  Fern Lake was much smaller, a lot calmer.  Definitely had a much easier time today.  Also, didn’t have to pay, which is nice.  Was going to head down to Lake Bomoseen, but I’ve heard that’s more of a challenge, so I’m putting that off until I’ve gotten a bit more practice in.  Would like to get a crew together and go on a regular basis, one more reason to get my hours back on some kind of human cycle.  Time and energy would be better managed that way.

Dunmore was full of all kinds of nostalgia, given that I worked at Branbury State Park–where I launched from–while I was in college.  The last summer I worked there was 2008, so eight years ago.  I remember that summer fairly clearly because it was the year it rained everyday and the park flooded.  That was an interesting  time.  There’s a reservoir on Mount Moosalamoo–some of the camp sites were at the base–and the day it flooded we got a call the might have had to open up the levies.  Washed away what was left of the campsites basically.  They didn’t end up doing that, but it was a concern.

Anyway, the next day, a couple of the other attendants and I were wandering about and we were looking at the picnic area.  The water level of the lake had risen significantly enough that the picnic area was flooded.  I believe it was me–eight years ago, so I can’t be 100% certain–that observed that we could have gotten kayaks in there.  Took a little work, but we quickly found a spot in the shoreline where we could get in there and paddle around the picnic tables.  Place was wrecked, so we had the time to do it.

It was a good time.  And I’ve been having a good time with this.  Kayaking is amazing.  Good time to start doing it too.  It occurs to me that at some point next week it will have been one year of being single.  And I’m at peace.  I remember I brought up the idea of getting kayaks to my ex once and she was very discouraging of the idea.  Something about her sister flipping her in an attempt to teach her to right a flipped kayak–little skeptical, because my understanding is that the technique for that is somewhat advanced and nothing a beginner should even be attempting.  I mean, stability is a major selling point of a kayak.  And two things would happen if somebody tried that with me:  one, whoever tried it would get a good whack to the head; two, I’d probably be getting a new paddle because those things aren’t really that solid.  Anyway, I thought it would have been a fun activity for us to do together.  She didn’t see it that way.  She clings to negativity too much and I pity her for that.  Or at least she did when we were together.  I’m just glad I did this eventually, because it is a lot of fun.

Anyway, plan to be doing a lot more kayaking in the future.  Hopefully I’ll continue to get any number of things in order to improve that experience.  I enjoy the relaxing simplicity of it.

Vacation is going. Selfie of my new tank top has been posted.

  • Been getting a few drawings done, and have been working on comic pages.  Vacation is going to be a bit of a catch-up phase.  Should be able to make up some ground.
  • Went kayaking, mostly just getting my feet wet–literally and figuratively.  Probably didn’t spend much more than an hour of the time I was there on the water.  Decided I probably will end up picking up crossbars for the top of my Jeep at some point.  Mostly just getting a feel for the boat, making adjustments and reacquainting myself with the with it–I last did this on any kind of regular basis when I worked at Branbury State Park back eight or nine years ago.  Has it been that long?  Fuck, I feel old.
  • I’ve been formulating this idea that Trump and Clinton are very much the same.  When you think about it, they are.  Trump won’t release his tax returns, Clinton won’t release her speeches to Wall Street–I won’t speculate too much on that but I suspect the reasons are very similar for withholding them.  They have both taken money from Saudi Arabia–for different reasons, but I think it will be to the same result.  The Clinton Foundation and Trump University have both come up heavy suspicion for various issues.  I’m sure I could go for days on this if I really tried.  But at the end of the day, you just have to look at the way they carry themselves.  The way they talk.  They really are the great Millenial Candidates.  More the perception of Millenials–I do take some issue with that perception, although there is a bit of truth to it.  With Trump and Clinton, it comes down to their sense of entitlement.  To me at least, they come across as not really believing they have to earn people’s votes and should just be elected by supposedly obvious superiority.  Crooked Hillary… Dodgin’ Donald… I look at the way they carry themselves and I think, “This is the way that Millenials are supposed to act, not seventy year-olds.”  So yeah, my feeling is that unless Sanders somehow gets the Democratic Nomination, there will be a legit third party contender.  Who that will be–The Libertarian Johnson or Sanders himself or someone else–I don’t know.
  • My parents anniversary is today.  I think it has been 31 years?  Sounds right anyway, numbers tend to get jumbled in my head a bit.  Suppose I should get a card.  Might want to do something special, given the last week.  My sister closed on the house her and her husband were buying, plus there was the stuff with my grandfather last week… It was a long week.
  • Bought a Tank Top off of a website called Flex Comics the other day, a Deadpool themed shirt that says “Maximum Effort” across the chest.  Fit perfectly in my usual size, if you’re ever interested in getting some of their gear.  I’ll post a selfie at some point.  The comic itself isn’t bad either.  Anyway, I looked at the slip and there’s a hand written note that says “Thnks Ross”.  Small gesture, but I found myself somehow very appreciative of it.
  • Reflecting on relationships a bit.  I feel very content to be single.  This isn’t to say I won’t be dating or in a relationship soon, I just feel okay to be single.  Really just acknowledging simple facts.  I’m 29 and ready to actually settle into something that could go pretty far.  Point is, I want to make sure whatever happens next isn’t caught up in making a point about the past.  Avoiding that trap is part of why I won’t date until I’m done working midnights.  I have entertained the idea of some kind of relationship with a couple of women, but there are certain aspects of those dynamics that I want to make sure I am more capable of dealing with.  I have been in situations where I could not meet my own standards, I do not want to do that again.  I don’t want to be in a relationship where I spend more time proving it is a good situation and that I made the right choices than just actually enjoying it.
  • Saw something about how Nathan Fillion was apparently a real dick to people on the set of Castle, especially Stana Katic.  A rumor, but it sounds like there was truth to it.  Disappointing really, shatters that idealized image I had of him.  Another reason I think that last season should never have happened.
  • Glad I’m on vacation, I can actually get some of the things done that I’ve been meaning to do.Max Effort

Discuss vacation plans, long term goals, etc…  Odd bit of reflection…

  • Got a few things planned for my vacation.  Going to check out this Sled Dog Rescue and Education Center I found out about online.  I’m thinking of going another route anyway, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Huskies and Malamutes…  Going to try to get some serious writing and drawing done…  Also planning to do a lot of kayaking and hiking…  See X-Men: Apocalypse…  Memorial Day is during the week as well, so I will do something with that as well… Probably grilling…  Going to see about getting my push mower fixed up…  Might even get rolling on one of the dozen of projects I keep putting off in that area.
  • Got a kayak.  A 9.5 foot Perception Swifty DLX.  I’m sure that means nothing to 90% of the population, but it’s decent kayak.  Didn’t go too cheap or way over budget, just got what looked like it would work best.  Was planning to go to one of the lakes and paddle around for a few hours, but it started raining just as I was going to load it back onto the Jeep.  Probably jinxed it by saying it had better not be raining.  Looks it will be next week before I can take it out.
  • Still looking at dogs, just focusing in on what I think would be the right fit for me.  I think I’m zeroing in on an Australian Shepherd.  Seems like the right combination of look, energy and practicality.  Been looking at a few breeders in the state and I’m thinking that’s a route I’d like to go.  Going to start getting more serious about that in the near future, mostly just trying to get the money and housing situations where they should be.  The idea of building a house remains the ideal scenario in my mind.  Still learning about training right now, more of long-term plan for once I’m back on my own again.
  • Thinking I’m going to start liquidating my comics collection soon.  Or at least a majority of it.  I have the entire run of the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Batman series, so I’m going to be getting a bit more heavy into getting all that signed and graded.  I got some of the key early issues signed, looking to get a few more signed over the summer and fall.  Also keeping a close eye on upcoming Marvel movies to see if a couple of key characters are going to show up.  I’m planning on doing this in the next six months or so.  Might get my Civil War and Winter Soldier copies graded… It is past due that I start making money off them.
  • So, I got a bit of a story here.  My parents got a wedding invitation in the mail the other day.  It was for the nuptials of my ex’s cousin and one of my sister’s best friends growing up.  One of those “it’s a small world” type of moments.  I had a small role in getting them together, as he was asking about her at a gathering before they met.  My ex and I knew her a bit, but most of our info was out of date–then it occurred to me that my mother probably was still in touch with her mother.  She was at this gathering–a going away party for the sister and brother-in-law going to Nevada, who had worked with my dad and I–so I called her over and she had plenty of details.  It was a bit of welcome distraction from all the heavy stuff going on at the time.  It was nice not to be agonizing about whether or not I bring up all the stuff I had been reading about that area of Nevada or about Lyme Disease.*  Anyway, they’re engaged and my parents were invited to the wedding.  Mom has said she has little interest in going, I think in part because of the way things ended with me and my ex.  I would hope not, but that’s the way of things if it is.  Although she did suggest I use the invitation instead–as a joke, I assume.  I mean, these are friends she’s known for years.  There is my ex’s family…  One would hope it wouldn’t be a distraction.  Mom did have a role in getting the bride and groom together, so I’d like to see her go.



*At the time I had read up on Nevada and learned a few things, some of them not so pleasant.  Never really shared that until now.  Debated whether or not to put this into writing, most of it doesn’t really matter I suppose.

First was the kids that came down with leukemia back in the early 2000s.  Over a six month stretch there were a dozen or so cases of kids developing leukemia.  My numbers might be a bit off in memory.  They thought it might be a bit of an Erin Brockovich type of situation with an environmental factor of some kind–something to do with the Navy base–but investigation ceased when new cases stopped emerging.  It was something like fifteen years ago, so I questioned whether or not this was ancient history and therefore relevant.

The second was the plant that the brother-in law was to go work at.  I read a handful of articles about it, primarily learning that the place was intended to give the local farms and ranches a chance to expand if they didn’t have to ship the milk to California.  Problem, the Southwest is always in a drought.  They do not have the water available to expand as planned–or at least that’s what the article at the time indicated.  Basically the situation might not be as stable as advertised.  Again, I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure of too much and they had already put so much on this.

As far as Lyme Disease is concerned… My mother and grandfather both had Lyme Disease to some extent, my grandfather having a case that was more severe and caught later after infection.  In his case, it accelerated the onset of dementia.  He is 94, but still.  Point is, Lyme Disease is a nasty motherfucker that is difficult to diagnose and does a ton of damage.  I don’t know what else to say, all you can really do is hope for the best.
Was keeping that stuff to myself the right decision? Would it have changed anything? Who knows? Such speculation is pointless.

Sound Body and Mind

March 7, 2016

I had my monthly pilgrimage to the Dermatologist this morning.  Had developed a pretty extensive case of warts last spring.  He decreed I am sufficiently cleared up enough that I can go back to over the counter methods and no longer need to travel up to Colchester to get blasted with liquid nitrogen–pretty sure that’s what he was using.  Feels good.  Well, except for the two or three blasts he gave me.  Those not so much.  But it is a bit more of an outward sign of improving one of the many health issues that has quietly harassed me over the last year or two.

In semi-related news, the process of me getting off of working nights has officially commenced.  Finally got some acknowledgement about it the other day.  Mostly it was just a situation that did not work for me at all.  Being an operator was something I felt like I had to give a shot, but I’m not one to deny when I’m in a situation that is not good for me–mentally, the commitment was too much of a distraction from the things I really should have been doing.  I’ve been with the company for six years and I like to believe I have earned the right to say, “no, I was better off where I was.”

That should continue to help with my health.  The hit I’ve taken in regards to quality sleep has been substantial, as well as just a few general routine things.  Who knew the big thing I was missing was something as routine as cooking dinner?  You might wonder, “why don’t you sleep in the morning?”  Simply put, the sun comes up, I wake up.  Seriously, I will be dozing off all fucking night and step outside into the sunlight… wake right up and can’t sleep worth shit until 8pm that night.  But anyway, I miss making dinner.  Ranch Chicken, Garlic Bread, Mashed Potatoes, Cheese Steaks, Stroganoff, Chicken Parm, Tacos, Shepard’s Pie… It feels weird making those things around noon.  A lot of that is evening meal material.  And it feels weird to eat dinner around noon–especially the heavier stuff I like to make.

Kinda wonder if that was part of the issue with living in Shoreham.  I was never really there in the evening/night, so it never really felt like I christened it with a proper evening meal.  I did a comic loosely based on some of my feelings living in those months–admittedly, when I wrote about it in the past, I went a little overboard because the face falling off the cat kinda scared the shit out of me after I drew it–and it occurs to me that that might have been an effective way to overcome some of that.

Ties in with my current efforts to revamp my diet.  Essentially I’m trying to eat healthier and take in more calories as I try to add muscle mass.  Unfortunately the erratic and inconsistent sleep cycle does facilitate the proper processing of raw materials in that effort or the recovery from illness.

Anyway, it feels like I am solving problems and getting healthier.  Was going to get a kayak today, but getting the rack set up on the Night Rider in a snow squall seemed less than appealing.  Maybe on my days off, although it might be smarter to wait as I’ll just have to stare at it longingly until I get the chance to use it.

Not much new to really get into, just basic updates.

  • Wrote out a pretty epic essay type thing about ideas the other day.  Really did not intend to get quite as political or make as much of a statement on things as I did, but it happened.  Regardless, I liked how it came out.  Just a number of thoughts I felt like needed to be shared, I guess.
  • Continuing to work away on comics, reevaluating my strategy a bit.  Planning on a bit more focus on doing trades rather doing a page at a time.  Will continue to post pages in Order of the Dragon, but it will likely be less frequent as I focus more on marketable products.  Thinking about a few new projects to work on.  Also entertaining the idea of a collaborative work.  I actually really want to do something where I team up with someone else.  The biggest issue of Chlorine and Acid was that it was became too much me in the story–well, one of the biggest issues–and part of the reason I had to stop.  Admittedly LMCBW might have had some of the same issues, but I like to think we would have balanced out.
  • Working on a novel or two now.  The bodybuilding one continues to trudge along.  My general plan is to have a novel self-published by the beginning of summer, which should be doable.
  • Voted in the Vermont primary yesterday.  A bit irrelevant, if only because the guy I voted for was locked in already–86% of the vote.  Thought about voting Republican, but that’s almost as irrelevant.  As sad as it is, Trump is the likely nominee.
  • Plans are starting to come together.  I’m a bit more confident my plan to pay off the majority of my debt by the end of the year will happen.  First pieces are falling into place, working on the next few.  I like where this is going.  Stashing away plenty of cash while paying off debt, it seems like things are going in the right direction.  I think I can get another piece in place today, so we’ll see how things go.
  • If all goes well, this could be an awesome summer.  If the numbers do work out, I will be buying a Kayak and/or archery gear in the near future–hopefully without adding another card to the mix.  Shopping around for those now.  People might ask:  why archery?  Because it is cool?  I’ve always had a fascination with it.  Guns just never excited me.  For some reason, archery does.  Kayaking is more because I’m looking for something more complex cardio workouts for during the summer.  Good cardio is something I’ve been lacking for a long time.  Probably won’t buy either until the weather is bit more accommodating to such activities.
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