Sunday, August 6, 2017
It's been a long time since I have posted in my little blog. Much of the reason is that I have been either too busy, exercising discretion on what I post, or the desire to not bore the world with my ramblings. Here are summaries of what has occurred: Politics (obviously): Aside from voting, I have given up trying to persuade the world to change it's ways. The last Presidential Election was a clear sign from Elvis that life is now a "reality show", instead of a comedy. Highly depressing. Has Art now taken over Life, completely, instead of following it? When creatives have no restraints, the results are often *worse* than Sturgeon's Law would predict. Work: We have now transitioned into a world where Excel pivot tables, instead of intelligent management, have destroyed life for talented people, regardless of person or profession. Additionally, I've encountered employment environments that are nakedly about extracting the very last value out of talented people, then, unceremoniously destroying them. Many of the previous generation who knew the values of leadership are simply gone. They have been replaced by two generations who act solely out of their own self-interest, or petty ego. There is nothing that can be done about this. Politics has become the exercise of business by other means, to paraphrase Clausewitz. Humor: Very little. Real Estate: Ironically, I am now in the position where I wanted to be seven years ago, renting, rather than owning. Jettisoning home ownership has been a most liberating experience. I also live where I can walk to many,many things. Markets. Retail. Car repair, Post Office, public transport. Simplicity of living. I still miss having a back yard, a dog, and a decent place to see the sky, and listen to radio. My apartment is almost a perfect one to survive most tornadoes, however, although I cannot see the sky from it, or have anything but the most powerful local media stations reach it. I cannot force a dog to live half a day in a reduced space, just for my convenience. That loss of companionship still hurts. I am still angry about how blind I was in re-investing in my home, after being forced out of the caretaker position at my mother's house I had assumed. I had hoped for three months to find new quarters. My sister gave me thirty days. She wanted her money. The fact that I could not properly grieve, or recover from the case of pneumonia I had contracted from lifting Mom, and working full-time simply did not matter, compared with cashing in her lottery ticket. Moving myself, with no assistance, destroyed my health. The combination of the two made the rest of the decade a dark one indeed. Many of my co-workers do not understand that buying a (grossly overpriced) home on the periphery of the metropolitan area, with no public transportation, can be a fateful decision. In our fluid employment world, your job moves more easily than you can. A house, as I have found to my dismay, is an illiquid asset. It's a trap, as well as a home. They have yet to discover that blind fate *can* reach you, and leave you stranded in a very poor geographic location. Both of my co workers travel thirty miles, one-way. This is unsustainable. sooner or later, the price in time and transport will come calling (not to mention age). Friends: I have good ones. They have helped, when help was needed. My health has kept me more isolated than I was before, and they are also aging as well. Sadly, one of our original group has died recently. Weather: What's that? :( I only find out about the bad news, once I have to clean off my car of the snow accumulation. Fortunately, there are few slopes to traverse, such as my old home's driveway. Or, when my utility bill arrives. The loss of connection with the outside world is similar to the Scandinavian problem of isolation. I fell less connected to the world, than before. The only courtyard in my apartment complex is full of smokers. Not good for someone with respiratory problems. Transportation: My car, Blue, has gone through a mid-life crisis. It has absorbed much of my cash. It now drives wonderfully. I hope that continues.. Medicine: After politics in the last year, my medical bills/medicines have become far more expensive. Additionally, my dental work, without the care of Dr Bruno, has taken it's toll as well. I have had two teeth extracted, rather than crowned, due to expense. Fortunately, a competent dental office is within walking distance, something the whippersnappers will discover the hard way. Almost all of this was paid for in cash, through my HSA, one of the last protections against destitution, via the healthcare industry left standing. All but one insurer has pulled out of Missouri, in my price range. No words can suffice. Money: None. All surplus income is now absorbed by unplanned expenses. I travel very little now, to work and back, and to maintain the car, or for missions that cannot be walked to. This does mean that the car has very low mileage, but it means a weekend to visit friends is right out, much less traveling to the Chicago museums, or Wright-Patterson. In all likelihood, I will never see the Smithsonian. I have yet to collect the meager health plan my position allows. It is just barely superior to the minimum ACA plan, that requires a 20% co-pay on everything after the first $6,000 from my HSA. Games: There are now wonderful board games in the world. I only wish my old body could stay awake long enough to visit my friends, and play them. I walk many, many meters on my job. I need no step counter. By the time I get home, my feet and blood pressure quash any ideas of a weeknight outing. I feel a traitor. But, dying is not the best option. My rest is hampered by poor respiration, and my rest time needed has increased greatly. Work, or have friends. I love just how great America has become. Now, my game time isolates me more, since it is on the computer. Internet access is good (fiber), and I have few problems. It is no substitute for human contact. Additionally, everything that has driven the work and political worlds has been echoed exponentially in the online game world. It is a griefer's paradise, with few consequences. Additionally, game content has bee monetized to a degree that would make Mammon green with envy. And to survive, one must play the game as a full-time job. Art, imitating life? No. Life has become an art form. One can only live, in the true sense, by evading the illusion of Six Sigma perfection in ones own life, and admitting to your own limitations. I guess that's as good of a summation as I can get.