healthy was…

I’m really frustrated with how I feel lately.

I’ve always enjoyed good health, and have enjoyed general comfort in my body, despite my lacking diet and resultant obesity. Not so these past two weeks.

On the day of Keaton’s highschool graduation open house, with forty or so of our friends packed in and around the house, I began feeling “off.” I even voiced it, “I don’t feel right,” I said to at least a couple folks. I felt a little dizzy and disconnected, and my legs felt leaden and clumsy. My hearing dampened in my right ear and there was a ringing there, too. This persisted, and I began to worry. Was I having a stroke? Heart attack? Panic attack?

I decided, I don’t really know why, to take my blood pressure. We only had one of those wrist cuff devices, which I’ve always deemed fairly unreliable, but I used it because it’s what we had. My blood pressure was really, really high. And even though I didn’t fully trust the specific numbers from the device, I did at least believe I was higher than I should be – because I could feel it.

Luckily, a family friend was here who has a sister who’s a cardiologist. She called and talked to me right then and there, and told me to relax, test again later, and make an appointment to follow-up with my doctor the next day.

Over the next hours, my blood pressure did indeed come down, but never really to where it should be. I did see my doctor the next day, and she prescribed blood pressure meds to take for two weeks and a re-test then to gauge effect. My hearing, however, did not, and has still not recovered. My right ear is about 80% dead, and I have a persistent ringing at all times.

I went to see the ENT and they guessed maybe a virus had somehow impacted the nerves in my ear, and prescribed a high dosage of steroids for two weeks. The same two weeks I would be on blood pressure medicine to lower my sudden high blood pressure, I’d be on a high dosage of steroids (which increase blood pressure).

The steroids make me feel awful. Like, terrible. I feel wired and stressed and tight and angry and irritable. I feel short tempered and hurried and harried and like I set a bad example as an adult when I become frustrated or annoyed over stupid things that really aren’t worth feeling either over. This week I begin three weeks of weekly steroid injections into my ear drums to see if that can return my ear to normal.

Not fun, not enjoyable. I don’t like feeling not myself. I don’t like not being able to hear. I used to joke that, if God really wanted to punish me, he’d take away my hearing. Music isn’t as good, conversations aren’t as easy or enjoyable. I have roid rage and I’m half deaf; it’s no fun.

I want to feel like me again and I want to hear again and I want to not be worried that something more systemic is wrong or going wrong with me.

blind and recharged

Normally, bright sunlight directly on my face isn’t something I enjoy. Is why we wear sunglasses and hats and seek out shade. But, part of my morning tradition, my ritual, is to sit and wait for that exact thing to happen, and, for whatever reason, in those circumstances I love it.

There are three places I may sit in the morning while awaiting the sun to rise over the lake out back: the living room couch, the sitting room couch, or outside on the back porch. All three have relatively the same sight-line and face the same direction, more or less. So when the sun comes up in the east there’s a moment, right around 745am-8am this time of year, where it’s 100% shining on you from those positions.

The direct sunrise light only lasts twenty minutes or so as it continues around and is eventually blocked by the roofline, but I love that moment when those first rays finally top the treeline and hit my face on a new morning. I imagine those twenty minutes are recharging me after a night’s sleep, powering me up for another day.

two days is not enough time

I’ve never really thought that two days of working on your own needs and passions for every five spent working for someone else is a very great deal. As I get older, I seem to feel this more strongly. Maybe it’s because we made better use of our weeknights when we were younger, maybe it’s this phase of life… because I feel like the amount of responsibilities are likely near peak now, and should begin declining as the kids start to peel away.

Whatever it is, I’ve got a garden that needs to be ripped-up and re-planted; I need to change the oil in the RV, as well as remove and disassemble its furnace to clean out some mud dauber nests; I’ve got a gutter out back that’s not level and needs to be fixed; all manner of touch-up painting needing attention; the grass in Florida grows so fast you can hear it so that’s calling every Saturday; on and on it goes.

I guess this is the balance everyone does, I know. But two-of-five days, 30% of my week, for me, to get my shit done, feels too little. Even with my coastFIRE phase-two career change I feel this way. And yeah, blah-blah-blah I know I’m/we’re supremely rich and free and spoiled on a global scale, and yeah that makes me hear this whole thing as pointless complaining from an already fat and happy king.

Ruined it. Started out OK. Peace.

underwear lines

In the least perverted way possible, I am here to talk briefly about how much I love when you can see the cut of a woman’s underwear through her clothes.

Like, dang.

Actually, any hinted-at or partially-exposed undergarment. The top edge or strap of a bra; the v-shaped outline of underwear where a dress hangs on hips.

Yes, I know. Unfair and unwanted and undeserved sexualization.

But what I was called to write today. Sorry.

i keep a belt at work

I keep a spare belt at work.

I wear shorts exclusively; every day of the year unless some stupid event dictates otherwise. I only have four pairs of shorts. I was them after 3-4 wearings, or if they’re visibly dirty. I remove the belts when I do laundry and sometimes when I throw a freshly-cleaned & put-away pair of shorts into the bike bag in the morning I neglect to also add a belt. See, the belts typically stay on the pants. It’s an easy oversight to make.

So I have a spare belt at work. We’re only talking thin military style webbed belts with plastic clasps – not a full-on dead cow thing. It fits in a tiny compartment in one of my desk drawers, takes up almost no space. Today I had to use it, and gave thanks to the foresight of past Dave for putting it there for just this occasion. It’s wrapped compact in a rubber band, and I leave the rubber band in front of my keyboard so I’ll see it at the end of the day and know to return the spare belt to its place for my next mental failure day.

I also have a spare undershirt. And a spare handkerchief. And a spare buff/do-rag to sop sweat on the rare occasion when the workday involves something more manual. I also have a spare pair of eyeglasses, maybe a prescription behind my main pair. Oh a spare Kindle in case I want to pick up where I left off at home while relaxing on my lunch break. I have a pair of socks, too, and a blanket and fleece – for the even rarer occasion when Florida is cold and my die-hard commitment to shortpants on the daily has consequences. Oh and finger nail clippers in case I need to get at it and a toothbrush and travel size toothpaste.

This all seems normal and logical and like good planning to me.

That’s all, love ya.


I had this thought the other day that, given the way a lot of modern human behavior (at least in the US) is driven by social media, you could almost imagine the mechanisms that direct that behavior as a library or module (in computer programming parlance).

Imagine your code having a simple import/include statement to access the various methods or functions available in this human behavior library. You’d have time-tested methods like anger(), jealousy(), greed(), shame(), etc. More modern methods such as go_viral() and cancel(). More complex ones like set_opinion(issue, strength), hive_sentiment(entity, strength), and set_allegiance(entity, strength). Stuff like that.

With this simple library, you can program the masses. Instead of directing little electrons and silicon gates, you instead direct swaths of populace. Want everyone to suddenly like Wendys’ new Fruity Pebbles Frosty?

hive_sentiment(fbFrosty, 10)


Define public opinion, create a run on products, cancel someone; as easy as a few lines of code. Now imagine that there are numerous people doing this with their own little scripts, pushing and pulling and working the puppet strings. Obviously the one with the widest reach or the greatest compute resources has the most influence.

I don’t think this is far from what modern social media is like.

feelings soup

Do you ever get that “filled to bursting” feeling about your kids?

Sometimes, when I’m watching my kids get an award or be on-stage or just thinking about them while apart from them, I get a flood of feeling so strong it’s like I can barely hold it within my physical self. It’s not a single feeling; it’s some mixture of feelings; a feelings soup that is boiling over and almost making me dizzy. It’s emotions I can feel like a physical thing, swelling my bones and filling my veins.

I think maybe the strongest two sub-pieces of it might be pride and love, but also nostalgia and sadness (or whatever the feeling is called when you’re pre-lamenting a future separation – like pre-feeling the emotions of them flying the nest).

This has got to be some evolutionary thing so we don’t simply abandon them in the wilderness when they’re just too much to deal with.