Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Had planned to do more today despite it being a medical day, but I fell in with evil companions who plied me with Iris “water” good food, and some good conversations. I’m even now home with a bottle of good Irish “water.”

May your day be blessed, and may it have been as good a break for you as it was for me.

Soon, I Hope

We’re about three weeks in, and I apparently still have the bug. I am not amused. Low level, but more than annoying.

Woke up very late this morning, after sleeping ten-plus hours, exhausted. What I remember of my dreams might explain a bit of the exhaustion. They were vidid, intense, and alternated food (and food peril) with kill-or-be-killed. To let something burn despite other things going on could have terrible repercussions for myself and others (hostages?). Never mind the attacks and other hostile actions by the enemy.

Two things I would like to have from the dreams are the baby eggplant stuffed with minced (not ground) meat (lamb?) that was amazingly spiced (raisins, saffron?), and the suppressor used on one or more pistols. I also wouldn’t mind having the range-of-motion, coordination, and general athleticism from the clearly much younger body I had in the dreams. Youth truly is often wasted on our younger selves…

Woke up so late that I decided to splurge, so had breakfast at the good local Mexican restaurant. Coffee was okay, and the Huevos Rancheros were very tasty. Not keto, but really craved some comfort food this morning.

If things don’t improve, will head back to the doctor later this week. For any who missed the update yesterday, the medical billing company that has billed me for a bill already paid in full by insurance did respond to my contact. They demanded information already on file along with scans of items (including my insurance card) before any question would be answered. This seemed rather phishy to me, so declined to cooperate and contacted the state Attorney General’s office and asked them to check to see if this was legitimate or not. Given the amount of scams out there, particularly when it comes to medical debt and related…

Really do hope to get back to some serious posting here soon. Hopefully one day soon the bug will be gone and my joints won’t be on fire. Until then, be prepared and be careful out there!

Anyone From Rural Arizona?

I know the area where I would like to settle, but finding a place that is affordable, in a good location, and fits other criteria (medical) can take some help. Here are my current thoughts and if anyone can provide insights or help, let me know.

Ideally, I would love to be near Tombstone. Fell in love with the area last year. I’ve been primarily looking to the east (Sunsite, etc.) but am also willing to look west and north. But, there are some considerations.

I don’t want to be too close to Tucson, or rather where people fleeing Tucson are likely to flood. Sierra Vista is out as it is a nuclear target. Don’t want to be east or ESE of it because of fallout, also want to be 15 or more miles away. I don’t have to be in a town, rural works for me. I would love to be able to go off the grid as much as possible, will see.

In my dreams, I wish I could afford to buy some land and build something into the side of hill. In fact, if I could build into an old mine or cave, all the better. I’ve got an idea for building my “werewolf” house from the stories up against the side of a hill that I would love to make happen. Got an idea that if the engineers agree should make for a very energy efficient home. Have also thought of excavating, using containers, and making a semi-underground home.

Meantime, second level of ideal is to find something affordable, already built, that will work. Again, rural, particularly if in mountains/hills.

Third order is to find about anything, move, then look. Not the best use of resources, but it may be the best option.

Reason I’m asking if anyone reading is from rural Arizona is that the web is not ideal for finding the right place, or even a good one. Many sites are skewed towards expensive homes in towns because they make the most money that way. People in the area, however, know that ‘the old Thompson place’ out at the end of dead-end lane is vacant and the owner would like to rent or sell. I’m looking for that type of help as I can’t just pull up and go out there for a month or more right now just to look around.

So, anyone out there know of anything?

UPDATE I: Two things. I mentioned the expensive rental sites, but you also have some other postings on other sites. Just saw one where what looks like a nice enough place (bit close to the border) is listed at $1. If not a typo, wondering what the deal is. Yes, I have contacted to find out more.

Second, fair question on what I want to run by the engineers. Simple. If it can handle the loads, want to use native stone to form interior and exterior walls were I to get to build. Exterior do 1.5 to 2 feet, then 6″-8″ gap, then another 1.5 to 2 feet of stone. When wall almost complete, spray the gap with truck-bed liner, let set, then fill with low density thermal foam. Max thermal and excellent sound reduction as well. Based in part off some (very) northern European/Scandinavian wall designs from the 1700s and 1800s. For that and for the container idea, create a good roof that can handle the rains when they do happen, and cover that with overburden.

Update, More Soon

Sorry for the lack of posting, there will be more soon I hope.

Several things have been going on, including what appears to be issues with a new generic version of an existing medicine. I switched pharmacies to one that is nationwide and has locations near where I am looking at moving. They switched to a new generic version of two of my prescriptions, and I woke up Monday feeling as though I were drunk: woozie, dizzy, balance off, etc. Drank so much fluid that I was up about every hour for de-tanking Monday night.

Wanted to be in decent shape as had an independent exam yesterday as part of the disability claim process. Longer than expected, but got through it though still not feeling good. A different exam next week, joy.

Anyway, suspect the issues are one of the new generics is either not playing nice or is not playing nice with something else I’m eating/drinking. There are some odd things that react with some of the drugs, like grapefruit is now off limits. So, doing some cautious experimentation to see if I just need to give it time or if there is something(s) I need to avoid eating, drinking, or taking.

Oh, before I forget, no posting last Friday as I was set to spend all day on busses figuring out how to get to the exam, run errands, etc. Then, I got a call that my car was ready. Found a service that got me from where I was to my car for $1, though it meant a tour of the area. Glad for the tour since it saved me a couple of hours and a long walk, and in the end I was let out directly in front of the repair shop.

So far, so good, though I do need to take the car back down so they can check a couple of things. Also need to have the regular mechanic take another look at the rest of it soon as some other issues are showing up. Joy. No surprise, but, joy.

More soon, hope to have a good and tasty Preparedness Pays post up later today.


Small bit of ranting/kvetching this morning. Monday, someone managed to get enough info on my debit card to make an effort to try to access it via Amazon Brazil. Fraud prevention says they are getting a LOT of this from Amazon Brazil. They do charges for $0.00 as if a hold to see if they can get to the account. Blocked the card before anything could happen. Strongly suspect a skimmer, even though I try to check for such before use.

Now, I’ve been with my credit union for a few decades now. Only drawback is that the closest branch to me is now Nashville, TN. Not quite something where I can just pop in to deal with things. So, I paid a premium price to have a new card expressed to me. Just got it. No PIN. No PIN for a week or more. Really needed it here now with PIN. Very much feeling like I got ripped off here. Yes, it is active and has some limited usability, but not full. PITA that may require changing some plans.

Yesterday, Twitter went wonky plus they apparently did an “upgrade” of TweetDeck. TweetDeck is something I’ve used for years, even before it became the best way to organize things post lightning strike. Great usability and none of the BS you get with the Twitter app. Well, that was true. While it hasn’t changed on my phone (yet), the laptop version went crazy. Changed sizes on everything, added a whole lot of pop-ups, balloons, and such (not good for people like me), and I can no longer see as much info as I saw before.

I spent a bit of time this morning while waiting on the replacement card (had to sign in person for it) trying to get things back to where I had them before. Not much joy, and my take is that the “improvements” and such have made it half as useful as it was before. For all that I’ve enjoyed the “new” Twitter since Elon bought it (and it has been quite entertaining), thinking I may be cutting my time there by fifty percent or more. Seems appropriate.

Too many products these days seem intent on “upgrades and improvements” that are neither. Really do think the world would be much better if the focus was on reliability, stability, and a solid product. If you or your system aren’t set up to provide a fully-working solid product on purchase/use, you need to rethink your systems and your priorities. Especially if you charge premiums for extra service, and don’t deliver.

UPDATE: On a more positive note, Aldi is now selling biltong. For an American commercial product (Simms, an Aldi brand), it is good. Unlike jerky, no sugar (some raisin juice) and you get fat with the meat since the process cures it as well. Only downside is that the package that was for me to snack on over the next few hours didn’t last five minutes…


Talked with the transmission repairman earlier. Rebuild. Just shy of $2,400.00. Ouch.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Some Random Thoughts

I’m hoping to get a solid column up tomorrow in regards Russia and the world. Right now, I’m dealing with more mundane things.

While it is still not official, some things happened this morning that indicate my early retirement is indeed on track. It will be later in the month before I will be fully able to confirm that, but right now it looks good.

The car will be headed to the transmission shop here in a bit. Part of this morning has been spent arranging the tow and letting the shop know it is on its way. Letter going over everything discussed with the shop is printed and on the dash, along with contact information. Using the tow service recommended by the shop saved $100 off the tow. Here’s hoping that trend continues.

Took the bus yesterday to do some shopping. Had to take one bus all the way in to the new transit center as options to transfer to the line I needed earlier are now gone. The drivers on the line I take in have all be nice and helpful. Switching to the new Red Line, I noticed that the drivers like to fly low, not stop, and aren’t quite as helpful. To be polite. Had one of them who had to stop off-station as, despite multiple stop requests, she blew by the station. Eight plus people needed off. The more I see these new lines in operation, the less impressed I am. And I was not a proponent of them from the start. If you want to do it wrong, just look to see what IndyGo did or does.

I got to spend part of that Red Line trip with “Big Dawg” and crew. Learned a bit about bail, bonds, and how having to pay $100 to bond out was “bullshit.” Seems you don’t have to pay anything in Chicago. Interesting the things you learn these days on the bus.

Years back, I took the bus a good bit. Most passengers were workers or elderly. You occasionally had a homeless person riding around just to be under shelter. People causing trouble were not tolerated. Rules were enforced equally.

Yesterday was an eye opener. Workers and the elderly were a distinct minority. They also tended to be vigilant or even hyper-vigilant. Quite a few apparent homeless who were using the bus as a means to keep warm. Given our weather, I’m glad for the option. Quite a few, however, were what used to be called the troublemakers. Bragging about scams, crime, etc. Moving to new places until they get kicked out of there. And they wonder why IndyGo is having problems and former core ridership is dropping out.

My thoughts on the mentally ill among the homeless deserve a full post. What has been done to them in the name of doing right by them is a travesty. A complex and expensive travesty full of lies, distortions, and deceit. And graft. They deserve a lot better than they are getting, and so does the rest of the public.

I did get my shopping done, though I mis-remembered the distance between the two stores. I thought it was maybe half a mile or so. I was wrong. Very wrong. Good exercise though, even in the extremely frigid cold. Got some needed things, and a couple of nice-to-haves. Amazing what all you can fit into an assault ruck, including the small ice chest/micro-cooler, which came in handy. Felt it last night, but was good.

More soon.

Good News, Maybe

Not long after I posted yesterday, I got a phone call from the SSA. Apparently, getting assistance from a congresscritter worked. In about fifteen minutes, we completed the process for me to retire.

This has been a process that has dragged out since September (actually, I think August but…). Because I am also filing for disability (getting hit by lightning sucketh mightily), I could not fill out the form online. For some reason, SSA disables functionality for a variety of reasons, including current/prior claims, even though they are doing pretty much nothing here in the office. In fact, my call was from the Birmingham office, not the Indianapolis office.

The hoops now jumped through, the next step is for the retirement to be filed (their end), me to be notified by mail, and hopefully no other steps crop up. Which means that with luck, and clicking my heels together three times while chanting there’s no place like home, by the end of February I will actually be retired and get my retirement pay.

I should be celebrating, but frankly I’m just tired. This has been a major time suck, frustration, and stress inducement. SSA has told the congresscritter that it is done, so it really should be done. Thing is, at this point, I’ll believe it when I see it. The letter confirming things is a step. I really won’t believe it until the first deposit hits the bank. Even then, I will probably be waiting for a shoe to drop given the experience.

I hope you all have a great weekend. May next week see a little more normality in terms of the blog and writing.

Winter Take II

Well, we are being warned of another winter storm, and this time I think we may get it based on my joints lighting up like a Christmas tree. Last time, the joints and body said not so much. This time, saying the opposite. Hope the body is wrong, to be honest, but not counting on it.

Yesterday, I walked a mile or so to go to a nearby Mexican grocery to pick up some hot sauce and a special type of chicharrones that is my keto/paleo version of pop corn. Good walk, if weather was better would love to do more. I was going to walk to the Aldi, which would be several miles there and back, but turns out the landlord is going to be going later so will go with him. As much as I need the exercise, I was NOT looking forward to some of the areas on that walk.

Meantime, other than a better means of emergency heating, I’m about as set as I can be. Will pick up a few things at Aldi in addition to essentials.

Still working car issues. I have a plan, and am moving out on it as best I can. I have a backup plan of sorts. Working on a GOTH plan as I can. A lot depends on donations, funding, and related. Some depends on finding better options. What will be, will be. Just have to have faith that that which is right will be.

Really had hoped to get back to some serious writing today, but the body has different plans. I didn’t sleep well last night because of the joint and other issues. To be honest, I hurt pretty badly right now. Hate being a WLB, but even with lots of Ranger candy, it’s sorta bad.

More soon, I hope.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving to the SW, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Short Delay

I hope. Spending time this morning talking with my mechanic, chasing down the apparent unicorn that is good-transmission-work-at-reasonable-price, and doing other things towards eventually getting my car repaired. Would love to find a good “new” used vehicle, but prices are still ridiculous. More soon. If you are in Indy and know both a good transmission specialist and a tow truck that is reasonable, please do let me know. Thanks.