It's been a rough week. Calendar week, at least.
Last weekend, on the way back from Florence, I noticed the car felt a little weird. I switched the Miles To Empty monitor to Tire Pressure, and my left rear tire shows 33 psi instead of 37 like all the other tires. I was only a mile or two from a gas station, so I whipped in and aired up and proceeded home. I left the Tire Pressure monitor up so I would remember to look at it. Each morning the left rear would have a little less air in it. Maybe a pound. Maybe 2. Maybe it was the change in weather (wouldn't all the tires be affected though?). The car sat over a long weekend (reason is below!) and on Monday morning there was 29 psi in the left read, while the other tires had 35. A call to Decatur Hyundai after I got to work found me at Decatur Hyundai after lunch. The tires are rated for 50-60k, and 3 of the tires have 53k miles which puts me in the zone to worry about them. I tell the guys working if the tread's in the worry zone, just replace it/them instead of plugging it. Hypothetically they checked, and then we replaced them. Now I have tires that I shouldn't worry about for 50k miles!
In the above trip back from Florence, my left shoulder stopped working. I'm not sure why, but after I left my grandparents it hurt (at the rotator cuff) to lift my left arm. To the point I had no strength to lift my arm. Not that big of a deal driving back from Florence. The next Sunday morning it became more of a big deal, as I honestly couldn't lift it at all. Something was out of whack which I knew could be cured chiropractically, so I shot a message to Trevor to ask how soon Monday morning he could see me. Luckily he said "first thing". I slept fitfully Sunday night as it's amazing how a sore shoulder can keep you from getting comfortable enough to sleep. An hour here and there was what it felt like I got. Monday morning I make it in to Trevor and he tells me the ligaments between my collar bone and shoulder are super abducted - so, "tight". He pushes, pulls, pokes, gets the cold laser and zaps me, then tells me to follow up with ice and sticking a rolled up quilt in my armpit and squeezing - this will help stretch those super abducted ligaments. I did that. I slept pretty good Monday night. Tuesday morning I go in for what was expected to be Round 2, but was more regular shoulder-adjusting along with ultra-sound zapping. On Thursday I could shove a pillow off the bed behind my back. Amazing what I can count as normal!
Speaking of Thursday, I awoke at 1 am and didn't feel right. Achy. Slight headache. Throat was a little sore. I took my temp, and instead of my normal 97-ish it read 99.7. Based on the last time I felt like this, I have the flu. Not a lot I can do at 1 in the morning. I go to my regular walk-in clinic doctor, Dr Mayer, who I've been going to since 1995. I get to the office and the receptionist is there. Just her. No doctor. No nurse practitioner (which is something they must have started since my last visit in June). This does me no good! The receptionist says I should go to a Doc in a Box, or she can call some other doctor who's down the road and see if they have an opening. They have an opening, but it's in 2.5 hours. I guess it's about time for me to go to my first ever Doc in a Box. I pick the one closest to my house - it's at 72/County Line - and enter, fill out paperwork, and am in the back telling a nurse "I think I have the flu" within 30 minutes. They take a flu test and it comes back negative, but the Dr who looks like he's 15 says they get false negatives in the first 24 hrs 20% of the time. So there's a good chance I have the flu. he then looks at my throat and says it looks like I might have strep. They take a strep test. I have strep. Well great, now my self-diagnosed flu symptoms might also be strep, for future reference. I grab my antibiotic prescription and take it down the road to Publix, where they tell me there's currently a little over an hour wait on filling prescriptions.
I knew at 1 am I was sick. It took until 1230 for me to get drugs, which I took in the parking lot of Publix. I don't go to the doctor often, but when I do and need real drugs, I start taking them right away. I was hoping to get a little work done Friday and over the weekend to make up for my body fighting me. Friday was the day I discovered strep is more than a sore throat. Saturday and Sunday my brain didn't want to work, no matter how much work I made my eyes look at. But by Saturday I was back to feeling normal. This was also the stretch, from Thursday on, where the car didn't move and served as a good test for "is it the tire or is it all in my head".
There was a sneak peak on the last blog for the plastic model kit of the tank I had started painting. I ended up not adding as much visible detail as I thought. This was mainly due to details made the camo look less.... camoey. I messed around with some weathering and washes. The washes didn't go too well and left way too many streaks. Hopefully the streaks will come across as weird scratches or shadows.
This tank was a learning kit. What's the right way to put a model together after not really making one in 35 years? How much to put together VS when to start painting? I'm still not sure about that part. Now the zombie apocalypse has a tank. I can play the Walking Dead Governor Attacks The Prison scenarios now.
This is one of those weeks when little things caught up to me.
I had my eye exam that I've been putting off for 6 months. I only put it off because for some reason we didn't just schedule the time for my follow up eye appointment when I had my last eye exam. The doctor's office sent a reminder that it was time for a checkup, but of course I was too busy at the time to make an appointment. It's been 3 years since my prescription changed, and last time I was right on the cusp of needing a notch stronger. Over the past few months I've been noticing how billboards and road signs were harder to focus on, so it was time to go forward with that notch. The saving grace for this year's exam is that I could, with a guilt free conscience, skip getting my pupils dilated and my eyeball touched - I hate that part.
After getting checked out I was told I was still right on the edge, prescription wise, but I seemed to notice the difference a little more of the finer details with the stronger lenses. I go forward with picking out new glasses. I also decide to get new lenses for one of my existing set of frames, and also replacement lenses for my sunglasses since I'm not getting any type of transitioning lenses. There goes $1000, but this is the one thing I mess with every day so I'd rather pay the money for something I like that be frustrated and pissed off every time I look in the mirror.
Last week my garage door opener died. It's close to 20 years old and these things wear out (according to YouTube). I watched a video or 3 on how to replace one and it seemed to be within my realm of ability. Off to Amazon I went and ordered as close to my existing model as I could find, hoping that I could just switch out wires 1:1. New opener arrives and I start looking at everything closer. First, the wiring connections are just different enough that I can see I'll connect things wrong the first 3 times. Then, I see where the screws that hold everything to the ceiling are and can easily see everything falling down on me as things likely require more than 2 hand and one ladder. I return to my normal ways - getting people. I email garage people and tell them I want to replace an existing opener with one that I have, and I live out in the boonies. I get no replies, as I expected. I call garage people. I learn none of them will install equipment they don't sale. I know it's a scam since they'll service anything, and Chamberlain makes 90% of the garage equipment out there. The hard part, as ever, is getting someone to show up at my house. After learning I can return my Amazon purchased opener I make an appointment for this Friday to have garage people come and install their opener, with the early estimate being about $120 more than what I paid at Amazon - so in essence it will come to $120 in labor which is fair enough to me. Except I think the end price will be higher. I'll find out Friday.
While doing laundry this weekend I washed the key fob for my car. I've washed these before, but something didn't feel right when I picked it out of the washer. Sure enough, it didn't work. The problem here is that it's a smart fob and I don't have anywhere to insert a key, the car just knows the key is nearby. I can press the car start button with the fob and it starts (this is magic to me) but the car doesn't recognize that the key is present and will turn off after 10 minutes. Luckily, I have 1 2nd fob so I'm not completely screwed. I called the service department and they said it just needed a new battery. I don't believe them, but I'll try sticking a new battery in it now that I've again gone to YouTube and learned how to crack open the fob and replace the battery.
I ordered a new battery from Amazon that will be here in 2 days. I could go to some local battery shop and get a battery, and it would be close to $10. I ordered a 4-pack on Amazon for $2.50. It would make even more sense for me to take the battery out of the working fob and stick it in the one I washed to see if it works. With the way it feels my luck has been going, though, I can see that messing up the working battery or maybe I can't put it back together right, then I'm stuck with no way to run the car for more than 10 minutes at a time.
I'm now very paranoid about emptying my pockets when I walk in the door.
With luck in a couple of days all of this will be fixed and I can stop worrying about it. I only worry because it's completely out of my control and I'm at the whim of garage people, USPS delivery, potentially the Hyundai service department, and the eyeglasses construction lab/whoever delivers their stuff to the office. There's probably one of those phobia names for this. Hopefully I'm not at the phobia level though. Damn close though, I bet.
As I get older I seem to get more opinionated about others opinions, and the irony isn't lost on me.
This coming Friday I have the interview I've been hopeful for since starting my 2014 job search. As such, I've been studying since the interview was scheduled, hence part of the lack of updates for you two people who read this to check in on me :)
With any luck, both the interview will go well and I'll have something of interest to post about. As it is, the rest of the week will probably be pretty silent here.
In the meantime, feel free to enjoy a little Sam Smith.
My board game playing has been lax the past few months. My gaming with Jer & Keith has dwindled to where the last time all 3 of us played was back in March. Keith and I have played a few games since, even joining some of the Dealnews gang for some game nights. Overall though, my gaming interest has waned this year.
Maybe it's cyclical? In 2005 Jerry and I started playing games again after a 10 year hiatus. That 10 year hiatus followed a 10 year run of game playing. Granted, the last few years of that run were sparse in playing. Now we're closing in on the end of another 10 year run of playing.
I know part of my problem is due to the type of game I enjoy. I'm very much an Ameritrash gamer. Games that ooze theme and lots of pretty pieces appeal to me. The drawback for these is that generally the rules are thick and take a while to learn, plus the time and effort to set up all of those pretty pieces for a game. When you want to play a quick game of something for the first time, the games I like take longer to set up and learn than to play. There have been many times where we've learned partway through that first game that the game in question just isn't for us, which leads it all to feel like a wast of time.
The games we've played lately have been quick, semi-abstract (to me) games like Splendor, Quantum, and Smash Up (which was completely over my head). All are good games and enjoyable in their own right, except for Smash Up - it's going to take me a while to get the hang of that one as there's a lot more going on that I originally thought there would be. These games play more as a classically thought board game in that you, as the player, don't immerse yourself into the game via an avatar.
Immersion into the game is more fun more me. It tends to lead toward more social interaction, which is the real reason I play board games. Ticket To Ride is a lot easier to play on a computer or iPad and let the software take care of all the bookkeeping, but it lacks the fun of taunting and goading other players as well as cursing them to their face when a route you want is taken. While I don't feel like I'm the train in Ticket to Ride, I feel more ownership of the routes I'm placing which puts me in the game. Maybe it's because pieces aren't picked up and moved, but placed and forever stay? I hadn't really thought of that before now....
The games I've most enjoyed of late have been those in which I immerse myself. Star Wars X-Wing has been the game I've been playing the most, and each time I feel like I'm in a dogfight inside a Star Wars movie. The X-Wing game has led me to find that I'm a fan boy of the publisher, Fantasy Flight Games, which I've come to think of as the President of Ameritrash as all of their games reek of theme, have lots of pretty pieces, and even better - most of them have expansions which pile on even more theme, pieces, and rules.
It's those expansions which may be burning me out on the games I enjoy. As with Car Wars in the 80's, enough content can be added on to a game as to make it encompass so much that it gets bogged down to where it's almost unplayable. But, I don't want to get behind in the rules or miss some cool new thing, so I have to keep up with the expansions. Expansions I end up not caring about or using, but my completest gene of acquisition forces me to collect.
With all of the above, I still like board games. I don't want to get rid of the closet full of games I've still yet to play. I feel a little guilty for not playing as much as I think I should, but forcing myself to play isn't really fun, and shouldn't playing games be fun?
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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