Been a Few Days …

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So … this is what the age of 59 feels like. Not really different from 58. Be nice if I found work, but otherwise … hanging in there. (Seems it’s been a few days since I last posted, going from posty-mcposterson to no posting at all … such is the way of things.)

Monday was my birthday. It’s now Wednesday. Monday we planned to have a nice dinner at a local restaurant (in Lafayette, Artisan). Went there for our anniversary, and were wowed.They were closed. Figures (well, Monday evenings a lot of restaurants close to give folk some downtime, not angry, it just falls into the “well shoot …” category). Tried ordering food from a restaurant we like through Door Dash, they also were closed. Sigh. Mondays. So, we went to Artisan last night (Tuesday) instead. We got wowed again last night. The name of the restaurant should give a hint — the chef really is an amazing artist.

Monday night (my actual birthday) we ended up ordering Schwarma from a place in downtown SF that was quite tasty, and herself made a carrot cake from a recipe from “America’s Test Kitchen” — they put out a book on baking for two. It was a bit dry, strangely enough, and tasted more like a spice cake than carrot cake. It wasn’t bad, but … The idea was nice, as carrot cake is one of my absolute favorites.

CJ has had the week off, which has been great for her, she can get some things done before “Golden Beltane” (SCA — more below). She event cleaned the upstairs bathroom yesterday … shortly after she started, I realized the toilets were messed up — turns out our annual issue with the roots in the outgoing sewer pipes were messing things up. Time to call the rooter. Yipee. They arrived a bit early, which was good, because I kinda needed to go. Erf. Took about an hour, and all was well. Sheesh. That was our excitement this week. Right now she’s off with her best friend (BJ) going to a museum in SF, having lunch in Berekely after, etc.

It seems that going to the gym has helped pull me a bit out of my funk, and last week I got the nerve up to try to fix the one coding issue that had been making me crazy. Figured something out, and now feel better about it. Still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the project, but making some progress. Need to get in and at least finish the admin parts.

Saturday we went to the Board (Bored?) of Directors meeting for the SCA. That was odd, but interesting in its strange way. Not sure I’d ever want to serve on the BOD. CJ needed to be there to hear decisions about a couple things she is involved in.

The rest of the last few days have been really dull, honestly. Since she’s been home, a lot of her time has been on the desktop computer, so I haven’t done a lot. Instead I watched some movies, zoned out … pretty dull, really.

I hit week 8 at the gym. Making some progress. 16 minutes on the elliptical, and last week I bumped the weights up on the weight machines. I will do that again on Monday of next week, and take the elliptical to 18 minutes. See how my body feels after that.

So, Golden Beltane is coming up. The SCA’s 50th anniversary (the beginning of the 51st year). I had put together a while back a “History of the West Kingdom”, and last week finally got all the permissions I needed (for photos and artwork). That’s now done-done. But that’s really for the SCA’s event in June. The West Kingdom (N. California, etc.) is having its own week-long celebration along the lines of 25 Year. Sadly neither CJ or I will be there the whole time. She has to work, and if I were working, I would too. We’re doing the weekends, and have a hotel room reserved …  CJ of course has had to deal with a lot for this event, because she handles the money, but she’s also dealing with folk that aren’t the “usual” autocrats, and their way of doing things is often last-minute. Makes her a bit crazy. But we’re nearly there. Friday is when it starts. The fun part for me will be meeting some of the folk (who are still around) who started it. I have communicated with some of them over the years, but many I have never met. Considering I’ve handled the History of the West Kingdom for the last mumble-mumble years (early-mid 90s … so 20 or more?), that will be a nice bonus for me.

We started talking … one of our friends is less than a week older than me, and he and his family are going to Disneyworld next year for his 60th birthday. They suggested we do the same at the same time. Make it an adventure with some folk. Intriguing idea, and my niece and her fam live in Jacksonville (have to figure out how close that is to Orlando). Maybe a chance to reconnect in person with them. Have to think about it. It wouldn’t be cheap, but nothing Disney is really cheap these days. It would be before summer tourist season which is humid and hot. It would still be humid but less hot in April/May.

Well, I suppose I oughta try to be productive. Feeling kinda wiped, slept so-so last night (kept waking up from odd and complex dreams). We’ll see.

Fascinating possibility …

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Yesterday afternoon I received an unsolicited email about a possible job teaching a three day course on SQL in San Ramon (not too far from here) in mid-May. However, there wasn’t a lot of detail provided. The course is laid out pretty well, with a description and a bullet list of topics to be covered, but … no details about compensation, etc. So, I threw some questions back, and am waiting with baited breath (well, not really … but am waiting with curiosity to see if they are able to provide details, or if this was just a trolling thing for a recruiting firm). If it is legit, it could pan out (I would hope) into a regular gig, possibly including other topics besides SQL. Guess we’ll see.

Gym: after bumping up the weights and the time on the elliptical, I don’t feel too stiff today, which is a pleasant surprise. I can feel muscles in my back more this morning than usual, but my arms aren’t bothering me as much as I expected. Guess we’ll see by the end of the week how this changes things.

CJ isn’t working from home today, despite talking about it. Guess she may wait until Saturday to do the stuff she needs to. What is frustrating is that she has to come up stairs after dinner and get more work done on the exchequery stuff. So we aren’t getting to see much of each other even when she’s home. Sigh. Oh well. Two months and it’ll wind down.

Oh yes. After the success with the plumbers flushing the water heater (and it is really nice to be able to do laundry or run the dishwasher without the heater going “thump, bang …”), I called Coit to see about cleaning the carpets (something CJ has been carping about for months). Appointment Thursday to get an estimate and we’ll go from there.

That’s about it for this morning. Guess we’ll see how things go, and back to looking at jobs and all that fun stuff.

New Week and a week before my birthday

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Went to the gym this morning, and decided to push a little. Upped the elliptical by 2 more minutes (total of 14); upped the weights on each machine by one notch (arms — triceps and biceps machines to 70 lbs; others to 85 except the leg press, which should have gone to 100 …) — except for the leg press machine. Some young chickie came in (I’ve seen her before, but she’s gone and done something else first) as I was getting close to doing the leg press machine — it’s the last thing I do before I head for home. She sat in the machine, adjusted it, pulled out her phone, and dicked around. She did a couple of reps, looked at her phone, a couple reps, looked like she was dozing (but may have been listening to whatever was playing on her phone), etc. Five minutes of dicking around. I gave up and left. She does that next time I see her and I will have to ask her to let other people use the machine too. Sheesh. First time I’ve been annoyed with someone at the gym in 7 weeks.

Ah well. CJ may have to work from home tomorrow — with everything going on all weekend she didn’t get to the bank to make a deposit, and needs to get the money out of the house (well, it’s checks, but still …). This is more exchequery stuff. We’re really close to the two month mark when she hands the job off. Both of us really can hardly wait, which I know I’ve mentioned before. Work’s been tough for her — last week a bunch of folk from Charlotte (NC) were out and visiting. Problem is that while they had conference rooms and offices they could hang out in, they preferred to hang out and chat (loudly) near the cubicles where my wife works. Everytime someone would ask them to quiet down so they could deal with the conference call they were on, the folk from Charlotte would give the stinkeye … great. Hope you’re not that rude in your own offices.

A week from today I turn 59. What have I got to show for it? Not much. Well, a lot in some ways, but … no job right now, no prospects of a job. I have been applying for a few more lately than I was. But still … I have a wife still (and we haven’t tried to kill each other or anything), we have a home that while small and laid out weird, is in a nice area and relatively quiet. Nice to wake up to the sound of birds rather than someone playing music loudly. Herself makes enough money in a job that is relatively secure (as much as any job is these days) that we can maintain a decent lifestyle even though I haven’t worked for nearly a year (I’ve brought in a small amount of money, but not what I should be). So, I guess I can’t complain too much. We have lots of friends, but we haven’t seen them as much as we’d like because of the exchequer thing. Hopefully our social life will get better in a couple months.

One thing I’ve noticed is that despite not finding a job, etc., I am not feeling as depressed as I used to. I am blaming some of that on the exercise I am getting now. If the endorphins actually do what they’re supposed to, that’s a good thing, I guess. Generally my body feels more fit, but am not sure I’ve lost much weight (probably ought to pay more attention to diet).

In two weeks, West Kingdom (SCA) 50 Year celebration. We’re attending the weekends. The week before (next week) CJ has off, which she needs anyway — that will also give time to work on prep for the event. Downtime from work is good. The week of the event (which is a week-long event) she’s working. She would love to camp it, but I am practically allergic to camping these days. Tired of the pole-farms (huge pavilion with a gillion poles required to set them up). We have a hotel room paid for already for both weekends. I am looking forward to this because among other things, we will get to see (and meet and talk to) some of the folk who founded this thing we do, and folk who were involved in the early days. Some of them I have chatted with in email but never met.

There are times I just feel like I’m puttering my life away. However, I do know I have had a positive influence. I try … Ah well. Mutter, grumble. Feels like a Monday. Oh, wait! It is … guess I’ll live with that. Time to look at jobs again (oh joy), and see if there’s anything I feel confident enough to apply for. I guess I’m worried about falling into the trap my father was in at this age — he was laid off from his last job somewhere in here, and a few years later started having heart attacks, leading to the big one at (by recollection, trying to find it but can’t) at 65 … I hope to be in better shape. I think going to the gym will help of course. Dad was overweight (by a long shot), diabetic (I’m not even pre-diabetic), and had various other issues, so …

And another long week done.

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So, CJ had to get up at 3:30am to be ready for work at 4. She did all that. And did a waiting game, because the people who were supposed to be ready on the other end in London or India or Charlotte … weren’t. She is getting tired of having to be “the adult” in these things. She is waiting now (around noonish) for a tester to get back to her. Said tester is “away” when pinged … very frustrating.

When all this is over, herself needs a nap.

Gonna make a nice dinner though. Just because. I’ll head to the store in a bit.

For me? Not much today. I got some DVDs (fleshing out the Mel Brooks stuff) and am ripping the ones I need to to MP4. Backed up the computer (except the media, will do that after done with ripping DVDs). That’s really about it. Sigh.

Tomorrow is the (SCA stuff) Kingdom Officer’s Meeting, held at our townhouse complex, so herself needs to be there, even if she’s not a Kingdom Officer (which she is). Never a dull moment. Sigh. Too much. Two months … then she steps down as exchequer, and while she’ll be on call for a few months for her successor, it will start winding down. Tired of it … both of us.

We’ve both done offices of various sorts for the SCA over the years because someone needs to keep the infrastructure going. But man, being responsible can be a PITA at times. She’s done her time. The stuff I do is background stuff (awards list, history site …) which doesn’t need the daily cat-herding, being nagged by the clueless and such that she’s had to endure this time around. I think I can safely say we’ve both earned our Pelicans. Multiple times compared to some folk. Well, anyway …

So yesterday I actually applied for about 4 jobs (but didn’t realize until after I submitted everything that one was in San Jose — with my luck that will be the one that shows some interest).

Hit the gym like I should have, didn’t change things from the rest of the week, but feeling like maybe Monday I can up the elliptical again, and maybe some of the weight machines. I’m taking these changes a little at a time. Right now I’m at the gym for maybe 20 minutes … 12 of those on the elliptical, the rest going from weight machine to weight machine. I suppose the other option with the weight machines is to go back and do a second set of reps at the current weight level. My assessor suggested two sets of 12 repetitions on each machine, I’ve been doing one. It’s been doing me some good. Noticeable in small ways: coming up stairs at the house I don’t feel it at all — where there were points before this that I could feel my heart beating a bit faster — no reaction; muscles tightening up across the back, shoulders, my arms feel it, my legs feel it, my abdomen feels it … However, I’ve been careful and have not over-stressed anything. I suppose trying the second set of reps and seeing how I feel as I go through the second run will give me an idea. Leave the weight levels, though. Trying to up those AND do the second set will most likely be overkill. ;)

Another week nearly done …

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Well, trundle trundle trundle.

Got a couple of jobs applied for. Almost applied for another, then realized I had already applied and received a rejection letter for it. Sigh.

Gym — still going, still feeling it. Bumped the elliptical to 12 minutes, didn’t change weights on the machines. May up some of them next week, as well as upping the elliptical again. Feeling the elliptical more — hitting a point right around 10 minutes where I feel the sweat starting. At 12 I am a bit damp, we’ll see what 14 does. I may have to shower after my workout … Can feel my arms (biceps) are getting a bit bigger. Not huge, don’t really want or need that, but …

CJ is still dealing with frustrations from not having enough time to do things. She has a disaster recovery testing on Saturday for work, Kingdom officer meeting on Sunday. Sheesh. So, I am going to deal with some things. I am calling a plumber later today to try to make arrangements to have the water heater flushed (it knocks, and from all I can see online, this means there is “sludge” in the heater, so it needs to be drained, the sludge cleaned out, and refilled). Once that’s done, I’ll be calling COIT to get our carpets cleaned … and maybe take advantage of some of their offers/deals and get the vents for the ac/heat cleaned, etc. We’ll see. But anyway, this will get some things done, that can be done because I’m home a lot. (Sigh) Might as well be useful.

Part of the carpet cleaning is that CJ wants to have the place in better shape, especially once she’s done with the exchequer thing in June (can’t come soon enough) so that we can get a cat or two. Seems odd to be worried about cleaning the carpets before we get pets, but it is because that kind of thing can be traumatic for cats. Moving the furniture, etc.

The exchequer thing is getting worse, before it gets better. She is nearly done (finally) with the end of year reports, and her deputy (and successor) has been working on first quarter. Then there’s the whole banishment issue she’s dealing with. Fun, fun, fun! She has to do an investigation on that. And the SCA needs to revise how they do that. The individuals have already been banished, but there is no proof (as in hard evidence) that they did what they are accused of. While from one POV, it makes sense — it shows the Corporate office is acting quickly to deal with a problem (and avoid possible lawsuits, which I have a feeling is part of the reasoning here), it kind of blows the standard American “innocent until proven guilty” concept out of the water.

C’mon, June Crown! Can’t get here fast enough. CJ will still be involved with the exchequer office a bit, but winding down. She’ll be drop-dead deputy for her successor until he finds someone else, and helping him ease into the job.

Oddly, despite the lack of work I haven’t been feeling as down/depressed lately. Maybe going to the gym three days a week is helping on that front. Maybe it’s something else. Not quite sure. Still, would be nice to find a job.

Weekend with (gasp) some Socializing!

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When last I wrote … naw, that gets silly.

Never mind. Anyway, last week was tough. CJ was wiped out, I got ranted at a lot (because she had to rant at someone, and … basically part of being a husband is being a person to be ranted at), because she needed to vent. Ugh. Not fun. But oh well.

Friday: late from work (argh), and then had to be on the phone with the SCA exchequer due to some fu (a banishment dealing with money …) for 3 1/2 hours! I had made a nice dinner too. I waited for a couple hours before finishing it. I ate mine, cleaned up the kitchen, and had hers set up so I could just reheat it. Sigh. Frustrating. (Made pasta putanesca.) She did get to it fairly late (9:30ish? something like that).

Saturday started out with a couple folk coming by because she had to deal with bank account signature cards (get new signatures on the system, and remove some folk from it that shouldn’t be there anymore). Then she spent most of the rest of the day doing more exchequer stuff. However, in the evening we met up with some friends for dinner at El Moracco, a really fun middle-eastern restaurant, with dancers and really good food (on a prix-fix pricing). Had a nice dinner, lots of good SOCIAL time, which we needed. Then we stopped and got some wine and went to their place, hung out until something like 11:30 … man did we need that.

Got home and crashed hard. Sunday morning I made breakfast after she got up at a fairly late hour (she hasn’t been sleeping well, so getting a good night’s sleep was important), and then a bit of more exchequering. Then we went to visit with a couple of other friends (who actually live close to the ones from Saturday), had some wine, chatted, she did a bit of work with him, because he is the local branch exchequer — got the reports straightened out … and had a nice dinner around 5ish of lamb, small red potatoes, and a green bean recipe I found on the web to go with the lamb (spicy, but really good). That was also really pleasant, and we got to play with the world’s cutest dog. She then did MORE exchequering until about 9 or so.

And back to work today (for her). For me: a lot of small things, gym after dropping her at BART, looked at a couple jobs, did some minor coding things, watched the end of Firefly (the TV series — three episodes). Dozed off a bit in the middle of one episode. Ah well.

The socializing was good. We’ve both been needing it. Shoot, she gets a little bit from work which I don’t, since right now I’m not working.

On the plus side with the gym, I upped the elliptical by 2 minutes for a total of 12. Left the weight machines at the weight levels I used last week. I may bump some of them next week, but I want to be more comfortable with the levels they’re at for this week. I’m not trying to hurt myself, or over-do it, so I’m being careful. But I am seeing and feeling a difference in a variety of ways. So it’s being good. Tough, but good.

Got my PSA score from last week’s blood draw. Interesting. It went from 6.4 in October to 7.2 in January. Back down to 6.6. I was expecting it to jump closer to 8 this time, mostly because it’s been slowly climbing. Dunno if the exercise has had anything to do with it. I’m not going to complain. I am worried that in the next year or so I am going to have to do the surgery and have the prostate gland removed, but … I’d like to avoid surgery as long as possible.

Whattaweek …

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For me, not that big a deal. For my spouse … fugly.

Among other things, there was a banishment of a couple of people, and now Corporate SCA is looking into it, and since it has to do with finances, my spouse is involved. She doesn’t WANT to be involved, but … and the original investigation did not involve her, she found out about it after things were well underway. Sh*tstorm happening on Facebook by one of the individuals. Of course, it is someone that has a lot of friends in the SCA, they’re all running to his defense, even though they don’t know the whole story. More frustrating is that I know enough of the story to believe that there was wrong-doing on the part of the individuals. But I can’t say anything (and honestly don’t want to get involved in the poo-flinging).

On top of it, the folk running a major SCA event next month (well, starting end of this one) are not experienced autocrats (the term we use in the SCA for those who run events), and keep throwing last-minute stuff at herself, then nagging her about requiring payments be made for things, and so on. Driving her crazy.

All of this while she’s trying to finish the end-of-year report (herding cats to get reports from people, fixing reports from some of them, etc.) and the first quarter report done.

And of course this is on top of her day-job (which is paying for our lives — since I don’t have a job right now).

Can we say stressed out? Yeah … she’s been exhausted a lot lately.

On my end, well, job hunting is still as depressing as ever. Gym: Third day this week (week 5) — went okay, nothing unexpected. Just as tired as ever afterward, but there we are. I can feel the muscles kind of settling into it, and not resisting as much, if you know what I mean. I have a long way to go to be where I want to be, but progress does not have to be fast. I am taking it a bit at a time, increasing weights a little bit at a time, increasing time on the elliptical a bit at a time, and so on. Despite having shaky legs afterward, I’m feeling better physically.

One thing that has me a bit on edge, but I haven’t mentioned it to herself, is my concern over my PSA scores … (prostate cancer — blood draw for examination). They are going up a bit faster than I would like. I had a blood draw yesterday and so of course part of me is concerned that the score will have jumped to a “bad place”, and I will have to go have surgery soon. I had dreams (not nightmares) and waking musing on that topic on and off all night … bleah. I haven’t gotten the latest result in, but I’m nervous about it.

Now if I could just get the mental side taken care of. I need to get my head out of wherever it is and get back into the web coding, get back into the job search … it’s been a rough year. I need to get over it. Argh.

This Week is all about my health, I guess …

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Between going to the gym (and starting to up my game a bit) and yesterday saw the dentist (cleaning/exam), today I had the quarterly PSA blood draw …

Sometimes you have no idea how stressed someone actually is. This morning I found out just how stressed out my wife is about the Exchequer job. Heard all about it on the way to BART. Ugh. I mean, I knew she was a bit stressed out, but this is more than usual. It doesn’t help that the autocrat team for a MAJOR, EXPENSIVE event (“Golden Beltane”) are not people who usually autocrat events and are throwing a lot of last minute rush things at her (this has to be done today or … and her feeling is that they shouldn’t have waited until the last minute, which is true). Or the fact that her deputy is nagging her about getting him a copy of some paperwork that she doesn’t have yet. And now something else is blowing up big (involving the BOD).  … and it goes on and on. Was almost relieved for her to get out of the car … June Crown (when she hands the office over) cannot come soon enough.

Otherwise … same-old-same-old. Still slowly and periodically looking at job listings and generally being discouraged by what is out there. Sometimes applying anyway. Not getting much else done. Sigh.

Monday, Monday …

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For a Monday this isn’t too bad of a day.

Hit the gym. Upped the elliptical to ten minutes. This is halfway to the major goal of 20 minutes. Not doing too badly, I probably could have gone a little longer, but I was starting to feel it. Upped the weights on a couple of the weight machines (arm curl and the one going the other way; and the leg weights). My legs felt like rubber when I got home, but that’s all to the good. “This is good for me” is my mantra. I don’t exactly look forward to it, but I know I’m doing myself some good.

Getting misc. things done, including shutting down our “land line” — which has actually been through a router that connected to a cell tower for the last couple of years (last phone upgrade). Have unplugged all that. We’ve been getting mostly scammers and such through that line, almost no one calls us on it, and we weren’t using it — why, when we had our cell phones handy? So … done with that. It drops about $12/month off the monthly bill.

The weather is stunning out there today. It’s expected to get to torturous temperatures tomorrow and/or Wednesday (high 80s and low 90s), but then cool back down again … this weather lately … climate change is real! But anyway, sun’s out, sky is blue, trees are turning green … really beautiful out … glad I went out for lunch.

This last weekend was Mists Spring Coronet tournament, I did the online bits of posting and letting folk know how the tourney went on Facebook. People seem to appreciate that. Attendance was not great, but …

CJ is in the last throws of finishing up the “Domesday” report — the end of year tax reports that have to be gotten to the SCA corporate office. This has been wiping her out. Three months and she’ll be done (well, mostly — there will be some overlap time, helping her successor …).

One fun thing was telling someone to be more patient with people asking questions. She complained because it was a page on Facebook for Laurels (experts in the Arts and Sciences), and someone came in with a vague question. I had to point out to her that not everyone has a huge academic background and are used to being careful how they word questions, and maybe some patience would be in order. Funny, no response back (although other people posted plenty of “Yeah! What she said!” type responses to which she preened … sigh).

Well, off to try to get some other things done. Still no nibbles on the job hunt side. This is getting harder and harder to deal with.