What has the internet become? Yes, it is a marketing tool for businesses, and it is full of celebrities in various stages of undress or meltdown. But after all this time other than the dark side of the web it has become an invaluable tool for things from DIY auto repair to medical self-diagnosis and recipe finder. The only problem with this is that mixed in the links you get when you search for “is this mole cancer?” are the billions of people who have a home remedy to cure cancer and every kind of ailment know or unknown. You have to become a data sifter looking through sites for reasonably accurate information. I would not take the advice to use skydiving as a cure for constipation, but some may. While I am sure skydiving would make anything I had in me come out, I think there are simpler ways to get the job done. It is amazing the sheer numbers of links for the most mundane of subjects. I looked up how to flush an automatic transmission on a Subaru Forester and got 1,030,000 results. As for recipes, those can be more of a trial and error. Not everyone has the same tastes, and on a no carb diet, most of the recipes have a lot of substituting of good things like pasta, rice, and potatoes with almonds, cauliflower, and some strange and unnatural things. The same can be said for medical advice, you can get some awesome information and not all of it from doctors and professionals but let’s use some common sense. Essential oils and tribal chanting are not going to cure everything.
I have mentioned this before but, this blog is a writing exercise for me. I wanted to get better at writing, so I figured having to come up with something every other day would make me better and more creative. It isn’t always easy to come up with subjects to write about, sometimes I sit down, and it just flows out of me, other times I stare at the keyboard and wonder if I ever had an original thought. It isn’t like ideas are always flowing and not always when I sit down to write. For example, this morning before I left my house for work, I came up with an idea for a post, it was about visiting the Doctor, and I know it was funny because it made me laugh. The problem is I didn’t write it down, and now I have lost it. I hate that for two reasons, one is at my age that seems to happen more, walking into a room and forgetting why I am there, looking for my glasses that are on my face. The worst being not able to find my cell phone while I was talking to my wife on my cell phone. The second reason is having that idea was like a little flower that bloomed in my brain, the remnant is still there, and I would love to be able to find it again but-but all I can do is be bummed about it being gone. It is more like an itch I can’t reach on my back than a fond memory now, and I will spend the day scrunching my face trying to remember that great idea. Wait, I just remembered, it had nothing to do with going to the doctors. Well, I am not starting over now. I wrote it down so I can remember it for Wednesday unless I look at it then and decide it is no longer funny. That is how it works for me anyway!
I get that there are collectors for just about anything, old toys, clothes, and baseball cards. I do not collect anything of much value. I just can’t throw away old computer cables because I keep thinking I will need one. Some people though are just off the weirdo chart when it comes to collections. I googled the weirdest collections in the world, and I was slightly disturbed by some of them. One lady has over 3000 miniature chairs, what? Another person has 8,650 different water bottle labels. Another guy has close to a thousand umbrella covers. There is, of course, the customary collection of belly button lint and toenail clippings but come on, traffic cones and Airline barf bags? Look I am no judge of what is collectible or what is not I just don’t get what makes someone choose the things they do to start keeping. Most of these are not sick like collecting clowns or dolls, and yes those people are out there. And I am sure more than a few will show up on that hoarder’s show, but hey, if it isn’t hurting them or others I guess it shouldn’t matter what they decide is of value to them. Perhaps when I am older, I can open a museum of classic computer cables to show off technology which is no longer in use, or start selling them on eBay to all the folks still using ten to twenty year old computers.
Well, it looks as if I will have to make a trip to the east coast this summer. I have driven and flown to Virginia a few times when our son was in college out there, but we stayed close to DC in the more rural areas and didn’t wander too far into any areas of the real city other than to the National Mall. This time it will be to scout out Philadelphia. I have driven all over the Los Angeles area, but somehow that seems less scary than back east. Maybe it is because I grew up out west and have driven all those freeways hundreds of times, or maybe it is because the cities back east seem older and not as organized. These cities built up over a long time and planning changed over the decades, and nothing appears to flow in a logical way. I am sure once I walk around a bit I will get the lay of the land, but I know that the only they can build new roads in towns like Philadelphia they have to build them in tunnels underground. That to me means, you have areas of 300 year old roads and building mixed in with new stuff. That is the part that seems confusing. Maybe I have just been living in the country for too long.
My wife and I decided to start a diet together. We are doing a low carb thing which many of you have heard of or tried yourself. In an attempt to create substitutes for some of our favorite things, like bread my wife looked up recipes online. I have to say that I no longer trust the people on these low carb sites, the fact that they say that this recipe or another are good means, either they have no taste buds or the own the company which makes some of these substitute ingredients. We made bread using whey protein powder, and it does not taste like bread, it tastes like sadness. For Easter morning we made egg gravy, this is bacon grease, bacon bits, hard boiled eggs sliced with onions in white gravy. We used xanthan gum instead of flour to thicken the gravy, it was heinous! The other problem was that normally we put the gravy on biscuits. Instead, we used the bread as mentioned above which added insult to injury. It was the consistency of jello or old balloons. Instead of enjoying an Easter tradition, I was left with a giant hole in my heart where the gravy and biscuit coma should have been. I don’t mind dieting, but I think I just have to say I will skip any carb replacement options until I am desperate enough to try another one of those liars recipes.
I am getting to the age where every doctor that I have visited over the last 30 years now thinks I should come in yearly! When I was young, there was a point where I didn’t see a doctor or a Dentist for over ten years. I am not saying that was right but I didn’t need any of them at that time. I do go to the dentist now every six months, and I get my man over 40 test every five. If I listened to the experts, I should have head to toe exams by every specialist there is! I am in good health. My doctor noted that I don’t visit very often last time I was in, and that was just to get allergy meds. My work is even in the act, I can get points toward cash rewards if I have a physical and get some sort of biometrical screening. At least my work will reward me for it. The rest just try and scare me into getting checked out. I swear most mornings that guy on NBC who shows you the hidden dangers of everything, including paper, talks about someone who didn’t die because they regularly had check ups. I am to fear the sun, the water I drink, the food I eat, and most of all “High Fructose Corn Syrup.” When I was a kid my favorite thing to put on my pancakes was peanut butter with Karo Syrup, clear corn syrup gold! Now I am to stay away from it. Getting older stinks, all the things you used to like to do are slowly replaced with things you have to do. I understand that there will be a point where I will cross over again into the “I lived long enough to not care” stage, but I have a little longer to go before I get there. For now, I will try and do the things that will get me there, and do a little moaning about it!
I am an IT guy, so sometimes people ask me for help with various technology related things. I do like helping people, so I do somethings for free, and some people will give me a little money for helping them out. When I earned my living as a contract IT guy, it was more of a problem not to get paid. Now it is no big deal. The times I question why I help others is when something goes wrong. I was helping someone who’s computer was dead. They had their whole life on this machine. When they brought it to me, they had the look of a pet owner handing over a beloved friend who had been hit by a car. I tried seven ways to recover anything off that computer. I got nothing. I explained that there are places which can do a professional recovery and get stuff, but they cost over a thousand dollars. The person just looked at me with an open mouth and sad puppy dog eyes. As a public service message, I will insert the usual response of, do an automated backup if you don’t want to lose your stuff. In these moments I realize why I was poor at being my own boss. I feel so sorry for the person I do things like not charge them or spend way more hours than I could charge for to try and help. Even when I do it as a favor, I still feel sorry if I can’t fix it. Maybe I should tell people I am in Waste Management, that way all they will ask is if I can dump something for them. I could do that without feeling guilty!
I am not the most organized person. My apps are kind of all over the place. I have put critical apps in places so that I can find them quickly, but a lot of them are random across the eight pages of screens. A co-worker showed me his iPhone, and he had all his apps in folders labeled for the type they were, financial or games and such all on the home screen. He could just tap the right folder and the app was there. Every time I try and find an app it is a flip and find disaster. I swear the app was on the bottom row about three or four screens in instead after much searching it is about the fifth page and third row up. What is worse is the app has been updated, so the icon is different, so I passed it over a few times looking for it. I tried getting organized I put them is some order, then I come back, and they are reorganized again! Either Apple gets some kick out of messing with me, or my apps are like ants which migrate around the screens looking for food. I am going to try and put them in folders, but I can tell you I will come back tomorrow and find my banking app in the fitness app folder. Siri will be snickering at me under her digital breath!