Monthly Archive: March 2014

Belt tightening

Well, I keep filling in the blanks (which should be ? not _) on my spreadsheet. Things are awfully tight. I have friends all over offering support, some of whom have even mailed me care packages. I have a list of not-expensive things for which there is just no room… unless I stop doing something I have committed myself to do, and even that would only free up $150 per month.

The good news is, there are things which go away if I keep paying on them. $85 of the $150 would go away after 14 months. (I really can’t wait that long, and have asked the person I’m helping to find another source of help, either take the payment over or find another item.) ┬áThe rest of it I’m only committed to through December. Another $137 goes away next April. (By “goes away”, I mean “I stop having to spend it”, by completing the commitment.) But that still makes for lean times until December. I have only $80 per month for food (not including $20 for pet food). I may or may not have money (depending on the month) for my supplements.

On the good news side, someone gave me a Mr. Beer kit, and I’ve bottled my first of two batches, so I won’t be buying beer for a while (the batch is not ready for two weeks, and I won’t start the second batch until then unless I can get more bottles). I am also not that much of a drinker, so this really does not impact my budget, just keeps me from spending what is left over, if anything, on beer for a while. Better beer, better prices. Papa John’s. Oops, strike that…

My website transfer is complete, and I can now be found online at NOTE: I WILL BE MOVING THIS BLOG TO THE WEBSITE, probably pretty soon, so watch for it.


Life is.

Everything is fine. Not completely boring, not entirely exciting, and not very stressful at all (except for financial, and I’ll get that worked out).

My new computer, a gift from my friend John Noggle (with an added hard drive and memory chips of my own), is running quite well, and I stayed miles away from Windoze (and MacOS). One or two little issues, and a large community of helpful people.

I had to skip Ostara, just did not have enough money for gas. That decision will pay off by the end of May, instead of leaving me another step down the well.

Work goes great. If anyone has (a) good people skills and high tolerances, (b) a good driving record and current license and insurance, and (c) no criminal record, you can get a job which pays better than McDonalds and, at times, appears to be no more than talking to someone and watching TV. There are times when you have to do cooking, laundry, or nursing type things… and the entry positions frequently include working double-shifts on weekends… but there is plenty of time to study for other things (one of my co-workers graduated as an LPN, another is working on his MLS, most of the studying being done on company time).

Any interest? Easy jobs at more than minimum wage? Funny that, can’t seem to get any interest. We always have openings, but the turnover is low (usually when someone graduates at something). The company has offices all over NC, some sites in TN, and one in GA… and there are dozens of other companies just like it, including at least one “competitor” here in Knoxville.


Lazy Days

My friend has moved on, hopefully to find housing and employment soon. He is welcome to come back for a few days if needed.

I have a weekend off, which is normal.

I’m not doing much of anything. There is still some unpacking or repacking to do, getting my storage in better shape, etc. I will likely take a stab at some of this.

I have another friend coming for a couple days’ visit from Detroit, due to arrive on the 9th. We are considering taking in a Smokies baseball game on the 11th before she moves along.

It is nice to have control of my life, a comfortable apartment, and almost enough food to get by until I get more (next paycheck on the 3rd).



Got my old buddy Pen stopping by for a couple days. Good to have company.

Work is going very well. Membership is up at MedFree Or Working On It . Membership is up at my Facebook groups except for my personal music page.

I’m hapopy.

More Ups and Downs

I managed to negotiate an almost-reasonable payment schedule to pay for the accident I had (without insurance — had just sunk all the money I had into getting the car fixed) in January. Fortunately it looks as though I make enough money to pay for it — assuming I keep my job.

I tried to get my cat yesterday, for the umpteenth time. I was unsuccessful. My ex is having to give away most of her animals, which is sad, and so I took the two black kittens. If Dottie no longer chooses to be my cat, I’m very sad about that but need to move on — Cecil and Narasimha have been all over me for lovin’ since I got them home last night. I do have to find a way to pay the pet deposit at my apartment, hopefully before my landlord gets upset. But it makes my new home a bit homier.

My internet was down for 3 days. It turns out it was a clerical error, and it was fixed hours before the technician was scheduled to come fix it (which he could not have done, as it was disconnected in the office). I managed to negotiate a credit for the lost days.

Getting lots of love and concern from my friends, online and off (there is a considerable amount of overlap). Thanks for everything, and I’m glad you’re still with me.

Now I need to get to work moving my website, before the current domain name expires.


Music Music Music

An old friend asked me today to play for her via Skype. I did so, and had a really good time. Haven’t played more than a few minutes since I got home from GAFilk. Anyone else?

Life is quite good. I’m slowly getting my feet back under me, and should be solvent by this time next month (well, able to pay my bills and buy food anyhow). Thanks to all my friends for standing by me as I move on.

It’s great to be back in Blaine.


X Rays

I had some x-rays taken a couple weeks ago for my chest, and the results included showing my “bamboo spine”. (They also showed I have some granulomas in my lungs, but she said not to worry about it.) Well, I had told them I had a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis (aka Bamboo Spine or Marie-Strumpel’s Disorder). But they ignored that, and, on the basis of this one x-ray, said I had DISH (Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis, or Forestier’s Disease).

So what’s the difference?

Forestier’s Disease usually gets diagnosed in one’s 60s and rarely earlier. Marie-Strumpel’s Disorder usually gets diagnosed by the time one is in one’s 30s. There may be a genetic aspect to Marie-Strumpel’s. The writeups in Wikipedia and WebMD say they are entirely different, and then talk about their similarities.

The first known onset of this disorder was when I was about 33, but it was not diagnosed until my chiropractor in Asheville took x-rays (my previous chiropractors never took x-rays, which is interesting as most chiropractors do that first thing).

What about treatment?

There isn’t any, other than chiropractic or massage therapy. NSAIDs (naproxen, ibuprofen) are shown to slow the spread and deal with the pain.

Here’s the good part. Due to my medically-compromised kidneys, I’m not supposed to take NSAIDS.

Well, heck.


Gearing Up, Settling In

I get a whole weekend to continue moving into my new apartment. Tomorrow is for setting up my records and books, the bookcases are up already I just need to move the stuff into them.

I got invited as Special Filk Guest for yet another convention (Atomicon), this one to be held in November in Charleston, SC. Paying my gas, food, hotel, and convention fees, and all I have to do is get there and sing a lot (and help encourage others to sing a lot). This is in addition to July, when I go to Pittsburgh (Confluence) as a sponsored Special Filk Guest.

I sure hope I can get my CD pressed in time for July… Looking to friends for help.

And if you’re a friend (you decide), feel free to drop in on me in beautiful downtown Blaine. You never know, I might get lonely.