Boxing lessons are good.

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:42 am
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I was tired yesterday and not very focused, but I still enjoyed it.

Work had been a monster. If it could go wrong, it did. I forgot my phone at home. That started the day. Then I had payroll, and was interrupted at least six times by "emergencies." One of them? A phone line that had been ringing since last week. Suddenly it was driving them crazy and it had to be fixed TODAY. I don't understand things like this. They know it's payday. Do they really want to interrupt me for something that's been going on for days? Why not ask me last week when it started?

Then the ACH site for direct deposits for payroll decided it didn't recognize my computer, so it wanted me to enter a "passcode." However, the passcode was being sent to the phone which was at home on my desk. (bangs head hard) So I called them and they kindly gave me a passcode that I could enter. So I was able to enter the check amounts.

The computer in the lab hasn't worked since last week. So of course they wanted it fixed RIGHT NOW. (sigh) So I had to stop payroll to go fuck with that. Our IT consultant did get it fixed, but seriously, people! PAYROLL.

Then I had to take all the checks for both bills and the paper checks for payroll (yes, we still have people who insist on paper checks) into Alachua (which is 20 minutes away) to get them signed. That done I came back and stuffed envelopes with bills (so they could be mailed), and then began to distribute checks.

At the same time I am being asked to "do something" about the tree that fell on the Medical Clinic storage shed during Irma. EGADS, PEOPLE! I managed to convince them this could wait for 1) word from our insurance company, and 2) next week.

There are days when I feel like I'm the only one in the office who cannot get through an hour of work without interruption.

Finally I was able to leave the office and go to boxing. Where my focus was shot to hell, but I worked hard anyway. I suck at shadow boxing. I'm going to have to work on that. In particular the backwards move combined with a forward step for the right cross. ARGH. My body just would not do that yesterday.

I came home and ate ice cream.

Boxing will help.

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:15 am
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Yesterday was a weird day. I went to work and immediately got asked to fix the lab computer because I apparently fix everything. ???

I took photos of the set-up and texted them to our IT consultant and then he and I got on the telephone and between the photos and me answering questions, we got the computer fixed.

Partially. Today I have to do a fast support with him to fix the final problem, but the computer was at least mostly working.

Then I got asked by the accountant what suspension accounts should money be going into. She sends me a print-out that reads: DOH, CHOICES, CAPP for each of the transfers. The suspension accounts are DOH, CHOICES, CAPP. I cannot see what the mystery is. DOH goes into DOH, CHOICES into CHOICES, and CAPP into CAPP. Am I missing something? She set up the system I'm using and I'm using it the way she told me to, and it clearly reads EXACTLY what it's supposed to read, so why don't know you know what to put in it?

(bangs head on desk)

Then I went to the dermatologist. First time I've ever been to one. I had developed a flesh-colored lump on the end of a scar from childhood that is on my forehead. He removed it and is sending it for a biopsy. So I guess it was good to go get it checked.

So I came home with an ouchie and a bandaid.

I stopped on the way home and bought groceries, including ice cream for dinner. I was in bed early because today is a payroll day and boxing. So I knew I needed to get some sleep.

Pat is in Branford with is friend Ric. They did get the Jeep running yesterday, so that was a success. Now he's going to hang out for a couple of days and then drive the Jeep back here.

I live in hope that people don't drive me crazy today, but I'm also not holding my breath.

Back to work...

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:14 am
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It will be a short day for me because I have an appointment to see a dermatologist. Since I've met my out-of-pocket costs for the year, I decided that I would get checked out for potential skin cancers and other issues. Won't cost me anything, and is something we should all do as we age.

I've got a weird spot that developed on a childhood scar on my forehead that I want to be sure isn't something bad. So good enough reason.

Pat is going to Branford to help his friend Ric with his Jeep. He's been worried about it with the storms, and the last time he was in Branford it wouldn't start, and it's the battery, so they're going to replace the battery and see if they can get it running. He'll probably be up there a couple of nights.

If they do get it running, he wants Pat to drive it back here for us to use and keep it running. We'll see how that works out.

We did get a good nap in yesterday. I watched THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. movie while I folded clothes. It was truly awful. I loved that show as a kid, and I had wanted to see it in the theater. Now I'm glad that I couldn't. Man, it was bad.
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It was really nice. I hadn't seen her in over four weeks because she's been out on maternity leave. I got to see the new baby who is very cute. She burps and farts like an old lady. It's hysterical.

We yakked for several hours and just generally relaxed with each other. It was lovely. I have missed her fiercely since she's been on maternity leave. We normally chat with each other a couple of times a day when we're at work together.

This morning I was up at 5:45 because Pat has a bicycle ride.

I will be doing laundry because I might as well be productive while I'm up.

We watched baseball again. The Rays are having a terrible time against the Red Sox. (sigh) Also there was a horrendous call by a ref on a ball that was a strike. He called it a ball which caused a walk. Horrible call. The pitcher was enraged. And it changed the whole momentum of the game.

ARGH.

Pat was laughing at me because the night before the Rays/Red Sox went into 15 innings. I was yelling at the tv, "BASEBALL IS SUPPOSED TO BE RELAXING!"

It IS!

I ate all the food.

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:56 am
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Pat had a doctor's appointment yesterday and he asked me to go with him. It was one of his routine appointments with our primary doc. All his blood work was beautiful. He does have a problem with his right foot that is going to require a visit to a podiatrist. Poor guy. But otherwise he's really healthy.

After that he took me to the Flying Biscuit for brunch and I ate all the food. It was good.

Then we came home, and he ran a short errand, and when he returned, we napped. I am a champion napper. We slept for three hours.

It was a good day.

Last night we watched the Tampa Bay Rays lose a game to the Boston Red Sox in the 15th inning. Yes, that's right the 15th inning. It was sad. They had played so well until then, but their pitching just took a fucking dive and the Red Sox went on a hitting binge that ended all hope of them winning the game.

(sigh)

Today I'm going to go visit my friend Paayal and hang out for a bit. I miss her like all hell at work, so it will be really good to spend time hanging with her.

OMG, I love boxing lessons!

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:08 am
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I got a buttload of work done yesterday and then went to boxing lessons.

I worked my ass off, and I'm getting better with the 1-2 punch. Though the striking bag is still a nemesis. My coach took a short video of me using it, and it's here:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/gladdenboxingclub/videos/?ref=page_internal

Look for the old lady in the blue shirt and black shorts. That's me.

I came out of there feeling good. I just really enjoy boxing. I love the coaches, I love the feeling of getting stronger. I even love that I come home exhausted and sweaty.

When coach was doing the mitts, where I have to stand in front of him, move with him (forwards and backwards, side to side, all round), I was getting some pretty good punches in. I still suck at double taps, but I've got a decent 1-2, and I'm learning to roll (which is sliding under a punch).

SO fucking cool.

Thank God I have boxing today.

Sep. 14th, 2017 07:36 am
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I really, really need to punch something.

Yesterday the passive/aggressive pain in my ass came into my office and demanded to know why I hadn't written a check last week for her substitute dentist. (Our regular dentist is on maternity leave.) I said, "My mother died last week. I was out for bereavement leave and I wrote no checks last week."

Her response? "Well, it's too long for him to not be paid. You need to do it today and get it signed."

My response, "I'm taking checks to get them signed next Tuesday." (The boss is on vacation beginning yesterday, which passive/aggressive knew.)

"Well, he can't wait that long!"

I told her I wasn't going to take a single check to our other signer. She insisted that it had to be done. So, she is taking the check to the signer this morning.

What a fucking asshole.

She was in the office on Tuesday, when the boss and I were both there. (I was putting together computers.) But does she ask for it then? No, she waits for boss to be gone. I'd been out one day for bereavement leave and one day for Irma. When the fuck did she think the fucking check would have been written? She'd put the invoice in my box on Wednesday after I left for bereavement leave. Yeah, seriously.

I really, really need to punch something. I'm going to name the heavy bag after her.

I wish she was older than me so she'd fucking retire and be gone. But no, she's younger. FUCK.

In other news, the Santa Fe River has risen by 15 feet and is still rising. They are closing bridges everywhere. About 3/4 of ACORN's employees live on the other side of the river, so they all up and left yesterday afternoon before the bridges closed. They will not be back at work today, because now the bridges are closed. They're even threatening to close I-75 where it crosses the Santa Fe because the water was up to the bridge and still rising yesterday.

It is a crazy fucking time in Florida.

Going back to work today.

Sep. 13th, 2017 07:20 am
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The road resurfaced yesterday from the flooding, so I actually got called in. I took care of my payroll issue (which actually got more complicated), and then reinstalled 20 computers in the Medical Clinic. That sucked. I spent an hour under desks re-connecting cables. All the computers had been put on top of the desks and covered in plastic. It took me an hour, which isn't bad, but my knees were screaming by the time I finished. I had to ice them last night.

The payroll problem was weird. The company that does our direct deposits for us had deleted our debit offset account because they had set it up wrong. But they didn't make a new one. So I went on to transfer money to them and there was no account to transfer to. (sigh) That took about 45 minutes to resolve, with me having to set up the offset account myself. What a pain in the ass!

I was starving and cranky and in pain when I got home. I went with Pat to pick up his prescriptions and he bought me a Payday candy bar and a bottle of water. I was better after that.

Then last night I iced the hell out of my knees while we watched the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees.

The boss leaves for vacation today, so we'll see what kind of shit-storms happens when everyone returns. I'm likely to not be too sympathetic. (grin)
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There is still no power at my job, and the road into it is flooded.

Meanwhile I realized that I have to figure out a way to transfer money for payroll for next week. (sigh) So I guess I'm going to have to call the bank, because I can't get into the account from home on-line because all the "safety" phone numbers and e-mails are for work. What a pain in the ass.

So I'm going to call the credit union to today and talk to our rep to see if there's a way they can clear me to do it from home.

If the money doesn't transfer this week, payroll will be late, and with the storm I know people will need their money. They always need their money, but it will be worse.

The rural area out by the clinic is pretty flooded, and many of the employees live there.

ARGH.

Meanwhile, I'm safe, have power, and no damage. So I'm very grateful.

Just have no idea when I'll be able to get into the office!

I spent the day reading...

Sep. 11th, 2017 06:53 pm
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We got through the hurricane with no damage and still had power. Pat and I slept in, so I really didn't get moving until around 11. (We didn't go to bed until 1 am.)

Then at 11:30 the power goes out. We hear the transformer blow. So, no power for the next seven hours.

I read. I started THE WRONG DEAD GUY by Richard Kadrey, which I had on my Kindle. It's a fun book, so I was entertained.

Pat worked on his bicycle. He is planning on going for a ride tomorrow.

I can't go to work because the road to work from Gainesville is flooded! Also there is no power there, so my boss closed us for another day. We'll see what happens on Wednesday.

There is quite a bit of flooding in town, and especially out of town on the rural roads. But where we are is fine. We have a lot of branches down, but no damage to the roofs or buildings at all. No cars damaged either.

So it's all good. We were very, very lucky.

Thus far we are only wet....

Sep. 10th, 2017 11:48 am
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Yesterday it began raining in the afternoon as we were finishing up our preparations.

We packed all "flyable" items from the carport into the little car, then parked it out away from the trees next to the butterfly garden.

Then we moved some things around in the car port and pulled the Subaru into the car port to protect it from dropping tree branches and as much flying stuff as we can.

The little car is a 95 Saturn with over 212,000 miles on it, and a Blue Book value of about $200. This is why it's the one parked out in the rain, though not under the trees.

We have food, water, ice, batteries. Our house is concrete block, which is the best for withstanding high winds.

Now we wait.

My brother and his wife said there were tornadoes in Ft. Lauderdale, but they were still okay. Still had power and so far so good.

Irma has hit the Keys, and the video is scary. And of course there are idiots down there riding out the storm. (sigh) The storm surge hasn't hit, yet. But I'm not sure that being 4 floors up in a concrete block hotel is going to do much good when it does. (Yes, there's video of a bunch of drunk guys riding the storm out saying that they're good - they've got food, batteries, ice and "hootch" and they're on the 4th floor of a concrete block hotel.)

The storm should hit this area in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow. But the storm does seem to be veering closer to the coast than up I-75, which is better for us.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!
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But we expect that to begin to change late today. Tropical storm/hurricane weather is expected by tonight.

It's hard to imagine right now because it is beautiful out. It was beautiful yesterday. Pat had a lovely bike ride.

Last night we went out to dinner and sat on the patio and ate. The weather was perfect for it.

So it's very hard to imagine that by tomorrow we should be in the midst of one of the worst hurricanes Florida has seen in decades.

Our hope is that it moves fast and passes us quickly. The more quickly it passes, the less damage will be done. The most damage is expected from high winds. Gainesville is called "Tree City" because the city planning was such that there are a lot of trees left. Clear cutting was not allowed for a long time. (Though there are some places it has happened, and they are considered ungodly ugly.)

Because we have trees, we expect to have downed powerlines and roof damage in places. All the mobile home parks are being evacuated.

I-75 is still a parking lot of people trying to escape. I wish them luck. I hope that by tonight the roads are empty.

Meanwhile, we're going to move the cars around to protect the good car. We'll leave the little car out in the open away from the trees, but put the Subaru in the carport and hope that protects it from flying things. (We don't have a garage. Garages are very rare in Florida.)

Otherwise we're ready. We have ice, we have water, we have food. We have batteries and a cell hotspot that we can use for internet. Hopefully it will hold up. We shall see. Computer batteries are all charted up, but they only last so long. So internet access will be limited.

The solar charger is all charged up so we can keep phones running.

That's about as much as we can do.

See you on the other side!
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It helped. I feel more peaceful this morning.

Pat was incredibly sweet to me, too. I am very fortunate to have a partner in life who listens and who loves me.

In the late afternoon I went to my boxing lesson. I worked really, really hard. 45 sit ups in 1 minute. Then 20 sit-ups in 30 seconds. Lots of repetition of the 1-2 punches moving forwards and backwards.

I even did that thing where you flip the big tractor tire. (Though for a shorter distance than than young'uns do it.)

Ended on punching the heavy bag for two minutes.

I came out completely exhausted, sweating like a pig, but feeling good. My coaches were incredibly sweet to me. I came in wearing lipstick, which they hadn't seen before. I realized that I'd put it on automatically when I cleaned up to go. I explained that I hadn't been to work that day because my mother had died the day before. Their kindness was soothing. They are both good men.

Then they worked my ass off.

This morning I'm up WAY too early so Pat can go riding. But turn about is fair play.

I went out to get the newspaper and the sky is clear. The stars were shining bright. I took a moment (as I always do), to just admire them. I don't know shit about the constellations, but stars are beautiful.

My brother and his wife are having to ride out the storm in South Florida. Because of my mother's death, it was too late for them to try to evacuate. (Though evacuation for their area is not mandatory, which is good.) There's no way for them to get to us now. No gas in the area, and I75 is a fucking parking lot. Seriously, people are cutting through Gainesville to try to get ahead and so the roads in Gainesville are backed-up all over. It took me 40 minutes to get to my boxing gym which is five miles away. It's crazy.

Plus there's no gas in Gainesville. So we're conserving. (Fortunately we'd filled both cars up on Tuesday.)

Last night I spent two hours talking to one of my best friends in the world. It was like an oasis in the desert of crazy that this week has been. Laughing an talking about everything. So very grateful she gave me her time.

And my next door neighbor brought us dinner. Chicken soup from La Tienda. It was fantastic.

Good people, man. Life is shit without them.

My mother died yesterday.

Sep. 7th, 2017 11:09 am
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Just as I was leaving from work I got word from my brother that my mother had died. We were expecting it. In fact, We'd all been praying for her release. She had dementia and was angry and spiteful. My poor brother and his wife were bearing the brunt of all of it because they had her in their home, caring for her. Hospice came in over the weekend as she was running a fever and having trouble breathing.

He said her passing was very peaceful, which is good.

We had a very complicated relationship, my mother and I.

When I was a child, she was a firebrand liberal. She voted Democrat, fought bigotry, read SILENT SPRING and became anti-insecticides. She had "meatless Tuesdays" during the Vietnam war as her way of assisting in protesting it.

But late in her 40s she had a series of little strokes and her personality began to change. It got worse and worse as she grew older. By the time she was in her 60s, she was a raging bigot.

This is a woman who had a Japanese-American roommate in college right after WWII. She dated Chinese men in college. (It is from her that I learned to love the way Asian men looked! We saw RED SUN together when I was in college and drooled over Toshiro Mifune.) She let the black woman who helped with spring cleaning eat lunch at the table with all of us, which horrified our neighbors in the 50s.

I loved that she believed in justice and equality. I wanted to be just like her.

She was far from a perfect mother. She was manipulative. She wanted full devotion from her children.

But at the same time she told us, "Don't take anything at face value. Study. Think. Decide for yourself what you believe."

She just assumed we would believe as she did.

As I got older, she realized that I was not falling into line. I had listened too well, and come to my own conclusions.

Several years ago I talked to her on the phone and told her how I admired what she was like when she was young. She couldn't remember doing many of the things I'd seen her do. It made me so sad. I cried after the call. She was not the woman I loved any longer. She was someone else.

The darkness in her had found an outlet and taken over. She had always been manipulative, and she could be cruel, but as she grew older it became all that you got from her. I do think a lot of it was brain damage. She was notorious for stopping all her medications and collapsing and ending up in the hospital when she wanted attention. I think that and the little strokes did a lot of damage.

At the end she was Fox news obsessed and raged about Obama making it illegal to carry your Bible. All the nonsense that younger her would have despised.

So it's good that it's over, and that she has been released. I hope that whatever she finds on the other side it takes her back to the younger, more idealistic person she'd been. The one who believed in equality and fought for it.

I, meanwhile, am adjusting to the new reality. I will try to cling tight to the things I loved and that shaped much of who I am. I will chalk up the bad to her desperate need to be loved. (Her childhood was not happy, and she never felt wanted.) The bigotry I will chalk up to brain damage.

And I will let myself be sad for losing her twice over.