We didn’t do anything exceptional this holiday but I still felt truly grateful. It is all the little things adding up lately that made me feel so good.
We went to LA to see friends. It was the traditional style dinner with a group of like-minded folks enjoying the company and camaraderie of being together. In a word it was lovely. We got some good news a couple times right before the holiday so I’m sure it lent itself to my mood.
For myself, I’m still pretty healthy. I got a scare this year but I just need to continue working on my diet and exercise. I’m still employed and have a roof over my head. My bills are paid and I have no outstanding debt.
Shawn got laid off from his job at the end of October. However, je got very good news right before we left for the trip. He got a new job with a decent pay increase. Needless to say, I’m very happy for him!
As you probably read, Cooper had a bout of illness and we were worried he might be in trouble. It turned out he is ok. He’ll just need some occasional meds to help his arthritis. The news was as good as it could have possibly been.
My little brother who became permanently disabled almost 2 years ago due to a back injury finally got approved for permanent disability. He and his family will have a decent holiday now and won’t have to worry about whether their electricity will be out or have food on the table. It has been a very tough year for them.
And while many of these things don’t involve me personally, I’m truly grateful nonetheless. I consider myself fortunate and try to recognize the good things in my life, especially this time of year. In a word gone shallow, I’m very grateful for the good things in my life this year.
I accidentally deleted the original post so here it is again. . .
So, if you’ve been following along on social media, Cooper had a unplanned vet visit this week.1 He
developed a severe limp in his left leg. It gets a bit weird because overnight the
limp switched from one leg to the other.
He has developed limps before but they were almost always from him jumping too much from furniture. They also don’t develop very often. He’s had two episodes in just under a month and this last one was one of the most severe. I always give it 24 hours to see if he improves. This last time showed very little improvement the next day. I was concerned enough I missed work to get him checked out.
We had to go back a second time as I wasn’t thinking and fed him the first day. Most dogs need to be sedated for X-rays as they can’t stay still enough to get clean
images. Bullies are also much more likely to aspirate under sedation with food in
their bellies, so we couldn’t get them done on the first visit. They did pretty much
the same physical exam I did and couldn’t find any signs of discomfort or abnormalities.
There was improvement in his gait the second day which gave me hope. I think the second visit also made him a little less nervous.2 He wasn’t at all alarmed when they led him away. Tangent/ The vet is so accommodating with me too. To keep his stress down, I’m always in the room as he is led away and I’m always in the room before he is brought back. It really seems to calm him. /tangent.
I knew he had a bit of arthritis from his previous episodes. I knew it would be part of the diagnosis. However, I was a nervous wreck worrying about tumors or cancer. He could have had unusual growths, cysts, bone spurs/fractures, ligament/joint tears, bad knee joints…the list goes on but cancer is the number one non-traumatic cause of death in dogs. Daddy was a bit anxious!
Turns out it wasn’t any of those, thankfully. As expected, he does have arthritis in
the lumbar region of his back. He also has some slight degenerative bone disease in his thoracic region. It’s a minor case but coupled with the arthritis it could be
affecting nerves extending into his back legs. He also had overly large ball sockets in his hips. The latter is also common in bullies.
The good news is nothing was critical or urgent. No need for any invasive surgeries. No tears or cysts. His knees and leg joints were all in excellent condition. The primary culprit was the arthritis, which we can treat with meds. The vet said he probably won’t see any severe impacts from the bone degeneration for 2-3 more years, hopefully. That is a guess of course. It’s moving very slowly. And the large ball joints are of concern but no apparent weakness or separation fears right now.
I’ve marveled at Cooper‘s health for so many years I had honestly begun to think he wouldn’t develop any health problems. I’m relieved they are still so minor. The vet and techs all commented on how well behaved and what a trooper he was. He apparently also did very well under sedation. They barely needed to give him oxygen to keep his intake normal. For a bulldog, that is exceptional news. It made me feel better about any future need to sedate him.
When I picked him up, he’d only been awake for about 40 mins and he clearly
recognized me. That was a great sign. I could tell later on he was fighting the
after effects, which made him even more adorable.
Plenty of folks reached out to me on social media and in private with best wishes
and sympathy. Thank you all so much. It made me feel better while I was so nervous.
And as an added update, two days later and the limp is gone once again!
Actually, two visits because this daddy is so absent minded. [↩]
He still remembers being left at a animal hospital when he was abandoned. [↩]
I used to get horrible migraines. It started in my late 30’s and plagued me for years. I tried everything under the sun to make them better and nothing really helped much. If you’ve ever had a migraine they aren’t pleasant. Mine would usually last two or three days. They would get so bad even the slightest exposure to light hurt. I get two types. The worst of the two, typically started in the base of my skull and built like a fog bank rolling up and over my head until it reached my eyes. By then I’d be hiding in dark corners. The other and often less painful of the two would slowly build behind my nose and eyes and erupt upwards. These I could usually survive.
After I had all but resigned myself to a life of painful headaches someone mentioned a home-remedy, honey. Having tried everything else with no luck, I figured I would give it a try. All the nose sprays and pills just made my nasal passages dry and the rest of me cranky. The great Flonaise everyone was touting at the time didn’t even put a dent in it. Anyway, the trick is to buy local honey, the more local the better. The friend of a friend who recommended it made sure I knew to stick it out for a few months. We have several local beekeepers who sell honey at all the farmer’s markets here in the city. I tried it and after a few months I noticed my migraines weren’t necessary gone but they were less often and less intense. After a few more months I was down to very manageable headaches.
At least, they were down to manageable headaches. Being off my regimen, they are apparently returning. I got a whopper of a headache a few weeks ago. It wasn’t quite the killer one’s I used to get but it still stuck around for several days.
I’m not big on toting home-remedies but I swear by my honey regimen. I’ve had some folks tell me it didn’t work for them so clearly it isn’t a one size fits all solution. However, it works for me and that is all I care about. I’ve started my daily dosing again. If you are prone to migraines, I highly recommend the honey regimen. It is not immediate. It takes a few months to really kick in and closer to 6 months (for me anyway) for the migraines to truly disappear. You have nothing to lose as honey is good for you anyway.
If you’re one of the folks that it doesn’t work for, my condolences. Knowing full well what you go thru, I hope you found/find a good treatment that works for you.
I am recovering from a cold. If you know me, you know I’m usually the worst when it comes to being sick. I hate being sick. I turn into the biggest baby usually.
This time around the cold wasn’t that bad and I wasn’t too terrible. The ailment part, where you feel achy, coughing, stuffy-head, blah, blah, blah part lasted about a week. The aches and pains always bother me the most. I can handle the stuffy-head and coughing but the aching is what always gets to me. I tried something a little different this time around. Instead of taking a one pill for everything approach, I took Muscinex for the coughing/flem and ibuprofen for the aches during the day and NyQuil at night time. I took the NyQuil mainly to help me sleep. I struggle with sleep anytime I’m sick. I was also worried my tossing and turning would keep poor Shawn awake. He seemed to survive it ok. He’s probably used to my normal tossing and turning enough he didn’t really notice a difference. Anyway, the Muscinex/ibuprofen combo really helped keep me sane. I wasn’t as groggy and “out of it” like I normally am doped up on cough meds. I missed a few days of work and was grateful my admin assignment gives me the freedom to not feel pressured to return to work. It’s amazing what naps will do for you when you’re sick! lol
I’m still coughing a bit today but it is diminishing every day. Overall, I feel almost normal. I’m off all the meds to alleviate symptoms so my brain is clear again.1 I’m so glad to be on the mend. I went to the gym a couple days ago to do cardio and as much as I hate cardio, I felt so good afterwards. Tangent: I felt icky, ugly, and fat of course! So imagine my surprise when a cute pup was cruising me in the locker room. Totally yanked me out of my funk and made me feel better. hehehe /tangent
I can’t really complain too much because it’s been years since I’ve been sick with a cold or flu. It’s been long enough I can’t actually remember the last time I was sick. It was definitely before Shawn and I got together and that’s been almost 5 years now. I’ve come close a few times but no full blown illnesses in quite some time. *knock on wood* I guess I was due for something and hopefully I’m over it again for many more years! I like to think my continued struggle to remain fit has helped.
I get a lot of requests about my thoughts on political subjects.1 I tend to avoid them or at the very least discuss in private. My reasoning has always been people have a right to their opinions, even the ones I don’t like. However, you do not have the right to tell me how to live or enforce your beliefs on me. I draw the line at bigotry. The intersection of these two fundamental principles is entirely up for discussion which is what brings me to my post today.
One of my far away readers, all the way from Sydney, wanted to know my thoughts on the right of a baker or florist to not provide service to me for a same-sex wedding. And as always, I’m all about distinctions so I have sort of a split take on it. There is always that ‘gut’ part of me that says, “why would I want to do business with anyone who doesn’t want my business to start off with?” I mean you can always choose someone else, right? Then my logic kicks in and I start rationalizing it out.
The problem I have with these so called moral-objectors is their outright hypocrisy. In several of the high-profile cases hitting the news, several of them flat out admitted they don’t particularly question most of their clients. More still when questioned specifically hem and haw over it and until they finally admit the truth. A couple of them even went so far as to admit they don’t really care about the “sins” of most of their clients as long as they weren’t gay. Therein lies the distinction. Most of these folks regularly make no inquiry into their clientele’s beliefs. If you’re that devoutly religious then you would think they screen all of their customers to avoid violating their beliefs, right? It is no secret I have less and less use for religion as I age. The dissent and destruction is causes far outweighs the benefit IMO. However, I can’t deny it represents a powerful foundation for many people. And if I found a person who truly walked the walk then I’d honestly be more supportive of their freedoms. I can still disagree with most of religion and accept your right to believe and walk your path. Tangent: Ironic how I can accept them but they can’t accept me?
It isn’t really about belief. It is about enforcing their morals on you. In other words, bigotry. These people disapprove of your choices and by refusing they are telling you, “Your ‘lifestyle’ is not OK with me; I am going to punish you by refusing to provide you a service I provide to everyone else without question.” That is really what it boils down to. So no, it isn’t really about their beliefs. It is about their ability to discriminate against you. That I have a problem with. I can’t support these people’s so called freedoms because they are liars and frauds.
As for myself, I don’t think I’d sue. One, I don’t have the financial resources for that. Two, I don’t work in a job where I could just miss sh*t-tons of work for the never-ending court appearances, hearings, etc. I’d probably make a big stink, share it with as many people as I could and move on to someone else who wanted my business. However, I applaud those who stand up and won’t back down. I applaud those who can sue and take on the fight for everyone to be treated equally.
Mostly, from my 20-30 crazy but exceptionally loyal readers. hehehe [↩]
No, I will not “follow” your Onlyfans page. No, I will not spend money to see you naked. I don’t even pay for porn and you think I’m gonna pay $8-15 a month to see one person naked or doing various other naughty things? Nope.
Have you heard of it? Liar! lol Ok, if you haven’t heard of it, basically it is a website where you create a page people have to pay to see. As you can imagine, much of the content is of the x-rated variety. From what I gather, you can host pics, vids, and/or a live stream. I discovered it after seeing it pop in my IG feed a few times. Ironically, it does not seem to have impacted my snapchat feed much. Granted, I don’t follow near as many people on snapchat. “Viewers” register for your page and by doing so sign up for a monthly fee. So basically, a new take on the web-cam model idea.
The self-advertising has gotten so bad on IG I’ve had to remove a large chunk of folks I follow due to the never ending requests to “follow their page.” Granted, many of the folks I follow are out of purely narcissistic reasons. They are inspiration to get my fat ass to the gym on a consistent basis. However, when your feed feels like an ad campaign I tend to lose interest, regardless of the inspiration. And when you throw shade about it…NEXT!
I guess I can’t be too surprised people have turned to making a profit. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning them. I don’t see anything wrong with using your talents (physical in this case) to make a living. I’ve just become annoyed at the voracity and the attitude. I’ve seen several folks display no small amount of indignation when someone challenges the notion of pay-per-view in their IG comments. Gurl, please! Ain’t nobody got time for that. Sell yo business but don’t get it twisted. You are a commodity in such a forum.
Maybe I should call it the Kardashian effect? (I’m not even sure I spelled that right. I soooo can’t be bothered to even look.) Maybe someone already coined the phrase?
Someone asked me the other day1 if I thought going to gym was a waste of time since I “clearly wasn’t ripped” and I’m getting older. I originally thought the person was just trying to get in a jab out of some misplaced shortcomings. Then I got to wondering if other gay guys really think that way.
First, I don’t go to the gym to get ripped. I go to keep myself in shape. And while I tend to fall off the wagon from time to time, I don’t see that as a failure. I don’t live for the gym. It isn’t my sole focus. And my own shortcomings, be it laziness or my schedule, are part of the equation. I don’t have an expectation I always have to be at my fittest or that others have to constantly validate my attendance with compliments. If you’re going to the gym for any of those reasons, you’re doing it wrong! I gave that up in my mid 20’s.
To answer the main question, I do not feel going to the gym is ‘wasted’ because I’m not ripped. I don’t want to be ripped. That has never been my goal. I like to eat way too much to ever get to that level. I’m ok with that. I go to the gym, regardless of my current weight set, to stay in shape. I get lazy, complacent, or just willful at times and don’t go. I always seem to gravitate back though. I like how I feel after a hard workout. And as much as a bitch and moan about cardio, I’m getting used to it. I like feeling in shape and fit.
As for my age, I don’t see that as a deterrent. If anything, it motivates me more. Study after study after study has shown that working out prolongs your health and life into old age. Is it a silver bullet? Of course not. However, if it helps me stay active and healthy longer, I’m all for it.
On a totally narcissistic view, I hate droopy skin. Lawd baby jeebus help me stave it off as long as possible! I’m not kicking anyone as it eventually comes to us all, but I hope to avoid it as long as I can. Call it one of my few vanities.2 And don’t even get me started on the flabby booty. Oh, hell naw!
Joking aside, I hope no one reading this thinks they are too old to go to the gym or that it isn’t worth it because they can’t achieve perfection.
We did it! We cut the cord, so to speak. I ditched cable this last week and went internet only. I’ve been considering it for about a year or so. The idea of not being able to just absent-mindedly channel surf was of concern though.
I watch a fair amount of TV; however, it revolves around a very limited number of channels. And let’s face it, TV competes with my video games pretty often as well. Like many people, subsidizing a giant list of channels I never watch burns my ass to no-end. I watch 15-20 channels tops and that includes a couple of the multiplex movie channels. Cable and internet thru “Comcrack” was runing us roughly $170.00 a month. At $170.00 a month, the bloat clearly outweighs the benefit.
So after reading yet another news feed on how Comcast is constantly trying to break the internet while simultaneously screwing over it’s customers, I decided to ditch them all together. We signed up for Wave Broadband’s gigabit internet service. Some of you may remember I left Wave over a year ago after months of intermittent service and never ending home visits that amounted to squat. I was reticent to jump back into Wave but being the only provider so far to offer gigabit service to my address, I took a chance.
So far it has paid off. The service isn’t quite gigabit speeds and fluctuates quite a bit. It will go as low as 200 and as high as 800 Mbps.1 It hovers around 500 Mbps consistently. They need a tech to work on the pole on my street to increase it (allegedly). And while that might seem rough, think about it for a second. My lowest speed is double what I was paying for Comcast. It’s $70.00 a month for the first year including the modem/router. I’m saving $100.00 a month right off the bat. The savings will decrease as we add other necessary services. We already had Hulu so I am not counting it toward the monthly savings.
Shawn only cares about the pings, which hovers between 4-20. Again a wide fluctuation but still at it’s worst it isn’t bad. So I’m willing to work thru it at this point. And since they waived the first month of service and the installation fees, I figure they are trying hard to earn back my business.
The biggest struggle, as expected, has been the withdrawal from channel surfing. It bothers me. It’s almost always garbage TV or shows/movies I’ve seen countless times but having the option go missing is oddly disconcerting. Having a Tivo usually allowed me to avoid live TV for the most part. I loathe f**king commercials. Sadly, I bought one of the versions of Tivo that doesn’t support OTA broadcasts. FML right? lol I invested in a digital antenna that works pretty good. Honestly though, I doubt we’ll watch much live TV.
I am adapting, albeit slowly. We signed up briefly for Sling TV, which for some is probably a good deal. However, unlike Hulu, you cannot skip commercials, even on shows you DVR’d to their cloud.2 I got rid of it before the trial had even expired. I’d rather just buy the shows I like outright and watch them commercial free. And while that does add up in the short term, in the long run I still save more money. And frankly, I like spending money on things I value vs endless channels I never even tune-in once.
Buying a season of a given show runs between $15.00 and $25.00. At an average of $20.00 a season, even if I buy 10 different shows, that is only 2 months of previous cable service. I did add HBO and Starz thru my Google+ account so that knocked the savings down to $75.00 a month. Again, still a value to me. All of it averaged together I figure I’ll end up saving around $50.00 a month For that I’m getting gigabit speed internet (for the most part) and the joy of never having to watch commercials. A much better value than I was getting before and the savings adds up to a whopping $600 bucks a year!
It isn’t all rosy though. Navigating which shows you can get where can be a royal pain in the ass. Some shows air the same season on Hulu as they do live. Some shows run a season behind. Some shows aren’t even available on Hulu at all. Premium movie channels like HBO are prevalent almost everywhere so they are relatively easy to find. Basically, you have to review all the shows you like or watch and chase them down. Once you get past that hurdle it’s pretty smooth sailing. And none of these services require a contract or commitment so you can add/remove anytime your favorite show airs.
If you don’t mind commercials, Sling TV and/or Vue are probably the two best for choice and flexibility. Hulu is decent but lacking in many areas;however, it allows you to watch almost everything commercial free.3 YouTube TV is pretty basic but if you watch the basics you’re covered. I don’t know if it forces you to watch commercials or not as I didn’t try it out. It was missing several of my favorite channels.
All things considered, I’m happy with the decision so far. I let Comcast overlap until I finalize whether Wave can deliver. The abrupt and jarring end to channel surfing is slowly wearing off. The are other ways to surf anyway and I’m happier with my options.
Well, if you’re any sort of gamer or gaymer1 you probably know the 2nd game to Destiny has dropped. The first game captured my attention more than any previous game ever. I was totally hooked. I didn’t even mind the grinding2 so much as others.
One of the biggest complaints surrounding the first release was content. Bungie released the original disc with the full game plus much of the first DLC3 already on the disc. Not a big deal until they charged for the first DLC. Many folks were rightfully pissed! To their credit using many of the same worlds in different ways was ingenious. However, charging your user base for content already on the disc was just foolish and greedy. Ironically, the games popularity persisted and continued to grow. Bungie stumbled many times during the lifespan but came clean on some of the big items and promised bonuses to make up for it.
And speaking of content, many folks felt the game lacked variety even after several brand new DLCs dropped throughout the first two years. Bungie admitted it was hard to crank out new content for consumption due to how the game was built on the back end. In a game of this style with such a large user base, content is everything. The only saving grace was crucible and strike matches. Crucible was player vs player, solo or in groups. Strike missions are teams of players against the environment. The level of variety and skill in these arenas really saved the game. Otherwise, I think it would have gone down as brightly as it arrived. The new game is supposedly built completely different and should allow for more actual new content more often.
So far disc 2 has once again captured my total attention. Even though many of the same enemies have been brought forward, it is different enough to feel new and the same, in a weird sort of way. I’m not quite in awe as I was the first time though. I’m not a fan of much of the new shading and ‘realness’. Another big complaint in the first game was wasted time bouncing between social spaces accesing upgrades and cashing in loot and space/destinations. It was an incredibly annoying time killer. In the new game the simplifications are almost too simple. It keeps breaking my sense of continuity in the game. Granted, as I get used to the new game this will probably go away. I’m only 10 or so hours in and there are supposedly upwards of 150 hours of campaign game play alone.
If you play, feel free to add me. If ya do, send me a message so I know how you found me. I tend to ignore random friend requests when I don’t recognize the player. . I’m PS4 only this time too. No back and forth on the two consoles anymore. Microsoft is steadily ruining the Xbox IMO.
I need to get my eating under control. Ugh! I eat out way too much and it is showing on my waistline. I don’t eat fast food as much as just eating out.
While on vacation last week, I ate like a pig. I’ve been hitting the gym consistently but with my eating habits, it shouldn’t really surprise me I haven’t lost any weight. And while I’m not overweight in the traditional sense, I am too heavy for my own comfort. I feel like a fat-ass.
Part of my problem is I procrastinate on weekends about doing my meal prep. I have almost no free time during the work week so if it doesn’t get done on the weekend, it doesn’t happen. This last weekend I was pretty good since I didn’t have an excuse. I got all my meal prep ordered, delivered, and prepped. Of course, due to the holiday, it is also a short work week for me. haha1 Since Shawn works Friday’ when I’m off, I really have no excuse for not getting it done. Well, no excuse except laziness!
On a related tangent, I’ve been asked a few times if I’m “ok” or “how I’m doing” in the sense of being depressed. I do not get depressed over being unhappy with my body. One, I’m usually just not prone to depression. Two, I’m not that far outside my range to get too down on myself. I chastise and scold myself but I also keep it focused to my procrastination, not my self-worth. I so rarely get down on myself these days. Overall, my life is damn good and it would be selfish and a bit self-absorbed to let such little things overwhelm my sense of self.2 There are so many bigger more important things to focus on. And at the end of the day it isn’t anyone’s fault but my own. If I want to change it, it is up to me to get it done. So, as a clarification, when I rant here about my failures I am doing so based on the best perspective I can have in relation to my well-being.