AWOL

Yeah, I know I’ve been AWOL for awhile. A lot has been going on. Work is slowly draining my soul. I need a break or something soon. I just don’t want to do anything outside work most days other than the gym. Speaking of, keep good vibes flowing my way tomorrow (Jan 9th). Sacrifice a goat or a chicken if ya have too… 😂 “Thots and prayers”

Meanwhile, I’m getting mandatory notices several times a week at work now. It’s simply wearing me out. I cannot stay on this path too much longer. The management team gives constant lip service while doing little to nothing to alleviate the problem. If I didn’t need my pension I’d have quit already. Thankfully it should ease up a bit for a while now that NYE is over.

In catch up news, the back is so much better! The ablation procedure went one step further than the first and was a smashing success! While it doesn’t fix the minor but persistent underlying problem, I’m mostly pain free these days. It’s been wonderful. I’m still plagued with minor soreness and stiffness but nowhere near the level of discomfort or pain as before the procedure.

My holiday was chill. NYE fell on my normal day off so I dodged that madness. Xmas was sweet and relaxing. The hubby always finds a way to surprise me, even though I do not really expect anything. [1]We aren’t big on the holiday. It’s a lot of fuss and commercialism. I’m glad the holidays’ are over, especially for the people it causes so much stress.

Beyond that, there isn’t much to report. Daisy is sassy as ever. Shawn is good. I’m just trying to shake off the indifference that overtakes me from the mental exhaustion.

Hope springs eternal….

References

References
1 We aren’t big on the holiday. It’s a lot of fuss and commercialism.

Cancelled

After a heinous week at work last week, I was looking forward to the first of two back procedures tomorrow. A little time off never hurts a hard working hoe, right?

And….it’s been cancelled. 😂 I have to laugh because if I don’t I’ll cry. There was a significant drama episode with work last week and fresh off of that I’m just emotionally exhausted. I was eager to begin the process of getting my back hopefully back to normal and was in good spirits in anticipation. The irony is the new dates may impact the drama I’m facing at work in my favor. [1]Karma mother f**kers!. I won’t deliberately schedule it that way but I’ll be damned if I’m going to delay my procedure unnecessarily.

The back has been so-so lately. I go thru bouts of no pain and bouts of irritation flare-ups that seem to defy logic as to why. I’m eager for relief as it impacts my life daily. Stretching and doing physical therapy exercises at the gym saves me from being home a lot doped up on meds.

Needless to say, I’m eager to reschedule the appt.

References

References
1 Karma mother f**kers!

Back Stuff

In my continuing saga of back issues, I’ve now had the MRI. The good news is no serious bone or muscle damage. No apparent bone spurs or protrusions.

What’s left you ask? A series of minor issues culminating in my current daily discomfort. [1]Don’t ya love how doctors refer to pain as discomfort? Said issues have created some nerve irritation that is unlikely to go away on its own. And while I’m pleased there is no long term damage, the possible treatments are pretty much the same. I go in for an ablation where they cut or burn the affected nerve to deaden the pain and remove the inflammation. The latter is a two-step process. I’m eager for some relief as it’s been an invasive injury affecting my daily life.

If you want the dirty details keep reading. I have a slight defect to the very lower end of my spine that creates a stronger pressure point in the impacted area. Go figure. Add in mild arthritis, a very mild build up, and slight scarring from an old injury and apparently we end up with my current dilemma. Oddly, no disc degeneration, which was the first thought. There are a couple very small spots that could be degeneration but he thinks it’s most likely just genetics. Overall, no critical injuries.

I’m hopeful and eager for this to be over. I’m scheduling as soon as I can get in to get the treatment. It is outpatient with some sedation but the way he explains it, it should be quick and I should notice results quickly.

Wish my old ass some luck….! 👍🤞

References

References
1 Don’t ya love how doctors refer to pain as discomfort?

Work

After 22 years I’m looking for a new job. No, I haven’t been fired but I’m reaching a crisis point with my department and I’m trying to get out before I get bitter. (Is this what they call a midlife crisis?)

I love what I do but the dept’s failure to keep staffing at even minimum levels is affecting my mental and physical health. I’m not a young man anymore and the almost weekly mandatory overtime for years is taken its toll. Short of a death in my family, time off beyond sick leave is never available. We are forced to sign up for all of our allotted vacation for the entire year in 1 sign up. And while the latter has always been the case, the new never-ending overtime has made it that much worse. If an event I’m planning to attend changes or gets cancelled, I’m screwed. I have to take the allotted slot or give it up completely. And while I could survive these things alone, the are not the only issue. Before COVID my dept had a massive turnover in staff. Two-thirds of our current staff has less than 10 years experience. On my watch, the closest person to me in seniority is 15 years my junior. This translates thru the chain of command as well. I feel very isolated most days at work. And while I could promote internally, that pathway isn’t really a solution. [1]Caveat, I will attempt to promote internally when it comes up again, just to improve my chances of moving to other jobs outside my division, but I’m hoping not to wait that long.

People routinely dismiss my classification as a minimal skillset but that is far from the truth, not to mention I had skills before I took this job. I’ve had opportunities throughout my career with the dept; leadership roles as well as extensive high level projects. The latter always serve to remind me of the skills I’m not using. That isn’t meant to sound demeaning as much as a clarification. I’m still very fortunate as I have a steady job and am not desperate or forced to take a job for the sake of work. That being said, I’m open to a variety of new opportunities. I’d ultimately like to stay in emergent services but that isn’t set in stone. My focus recently has been on other divisions within my overall dept but I’m starting to branch out.

My biggest hurdle is salary. While I’m definitely underpaid for the amount of work I currently perform, I make a decent salary. Finding a position that doesn’t require a degree that pays the same or more than I make now is challenging. [2]One should be so lucky. I recognize the privilege but that doesn’t change the need. I’m too old to start over from the bottom. This just means it may take me awhile. I’m forever optimistic and definitely believe I’m up for the challenge. I’m great at selling myself given the opportunity, as I’m confident in my skills and capabilities. I’ll be blunt, I could sell you a bridge in a desert.

Civil service moves like molasses, but I’d like to stay within to keep contributing to my pension. It would take a really lucrative offer to pull me away from a city job. I’m not so naive to think jobs are falling from the sky but not totally opposed to jumping back into the private sector.

I’ve had these feelings for awhile but as I sit here putting it to text it suddenly feels more real to me, like it’s “out there” now. For a long time I just assumed I’d retire here but that is increasingly untenable. *Whew*. I’ve put myself on this path and hope to find a viable solution as soon as I can. Worst case scenario, I have to promote from within then jump to other divisions or depts.

At the end of the day, I know myself and I don’t want to end up becoming so jaded and bitter my inaction or indifference causes harm to someone.

References

References
1 Caveat, I will attempt to promote internally when it comes up again, just to improve my chances of moving to other jobs outside my division, but I’m hoping not to wait that long.
2 One should be so lucky. I recognize the privilege but that doesn’t change the need.

Gym App

I use a couple different workout tracking apps. One for motivation and one for actually tracking my workouts. Sadly, I can’t seem to find a good all in one app that meets my needs. That really isn’t the point though.

I recently got a private message from a gym bro attempting to shame me because I declined his unsolicited offer for online training services. He felt the need to try and undermine my manhood while also inferring I might look "gay" to other men. [1]You wanna tell him? For good measure, he managed to squeeze in a comment about my age as well.

My first comment was, "well, bless your heart." I followed up with a summary of how he’s toxic bro mentality was so 90’s and from his follow list, I’m probably dodging a bullet by not signing up for his "services". Even had I been interested in such a service he had no official education listed in physical therapy or even as a certified trainer. He replied back a few more times trying to goad me into an argument, but I couldn’t be bothered and he appeared to give up.

I thought about it afterwards and wonder how many insecure men fall for this ploy? Straight men are definitely not immune to peer pressure, and I know firsthand how gay men often feel pressured to look/act a certain way to feel "included." I’ve found a striking susceptibility in gay men who come out late in life vs us early out eager beavers. [2]there is a pun in there somewhere I think I’d like to think I’m totally beyond such things, but I think that would be a lie. Granted, I could care less about some random bro’s feedback. My workouts and efforts in the gym are primarily focused on keeping myself healthy, especially as I age. While I certainly strive to be bigger and better, it is not the priority in my life. As I age, I’m certainly aware of the stigma in our world and am not completely immune to the sting of rejection so I get it. However, I also realize the hard truth is age comes to us all. We can’t be young and pretty forever. More astutely, I no longer base my self-esteem on the opinion of others.

I guess doing the work on myself all those years ago are still paying dividends today. Life is short, if your not happy make changes to try and change it, but don’t fall for the idea you need to look or act a certain way to be accepted.

References

References
1 You wanna tell him?
2 there is a pun in there somewhere I think

Contrary

If you ever call 911 in San Francisco, there is a chance you’ll hear my lovely voice. I’ve done a few PSA’s over the years here and with that in mind, let me offer a few tips for calling the police or 911 to save us both a lot of time and angst.

1. Cooperate. We are here to help you. The questions asked are necessary and often mandated. No, we can’t take your word for it. Yes, we can multitask. Oftentimes on critical incidents, emergency services are already on the way while we are still speaking. The more you fight the process the longer it will take.

2. Be specific. People often use subjective phrases that have to be clarified. A good one is “I was robbed”. How were you robbed? At gunpoint, grab and dash, vandalized car or locker, or an item is missing? We have to clarify what the problem is prior to dispatch. This is purely an educational issue I feel cities are failing to provide to it’s citizens.

3. Be realistic. Demanding an immediate response for infractions or even minor crimes is not going to get it. Agencies prioritize responses based on policies and rules, some of which are also legal mandates. There has to be a prioritization system because if everything is an emergency, nothing is an emergency. And here is the bad news…response rules aren’t based on your level of frustration with a given problem. I know that last one is a hard pill to swallow.

Following these simple instructions will get you services as promptly as possible; based on the needs of the emergency services system and your compliance. [1]Sorry, Facebook being down or the drive thru at McDonald’s being closed early is NOT an emergency or even a police issue.  If you do have issues with the system, it cannot be addressed while you are on an emergency line. You can always contact a supervisor for dispatch or police, and/or contact your local government body.

What NOT TO DO:

Call 911 just because you don’t know the “other number.” This is a big one. If it’s not an emergency, look up the proper number. Hell, you can ask Siri or Google, they will tell you and offer to dial. In SF, you can also call 311, they can connect you with non emergency services. When you multiply these callers by 10 at any given moment, it clogs up 911 lines very quickly and literally prevents real emergent calls from getting answered timely. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve lost count of all the true emergency calls delayed in queue because the lines were tied up with lazy callers and accidental dials. Who knows how many deaths.

Be contrary. Agencies have protocols to triage all calls for police, fire, or medical. Deciding you will demand or don’t need to answer “a bunch of unnecessary questions” is likely to delay the help you need and potentially delay how fast it arrives on scene. You cannot override the system simply because you deem it necessary. Being nasty because you can’t get your way only makes you more frustrated in the end.

Take Offense. Our clipped and short questions are not a sign of disinterest or attitude. We process thousands of calls per day and we tend to focus on what we need for responding units and getting off the phone to answer the next emergency in queue. We don’t always have the luxury of validating the crime or your angst. It is not personal, so please don’t assume otherwise. We are also incredibly short-staffed.

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We are used to getting demanding callers, it is the nature of the beast. Let’s face it, no one calls 911 because they are happy. We often encounter people at one of the worst moments in their lives. [2]Frankly, the latter are rarely the problem. We completely understand that. However, I’ve noticed a trend lately where more & more callers in the non-emergent setting feel compelled to be contrary or make completely unrealistic demands.

Summary: You don’t have to be your best self, but being difficult for the sake of difficulty doesn’t get you what you want.

References

References
1 Sorry, Facebook being down or the drive thru at McDonald’s being closed early is NOT an emergency or even a police issue.
2 Frankly, the latter are rarely the problem.

Texting

I’m going to "come out" as a grammatical texter; meaning I like to use grammar and punctuation while texting. I’m going to go one step further and say, I do not understand people who feel the need to send gibberish because they are too lazy to type out what they are saying. And don’t get me wrong, I use common abbreviations and sometimes even emojis, but I like text I can understand.

One friend said I’m just getting old and maybe so, but I like to be understood. And if you are too lazy to type, what else are you too lazy to do? Hmmmmm? I have a buddy from the gym who’ll text me a string of emojis and I’m like, "huh?" He’ll do an eye roll emoji and resend it with enough real words I can understand it. I asked him how often he misunderstands texts from others done in the same style and he begrudgingly admitted often. So…if you have to routinely resend texts, why not put a little extra effort into the first try?

I’ll be starting a support group for fellow GT’s like myself … 🙂

Random Bits 2023

I haven’t done a Random Bits post in forever…or blog for that matter. Well, new year, new me, right? Where does the time go…?

I bought a new and improved air fryer awhile back and I’ve been on a cooking kick ever since. Technically, we already have an air fryer but the old one just wasn’t cutting it. I upgraded to the Ninja Double XL and it is a boss! [1]You know you’re old when you’re excited about an air fryer The old one was a Ninja, but it was flat with an option to flip up when not in use. It was great for saving counterspace, but it didn’t leave much room for anything heavy duty and was a major pain to clean. This one actually puts a nice crisp on chicken as well.

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I’ve been making Shorts on YouTube. Basically, it’s Google’s attempt to take on “the Tiktok.” It is not quite as user friendly, but TT could be banned soon if you work for any government agency. I’d rather not have to delete all my vids. My Google profile is one of the few under Sfmobius instead of the generic Ibod8x5 handle I use everywhere else. If you care to subscribe, go for it but not using it daily yet. Just random bits that strike me as funny. [2]See what I did there?

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Work has been a mess, but that is sort of normal. Sadly, we are shorter now than we’ve ever been. There are fewer of us now than when I started. We are doing triple the work with fewer people. I’m actually considering changing jobs. I’d stay in civil service and most likely within the same dept, just a different division. The software project I worked on and my stint in records reminded me I have other skill sets. Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger and I certainly do not wish to be in my 60’s still answering 911 calls. [3]I can’t retire with full benefits until age 62. It’s not a definite but I’m keeping my eyes open for available positions.

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SF has had a ton of rain this season. Oddly, we need it as we seem to get less and less fog every year now. The last couple storms have been close to what we would consider a normal storm back in TX. They even had thunder and lightning. Both of the latter are very unusual for SF. People talk about it for weeks afterwards. This has been a definite rainy season for the whole state. Even the perpetually dry Southeastern side of Cali might be out of “drought” for the first time in years.

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I could fill pages with my thoughts on the state of world affairs, but that is sooooo depressing. Don’t get me started. I avoid the news as much as I can most days as it’s all just frustrating. We’ve come so far and seem to be going backwards now. If another human tells me they “long for the good ole days” I swear I may punch them in the dick. The good ole days were great only if you were straight, white, and male.

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Yes, I know the sfmoby.com site is a mess. IG changed the rules for sharing to third party sites and I haven’t had the time or will power to sit down and sort it all out. Speaking of IG, I find myself using it less and less. Meta is determined to turn it into TikTok and failing miserably at it.

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Daisy is sassy as ever. We had to upgrade to a king size bed because she kept pushing Shawn off the bed at night. It’s all his doing anyway. When we first rescued her, I wanted her to sleep on the floor but nooooo, we had to let her sleep in the bed. 🙂 We bought a Nolah mattress; a hybrid foam/traditional. It was rated very high for side sleepers. So far, we really like it. The last one didn’t hold up well at all. We’d only had it a couple years. The new bed dominates the room but honestly, we don’t do much in there but sleep anyway. Shawn and I have both noticed a significant difference in our sleep patterns. While I snore less since the nasal surgery, we both snore and we both seem to snore a little less as well. That, or we are far enough part not to wake each other up as often. hehehe

Enough rambling for now, time to try a new air fryer recipe.

References

References
1 You know you’re old when you’re excited about an air fryer
2 See what I did there?
3 I can’t retire with full benefits until age 62.

52

I turned 52 this past month. As I start into my 53rd year on this ole planet, I am grateful to be alive. My previous back issues got me a little down for a while but I’m better now and realizing it’s not that bad, all things considered. Personally, I think I look damn good for 52, but I am a little biased. 😉 My medical issues as of late have all been mild compared to other more serious ailments that plague us as we age. I have to remember that moving forward.

Part of me still grapples with the idea of being in my 50’s. My brain simply won’t completely accept it. I guess that is a good thing. In stark contrast, this past year I’ve been noticing when people “die young“, which in my brain translates to around my age or younger. It is a bit of a surreal feeling to realize I’m moving into an age bracket where people can and do die from a host of issues regularly. Granted, some of these conditions can often be prevented and treated, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful. I’m certainly not judging others. It just makes me value my efforts to keep myself healthy. Of course, my body reminds me daily now I am indeed not a young man anymore.

And speaking of healthy, I’m hoping to get thru 2023 with no self-inflicted gym injuries. hehehe Another hard realization is I can’t constantly push heavy weights anymore. As I focus on strengthening my back muscles, I’m building on my past mistakes. Rebuilding my exercises from an entirely new perspective has had its benefits. Even with the back injury, I’ve made some solid gains this year, and my bony legs have grown some too.

If ya know me, you know I don’t make a big deal over birthdays. Shawn always tries to make them meaningful for me, which I appreciate. He always a way add a personal touch. This year was no exception. I couldn’t imagine him not being in my life.

Beyond that, work has been incredibly stressful and frustrating. Ironically, not for the reason you’d think. More on that later. I have a meeting with the Council of Elder Gays on what the new prize the most gay conversions in a year. 😉