Thanksgiving 2020

Monday, November 30th, 2020 No comments

Thanks to the pandemic, Thanksgiving was fairly uneventful.  I’m writing since I have a tradition of doing a Thanksgiving post every year. 

I worked half a day on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  Since I don’t get any time paid vacation and Walmart doesn’t have paid holidays, most of my team was working that day.  But it was quiet for the most part. It was nice working without so many distractions.  I did a water change and got caught up on Star Trek: Discovery and The Mandalorian (2 eps each) during the extra time I had on those days.  I had pizza for dinner on Thanksgiving

I’m glad for the people who are already living with someone and didn’t have to spend it alone and got to have traditional meals.  They got to spend time with others.

And for those that didn’t heed the advice of the experts and stay home, I hope they don’t regret their actions.

Since I didn’t write about the election, I’ll say I’m thankful we’ll have a new president in less than 2 months.

The Happy/Hard Holidays are in full effect. I’m determined to enjoy them this year, but I’ll also be glad when they’re over.

Xander Visits

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 No comments

My good friend and former roommate Xander this morning around 10 to head to the airport. He’s been here since Friday the 9th, so 11 days. He just texted me a little while ago to say that he was halfway home.

He came to visit and to help take care of the stuff he left behind, which was most of his possessions that he had here. I shipped a few boxes of stuff and his bicycle to him not too long after he originally left. It was so great seeing him again!

He admitted that it wasn’t until he got here he realized that he wouldn’t be able to be social much because of COVID. I think Portland might be adhering to guidelines better than where he is in Pennsylvania. Before he arrived, I was a little worried that he would be coming in and out all the time, but he quickly assuaged my concerns. I felt bad that he was cooped up here, but he seemed okay with it.

He spent the first few days just cleaning stuff out of his old room and the garage. He works nights in PA, so he was on a different schedule than me those first few days. Eventually though, he got adjusted. I helped when I could even though I was working. He didn’t realize how much stuff he had left here. He ended up throwing out a lot of it and shipping a little bit. The rest he left here to take care of later, which is fine. I’m happy that I have much more room than I did before.

He got meet Max for the first time and see Reese again and do some work on the fish tanks. I think I drank more coffee in the time he was here than in the year and a half before.

We did do some fun stuff away from here. We went to see Hocus Pocus at the drive in. We went to a social gathering (social distanced coffee and donuts) at Eric’s. We went on a little hike at Sauvie Island (my first time there). He got me Pokemon Go again, which I don’t think I played past the first month of release. He did some stuff with a couple of his other friends a couple of days ago. There wasn’t enough time or energy for everything, but that’s something to look forward to next time.

But he’s still Xander. He still has some of same idiosyncrasies that drove me crazy when he lived here. It’s going to take me a few days to get everything back the way I like it around here. Some stuff is probably lost to me forever.

Before he left we got to have a brief but needed chat about the weirdness that was going on before he left and for months afterward.

Once again, it was great seeing him again. I remember picking him up at a coffeeshop he went to after he landed and seeing him drive off in the rental car he picked up yesterday. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I see him again

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I’m Exhausted

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 No comments

Don’t ever think life can’t get crazier, because it can.

A lot of the West Coast has been on fire recently. In the middle of a pandemic. About 2 or 3 weeks ago there was so much smoke in the Portland area, it was hazardous to be outside for more than a few minutes. I blocked off the windows and doors as much as I could, but enough was still getting inside to make it hard for me to breath. This asthmatic did not like that. Air quality here is back to normal now.

Work is good, but it’s been hectic. My team has a lot of requests thrown at it that need to be done in a short period of time. I like being busy. I just hope I can maintain a good work/life balance.

The first presidential debate between Biden and Trump last night was insane. I’ll be glad when the election is finally over. 34 days until Election Day.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Swan Song

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 No comments

A week ago today, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired it’s final episode after 7 seasons. I didn’t get to watch it until the next day. I wanted to watch the 2-hour final live, but I couldn’t get a signal on my antennae.

I remember being excited when AoS was first announced and I excitedly watched the pilot and first season. I’m sure a lot of people gave up on it after that, but it got so much better after that season. Although sometimes I wish they had more tie-ins to the movies, I admit that it was probably a better show when they ignored the movies.

After the first few seasons, I was usually way behind on the show, but AoS was still one of my favorite shows while it was on. I got behind twice during the final season, but got caught up in time for the finale. I realized while watching the finale that it made me emotional more often than any other show I’ve watched in recent years. I like that there were stakes. I was nervous watching because people did die. Yes, it’s a comic book show, so some came back, but not all. There was a core cast that was there from beginning to end, but the cast did have a few changes over the years.

The final season was fun with all the time travel. They got a chance to play around in different parts of the past. It led to some funny moments, but there was also a chance for social commentary. The finale had some great moments. I can’t think of anything I would complain about. I won’t spoil it, but I’m still thinking about that final scene a lot 6 days later. I’m going to miss this show. I hope we get to see more of these characters in the future.

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It’s About Time

Saturday, July 25th, 2020 No comments

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my team at Intel finding out that we were all being laid off. A few days ago I received an offer for a contract position. I held off on saying anything publicly because I received an offer for a contract role at Nike last September, but it was rescinded the next day because they wanted to go in another direction. I can’t remember if I mentioned that here or not. This position is with Walmart through a company called Insight Global. I’m definitely not a fan of Walmart. I had stopped shopping there even when I lived in the land of Walmart. However, a good friend reminded me that we are more important than our employers. I’m not going to feel too bad that Walmart is keeping a roof over my head. They’re giving me a chance when nobody else would. If doesn’t have to be forever. Since my start date is in 2 days I’m pretty confident I will actually get to start. My laptop was mailed yesterday and is expected to arrive Monday morning.

It’ll be nice and also weird to really be working again. Other than a short contract I worked on during the month of June, I haven’t done any “real” work since last July.

This will be a remote position. I’m going to turn my 2nd bedroom into a home office again. I’ve already ordered a new desk and a few other things.

A Little Less Crazy

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 No comments

Things have settled down a little bit this past month. People are still protesting every night in Portland and maybe in other cities, but the news isn’t covering it as much.

More of the country is opening up. There have been spikes in covid cases. Some places have put a hold on opening up. I got tested last week and I was negative.

I’m still interviewing and still getting passed over. I got some bad news on a position that I really wanted. Hopefully, something will happen soon.

I did take on some contract work to complete a short project for a local company. It’s been nice to write code again on an actual product.

Crazy Times Got Crazier

Saturday, May 30th, 2020 No comments

I haven’t mentioned COVID-19 on here in 2 months. While March felt like it lasted forever, April and May have flown by. I think that’s a sign that quarantine life has become normal.

The monotony of daily life is still there. The Zoom activities have helped. I started watching Drag Race weekly with people from Out in Tech. I’ve been streaming on Twitch more and that’s been a lot of fun.

People are starting to relax. The county I live in is entering Phase 1 of reopening in 2 days. The county that encompasses most of Portland will follow in a couple of weeks. Most of the state and many parts of the country have already reopened. I actually went to a park in the city yesterday. I was nice to be outside for an extended period of time.

This past week has been tough and intense. Another black male killed by police officers. The President’s bad leadership made the situation worse. Protesting and riots are happening all across the country. There’s been protesting here in Portland the past couple of days and even longer in other cities. Police are often using force to break up crowds. It feels like we could be on the brink of some major here. It is promising to see the entire country so fed up with racism. Whatever happens, I hope Trump loses in November and we can start to heal as a nation.

RIP Bailey

Saturday, April 4th, 2020 No comments

Last week I found out that one of my furry friends had passed away the week before on March 18. He was almost 13. Bailey was my roommate’s dog. I lived with him from 2007 to 2008 and got to take care of him a time or two even after he moved out. He’s probably the first dog I really made a connection with. The last time I saw him was in 2015. He remembered me and licked the top of my head like he used to do. I mention him in a few entries on this blog.

Happy trails, little fella.

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COVID-19 and Me

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 No comments

So this is what living through a global pandemic is like.

I think most people in the US are beginning their 3rd week of quarantine. I had already started canceling and skipping events about 2 weeks before then. If my memory is correct, I haven’t had any in-person social activity since the end of February. Trips to get food don’t count. I am going crazy over here. The dogs are great, but it’s not the same as being around humans. The loneliness and depression have definitely crept in. It was already bad from not working, but not being able to go out has made it worse. I envy people who are in relationships and don’t have to quarantine alone. Maybe they envy me.

I’ve had video chats with friends and I’ve arranged some online events with PDX Gaymers, so that has helped.

My trip to the UK and France in the beginning of May has been postponed. Once Expedia gets caught up, I should be getting a voucher that I can use up until April 30, 2021.

Other than inconveniences, things have been pretty good. I’ve made good progress on some video games, TV shows, and books. I’ve seen a lot of movies. I’ve done so much cleaning and organizing.

I got pretty sick a a few weeks ago. I think it was the first full weekend of the month, but this month has felt like a year, so who knows. It started out as puking and feeling lightheaded. I couldn’t sit up for long and I was sleeping pretty much all day. I figured it was food poisoning because I ate something the night before it started that didn’t quite taste right. A couple of days later I started sniffling and I had a sore throat. I was all better within days. I don’t know if it was coronavirus or not. Coronavirus seems to affect people differently. I’ve had some tightness in my chest most days for the past 3 weeks and sniffles. Could just be allergies. Could be paranoia. I had one of my daylong colds yesterday, but I’m all good now.

I think coronavirus started to hit home for a lot of people when celebrities started getting sick. Most of us I would imagine don’t know someone who has tested positive for it or has died from it. I’m thinking that before this is over, we’ll all know someone who has. I’m worried about my friend Xander who works in hospitals. He told me the other day that he had to perform CPR on someone who they think has coronavirus. They were waiting for test results to come back the last I heard. I’m hoping that he remains healthy and safe.

Not the downplay the serious of the virus and the lives lost, but I guess it could be worse overall. I don’t want to get too much into how our president mishandled the situation, but he it could be even better. Hopefully, this will pass soon and we can get back to some sense of normalcy.

What Day is It?

Saturday, February 29th, 2020 No comments

One thing about being unemployed is that it’s hard sometimes to remember what day it is.

Not much has happened on that front. It seems like companies are starting to hire again, but I’m just getting the same B.S. as before.

I came down sick last weekend. Cold, flu? Not really sure. I’m feeling better now. I was on the couch all day for 3 days.

February was a very busy month for PDX Gaymers. So much fun. I had to cancel 2 events because I was sick, but there were still so many. Attendance has gotten so much better.

My trip to Europe in May is being planned. I’m going to London, Edinburgh, Dublin, and Paris with Matt A, Matt H, and Mel. Hopefully, we won’t have to cancel because of coronavirus.

Hoping for good news and good times in the coming weeks.

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