Out of Phase

All my life, I’ve felt out of phase with this planet.  Maybe not the planet itself but the humans that infest it.

I’m like a four dimensional being in a three dimensional world.  There’s something amazing right here but nobody can see it.  Thinking fourth-dimensionally is difficult so consider a three dimensional object in a two dimensional world.   If you could only see one face of a cube, you would see nothing but a square.  A blank face is all you can visualize while 99% of the object can never be seen.  That’s me.  The majority of me is beyond the comprehension of regular beings.  I can tell because whenever I try to share something awesome, they look at me like I’m something they’ve never seen before. You know that face they make? Like, “What?”

I’m a ghost.  If I try hard enough I can make myself visible, but without major effort, I walk the planet completely unseen.  Am I here or am I not?

Like a demon, people can summon me when they want something from me.  I’m not sure how they do it but I always seem to be there for them to work my magic and make it all better.  If they don’t need me then I cease to exist until called upon again.

What a wonderful existence.

 

 

Should you give to Panhandlers?

pnhndlrPanhandling seems to be getting worse in San Antonio.  I don’t know what it is like in other cities but there are many intersections where they camp out every day with their cardboard signs and guilt you into giving them your change.

I am confused inside about what to do.  I don’t want to promote the idea of intersection panhandling but I also want to help them.

Some of them really need help and others are just lazy.  I’ve seen a surge of young people who are fully capable of getting a job out there begging for money while sipping on their Starbucks.  Both boys and girls.  I call them boys and girls because they are probably less than 30 and sometimes less than 20.  That’s very wrong.  The sad thing is that they are probably making more money panhandling than working at a fast food place.   I can’t give money to these kids.  They need to try harder.  They most likely didn’t pay attention in school and are now paying the price.  Maybe they are just in a temporary ditch but this isn’t the way out.

The majority of the panhandlers are haggardly and old.  These people are obviously long-term homeless.  They likely lost their blue-collar jobs and are too old and unskilled to make it in today’s society.  I sometimes will give them my change or maybe a $5.  Still, I don’t want to support panhandling so usually I don’t if I don’t have money handy.  I wish I could take one to lunch and find out what his/her story is.   On the other hand, you don’t want to get caught up in other people’s problems.

The third category are often middle-aged veterans (or so they say).  Some are missing limbs so they are likely telling the truth.  Those are the ones you feel for the most.  Usually unkempt and hairy indicating long-term homelessness.  It’s strange to know that someone who lost part of their body in service to their country are left to beg for money on the side of the road.  Obviously the country can’t support them 100% but there must be something that can be done like temporary housing and an education program to prepare them for civilian life.  Veterans have often joined the service because they don’t have the skills to make it in the first place.  I want to help them the most but still don’t want to promote the way they are doing it.

The road that I work on is a high homeless area.  Probably because of Goodwill store.  I am often approached in nearby restaurants.

San Antonio has support for the homeless but few seem to take advantage of it.  I’m guessing that panhandling pays rather well so why get free soup?  The weather isn’t usually bad here so they camp out wherever they want for free.

You can give to the local charities but it won’t get to these particular people.    Also, I would probably not give to one of those charities because I would not see it get to anyone.  I wish there was something else or a better way.

There doesn’t seem to be a better way so maybe I’ll keep some Ones and Fives handy in the car to give to those who really seem to need it.  Giving does actually make you feel a little better about yourself.  It’s a tough call. I can see why most people just ignore the homeless as if they don’t exist.  I at least try to make eye contact in some way.  It’s something.

What do you do?

Appreciating Awesomeness

awsmI’ve written before about the lack of other people’s ability to appreciate awesomeness.   It saddens me.

Today during a break at work, I went into the breakroom and stretched out on the couch.  I pulled out my phone and headphones and listened to a recording of my community band’s 2016 spring concert.  I listened to Danzon #2.  Listen to it here.

No.  It’s not perfect but damn!  It’s seriously good considering we is a community band made up of volunteer musicians.

As I listened to the streaming awesomeness I thought about the people I know and how not one of them appreciates it.  They don’t come to my concerts.  They don’t listen to the recordings.  They don’t give a shit.  My eyes leaked with sadness for them.

It is so difficult living in an awesome world while the zombies all around you go through life with blinders on.  I just don’t know what to do.  How do you make people stop and see the greatness?

 

 

 

Life Goes On

There have been three deaths in my community band over the last few months.  Just last week one of our clarinet players passed away walking out to her car after rehearsal.  At least she died among friends instead of alone in an empty house.

Despite the three deaths and my near-death last year, I find myself not feeling a lot.  I wonder if it is just me or that’s the way it is.  Life comes and goes and there’s little you can do about it.  Other than these people’s close relatives, I don’t see a lot of lasting impact on others either.  The band played on just the same.  I’m guessing that it isn’t just me who has a lack of ability to care for more than a few minutes.   They all continue to go to work the next day as if nothing happened.  As if a lifetime of experiences that is suddenly lost to eternity mean absolutely nothing.

When you die, life goes on.  You will be forgotten and the world continues to turn.

It kind of makes me wonder why we struggle so hard.  We spend a third of our life in school.  We spend another third or more working 8-5 at a pointless job so we can buy pointless crap.  If we have a few years left at the end, we live out our pointless life, generally without any money left to enjoy it.  The next thing you know it’s over and you have nothing to show for it.  You can’t take any of it with you anyway.

Those who knew you will say, “Meh.” and head off to work the next morning as if nothing happened to continue the cycle until they die as well.

Dark thoughts but can you say it’s not true?

 

Lamest Winter Ever!!!

wintrThe Winter of 2016/2017 has been the worst ever here in Texas.  It almost didn’t exist at all.  You may think that’s a good thing but the summers here go on literally forever and feel like they are going to melt the face right off of your head.

I look forward to a few months of winter when the air is cool and dry.  This year that didn’t happen.  I am totally convinced we are past the point of no return in Global Warming.  Each year has been hotter and winters less cold.  This year we had two days of freezing weather that didn’t even make the grass turn brown.  It was green all winter long.  That’s unusual.

I enjoy lying on the couch under a comfy blanket and enjoying the fireplace but I barely got to do any of that this year.  I had the air conditioner running more than the heater.  Highly unusual.  February is usually the coldest month of the year but this year the trees are already starting to green out.

Talk about a rip off.  I never put away my shorts all winter long.  I barely got to wear my winter sweat pants.

I’m betting this summer is going to be ultra-brutal.  I am NOT looking forward to it.  Without a winter break, this summer will have been 19 months long by it’s end.

Global warming is real and I hope you’re satisfied.  Keep popping out children and driving around aimlessly and the world won’t have much longer.  The end is near.

 

A new plane of existence

plnofxnc.jpgLately I have a feeling that I am different.  It’s almost like I’ve moved to new plane of existence.  I’m not sure it’s a good thing though.

Maybe it is good.  I guess it depends upon your point of view.  Perhaps it is just the winter chill-out I usually experience each year but I feel no desire or need to be around other people.  The desire for a friend has been the bane of my existence for many decades now and right now, it’s the last thing I want.

I feel satisfied to be alone with my plans and plots. So many fun things to do when you are not burdened by the demands of others.  I get a holiday next Monday for MLK and I sure hope nobody tries to spoil it by sending me the dreaded question, “What are you doing on Monday?”  Especially because what that question really means is, “Will you give up your holiday to fix some shit for me?”  Thank you.  No.

I really have no desire to be around people. They just have nothing at all to offer.  In fact the more I look at them, the more disgusted I become.  I’m not saying that I’m above them because I look at myself and the whole process of being human disgusts me just as much.  It’s much better if you don’t think about it.

Anyway.  I am home from work and in my Fortress of Solitude and I love it so much.  I never want to leave the house again.  It’s a beautiful feeling to be where you’re supposed to be and not be required to do anything for anyone or be something you don’t want to be.  Thank you very much.

This blog entry brought to you by the word, “Much.”  A word which the more you look at it, the funnier it gets.

 

My Future House In The Woods?

mynwhse
Actual picture of the house.

This weekend I hit the road to look at some houses and land in a small town.  Something my broken heart yearns for. I had a number of potential candidates printed out so I spent the day on the road.

The first house I looked at was the best match with what I am looking for.  It is a partially dilapidated, home-built, country house located on 6.8 wooded acres of land about 15 miles away from my small town of choice.  I usually do my house shopping on my own first before contacting a realtor because I don’t want to waste his/her time with my window shopping.

Looking into an open window showed that the house was empty and surprisingly did not smell exceptionally horrible as I expected.  A little pet urine but nothing really nasty.  The front door was locked and had a sticker on it with words about tress-passers being shot.  A little scary but there was nobody there.  I walked around the outside to the back where I found a large step past a missing deck to the back screened patio door which was not so much a door as a piece of highly worn plywood.  The screened porch area contained a nasty washer and dryer.  I was surprised to find the back door not locked and hanging open.  “Come on in.”  it said.

The house is only 1000 square feet consisting of a large living room, good sized kitchen, big enough bathroom and a good sized bedroom with a strange office/2nd bedroom just of the first bedroom.  I would use it as an office.

The metal roof has been leaking in a few places and the ceiling had collapsed.  Not too bad though.  The structure looks good and a new roof and drywall work will fix it right up.  The floor is a mess.  A hodgepodge of mixed media from nasty carpet to bare sub-floor.  Not a big deal.  I can do flooring.  The hot water heater seems to have sprung a major leak at one time.  It was located in a small box in the bedroom closet.  Due to the leak, there is mold on the closet walls.  I can fix that.  The leak must have been large or went on for a while because some of the dirt under the house in that area had been eroded by the flow to about 6 inches deep.  It doesn’t seem to have compromised the pier foundations.  That’s good.

The bathroom was pretty messed up.  A large but fancy tub was rigged with an electric on-demand water heater sitting on the sink plumbed through a gaping hole in the drywall.  I guess the water heater was gone for a while, while people still lived there.  They tried to make do but were obviously not plumbers.  It looked bad but nothing I couldn’t fix.  I would replace the tub with a walk in shower and replace the sink and toilet and put down new tile.

The kitchen was also a mess.  The old cabinets would have to go.  I would get rid of the bar and move the sink from the wall to look out the window.   After a remodel it would make a nice sized kitchen that would suit me well.  There was the 4 foot square hole in the ceiling where the leak was.  Parts of the drywall was falling where the seams were.  I would replace it all anyway.

The living room is not in bad shape.  Replace the old carpet, remodel the fireplace wall a bit to remove some built in bookcases and paint would be sufficient.  A large sliding glass door leading out to the missing deck would be replaced with a nice french door and a new deck and stairs.

I was a little surprised to see that there was no air conditioning or heating system in the house.  I don’t know how anyone can live like that.  I would put in two high efficiency Mitsubishi split heat pump systems.  One in the living room and one in the bedroom.

The exterior is not high quality but in decent shape.  I would probably replace it with cement board siding anyway.

The house is set back maybe around 100 feet from the road and completely not visible from the outside except to passers by the driveway entrance.  The driveway leads through the brush offering nice privacy so I can run around naked at all times.  The tall pine trees are alien to me and were scary.  I like them though.  It’s one of the things I like about the area.

I braved a walk through the brush and fallen trees toward the back of the property which is the largest area.  About halfway I found a seasonal stream that would run when it rains.  On the other side, more forest.  I didn’t go any further.  Satellite images show that it is rather thick.  If I cleared out the underbrush in the middle it would be pretty cool.  I would build a bridge over the stream.

Back at the house I found a outdoor shower and a decent sided shed that would make a good workshop and tool storage building.  I might put in a larger one.  An old MG convertible car sat low on the ground.  I wonder if that is included.  It is probably not easily revive-able but I might give it a shot.

The place needs a LOT of work but it is actually around 80% what I am looking for.   The other land and houses I’ve looked at over the last few years have been in the 5% or less range so 80% might be a keeper.  I like the fact that it needs remodeling because that will give me something fun to do.

Now I have to decide whether I am man enough change my life like I want to.  I could easily move and take a year or two off to remodel then look for a job in the town.  Maybe I could get into something completely different than computers like house inspecting or real estate.  I wonder what is involved in getting started in that?  It would be nice to work on my own schedule for my remaining years.

I would only be 1.5 hours away from my mom so I would not feel so bad about leaving her like I would if I moved to Colorado.  Technically, this plan is a go.  Mentally…not sure yet.  I’m sleeping on the idea for a while before I do anything rash.

The asking price is $99,000.  More than I think it is worth in that condition but I might try to see if they will accept $75,000.  If they sell for 75-80 I would feel OK with the deal.  I have 89K in my extra money investment portfolio so I could pay cash for the house and skip the mortgage.

I could sell my current house for $140K or rent it out for a few years and make $1100 a month off of it.  Sell later.  Maybe.  It would be nice to have the income if I wasn’t working.  It would at least pay my Obamacare bill plus more.

I wrote to the realtor on the sign but he hasn’t responded.  If I don’t hear from him in a few days, I’ll try a different realtor.  He isn’t even local to the town for some reason. I would rather deal with a local anyway.

I’m taking it slowly.  In the shape that it is in, I don’t think there will be too many buyers right away.  It has been on the market for around 160 days as is.  Maybe that will help me get a good price.

The more I think about it, the more I like the whole idea.  We’ll see.