Moving from Utah to North Carolina is a no-go. And it’s for the dumbest reason ever.

My employer doesn’t contract with one health insurance provider, but with two. Which you get is determined by what state you live in. If I want to keep my insurer but be in the NC region, I’d have to move to SC or VA.

So dumb.

So far now, the move is canceled and I remain a Utah resident merely visiting. I may yet move to MS or NM, since those are on the same carrier.

I know it looks like I’m being silly and difficult, but I changed insurance providers 5 times in 4 years and it sucked a lot. Everything got messed up all the time and no doctor trusts another doctor’s diagnosis and just screw it.

I have overcomplicated and made this journal a place where I never post. Because posting is “composing” here. I’ve still been putting all my compulsive writing on Facebook. It’s just so much easier there.

So much stuff has gone on since the last post and none of it’s here. I’ve gone across the country to NC to be support for “the kids” – though it’s two out of three: my son and daughter-in-law. They bought a house. My daughter remains in the Rockies amidst a huge support network, thank God. 

So I took about seven weeks to travel across the country visiting people and having adventures. The truck and the house both required various maintenance. I’m parked in a residential side yard right now with a tarp on the roof. There was water and mold damage to the roof, and I’ve done some demolition. Now it all has to dry thoroughly for the patching to commence. 

I’m due to move it into an RV community on the 26th of September. It’s on the Intracoastal Waterway, and I’m looking forward to that. 

OMG this interface is such a pain in the ass to use. I just want to move the image to a more sensible position and can’t effing do it.

Seems to me, when a matter goes to referendum or ballot initiative, that means that the will of the people has not been represented at all by the usual means. And that’s sad enough.

When a referendum gets passed and then is overruled by the legislature, it’s plain that the will of the people has no bearing at all in the law. And that’s not just sad. It’s scary.

For those who may have forgotten who voted for what, here it is. 

H.B. 3001 Utah Medical Cannabis Act

(The one that overrode the medical marijuana referendum in 2018.)

Bill Sponsor

Rep. Hughes, Gregory H.

Floor Sponsor

Sen. Vickers, Evan J.

Final Vote in the House

Final Vote in the Senate

Signed

Gov. Herbert, Gary R.

S.B. 96 Medicaid Expansion Adjustments

(The one that overrode the Medicaid Expansion referendum in 2019.)

Bill Sponsor

Sen. Christensen, Allen M.

Floor Sponsor

Rep. Dunnigan, James A.

Final Vote in the Senate

Final Vote in the House

Signed

Gov. Herbert, Gary R.

S.B. 2001 Tax Restructuring Revisions

(The tax bill that spurred another ballot initiative bid before being nearly unanimously repealed.)

Bill Sponsor

Sen. Hillyard, Lyle W.

Floor Sponsor

Rep. Gibson, Francis D.

Final Vote in the Senate

Final Vote in the House

Signed

Gov. Herbert, Gary R.

This is a human food recipe that also works as dog food. If I don’t add seasonings to the batch, I can season each bowl individually for variety. Don’t season servings that are for a dog.

Get variety by changing up the meat, dry beans, broth, and vegetables. If you change to white rice, you’ll need to adjust cook time at the rice phase because it will go mushy otherwise.

CPE = Crock Pot Express

Recipe should also work with Instant Pot.

Altitude – 4400 ft.

Base dinner recipe – cooked in a large batch and reheated by the serving.

1 pack stew meat – 2 lbs is typical, but amount is not important.
1 cup dry beans – no need to soak
5 cups of broth, water, or combination
1 cup brown rice
1 package frozen vegetables
Cheese and/or sour cream – optional

  • Place stew meat into CPE. No need to use the trivet.
  • Add 1 cup dry beans.
  • Add 3 cups broth, water, or combination.
  • Cook on High pressure for 30 minutes. If you don’t have Manual, use chili or stew setting and adjust the time.
  • Let sit 10 minutes, then release pressure.
  • Add 1 cup brown rice.
  • Add 2 cups broth, water, or combination.
  • Cook on High pressure for 22 minutes. I use the rice/risotto setting and adjust the time.
  • Let sit 10 miutes, then release pressure.
  • Add 1 package frozen vegetables.
  • Cook on High pressure for 7 minutes.
  • Let sit 10 minutes, then release pressure.
  • Serve with cheese and/or sour cream on top.

To reheat:

  • Place trivet in CPE and 1 cup of water.
  • In a bowl, put some of the cold mixture and season as desired.
  • Place some cheese on top of mixture. Doesn’t have to be shredded.
  • Place bowl of cold mixture on trivet.
  • Cook on High pressure for 7 minutes.
  • You can probably do a quick release, but I don’t, out of habit.

The cheese comes out nice and melty. But it’s hard as hell to scrub off the silverware.

Working on a version that lets me set aside cooked meat for the cat early in the process.

Monday wasn’t my best birthday. I had to train for a new job, I couldn’t make it to the Capitol for Advocacy Day against gun violence, I missed lunch, there was blizzarding, and I was grossly late visiting a friend. Although a lot of things went wrong, it wasn’t my worst birthday either, so I’m okay with that.

I don’t remember all my birthdays, or even most of them, but a couple stand out vividly.

The worst birthday I remember is the one right after I was hit by a car in American Fork. 2011? I was in a wheelchair and I got off the bus and was trying to wheel myself down this devastated sidewalk to my house in the ice and snow, and I suffered a hemorrhage that I thought might kill me. I wept in the restroom at Apollo Burger.

Thank God THAT day is not TOday.

The best birthday I remember, a bunch of friends and I had planned on karaoke at our favorite place, but when we got there, it had been canceled for the Super Bowl. So we randomly chose teams and behaved like over the top fans, although most of us neither knew nor cared about football. We probably cheered at a lot of the wrong things, especially as the drinking went on, but all I remember is that I had so much fun.

Last year, after my birthday, I started keeping a list of some of the cool things I did while being a 50-year-old. It’s now my birthday again, so here’s that list, in no particular order:

  • I achieved debt freedom a second time.
  • I joined a gym, and I liked it.
  • I found a zumba class that I actually liked.
  • I tried boxing and liked it.
  • Did not like the weights class.
  • I bought a punching bag.
  • I attended two professional soccer games. And then I bought season tickets for the next season.
  • I ate some rambutans for the first time.
  • I cooked and ate artichokes for the first time. Not sure how much I liked them.
  • I tried marmite and didn’t like it.
  • I tried vegan faux-beef jerky. It was pretty good.
  • I tried a pomelo. It was okay.
  • I had tapas and loved it.
  • I introduced my Utahn colleagues to chow-chow. They loved it.
  • I went to Thailand. Ate so many new and wonderful foods.
  • I ate mangosteen, longan, salak. Did not like the salak.
  • I attended a Thai wedding and saw my little baby married.
  • I was made welcome by a whole new family.
  • I hung out with elephants and fed a few.
  • I visited a floating market.
  • I rode commuter boats. By accident!
  • I rode a motor scooter in a foreign country.
  • I traveled through China. It was a little scary.
  • I celebrated Dia de Muertos in Mexico City, and again ate a ton of great food.
  • I took an international trip just for a weekend.
  • I failed an exam and still felt good.
  • I became VMware Certified Professional.
  • I became a Dell Certified Associate.
  • I moved out of Support and into Application Managed Services.
  • I bought firearms.
  • I registered as a Democrat. Was not happy about it, but needs must.
  • I ran a voter registration drive.
  • I got seriously involved with Moms Demand Action.
  • I learned how to lobby at the State Capitol. And I met some Senators and Representatives.
  • I took painting classes.
  • I found a utility shell for my truck and outfitted it for camping as well as tools.
  • I went to Drag Queen Bingo and loved it.
  • I bought special computer glasses and they’re great!
  • I got a fortune from Zoltar. He said I’m gonna find love – either romance or a great friendship.
  • I ended a 10-year commitment to cover my head.
  • I got my first spiral perm.
  • I finally started getting tattoos again. I got a lot! And I got a lot of my old ones fixed.
  • I got henna for the first time.
  • I commissioned art!
  • I introduced my cat to video games.

The coming year:

  • A summer scooter trip from Durango, Colorado.
  • A Labor Day Weekend scooter trip in Yellowstone.
  • At least one trip to shop for cheap desert land.
  • A trip to NM to hang out with an old friend and a new friend.

I was completely satisfied.

Almost.

It was still annoying, the way the content on my monitors would switch when moving from work to home and vice versa. But beyond that, I was happy. I had E/Port docks in both places, and E/Port was compatible with both work and personal laptops. And I had purchased the same monitors for at home that I had at work. All good!

And then the case of my work laptop started having a gap in the front, and I had a bad feeling. I unscrewed the case and sure enough, the battery was bulging.

Friends, this is bad news. This is the kind of problem that can set things on fire.

So I  hauled it in to work on my day off to get the battery replaced. Only they don’t get batteries for that model anymore, so that means issuing a whole other laptop.

No worries. I’m always ready for that. And when you work in The Cloud, whatever is on your physical machine is pretty moot, right?

Except they handed me a new dock, too. Looked like a brick. I would find out that this is a Thunderbolt dock, and the new work laptop had zero compatibility with the E/Port.

Further, my personal, privately owned computer would have no compatibility with the second Thunderbolt dock they gave me for working from home.

As of this minute, at home, I have two completely separate docks plugged in. Each has its own pair of cables to the two monitors. Each is plugged into my finite power capacity. And I am manually moving the USB dongles for mouse and keyboard from one to the other.

And I have an order in for tomorrow for a universal docking station because I am not cool with this. How relieved to discover that universal docking stations even exist. I made sure this one has the connections I need for the monitors I have, because a lot don’t.

Fingers crossed.

So, you know how The Big Plan includes finding a better paying job and then finding a remote work job later, with the desire that both be the same job? Well I got a new job.

It’s not a better paying job. In fact, it’s slightly worse in that department because it’s salaried instead of hourly wage. And it’s not officially a remote work job. However, after the training period, I am allowed to work remotely, which is a huge development. It means I can finally get a dog. And possibly it means I can do the recon work in Arizona for my desert base.

It’ll mean actually fixing things, and it’s a multi-disciplinary role, so it’s fixing several sorts of things. Tonight is my last night on the service desk, and then everything changes. Again.

Including my Six Subjects, because now my “next role” is also my current role while I’m getting up to speed. Which opens room for a new 6th subject. And that’s a good thing because I’m studying shooting and hunting now.

My Program of Recovery

  • Meetings
  • Sponsorship
  • Step work
  • Daily reading
  • Slogans
  • Service

My Employment

  • SAP Netweaver
  • HANA
  • Oracle
  • Sybase
  • MS SQL
  • MySQL
  • SQL Anywhere
  • Windows Server
  • Red Hat Linux 

Civics

Physical Education

Shooting and Hunting

  • Rifle
  • Pistol
  • Shotgun
  • Deer
  • Small game

Spanish

Placed my order this morning for new firearms, completing a circle started long ago when I had to sell all my guns due to teh extreme broke. Only now am I finally financially secure enough to replace them. They are expected to be ready for pickup next week.

RUGER AMERICAN® RIFLE STANDARD

243 Win

Manufacturer’s Website

MARLIN MODEL XT-22RO

22 LR

I never trained with a scope and hadn’t planned to get one, but the cost was the same with or without. If it turns out I don’t like to shoot with it, I can think of a bunch of other uses.

Manufacturer’s Website

RUGER SR22®

22 LR

Manufacturer’s Website

 

Update 1/28: Not everything arrived on time. It’s the 28th and I’m still waiting for the two rifles to come in. Meanwhile, last night I ordered the shotgun below. Because it was supposed to be more nearby, I was meant to pick that up today as well, but it did not happen. So I’ll go collect everything when these last three things arrive. Cases, locks, and ammo are awaiting me now.

REMINGTON MODEL 870 EXPRESS

12ga

Manufacturer’s Website

 

Update 1/31: I gave up waiting and went in to get shotgun, pistol, and assorted accessories already delivered. As it happens, the rifles were actually there. Who knows how long. Anyway, we did the background check thing and all of that, and we’re set!

I passed CIS v3!!!

Whew. I was tense. Went in low on sleep and after a super busy shift with little time to study.

Next things to study for this subject:

  • Familiarization with products and technologies outside my current role
  • Re-familiarization with technologies I haven’t used in a while

Already got some of the second one whipping my sites back into shape.