Limping Along 4/12/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Today my car has to go in because of a recall. The call is a 2021 hybrid vehicle, and apparently there is the chance that the battery will suddenly lose power. Losing power seems to be a theme for me of late. My older laptop, for example, no longer works unless it is plugged in. I think the problem is with the battery, but it’s odd because it is so sudden. One day, it just won’t work on battery. Not a really short battery life, but rather, even though it shows 100% charge, it won’t even try. Just, dead. Now I have to decide if I want to try to replace the battery, assuming they still make batteries that fit such an old laptop. I guess I will; I put a new hard drive into it just a couple of years ago. Like my cars, I have way too many computers in my life now, too, but I also don’t like abandoning it.

For the past week or so, I’ve felt like I’ve been missing that charge as well. I’ve lost my momentum that I had just last week. I used to be a week ahead on these blog posts, but this is being written just about five hours before it will be scheduled to be published. I’ve stopped my daily logs from my online therapy programs, stopped exercising, stopped almost everything. Yes, this is depression. I just have a hard time motivating to actually do it.

Tomorrow, I will try to get back on track. Well, I’ll try. On my schedule is my research day. I think I’ve decided to give up on finding a Fortran compiler that I can afford and switch to a new “modern” language. That’ll add to the time for the research, but it will also help me get back into practice of programming. It’ll be good practice to learn a new language anyway. The reality is that I’ve taught myself every programming language since basic (Fortran, C++, HTML and maybe a few more). I need to remember that I have the capability to do this and believe in my ability to do so.

It’s been a few really good days for me. This past week I’ve motivated to do a few things, often by anticipated events. I put my grill and smoker combination together in anticipation of receiving my buffalo, which I managed to do the day before the buffalo arrived. It’s a smoker that runs on wood chips (I assume they all are) and a grill that is propane operated, so, of course, I had to try all of it to be sure that the functions all worked. So, yes, I grilled up some buffalo cheeseburgers, and smoked some back ribs, all motivated by the fact that I needed to test the grill and smoker. And, as I’ve blogged about it before, you probably already know that I have been feeling guilty about these accomplishments all coming from my father’s death and will.

Today, I mowed my lawn for the first time. A lawn that came from the inheritance, and a lawn mower that came from the same inheritance. I met another neighbor, kind of, who offered to mow my lawn for a few dollars, but, of course, it was a beautiful day, and I did it myself. As I was mowing my lawn, I came to realize that I need a weeder as I have a rather extensive and complex fence line, especially for a lawn as small as mine (although it’s quite large for the neighborhood). This raised an old memory of my father that, if you don’t mind, I would like to share. See, I was born (believe it or not) before the invention of the weed-eater. In fact, I was only nine years old when it was first invented, which means it took considerably longer before it became commonly available. Instead, my dad gave me a pair of spring-loaded clippers, and assigned me to trim the fence line when I was just a kid. The clippers were too big for my hands, and the blades hadn’t been sharpened in, well, they were rusty. That lawn was considerably larger than this one, and if I stopped my dad would become extremely upset with me.

I clipped the lawn for no allowance or money through cramping hands, and blisters so bad that they were bleeding by the time I was done as dad drank his beer and watched football. No, dad wasn’t an alcoholic, and although he was emotionally abusive, and he certainly wasn’t physically abusive. But what kind of man can enjoy a football game as his child labored to the point of blood without so much as helping out? So, maybe I earned my inheritance. And if I earned my inheritance, maybe, just maybe, it’s okay if I enjoy it.

Yup, it’ll be a good buffalo dinner tomorrow!


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