2017/12/04

Once Upon A Time...

I was asked years back if I would be the "designated" driver for my dad and my aunt to go visit family in Northern Minnesota, The Iron Range. I figured, sure, why not!?

So. Off I went to Passport Canada to get that Canadian ID so coveted by spies and nasty people. Being that I was born outside of this [great] country called Canuckistan, I brought all the identification that had done me well in the 50+ years that I have resided here.

US birth certificate issued by the great Commonwealth of Virginia, Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad officially produced by The Department of Citizenship and Immigration under the Canadian Citizenship Act (1958) which duly registers me as a "Canadian Citizen pursuant to the Canadian Citizenship Act and Regulations", and my Ontario driver's licence held and maintained by yours truly for the preceding 25 years.

All of the above kept me in good standing whilst voting, paying taxes, getting jobs (including the Canada Revenue Agency in Collections), and being an all-around good citizen. We will not investigate the shenanigans I got into during my active using daze...
But, the Birth as a Broad, no wait... Birth Abroad thingy was a copy and, by gosh, Passport Canuckistan wanted the Original!! Original? What original?? This is what got me thru evrything I needed, including the vaunted CRA, for crying out loud!

OK. I decide to go to Service Ontario to get an Enhanced Driver's Licence, on the same day and with the same documentation that so faithfully served me thru the years. Wait, no wait. Seems the lady behind the desk doesn't know what that Registration of... is. But, wait again! Someone else pipes up, "I've seen that before! It's OK!" and voila! I have my enhanced DL!!!

Fast forward a few years to today. I have the original Registration now since my dad produced it out of the blue one day. I have to get a Province of Ontario Photo Card because I need to be placed as a signatory on a bank account. 

No problem! Service Ontario accepted all my bits & pieces that proved I am who I am (which, btw, is NOT Popeye!) and now I have the original, well, yadda yadda...!!

{{{Sigh}}} No. It appears that the oft-maligned Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad, issued in 1958 by the Canadian Government of the day, is NOT in their list of acceptable documents to prove that I am who I am. Never mind the fact that it was OK less than 10 years ago, under the same frelling Lieberal gov't of today, no. They say that if I go get my passport... to which I told the nice lady behind the desk that the "passport office would probably refuse me as being who I am (and have been for over 55 freaking years in this god-forsaken country) and would probably refuse me just as nicely as you have! Thank you." ← that is as close to verbatim as I could get. I shall ignore the other more choice words I wanted to say.

Here I sit. Feeling unwanted in Canuckistan. Persona non grata. Utterly frustrated and VERY resentful towards government of all levels. When government issued documents are not accepted by a lower level of government, even tho' that same lower level gleefully accepted them in the past, well.

>>>swear words approaching!!<<<<


Fuck it. I refuse to bow down to the willy-nilly powers that be and do their bidding. Fuck it. If I need to produce a piece of gold-plated paper just to put my signature on a bank account, nuh-uh. Fuck it. Fuck the Canadian Government (Lieberals all). Fuck the Ontario Government (Fiberals all). And I won't get into the municipal government headed by an absolute dyed-in-the-wool Lie-Fib-Liberal.

Fuck It.
oh, and Keep The Faith*

2017/11/15

Technology: Sucks, Doesn't it?

OK. 4 days later, my living room looks worse than it did when I started re-arranging it all. The biggest difference is now I am facing a different wall to watch TV and grumble on Facebook.

My plasma TV sucks as a computer monitor.
To the point where I may just set my old 42" monitor back up
& have two big ass screens to frell with. Which means a whole new round of tearing things apart just to rebuild it all.

My cable fed Internet is driving me frelling nuts! I spent hours switching between the 8 different ethernet cables I have, plus a multitude of plugging & unplugging the modem and router, just to get the two of them to just talk to each other. - Glad I'm not a marriage counselor! - Got it to work for my iPoop. Connected my computer up, and nada. Got it to work on my computer & iPoop. Connected my Blu-Ray, and nada, plus, the pad went down. Computer, by gosh works!

Then, blahblahblah, Tried to connect my VoIP phone, and nada. And the pad is still down. The Blu-Ray works, so does the computer (or I wouldn't be here right now!) WTF??!!

So. What to do. The intent of all this was to:
1 - Clean up my LR in a possible acquisition of a cat.
2 - Dispose of my 42" monitor & get the 42" plasma going.
3 - Get my beautiful dragon print on the wall (2 years later)
4 - Set a dedicated corner for my rock & dragon collection.
5 - Finally remove the thoughts of, "Gee, I really should do this!" out of my head.

And now, I sit with a cuppa java in front of me, screaming heavy metal blasting out (Dream Evil, oh yeah!), furiously keyboarding this blog
and the utter & complete desire to say Frak It ALL!! Oh well, I've got Lone Survivor on the Blu-Ray (I do NOT wanna try Netflix at this point!). Time to take a mindless break from all this fuckedness. I'll get this all together later.
Like, maybe in 2018...

Keep The Faith*

2017/11/13

Pain

{{{sigh}}}

Sometimes it feels like it will never end. Memories of those now gone, from all over. My legs screaming at me. The tired mind racing the eternal hamster wheel. And, it is all pain. Physical. Emotional. Dare I say it, spiritual??

Right now, my legs are giving me hourly stabs. Hourly, in a very literal sense. It is now 00:35 hrs, and I have been awoken every hour, on the hour, since 22:00 last night. 

Yesterday, for some obscure and inexplicable reason, my silly mind did not go off to the races. I woke up at 04:00 and could not go back to sleep. Racing? No. This time it was emptiness, an almost complete lack of thought. My head couldn't hold onto anything and that echoing miasma that resided in my head drove me to getting up and staying up until I stumbled off to bed last night.

And now... here I be. Rummaging Facebook, reviewing my website, pounding away at my blog. I almost hit YouTube, but was fortunate to have at least a modicum of discipline to avoid that hell-hole.

I am tired. I applied some topical pain cream to my left leg in the hopes that when (if??!!) I go back to bed, I'll be spared the stabbing physical pain. I must do my right leg, also, because this sneaky affliction will travel there if only to drive me insane.

Emotional? Yeah, well, it is mid-November and it is cold outside and simply "that" time of the year. This round, tho', is sending me off to visit the long ago departed and the very recent. Why? Because I am getting old and my head has become screwed on sideways? I dunno. At least, these time visits have been occurring during daylight hours, short as that daylight seems to be.

Spiritual? Well, again, I dunno. I am still a wee bit fuzzy on that "spiritual" aspect to life, so, I'll just leave that to its own devices.

I went out to get a few groceries yesterday. Mainly wanted bread & eggs. Got two loaves of bread, two 12 packs of hot dog buns to go with the two packs of chicken dogs that were on sale. Four packs of Buddig sliced meats, again, on sale. Three hours after getting home, I was smacked with the realization, no eggs. Aw, c'mon, Robb! rEaLlY???

A beautiful day out, so I decided to forgo another Sunday trip on the buses and began the l-on-g overdue cleaning & re-arranging of my living room. I got almost half of it moved and vacuumed and washed. The other half, moving my entertainment area over to the other side of the room, after I dismantle my rock and dragon displays to be later inserted where the TVs are now, shall be... completed? tomorrow. Today. Later. Whatever...

OK. I am blathering now. Even tho' I had little sleep yesterday, I accomplished shit. Even tho' I fear going back to bed right now, I will. Heck, and if need be, I'll stay in bed tomorrow if sleep eludes me. Today. Whatever...

Keep The Faith*

2017/11/10

Waiting For A Meeting

Last night.
Sitting.
Waiting.
Wondering.
Another half hour?
Hour?
Start to put it all away.
Books.
Literature.
Coffee shit.
Tables and chairs.
Garbage.
Install the lock box.
Watch the bus go by.
Another half hour.
Grab the sign.
Walk to a different bus stop.
Go home.
No more waiting for a meeting.
Alone.

2017/10/27

A Gift

I chaired my final meeting at my HG tonight for the month. I decided to volunteer as chair for October because I didn't want to, because it scared the crap out of me to even think of doing so. So, I did. And made it thru...

I also decided to volunteer for the position of treasurer for the group at tonight's GC meeting. Well, no, I had the decision finalized for me by being nominated. Again, fear (and my gawd-awful tremors!) kept telling me NOT to do it. So, I did. And got group support for it...

A Gift? At my HG, we have a thing where members put their names into a basket if they would like to share. As the meeting went on, folks came to scribble their name down. A hand came over my shoulder as I sat there and put this piece of paper in front of me:


My Gift. Recovery has given me the Gift of Life, the Love of my Family and the respect & gratitude (among many other things) from those who choose to live Recovery along with me. That is A Gift.


Keep The Faith*

2017/10/21

Confusion

A very, very strange day today. Well, yesterday, but, whatever. To say confusion is a bit of an understatement when I think back on it. And thinking back is the precise reason I sit here on my computer 01:40 in the morning, because my mind refuses to stop thinking back.

Blah. My brain was pure mush most of the day. My blood sugars were running rampant, up and down. I wasn't too sure what day or date it was. I wasn't even sure if I was actually awake, or in a dream.

That is the main thing about my confusion, I think. I had a dream and it was strange. I can't remember if the dream occurred the night before or during a two hour nap I took in the afternoon. Confusion.

The dream. I had gone to a store that was closing down, something like a WalMart or a Target store (perhaps influenced by the upcoming closure of Sears Canada), but the store itself was very small. I looked around a bit, saw nothing of interest and left because I had to get home.

I went out into the parking lot. Rounding a big moving truck, I saw that my own ride was missing. A small pick-up truck, like a Ford Ranger, that wasn't even mine. I looked around, and again, and didn't see it anywhere. I was upset, but not as bad as I would have thought.

It was a nice day and I figured I'd be OK. I had to get back home, didn't know how I was going to do that, but really didn't care. I was in some city in eastern NY, thus a long way from home. And then, I realized that this was only a dream. All I needed to do was wake up!

But, I didn't know how. I also realized that for a dream, this one was pretty fucking vivid.  Looking down at my shoes (scuffed white sneakers with the laces permanently knotted, as I like them), I could see the dirt and cracks in the pavement. All around me, everything stood out in glorious detail. The leaves on the tree beside me were a beautiful green. The signs on the strip mall were all very detailed, with mostly understandable words, familiar and then again, not. I stood and watched (and heard!) the cars as they drove by. The sky was a brilliant blue with absolutely no clouds.

"What do I do??", I thought. I knew this was a dream, but the clarity and realism of it all was very odd. Just wake up, came the next thought. But I didn't know how. Plus,the substance, the exactness of everything around me was quite comforting and I really didn't want to end this dream. Which made me think, "What if this isn't a dream?!" and I began to worry a bit.

How will I get home? What will I tell the person who owned the truck? -- I have no idea who the owner was -- What about my diabetes? Food? Money? I'm in a different country, for fuck's sake! So, I decided to head towards the downtown. Well, at least, I thought that was the way. Didn't care. I started walking up the street that had a slight incline to it.

Suddenly, the entire quality of the dream shifted. I was still on the street, walking uphill, but I was suddenly pulling a small cart that had oddball strips of sod on it. The clarity and details shifted to where nothing around me truly registered. It seemed a bit darker. My focus was pulling this cart up the street and not having it lose the load of sod.

Naturally, the cart went off the sidewalk and the sod fell off. As I was trying to get it neatly stacked back onto the cart a couple of guys came along to offer helpful suggestions. They didn't physically help, which was the one thing I really needed.

After a couple of minutes of "Try this..." and "Try that...", I stood up and looked at these fellows. I said, "This is stupid!!", and woke up.

Again, I don't remember when this dream occurred, at night or in the afternoon. All I know, my day was filled with uncertainties, confusion and not actually knowing if I was in a dream or fully awake. I've never experienced a day like that before. I've had a couple of (not very many!) dreams with similar precision and  with the knowledge that that they actually were dreams. 

But, today rattled me. Am I going off the proverbial deep end? Nuts? Goo-goo? Gah-gah? Bonkers? I do not know. What I DO know is that I want to go to sleep! And by gosh, I Do Not Want To DREAM!!

Keep The Faith*

2017/09/15

Inspired Desire

Truly. I spoke at my home group last month (And WOW Again!). At that time I was inspired. By what I said, by what I felt and by what folks said to me afterward. Tonight, again at my home group, I heard another speaker who touched off a fire in me.

I've known this member for a long time. I've heard the ESH before. Yet... Still! I was inspired!! By the words, by the honesty behind them, by the things I hadn't known before. Sometimes, I think that I've heard it all before. And then, like tonight, I am given that wonderful gift I can only find in active recovery.

Inspiration.
Gratitude.
Desire.
Hope.

This is why I keep coming back. So I can be shown HOW this recovery process works and WHY it can also work for me. After all my time in this journey of recovery, there is always something more for me to learn. If, and ONLY if, I am willing to hear the message so freely and openly offered to me by the friends I have and other members in my Fellowship.

In case you are wondering about what I am prattling on about, just scroll to the top of this page and click on Robb's Place. That will save me some time going thru an extensive this about that and the other thing. Recovery Can Work! But only if I  work it!!

Keep The Faith*

BUY ME!!!

I've been fighting against an FB ad that has been popping up on my feed for a while now. It deals with an HD TV antenna. The 1st was called "TV Scout", the 2nd "TV Fox", & the 3rd "ClearView HDTV". All are basically the same antenna. AND, all the lead in ad pages are the same, just different product names.

I did a video review of the TVScout a while back (https://youtu.be/d_c9eH0GgjI) and just posted a 2nd one yesterday (https://youtu.be/zDo-y7Nprqs).

What truly irks me about the ads is the following claim:
"But how can you watch for free? The secret to that is a law that no cable company wants you to know about. It states that every cable company has to provide additionally to the normal signal an over-the-air signal. So in order to not break the law the cable companies distribute this signal but in a low frequency- so almost no antennas were able to pick it up reliably. Until now - with TvFox you are able to access all your channels in crystal clear 1080 HD in the city and country side."
Such utter & complete BS!! Cable companies have no control of "over the air" (OTA) broadcast signals. This antenna will only get you local channels that are broadcast OTA. IF you are lucky.

As such, when these ads appear in my timeline (not as a side ad), I saturate the comments with links to my video review. If only to save folks the frustration of buying these floppy pieces of plastic. Well, kinda sorta. I also enjoy the notoriety of being negative and getting to see my gorgeous face on YouTube. Stay tuned! Greybeard will be coming soon to a YT channel near you! 

Keep The Faith*

2017/08/27

This Is New!

Sort of. Not really new, but absent for quite some time. That recurring thing of mine, the Pain. But, now it is affecting me thru cramping. In both my lower legs and feet. I haven't had cramping since... I can't remember. 6 or 7 months, at least

Bugger of it all is that I am just so fucking tired right now. I had a long service stint today. I was up very late last night due to - u guessed it!! - neuropathy pain AND that hamster wheel mind of mine. I mean, Dang!

Tired. In bed and comfortable. Ready to... and my leg starts to twitch. Then the other one. Then both feet. And then... And Then... Boom! I get a massive cramp in my right leg that rocketed me out of bed and down to my knees because I couldn't stand up. FAHK!!!

I finally got to walk it off, took two 400 mg ibuprofen (double my usual dose for this shit) and now I sit typing away, aware of the tingle in both my ankles. That means my issue has not gone and if I go back to bed right now, well, not a good idea.

I wish there was some indicator of when this sort of thing is going to occur. Something like high blood sugar (or low), too much "exercise" (read: walking), too little exercise, etc etc etc. I had major issues most of the day today with my low BP, dizziness and feeling light-headed, especially after standing up from a bend. But, I have recorded everything I could think of during the days when this has happened and discovered no common factors anywhere.

I was talking to someone today who knows my pain issues and it was "suggested" that I maybe kinda sorta look into some type of marijuana derivative to help with this. With the endless talk of CBD medication on an FB page for sufferers of peripheral neuropathy, leaving out the blah blah about opiods and opiates and fentanyl and fucking drugs drugs drugs, well, I'm pissed at taking ibuprofen, so...

Yadda. Well, my legs and feet are no longer a-tingle. I don't know if that's because I'm sitting and some blood flow is getting to those lower extremities or simply because I'm distracted by thinking and typing. Ah dunno. Ah jus dunno. To bed. To sleep. Perchance to.......

Keep The Faith*
================
Update (03:10 hrs)

And the beat goes on...
My left foot cramped on me, so much that it took 5+ minutes of painful walking to get rid of it. Another thing was my blood sugars, which registered at 2.9 mmol. WTF is going on?? oh right... the beat...

2017/08/19

And WOW Again!

I can't sleep, and for once, I really don't care. My brain is ripping thru the myriad of thoughts and ideas and whatevers that it simply Loves to do at this time of night... morning... yeah, you know...

The reason this time is because of what happened earlier tonight, yesterday, well, yeah, you know. I went to my Home Group meeting. It was a celebration for one member. As I was doing my service as greeter, this member asked me if I would be the speaker.

--- For those who don't know, a speaker shares their experience... well, geez, if you don't know, go to my website and look for the Recovery section, k? ---

Anyways, I was rather floored by the request. One, because I barely knew the guy. And two, I hadn't shared my story in a very VERY long time. But, being self-centered and egotistical (plus I love hearing my own voice!), I said yes.

I shared about my recovery, the ups and the downs. As I prattled on, I began to feel something I hadn't felt for quite some time. Passion. Love. Desire. All about recovery. MY recovery. And I wanted to let everyone at that meeting feel it, too! If not just for them to know my own feeling, but to get them to feel the same.

If I succeeded, I don't know. I received the standard Thanks from many people. Most of them actually, truly, meant it. I could see it in their eyes, hear it in their voices. So, I suppose I had some kind of success. There was only one person at that meeting who knew me and my recovery from all the way back to the late eighties, so most folk were, "I never knew that about you."

Such as such, that meeting was very therapeutic for me (I actually said at the end of my spiel that it was "cathartic", but had to qualify that by saying I had no idea wtf cathartic meant. It just seemed to fit! I was told later that therapeutic would've worked, also... 😊, shoulda known, eh!) The WOW Again part actually came after the meeting.

I went out into the parking lot to chat with other members before heading off to catch my bus home. I spoke with one fellow for a while about his recovery, his fears and worries, and he listened to my suggestions. Did it help? Je ne sais pas. I do know that he gave me a sincere smile when he left, so... Then, I went to someone else. There were others around and we all bandied words back & forth. A laugh, a joke, and another laugh.

Finally, there was just two of us. This member was new to Ottawa, but not to our Fellowship. We talked a lot of recovery... about what we have seen, the wonders of being clean, the horrors that addiction can do to even the best of us... we talked! 

It finally came time to say good-bye. That was a bit drawn out, like we were both caught up in the same feeling / connection and really didn't want it to end. He asked if I wanted a ride. I refused, knowing that my bus home was just 2 blocks away and besides..... I looked at my watch and it was ten to midnight! We had jabbered on for TWO hours! I still said that I was OK and I knew my bus ran until just after one in the morning.

Didja read my entry called "WOW"? This was almost the same thing. The only difference was the first was with someone I've known for many years and the other was with someone I literally met two weeks ago. But, wow! Time flies when you're having fun. Plus, I enjoyed both of those convos. For the chance to talk AND for the connection! Wow...

Not only that, when I got home (around 1:00 a.m.), there was a message for me on my phone. A friend had called to tell me that he was feeling ill and wouldn't be at the meeting. He also said that he would like to have me on his "ball team" and was calling to ask if I was interested. I've never cottoned on to the "ball team" aspect in my own recovery, but, well, I had a heckuva time just trying to remember who the frell this person was!

I kinda sorta recognized the voice, but with him being sick and me having never ever spoken to him on the phone before, well, it took me a while. I did finally plunk it down to one person and once again, Wow! I never expected that! To be called to say that he wasn't going to be at the meeting (Me! He called ME!!) AND to be asked to... well, lemme say, to be a part of his recovery was... WOW! I still have to get back to him, but, Hell Yeah!! (btw, I've known him for a long time, also!!) Wow...

So. Why can't I sleep? Because my poor, little brain was, IS! having a tough time processing all that has gone down in the past nine hours or so. TMI. TMI ! ! Still, at least for this one time, I don't give a frell why I can't get to sleep. It's all good, man! It's All Good!!

Keep The Faith*

2017/08/14

WOW!

I spent some time with a long time friend today. Someone I haven't seen in "real life" for more than 4 years now. You see that title up there? WOW!

That is the most accurate response I can give to that visit! It was at a Tim Hortons shop where we met so I could give her a present that she most obviously appreciated... thanks to Facebook.


The actual WOW to me was how long we spent together outside Timmys, talking about this, that, AND the inevitable other thing! We shared our personal ups & downs in life, both present & past. We chatted about our current life situations. We talked about absolutely nothing.

My WOW was made most poignant was when she gave me a ride home. Well, no, it was when I got in my apartment and I looked at my clock. I realized that our "visit" was over well over two hours long! From a possible 1 hour chat, over 2 hours went by!

Wow. Some of you might wonder... wtf?? But hey, I am a dyed in the wool isolationist. To go to a (honest!!) friends place for dinner & convo, or to meet with someone to deliver up a gift, that really is not who I am. But... wow... BUT...

Sometimes, I am amazed at what a simple act of "Why Not?" turns into an OMG moment. I got meself an OMG moment today. No matter what, there is someone who knows me. Someone who has gone thru (is going thru!) what I have.

I am still, even after all my time in this life, amazed at what I can learn from others about my place in the world today. Thank you  "S", for giving me a smile, a laugh, and a much needed comfort that I am still "a part of"!

Keep the Faith*
Robb

2017/08/05

The Pain

Ah yes, the pain. I suppose a good way to look at it is I am up at 07:00 hrs, instead of sleeping in 'til 10:00 or so. 

And what am I talking about? The Pain. The pain of peripheral neuropathy (see 2017/07/14). I got smacked once more with these fucking foot and shin pains overnight. Sharp, burning pain. Fortunately (??!!), only in my left leg this time around. Still, it was enough to force my sorry ass out of bed 4 times this morning, starting around 02:00 hrs.

And now. I gave up. I figure "Why bother?" If I go back to bed, I'm up again at 08:00 to take my insulin and for damn sure, I'd be up again sometime after that, screaming & cursing. Might as well stay up now.

I had joined a Facebook group called "Neuropathy: The Silent Warriors" because I felt a kinship with others out there who were going thru the same thing as this old soul. Unfortunately (!!??), I am just not bad enough for that group. Everyone who posted there had (more or less) neuropathy pain that was (more or less) constant. And pretty well all over the body, but focused a lot on the feet and legs.

There was much discussion on this treatment and that, this drug and the other drug. Then, I started to get PMs from folk asking why I was there, since my pains are not constant, occur once in a while and only in my lower shins & feet, have my bouts mainly at night, and I do nothing more than get out to "walk it off". Besides, there was far too much talk about narcotic pain killers like fentanyl for my taste & sanity. So, I left the group.

I initially felt a part of this group, trying to throw my experience into the mix. But, I just wasn't up to snuff, I guess. I left. And less than a week later, I'm facing the very reason I joined that thing. The Pain. But, I suppose I will become a Silent Warrior once more, separate, apart from.

Meh. Been there. Done that. Sold the T-shirt to buy cigarettes. Besides, this isn't anything new. I've gone thru this shit before and will do it again in the near future. I have learned to live with it, so to speak. I'd be fucked if I had to go to a job after a night like last. Non-functional, hm? Oh well, it's Saturday. The weekend is here. yay.

Keep The Faith*

2017/08/02

Unknown

The name says, what? Unknown. That's it. Just like my feeble attempts at vlogging, doing a blog is an unknown. What to write, what to say... it is all unknown.

The same goes with my website, robbsplace.net. I am currently in version 9 of that site and it has barely changed in the 20 odd years I've had it. Family, Recovery, Fishing... and, of course, this blog. But, what have I really done with it all? Basically, nothing. Changed colors & designs, added a picture here & there, put in a few new words & deleted some others. That's it.

Why? Unknown. I really have nothing to say about anything. My Facebook page gets more attention than anything, and that is just regurgitated crap from other people. My YouTube channel is the same, altho' most of the videos are my own. The best I ever did on YouTube was a review of a product that garnered me almost 30,000 views and a whack of followers. Whoop-dee-do.

Tonight, as I lay in bed wondering if sleep would ever arrive, I decided to come here and blog about nothing. About the unknown. And good golly gosh, I did it! I've said absolutely nothing about nothing and the unknown! Am I good or what??!! >>shrug<< unknown...

Keep The Faith*

2017/07/14

Peripheral Neuropathy

Ah, the pain of it all! I was diagnosed years ago with peripheral neuropathy (PN) due to my diabetes (Type 1 or IDDM), or more accurately, my mismanagement of the disease.

Over the past few years, the reactions to PN have been getting steadily worse. There was a time where I could apply a heat-like topical cream like capsacin which would ease the pain and/or cramping in my lower legs. That no longer helps. Now, when I start to cramp or get the (now) excruciating pains, I'll take a naproxen -- Aleve is the expensive name brand -- and wait an hour to let it kick in.

Bugger of that is the fact that these pains or cramps occur at night, usually after I have finally got myself into REM sleep. I mention REM because the pains have been invading my dreams, messing up whatever scenario my addled brain has concocted for the evenings entertainment.

Tonight's bout... no this morning's!! ... woke me up around 04:00. It is now 05:45, and the daylight outside isn't helping me to get back to sleep. The pain I originally experienced manifested itself into a dream I was having. Can't remember all the details, but I know I was trying to walk from here to there and it was darn near impossible to do.

As such. I finally gave up trying to go back to sleep after taking my pain pill, since the daylight and my overly active grey cells conspired to say, "MWAH-HA-HA!!" So, here I be. I do have to say that this scenario is common, but, I do have a way to avoid it or at least, alleviate it.

When the pains come roaring in at night, it usually occurs rather early, between 01:00 and 02:00 hrs. My tendency is to get up, walk around a bit, then go back to bed. I know the pain is going to come back. My aversion to taking pills of any sort for whatever keeps me from popping that single blue tab (no, silly! not THAT little blue pill!!) If I can train myself to use my little walk to head to the bathroom and grab a pill, maybe I could get a longer night's sleep. Perchance to dream without pain interruption!!

Oh well. The sun has broken over the horizon and much as I hate sunrises... well, no. I still hate them.

Keep The Faith*

2017/06/25

Snapper Comeback!

For the past 20-odd years, I've wandered the Mud Lake Conservation area looking for and counting snapping turtle nests. For the past 7 or eight years, I've noticed a huge decline in the number of nests. Where I could once find 10 to 15 nests in one area, there has only been one... if lucky.
 
However, this year seems to be the year of the snapper comeback. Yesterday and today, I went wandering the nesting spots in the area. I spoke with 5 people and all of them reported seeing snapping turtles. Not just 1 or 2, but upwards of 10 and more at one time or in a very small region.

I haven't seen a single snapper (as of yet), but there is a huge number of spots where I have seen digging. Much, much more than I have seen in a very long time. Perhaps the high water on the Ottawa River has pushed the river population up and into Mud Lake. I don't know, but I am quite happy to see this activity. It bodes well for the local population.

Plus, the snappers are getting some human help. When I went to a popular laying area, I found this:
Nest Protector
I have never seen a nest protector anywhere along this stretch, or anywhere I used to frequent.
I applaud the CWF for this. But! (doncha just love a good "but"??) This may just keep the local racoon population from digging the nest up, BUT, it also draws the attention of a far deadlier predator. Humans.

I have seen a few dead snapping turtles in the Mud Lake Preserve. Two were intentionally killed by people.
This one was shot (yes, shot!) in the side of the head. At the very least, it had a hole in its head on the left side. This was back in '09.
 
So, as nice as it is to put a protector over a nest, there are lots of folks who would dig the nest up. To just look at the eggs, to count how many there are, to toss them into the lake, to simply be mean and evil and crush them.
 
Anyway. I, personally, am pleased to see that there are more snapping turtles around. They might just be coming back... to life, so to say! Woo-Hoo!!!
 
Keep The Faith*

2017/06/19

Family History

I just got off the phone with my Aunt Barb in MN. She gave me a story that I need to get down before I forget it all.

Barb was born in northern MN. I always wondered why and how this came about, since her parents (my paternal Gram & Grandad, who raised me, but that is a whole different story!) lived in Ottawa Canada.

It was because in 1932, the Great Depression was in its heyday. My Gram was pregnant with twins and she was not well at all. Her doctor in Ottawa told her to go to the US where she could get better health care than she could get here in Canada. Gram was born in MN, had all kinds of family there and (supposition here…) was able to go & get help stateside.

Thus, Gram ended up with her mum & dad, Gram & Grampa Woods, in (I believe) Eveleth, MN. The twins were born, altho’ Barb’s sister, Wilma was still born. After a while, it was time to go home, but the Depression had a strong grip on Canada, a bit deeper than the US was facing at the time. It was decided that it would be better for Barb to stay in MN, rather than go back to Ottawa and face the hardships there. Besides, Gram Simpson was still not very healthy and all things considered, this would be best all round.

[ By the time my Grandad & Gram Simpson were settled in, with 2 more children, I imagine that they decided that Barb was also nicely settled with her grandparents. They didn’t want to take here out of that environment. ] ← supposition, again

Barb told me that when she was around 4 years old, the folks in MN thought that maybe she would be OK to move to Ottawa. Her Uncle Norman & dad Thomas brought her to Ottawa and then left a couple of days later, in the middle of the night, no less!

Well, Barb was at a loss as to what was going on. She said that she cried for two weeks straight. It got to the point where my Grandad Bill was at wits end, so Grampa Woods (Thomas) came back to Ottawa, collected up this lost little girl, and brought her back to the home she knew and loved.

-- Now, this explained a “wonder why?” I’ve had for years and never had the courage to just simply ask about it. --

Barb said that she came to Ottawa almost every year for a two week visit, always with her Gram Woods and occasionally with Grampa Woods & Uncle Norman. She and her siblings (my Aunt Judy and Dad) would almost live at the Hog’s Back Beach, now Mooney’s Bay.

Aunt Barb told me stories of her and my Aunt Judy swimming the pool just below the Hogs Back Falls on the Rideau River. She described moving along the rocks with her hands because there was no bottom and most of the rocks she clung to were over-hangs. Barb said that now she realizes that if she had lost her grip, she could very well have been pulled under one of those over-hangs and never be found.

I was told about my Great-Grandad Thomas helping to install the posts to bring electricity to the cottages / homes that were along the Rideau River, between the river and the Rideau Canal, just south of what is now the Heron Road Bridge.

Barb talked about never really wondering, or not much, about her living with her grandparents when her actual parents were so far away and in a different country. “Dad Bill” and “Mum Merle” were her parents. They just weren’t there. She told me that it really didn’t matter since all the families, both in MN and Ottawa, were quite close, always got along and always kept in touch.

=======

I realize now, with time slipping on by and family knowledge going the same way, just how important it is to gather up all those tidbits of history & lore and get it saved for future generations. My ancestry searches have brought up more questions than answers, but those who may have the answers are gone from me now.

If you’re curious, ASK. If you know, write it down. We all can gain from our past, and carry it into the future so that all may know and learn.

Keep The Faith*

2017/06/13

I Must Be Insane!

I must be. Either that, or I have developed multiple personalities. Either way, this scares the crap outa me!

I got up this morning, yawned, and realized that I didn't have my dentures in. Thinking that I just put them in a soak the night before, I went into the bathroom. Nope. All my stuff for dentures were untouched. WTF??!!

I began a search. Bedroom, kitchen, living room, hallway, I even looked out on the balcony. I searched containers, the garbage, the fridge & freezer... I was getting concerned.

Heard my iPoop beep with an incoming email, so I checked it. There was an email from Facebook saying they were sorry I couldn't sign in and blahblahblah. I figured a spam attempt, although it did actually come in on my FB registered account. So, I went into my FB page.

There I discovered a whole bunch of Likes and Loves for a post I did near midnight last night. I don't remember making a post at that time. Heck, I went to bed at 23.30 hrs after watching Dr. Strange on Netflix (a great movie, btw). The post was a rather melancholy piece about my kids and what they mean to me. Again, WTF??!!

Here I am, missing my dentures and discovering an FB post I don't remember making. Then, I began noticing things out of place in my living room. Shelves and tables moved. My audio equipment out of place. Bits & pieces just not right.

I rolled my coffee table back in place. Lo and behold, there are my dentures sitting on the floor! A little dried out, but looking no worse for the wear. I checked them over for any damage and found none. Off to the bathroom to give them a bath & cleaning, and back into my mouth.

Yadda yadda. Last night / early this morning, I got myself out of bed, made a post on FB, removed my dentures and put or dropped them on the floor, and generally made a mess of my living room --- which is saying a lot, considering the state it was already in! --- And I do not remember doing ANY of it!!

Thus, I am, or have gone, insane. I have developed some type of split personality. Or, I am simply bat-shit crazy! In any event, this scares the fuck out of me!

Keep The Faith*

2017/06/05

Remember the ARGH?

Well, it is back. I am ready to scream ARGH and much Much more... out my balcony door, down the street I live on, at the local mall, at the next meeting I go to, in the face of the very next person who simply says "Hi!" to me. I am absolutely ready to say FUCK YOU world and get the fuck off my case!

I can't take any of this bullshit any more. I am tired of trying to do the right thing anymore. Not the next right thing, but the right fucking thing right fucking now. Follow the rules. Do what is legal. Don't rock the boat, son, because if you do, your ass is going to screwed so bad you will not be able to sit comfortably for the next year.

And, no matter which fucking way I turn, no matter how hard I try to make life simple, life jumps up and slaps me in the face with total glee and abandon. Here, you smarmy SOB Robb, here's another thing to fuck your life around royally. And... and I take it.

My ass hurts from the fuck around. My head hurts from the hamster wheels going round and round. My soul is aching and wants to just stop it all. My addiction is poised & ready to take over once more and lead me into blissful nothingness.

That is oh-so very tempting right now. Even knowing very full and well what picking up would do... create... destroy... That thought of just forgetting everything and everyone outside of my apartment (hell, even the 4 sunfish & 1 tadpole in my aquarium, in that same apartment) is almost overwhelming right now.

I guess that I am kinda sorta maybe fortunate to have no money on me right now. It would be very easy to wander the halls and find something to forget with. Tomorrow...??? Well, I've spent most of my disability cheque trying to repair months of financial damage I've done recently............. FUCK!

Surrender?? No, right now, I give up. I'm done. Finished. I can't do any more and I am completely wasted from trying. I am tired, and I can not sleep. Fucking Netflix just throws hints and reminders of that, the other thing and this to remind me of what I do NOT want to think about any more.

So. What is the fucking use of all this? I just don't know. I have my kids who love & care for me... and I don't give a fuck. I am clean (JFT), and I don't give a fuck. I have...... what? I have WHAT??? Sanity is NOT something I have right now. Serenity?? Give me a fucking break.

I suppose the one thing I have in my favor right now is that I don't want a vacation. Of the permanent type. It is close, very close, but I've seen too many folks take a permanent vacation and also seen how badly that affects others who are left behind. And, as self-centered and egotistical as I am right fucking now... for some idiotic and strange reason, I somehow how care how others feel.

Even tho', right at this moment, I DO NOT WANT TO FUCKING FEEL ANYTHING RIGHT NOW!!!

Pish. I'm an addict. I'm a fuck-up. I just don't give a shit, so............

Keep The Faith............... because I have none for me..........


2017/05/18

Thought, But NO Action

I was reading thru some of my entries (exactly why a journal works!) and read about the upcoming catfishing season. The river water was way, WAY, high this year. Flooding everywhere. Go take a look at my FB page for pics, like this one...

 This is the bridge that I do my spring hunt from when the water is high. This year, well... flooded works better than high (I wonder if there is a Recovery lesson in that line! 😁)

I went back to that spot today (a week after the above pic was taken) ostensibly to check the water level in prep for a trip.
 The same bridge. Absolutely perfect for fishing. Calm water, warm - if not HOT! - temperatures, no floating crap on the water... Perfect!

And I knew it was going to be that way before I left. But, instead of getting my fishing poop inna groop, I decided to investigate instead.

I think it's because I was burned twice on two trips out last year. Both times were ideal for catfishing, but I was skunked. The one trip I made to this locale (the other was to Pinecrest Creek) was to take a bunch of video of me bringing in those fishy felines. But, I was skunked. And. It was a l-o-n-g walk back to my place from there, hauling my cart with all that gear I brought.

I s'pose... twice burned, thrice shy, hm? Being that self-proclaimed "lazy cuss" that I am, I neglected a promise I made to myself to get the fuck out there and get me some catfish for my freezer. We are halfway thru May and at the unofficial end of 'my' catfishing season. Those cats begin to taste like swamp right around now.

Twice burned, thrice shy. 
Hm. That seems to have worked well for me with the opposite sex.
Thus, this rant has been put to rest. 
Besides, I got to wear shorts & a T-shirt today.
I got some great comparative shots of the flooding and aftermath.
I talked with a nice lady & her husband about the weather, the geese, the refreshing breeze (nope, no sex or politics today!).
I got my sorry ass out of my apartment for a few hours.
YAY!! A really good day, eh!


Keep The Faith*

2017/04/24

Sonuvagun

Now, that title falls within the realm of decency, doesn't it? One of the things I was taught / learned in my early recovery was to try and change the way I talked. In other words, cut back on my cursing. I did well for a while, back when I was an "acceptable, responsible, and productive" member of today's society. But now...

Yeah, right now, I have that inherent need to cuss & curse. I did so, verbally, just a few minutes ago before I dragged my sorry ass out of bed. Sleep is once more eluding me because of that hamster wheel in my head that wants to go round & round, endlessly searching for insane and useless things to think about.

And, as is my wont, I come to my blog to rant against the inevitable. I really need to just accept that this is who I am and the fact that it will never change. Deal with it, Robb. Mainly because by typing this shit out onto the triple dub isn't going to make it go away.

So. Let me do this one, and I'll stop there.
Fuck!

Keep The Faith*

2017/04/15

Mofo

I have that little warning when you come to the Robb Blog about "adult content" blahblah. Well, in the interest of trying to tone down my cursing, the title of this rant has been... well, toned down. What I really want to say is MOTHER-F#%@ER!!!

I've been having issues with diabetic neuropathy pains for the past few months. I guess that is an excellent indicator of how poorly I've been tending this disease of mine over that period. Much like I've ignored my recovery during the same time. I can go a few weeks with nary a pain peep, and then spend a week of nightly wtf pain.

Tonight's battle (today's??) has been particularly excruciating. My normal go-to pain management, first a liberal slathering of Voltaren (tm) then either a single naproxen sodium 220mg or an ibuprofen 400mg (I tried the ibuprofen tonight), has failed miserably.  

For instance, it took me more than 20 minutes to get the previous paragraph typed because of the continuous leg & foot cramps & stabbing pain I've been getting. I need to get up and walk a bit to reduce it all. As far as sleep is concerned, well, I can walk but once I lie down, I can feel that fucking cramp sneaking in and BOOM!!

I am SO mofo tired right now. I just want to sleep. My blood sugars are OK (8.1 mmols). But, fuck fuck fuck fuck, etc and so on, my lower legs, mostly my left tonight, are driving me insane. I'd go take a hot bubble bath, a sometimes help, but I don't want to try to get out of a bath tub quickly. Especially with how my right knee feels somewhat locked after resting on it for far too long today trying to solve the leak mystery... yeah, and that is a WHOLE nuther story...

OK. I just had 15 minutes of relative pain free typing. I can still feel the odd tingle here & there, and that only means this fucking ailment is just biding its time, waiting for me to sack out before it comes roaring back.

I dunno. Maybe I just shoulda stayed home today, judging by the insanity I faced throughout. Happy clean date, Robb! Ya stumbled thru another year! And if yesterday is any indication of things to come... just go look at the title again......

Keep The Faith*

2017/04/14

25 Years


Yup. Time sure flies when you're having fun!

Wait!! Am I having fun, yet? Hard to tell some daze. But, still, today is my 25 year clean date. Ain't that something?! I got the clean thing done. The serene bit is still a work in progress, tho'.

April 14. Today is also Bernie's birthday. Another significant, and dear to my heart, day in my ongoing life on this planet. She would have been... what? Let's see... dit-de-dah... carry the 2... ummm... 55 today. Jeepers, I suddenly feel rather old.

Oh well. I got 30 years past my "best before" date. Meaning, I never expected to live past 30 during my bad-ass using daze. Well, then again, I also expected to win the Briar and the Silver Broom before the age of 30, also. 

Anyway. Here I be on the actual Good Friday, about to head off to my dad's house to tackle the wet basement situation and toast my 25 year clean date with a fine cup of Macs coffee. >>>shudder<<<

Keep The Faith*

2017/04/06

Polaroid Link 4" Cell Phone

Have you ever owned a Polaroid cell phone? Well, I would highly recommend it!

About 2 months ago, I lost mine while shoveling snow at my dad's house. Never could find it, even after calling my number numerous times around the house & outside, listening for my ringtone.

Last Sunday, we went to the house for start the final cleaning of the place. We parked on the street. Getting out of the car, Amber saw something about 4' up in the cedar hedge. Lo and behold, there sat my phone!

We all thought it would be toast, after all, it was sitting in the elements (rain, snow, cold, wind, sunshine, etc) for quite some time. But, & I mean BUT, I took it home, sealed it in a bag with some silica packets to absorb whatever moisture may be in it, plugged the sucker in & let it charge overnight.
My, my, but imagine my surprise when the darned thing started up and acted as if it never left my side! The two images show the only lasting effect on it. Under a black background showing my home screen, it looks fine. With a white or light background, you can see a stain, but it doesn't interfere with reading whatever is there.

So, lemme tell ya, if you are looking for an Android phone, let me suggest the Polaroid Link! I sure am one happy customer!!

Keep The Faith*


EDIT: The reason, I believe, that the phone ended up 4' in a cedar hedge is that I lost during a shovel of the driveway. Later on, the contractor who clears the laneway gobbled the phone up & spit it out into the hedge. So, not only did it survive extreme weather, the phone went thru the indignity of being swallowed up and regurgitated by a monster snowblower!
EDIT #2: I took a couple of staged pics to show where the cell ended up in the hedge. AND, the "stain" in the display is gone! Now, the phone is just as it has been before I lost it! Polaroid Link 4... Helluva cell phone!!

2017/04/05

Gee Whiz, eh

I've got the darndest feeling that there is oh-so much I need to do to get my life into some sort of order. I spent almost 2 years heading out to my dad's place to help him... um, well, just be, I guess. To ensure he ate relatively well and balanced, to make sure that life is going as well as well can be and to just keep him company. It was only 4 days out of the week, but those four days, and the three I spent at home, completely enveloped who I was and what I did.

Now... now, that he is gone... where am I? In my apartment right now, to be sure. For the past couple of months, I have been zipping out to the old man's house to clear it from 40+ years of accumulated stuff. And now, since the house is empty and all that is left is to clean and sweep and wash and vacuum... gee whiz.

What the living frell am I to do with my time now? I have been so set in my ways that I forget what I did before the dementia, etc. set in. I have my catfishing coming up in a couple of weeks, then there is the so-called "regular" fishing in the summer. BUT. But, WTF do I do now?

Meetings? Sure, I could fill about five or six hours each day going to, sitting thru and coming home from a meeting. I could probably spend good time whining about my current life today at said meeting. There is the possibility of me looking outside myself and helping another member travel along their own path of Recovery. And service...

Bing! Been there. Done that. Burned the fucking T-shirt. All that Recovery shit did its thing way back in the day. Trouble is, Service took over what and who I was. And by Service, I mean the meetings, the sponsorship, the sharing, the Home Group, the committees, the yadda-yadda and the blahblahblah...

Much as I have told the newcomer that Recovery needs to be the be-all and end-all of their life... Holy Fuck! Here I be, right now, thinking that Recovery does not need to be the be-all and... etc. of MY life!

Fuck me! But what else do I have?? I tried to work. Fucked by my tremors (& they call them "essential"!). Fucked by a knee that no CT or MRI scan can find shyte. Fucked by my eyesight that denies me a drivers license.
pfft, enough cursing...

I wanted to go biking, but my cycle was stolen. $600+ down the drain. I wanted to do stealth camping... and the bike was integral to that. I kinda gave up on fishing... but all impediments there are now gone, so...

Fishing.
Or get that danged drone out and get it flying.
Clean my mofo apartment!
Spring white-tail deer antler shed search?
Photography / video.
Jack off?

I don't know! I have lost rhythm to my life, much as I was starting to despise the previous beat. I guess it will be just a matter of finding that beat that fits me in its time. Right now, I feel fucked. Tomorrow? Ha, I'll sleep on that one...

Keep The Faith*