Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Catching up on things.


Catching up on things going on in my life....

  1. This past weekend, RQS came up earlier than usual for a Friday.  Although Friday's schedule became open due to DCD's car financing issues (he didn't have enough money saved to register the car), the rest of the weekend's schedule would be affected due to DCD's problems in getting his car (my old Honda) out of my parking spaces.

    Although it rained most of Saturday, we had to stay around the house because DCD was supposed to come up with a car carrier and take the car away.  Sadly, he screwed that up, as he was supposed to have a friend come with him - and the friend's no-show prevented DCD from getting to U-Haul on time to get the car carrier.  We were a bit frustrated, as we could have spent the day at the movies, instead of watching reruns on TV.

    Sunday came, and DCD finally came up with the car carrier after work.  Although he was later than expected, we got the car running enough to get it on the car carrier, and finally out of the parking space where it dwelled for the past 5 weeks. However, he misplaced the car keys, and this proved to be a problem for him.

    DCD had lost the keys to the car, and was going to go to Honda to get new keys cut and programmed.  Luckily, on Monday, the car keys were found, and I arranged to give them to him tomorrow.  (DCD was a topic of conversation between RQS and I until I dropped her off at the train station Monday morning.)

  2. I got in contact with my friend Vicki, and we were able to have an impromptu dinner on Monday.  Something happened to her that will have her thinking about her future and what she wants to do with it.  Since something like this happened to me a while back, I gave her the benefit of my experiences, and hope that she finds a way that is best for her in her forward path.

  3. An appointment with my GP is coming up, and I am not looking forward to this visit, as I gained a few pounds on my last cruise.  (Normally, the increased physical activity on cruises causes me to lose weight.  But not this time.)  Part of me wants to postpone this visit, but this would likely be a mistake.

  4. The two garments I expected from Universal Standard came on Saturday.  One of these outfits (a jumpsuit) looks good on me - especially if I'm wearing the right color bra and wearing my jean jacket over it.  The other garment, a sleeveless dress, doesn't look as good on me, and I'm thinking of returning it for credit.  Will I do so?  Who knows?  Maybe RQS can give me her opinion when she comes back here on the weekend.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Now, the car is gone - finally!

It took DCD long enough!  Today, he rented a U-Haul truck and a car carrier to remove his car from my parking spot.  And I screwed things up a little by not running the car engine over the past few months, letting the battery drain to the point where it wouldn't start the car.

DCD was supposed to get to my place by 5:00 pm.  However, he had problems with the truck he rented and had to exchange it for one with working Heat/Air Conditioning.  He got a little bit lost on the way to my place, but he made it here without incident.  And then the "fun" began.  DCD tried to start the car without luck.  I had seen the signs of this when my former cruise partner and I got stuck after a visit to NYC.  So I knew what was needed - jumper cables.  While I fetched starter cables, DCD drove the truck into the space next to my old car.  We got the car started without problem, and the engine started running well after a few minutes.  

Our next step was to get the car on the carrier hitched to the back of the truck, and we hesitated a bit because the rain had started up again.  DCD drove the car onto the carrier, and fastened it to the carrier before turning off the engine.  I then told him to separate the car keys, so that if one got lost, he'd be able to get back into the car, and this would be an issue later on.  Then, we took the better part of an hour to turn the truck (and car carrier) around.  Around 7:30 pm, we were done, and DCD was on his way.

Around 9:00 pm, I got a phone call from DCD.  He made it home, and would be storing the car at a friend's place.  But he made one mistake - he lost the keys,  Of course, it was an "I told you so" moment, and I made sure to do just that, as he always has to learn the hard way by making big mistakes.  At least, I am now done with the car, and it is completely his responsibility to take care of it.  

Before he left, I told him that he can start paying me for the car in July.  I'll bet that it will take him that long to get the car on the road again....

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The car is gone. (Not!)


The original title of this post is one I hoped would be true when I thought of something to write about.  I've known that DCD has always been a flake of some sort, avoiding harsh truths when he thinks he could take an easy way out.  So I had my worries that he would flake out in the middle of the car transfer process.  For all I care, he could take the old car and not pay me for it.  I simply wanted it out of my parking spot.  And this is where I had my concerns when he said that he couldn't take possession of the car until early May....

Well, early May came and DCD decided to flake out on me.  I asked him if things are going OK with DMV, and all I got was:

After this - Crickets!   He didn't respond to messages, nor did he answer to phone calls.  He has the signed bill of sale, and all the paperwork needed to register the car in his name.  But if he can't register the car AND the car is stuck in my driveway, I'm the one holding the bag for the car until I can figure out a way to get the title back in my name and a proper copy of the release of lien.

DCD is acting like an embarrassed child who is afraid to take responsibility for his actions.  Sadly, I still have to act like an adult and deal with him until he does the right thing.  Then, I can disconnect completely, as his "friendship" has been shown to be worthless.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Commentary on Recent World Events


Years ago, my therapist taught me that anger is a secondary emotion.  It is a symptom of another feeling not being recognized or not being addressed.  For example, one might get angry because one is not able to identify when one is getting frustrated because one is not allowed to have their say in things.  Lately, the occupations of college campuses in support of Palestine have been in the news.  Sadly, most people have not bothered to do a Root Cause Analysis of the problem, and are blaming the wrong set of actors.  Pro-Palestinian supporters are right to complain about the needless suffering and loss of life going on in Gaza.  Pro-Israeli supporters are right to complain about Hamas' kidnapping and killing of innocent Israeli civilians on October 7, 2023.  However, only focusing on the latest atrocities to happen in the region prevents people from seeing the underlying problems in the region and dealing with them in a healthy manner.  Large groups of people are unable to identify the underlying causes of the problems in Israel and Palestine, and are unable to effectively deal with these problems.

What is happening in Israel and Palestine has its roots in the aftermath of World War 1, where the Ottoman Empire was carved up by Britain and France into their own mandates.  The Ottomans ruled the Middle East in relative peace for generations (their rule was far from perfect), and that peace was destroyed by the victors of World War 1.  In Europe, France was responsible for the humiliation and emasculation of Germany, imposing onerous conditions for post-war peace.  As a result, Germany's economy collapsed, Germany's currency became worthless, and the seeds were sown for an authoritarian leader to take control of Germany when the Great Depression happened - and one did. We know how evil Hitler proved to be.  Millions of Jews died in concentration camps.  Many who didn't die fled to Britain's Palestine mandate, feeling that friends in the Holy Land would provide them shelter.

After World War 2, the Jews wanted space in the holy land, and the UN carved out a map which gave the Jews a relatively small area which they could call their own.  However, Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia were against this, and started a war in which they lost land which the UN had allocated to the Palestinians.  Outside agitators kept stirring up the Palestinian people, teaching them that Israel had no right to exist, and drew maps showing Israel as "Occupied Palestine".

Around 1979, Iranians overthrew the pro-US government of the Shah, installing a theocratic government.  That government became rabidly anti-Israel, and has sponsored war against the Israelis and against the US (by its proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah).  And this is where the most identifiable root cause of the problem comes from.

It is no secret that a "Grand Bargain" was about to be announced, where most of the Arab world would follow Saudi Arabia's lead and recognize Israel's right to exist, in exchange for Saudi Arabia to perform limited uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes and to have a national security arrangement with the United States.  I have no doubt that Iran authorized Hamas to attack Israel to disrupt the "Grand Bargain".  Sadly, this action succeeded beyond Iran's wildest dreams, causing Israel to attack what its people see as the root cause of the problem - Hamas' existence.

Of course, fighting Hamas on its own turf would result in needless Palestinian deaths.  But what was Israel to do?  Its people thirsted for blood revenge.  Hamas hides between the skirts of women and children, building its infrastructure in the midst of innocent Palestinian civilians.  To fight Hamas, Israel would need to inflict a lot of "Collateral Damage" on the Palestinian people.  This would cause many people to see Israel as committing genocide against the Palestinians, where the Israelis would see the situation as simply fighting a necessary war against an enemy who doesn't care about the deaths of its supporters. It didn't help the cause of peace that Bibi Netanyahu thought (before October 7th) that he could work with Hamas behind the scenes.  So, Israel is, in part, responsible for giving Hamas the power to cause Israel harm.  Bibi now has to "look tough" to preserve his place in Israel's power hierarchy.  But how much revenge should Israel be allowed to extract?  No one addresses Israel's legitimate needs in the recent protests.

So, why aren't people protesting against the real problem, Iran sponsoring terrorism?  People focus on the symptoms of diseases, and not their causes.  How many of us (like myself) look to take pills to manage our blood pressure and blood sugar levels, when diet and exercise can help deal with these problems when done often enough, with appropriate intensity?  People don't like doing root cause analyses, and this leads people to being divided and unable to properly address the real problems in the world.

Hopefully, we will see the Arab world forced to step up and propose ideas for peace which recognize Israel's right to exist, see Israel give up the unlawful West Bank settlements, and to have an Arab force policing what is to become a Palestinian state until a non-corrupt Palestinian government grows into the role of good governance, Now is the time for the Arab world to take the risks to make peace with Israel, proposing honorable terms for all.  This would block Iran from causing too much mischief in the Middle East, and would sow the seeds for long term stability in the region.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Game Night after a long day doing little. (a short post)

Another day, and the only reasons I got out of bed were: (1) to do laundry before RQS gets here tomorrow, and (2) to go to Game Night in Yonkers.  And that's about the only thing I did today, save for writing this blog entry.

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Although I woke up early, I really began my day around 3 pm.  (I spent much of the time watching TV and killing time.)  Once I got out of the bedroom, I started taking care of things, such as doing some of the laundry that was in the hamper since I got home from my cruise.  (I was starting to run low on underwear, so I knew that I had to finally take care of this task.)  While my laundry was in the washer (and dryer), I got ready to go out for the evening as Marian. When I was ready to go out, I almost forgot that I had clothes in the dryer.  So, I brought them upstairs before going out to play games.

I arrived in Yonkers around 8 pm, and hung out until the second round of games started.  Of course, I did poorly in comparison to the others.  But then, I go to Game nights for the connections to people, and not for the games themselves.

On the way home, I called RQS, and we chatted for the better part of an hour.  It'll be nice to see her in person tomorrow.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Miracles of modern dentistry?

Long gone are the days where going to the dentist would be this uncomfortable.  Unlike getting a leg amputated in the Civil War, one couldn't bite a bullet to deal with the pain of a tooth extraction.  Years later, they perfected filling technology and local anesthesia, making a visit to the much less painful (except, maybe, in the wallet).  And now, the balance between bodily pain and financial pain is in favor of financial pain, as fewer people fear going to the dentist today than in the past.

Today was my visit to the dentist.  In addition to a scheduled teeth cleaning, I got an updated set of x-rays and a dental exam.  $500 later, I was out of the office with another appointment scheduled in 2 weeks for a small filling.  AARGH!   At least I have the money in the bank to afford it.  But this is only one of the money sucks that I'll deal with this month.

Sometime later in the year, I may decide to take another (small) distribution from my 401k, this time to finance a dental implant that I've done without for over 10 years.  If I had stayed employed with the bank, I'd have done this already.  After 10 years, the dentist will have to start from scratch, including a CAT Scan of my jaw to see if I have enough bone mass for the implant..  And this will cost even more money,  Not having the tooth in this place has affected how I chew on food.  So this may finally be the time I deal with the problem once and for all....

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Catching up with things at home


Today was another do-nothing day.  I might have done a little bit of putting away stuff, but not enough to say I did much.  

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I woke up today with only one thing on my schedule - a "Tea" meetup in White Plains.  (Think of: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and China Black, not the herb my generation also called "Tea".)  So, I lollygagged for most of the day, save for putting travel related items back in their storage bag.  When 5:00 pm came around, I showered, shaved, and dressed to go out as Marian.  As I was starting up my car, an acquaintance called to talk about many things.  (I had missed her call this weekend, as I was in-flight to JFK.  I just wonder what happened to the message I sent her, saying I was in transit.)  This kept me busy for most of the drive to the meetup.  

When I got to White Plains, I had a little problem finding the tea parlor.  But I found the place in time to have a savory danish and a serving of iced tea before we moved over to Playa Bowls next door.  Our motley crew kept up the conversation started in the tea parlor.  (One woman asked whether I had been to the LGBT center nearby, and I mentioned that they are constructing a building of their own in the heart of White Plains.  So I know that she probably read me, yet treated me as just another woman.) We talked about some of the meetup groups in Westchester, and noted that the leader of one of the groups (a leader that couldn't deal with me being transgender) was a bigot, and that her group wasn't worth being in.  (This feeling was echoed by others at the table.)  Hopefully, I will be able to meet these people again soon, as we all "clicked" together.

All too soon, it was time to go.  So I decided to make a run to Wegman's to pick up some food for the rest of the week.  Shortly after I loaded my car, I saw some lightning.  By the time I got home, it was raining hard enough to have me leave two 12-packs of soda in the car.  At least I got home safe and sound - and ready for tomorrow afternoon at the dentist....

Catching up on things.

  Catching up on things going on in my life.... This past weekend, RQS came up earlier than usual for a Friday.  Although Friday's sched...