What Love Felt Like

•July 23, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Back in January I made a resolution that 2019 would see me making more friends and / or establishing a stronger bond to the ones I currently have.

Then on January 12th my life changed. I met <name withheld>. When I saw her I immediately felt an attraction like I’d never felt before. We talked, flirted, smiled and genuinely enjoyed that first meeting. I did something I’ve never done before and asked her out to dinner and got her phone number. It felt so natural, so right.

The next day I wasn’t sure what had happened and so I decided I was going to wait a couple days to talk to her to schedule our dinner. The very next day she texted me instead. We started talking every day. We scheduled our dinner for the upcoming Saturday night. I planned it all out. Going to Bourbon’s Bistro where my friend is a Sou Chef. Scheduled a Lyft to take us there and back to my house, which she agreed to meet me at.

We went to dinner and as ‘first dates’ go, I think it was great! We didn’t run out of things to talk about. She told me of her time in Saudi Arabia when she was a girl. I was apt to listen to her and learn about her. When dinner was done we took the Lyft back to my house and decided we’d watch a movie. We watched Bird Box. We fell into each other that night. With a giggle and a grin swore that we’d just lay in bed and cuddle but we know how that night ended.

The ‘Good morning’ texts were precious. They made me feel good but I was also a bit worried that she might like me more than I like her.

This put us on a path that I both wanted to be on and was terrified of. She began to come over to my house and I would go over to her house. Our second date was going to a hockey game which was a blast. I genuinely enjoyed being with her and she appeared to enjoy being with me.

Our first bump happened at the end of February when I caught some misinformation about a relationship between her and <some guy>. One that apparently had ended just days before she met me or ended because she met me. We were all out at the bar with her and her friends and one of the ladies spouted off that <some guy> had slept with everyone at the table except her. I looked at <name withheld> and her eyes got big. So later that night we talked about it and I wasn’t happy. Then the next bump was when she told me that <some guy> was going to be moving into her apartment in the basement of her house. I helped her move him there. Can you imagine how gutted I was about that? I almost broke up with her right then but I was already under her spell.

The same day we moved <some guy> into her basement, we were planning on going on a double date with <some guy> and his girlfriend and <name withheld> and I. I’ll never forget that I ran home to get cleaned up and when I came back, went into her house and I could hear her in the basement talking to <some guy> . It struck me wrong. I turned around and left. Got into my car and started driving. I texted her something about not being sure what to do about my feelings with her and him. She asked me to come back to the house so I did. We talked again and she said, ‘You really DO like me don’t you?’ I guess at that time I had played my cards close to my chest so she wasn’t sure how I was feeling about her. Well after we went out and ate, I got really intoxicated and when we went up to her bedroom, I started telling her how much I was in love with her. It felt like a relief.

After that and her positive response to my feelings, I was very confident in our future. She would talk to me about how we were going to buy a house after her sons moved out in a couple years. How she would make sure we had a pole-barn for my workshop. I talked about putting my house either up for sale or rent it out and move in with her. Everything was freaking perfect. The future was looking really awesome!

Aside from some small irritations that she had about me, everything was absolutely wonderful. I had never in my life been in a real relationship where both of us had a plan and wanted to work towards a great future. I have tears just thinking about that time.

Then something happened. I don’t know what it was. I think that she may have slept with <some guy> or something else had happened. I’ve never figured it out but things changed in April. She had so much on her plate with her upcoming vacation in May and her Derby Party / Birthday Party I thought that was the problem. I didn’t press her, I was still very confident in our relationship. She gave no indication that there was anything wrong until her night at Havana Rumba.

She told me that she was having a ladies night one Thursday. Going to meet her friends there and eat dinner and have drinks. She went out and I didn’t hear a peep from her. Usually I do. I didn’t bug her with texts, I trusted everything was ok. The next day I find out that she had gotten really drunk and needed a lyft home. She threw up in the lyft. <some guy> was the person everyone called to help her home, not me. That really irritated me and I let her know it did the next night.

The next night, that Friday, we were doing a double date with <some guy> and <some lady> again. We met at SmokeyBones and <name withheld> rode with them. I met them there. When they got there, mind you I had not seen <name withheld> since her Havana Rumba night, nobody would look me in the eye. I’ll never forget that. <some lady> sat across from me at the table and just wouldn’t look at me. <some guy> did but something didn’t feel right. I put the feeling away, however. I just wanted to get with <name withheld> and talk to her about the night before.

The excuse was that <some guy> lived with <name withheld> and it made sense to get him involved. Didn’t matter to me. I wanted to be the guy to help her but that was the first time I felt that <name withheld> wasn’t on my side like I had expected.

Earlier in March I had bought tickets to KY Derby Opening Night. It was going to be great! So we went out and bought clothes that would match each other and look super fancy and nice. I was very much looking forward to it as it was my first time visiting Churchill Downs and I was doing with with someone I love.

So, just before Opening night, she asked me to come with her to meet her parents. Again, no indication that anything was wrong. It was a fun trip. I was feeling like our relationship was going well. Heck, I met the parents.

So, I’m going to segue to something that had happened over the course of time in my relationship with <name withheld> . Things slowed down. Sex slowed down. Our patterns became regular. The heat from the start had cooled off. It didn’t worry me. We reached a level of comfort with each other. That’s where a real relationship starts. At least that’s what I was thinking. She didn’t see it that way. She saw the cool down as a bad thing. That we really should be just friends. That’s how Opening Night ended for me. Regardless of the great time we shared together, she ended our relationship the next day. Out of the blue. She said that we should just be friends. That she didn’t feel the way she used to about me. She said it was all her problem. When I asked her to give me something that she didn’t like about me, she listed off some things but nothing that was terrible or impossible to fix. I set about myself to fix them.

After Opening Night I didn’t talk to her for almost a month. No texts. No bumping into her at the bars. Nothing at all. She left for her vacation on May 12 and returned on the 18th. During those 3 weeks I had some time to think about how I felt about her and I wanted some closure. I wrote her an email. It was very well written. Spoke of my heartfelt, wholehearted love I had for her. I listed the things I knew she had problems with. I told her that if I never spoke to her or saw her again, I sincerely wished her well but that if she ever wanted to try again, I would be there for her. I never expected to hear back from her. She did contact me again. She told me the letter was beautiful and how sorry she was that she didn’t feel differently. She did miss me and had thought of me often. I said that I really would like to be her friend and go do things together. She was game so we arranged a few weekend events. The first was Taco Fest.

Taco Fest – I went into that with open eyes. That we were just friends going out to have fun. It appeared that she was on the same page. She met at my house, we went to the festival, we had a great time and drank a little too much. She came back to my place and we watched a movie. She didn’t want to drive home so she asked if she could stay. I was like, ‘Sure, no problem.’ So we went to bed. Nothing happened at first. I fell asleep for a bit but woke up. She was awake too, looking at me. I’ve never so passionately kissed anyone in my life. I almost cried, the emotion was so powerful. She left Sunday morning and everything changed for me. That fire that had cooled off was so hot I couldn’t put it out. Our next outing was a 5k walk we did in the Parklands. I stayed the night at her house and had such passionately hot sex. We were back into this mode again where we were hanging out, enjoying each other and staying the night at each others houses. Then came the bomb. She started telling me that she wanted to date other people. I’m looking at this like, we have a relationship. She says we don’t. I ask her to define what it is we’re doing. She doesn’t know. She says she likes the companionship and the sex but that we’re not in a relationship. She wants to date other people. I’m not ok with this at all. My brain isn’t wired to share someone that I’m in a relationship with with someone else. I got her to relent and attempt to try again with me. That lasted only a couple days until she tells me again that she wants to date other people. I’m starting to get pissed about it.

So, she mentions that we should do a bed and breakfast trip for a weekend. I immediately find one near Mammoth Caves. I reserve it. Then she pulls that whole ‘I want to date other people’ again. I cancel it. The next day she’s back at my house to talk. We work things out to a truce about the whole dating thing and I sign back on for the BnB trip.

So, it goes like this: She says we should get together on July 3rd. and spend the next 4 days together. I’m all in with this plan because I freakin love this lady like I never thought I could. I help her out around the house. We work out. We go walking. We hold hands. We’re together. Everything feels right. She’s smiling, I’m smiling. Nothing is wrong. 4th of July we play Uno with <some guy> and <some lady> . Great night that night. She comes over and sits on my lap on her front porch and just lays down on me. We watch the fireworks and just feel each other. I couldn’t think of a more romantic and love filled night. The next day we run some errands and pack our bags and head to the BnB. Trip down was great. First night we decide to head to Bowling Green for dinner. That night we test out the jet tub in our room. Candles, wine, Marvin Gaye, you know it was great. Saturday, we spent canoeing. Wasn’t the best experience for the both of us but that was because of the place we went to. We salvaged a good time out of it then went to get some lunch. After that we went to Mammoth caves to do some hiking. It wasn’t easy but we went down and came back up some rather challenging trails. After that we went to get ice cream. She was nice enough to feed me mine while I was driving.

Does any of this sound like two people totally not into each other? Does any of this make sense? I’m telling the story exactly how it happened from my shoes. Nothing at all, aside from her insisting that she wants to date other people, would indicate that we weren’t a couple in a serious and romantic relationship with one another. So it makes no sense to me at all why she wanted to continue to push me away but she did.

That Saturday night we were going to do the tub again and really have some good sex. I was so ready. Then I grabbed her phone and seen she had a couple of notifications from some guy named Carlos, in snapchat. I shouldn’t have let it bother me but I did. I asked her about him. He’s another guy she’s talking to. I’m incredibly offended that this fucker would be snapping her while she was with me. She even tells me he knew about me and our trip. I’m insane with anger. Why? What the fuck did I do to deserve this kind of treatment from her? I didn’t sleep that night. I couldn’t I couldn’t lay in bed with her anymore. At 6am I was up and outside on the porch of the BnB trying to figure out what I’m going to do. My only thought was to eat breakfast and leave. Leave her alone and put an end to this hurtful relationship.

On the way home we started talking about it. I shouldn’t have had to but I tried so hard to sell her on me. I promised her that if she just gave me an actual real chance, she would not regret it. That our lives would be awesome together. She can only say that she doesn’t know why she feels the way she does. Why she wants to date other people. Why she doesn’t want to be in a relationship. By the end of the trip I relent. I tell her that I don’t want to lose her. I love her but I want her to be happy and I was just going to have to get over it. I was going to have to change my thinking. (something I shouldn’t have to do). When we get home she sits on the couch next to me, rolls over and wraps her arm around me and just lays there. I whisper to her that I wanted to have sex, right now. So we do. Then she leaves.

That Sunday night I was out, alone, loading my phone with dating apps. I start going through them and boom, there she is on Tinder. I swiped right. I snapped her an unhappy face and told her I seen her on Tinder. The next day she tells me that we can’t be friends and that we shouldn’t be around each other. Another fucking dagger to the heart from this lady. I’m getting tired of it.

So I write her an email – stating that I understand her decision and I respect it. If she never speaks to me again, I wish her well. If she ever changes her mind, she knows how to get a hold of me. I very specifically requested that she not get a hold of me unless she was 100% certain about what she wanted. She promised to stay away from my bar, especially on Friday’s because that’s where she knew I always would be. Well, the first Friday she stayed away. The next Friday she did not. I don’t know what she was thinking. The only thing in my head was that she either came there to dis me if I was to approach her OR she came there for me to swoop in and get some sex. I picked option 3. I dissed her, badly. (all in text messages here) I asked her why the fuck would she come here? Why didn’t she respect my request that she stay away? Why did she break her promise? What did she want from me? What did I do to her? I told her she ruined my night and her only response to me was – you can’t control me. I was dumbfounded. How was I trying to control her? She agreed to stay away from my bar, especially on Friday but there she is. One thing of note is that I didn’t let her see me. I only saw the back of her head and like everyone I knew came out to tell me she was there. I was out front on the patio of the bar. She was inside and in the back. I asked her again why she was there, what she was trying to do. She again told me that I couldn’t control where she went. I throw up my hands and said, she was right, I can’t stop her from going where she wants. Go wherever you want, I said. I don’t care anymore. I was hoping for some respect from you but you are not capable of it. I said, I know my worth and you are not worthy of me. I might have said more but it’s all kind of a blur. I was mad. She eventually left and I went home and ever since I have felt absolutely terrible. She has me blocked on all social media now. I can’t even call her or text her. She’s locked me out completely. I’ve sent her some emails, first one angry, second one not so angry. I don’t expect I’ll hear back from those.

So that’s the story of <name withheld> . There’s a lot of story behind her and what she’s been through. If it wasn’t for what I know about her, I would have called her out a long time ago. It was the things she’d been through that gave me the ability to forgive the things she was doing to me. I just ran out of patience. I still absolutely with all my heart love that woman. And if she were to call me to get back together, I would drop everything and do it. In the meantime, I’m looking for someone else. Someone that can fill that spot that <name withheld> left. Someone that would show me that there is something better. That’s what it will take.

Projection

•July 8, 2019 • Leave a Comment

You know what really grinds my gears? When people project their own uncomfortable feelings upon me. Then, make me feel bad about it.
What is amusing to me is that before I ever read anything about psychology, I knew the definition of projection. It happens to me all the damn time and 90% of the time it’s from woman.

Let me give you an overall definition of what I’m talking about.
Person A has feelings for person B. Person B has feelings for person A. Person A knows how to deal with their feelings and be mature about it. Person B does not know how to deal with their feelings for person A and is a little bit afraid of those feelings. So, while person A is just enjoying the time they spend with person B, person B becomes insecure and decides to tell person A that they’re afraid they (person A) feel too strongly for person B and that they don’t want to break their heart or lead them on. Person A is like, ‘wtf are you talking about?’ Person A now has to look at themselves and question everything. Drives them into depression because somehow, how they feel is wrong? Did they do something wrong?

That is what projection looks like.

History of Restaurant Frequenting

•December 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Was sitting at my desk at work thinking about how long I’ve been frequenting restaurants on a regular basis.  I’m one of those guys that gets his social interaction through such means.  It’s useful for the introvert that I am.

To start, this habit didn’t begin until after I got a good and stable job. I had graduated from college and started working at United Healthcare in Lansing.  That would have been when I started going to Cheddars on the corner of Saginaw Highway and Mall Drive in Lansing, MI.  I ate lunch there every day, just about.  The waitress that worked the shift who would order my food before I even sat down.  I’d order the Hot Club sandwich with fries then eat my food and read whatever book I was on at the time.  Did that for a couple years.  Even did a lunch date there with a girl I was trying to talk to.  Didn’t work out.

During this time I also frequented a place called Richards which was on old 27.  It’s called Reno’s North now.  It was at this place where I got to watch the Redwings hit the Stanley Cup, twice.  I didn’t have anything in particular that I ate there except for steak. Got to talking to the waitresses and eventually learned that the owner was a lady that my mom knew.

After that I changed jobs and location of where I lived.  I started hitting two places on the south side of Lansing.  Finley’s and Fleetwood. I ate late night breakfasts at the Fleetwood and would suggest anyone try that place out.  They have this stuff called Hippy Hash that is simply the best thing you’ll have for breakfast, period. (Hint: it’s also healthy, mostly) Then at Finley’s I ate, almost always, the Steak and Stuffed Shrimp meal. Loved that stuff.  Oh, I almost forgot about Theio’s! Theio’s is the place I went to when I was a kid, with my parents and grandparents.  It just always was the other place to go.  There used to be 5 or 6 of them in Lansing and I think I ate at them all but eventually they all faded out to just one left over near the MSU campus on Michigan Avenue.  The Southern Scramble is the best and probably most unhealthy thing they serve.  Just awesome.

So, those were my places when I was living in Lansing, Michigan.  In November of 2008 I moved to Louisville, Kentucky.  I was pretty uncertain about the places to go so I went to a place I knew the menu of and which was close to my house, TGIFriday’s.  I started going there on the weekends since that’s the only time I had to do things during the day. I got to actually know the people that worked there, unlike the other places I had been to.  Mainly because I didn’t have any friends and the restaurant industry has no shortage of good people in it.  Every friend I have made outside of work has been as a result of those I met at TGIFriday’s.  Also, it was at this time that I became a bar fly.  I didn’t drink much until I moved to Louisville.  What started it all was when a friend of mine that I had grown up with, was murdered in the front doorway of his apartment. Full on shotgun blast to the chest.  In tribute to him I ordered some shots and beer.  Once I did that and started talking to the bartenders, I was a part of the family.  I learned that the bars don’t close until 4am down here.  That was a pretty awesome discovery for someone that worked nights.  Eventually, the Friday’s I ate at closed their doors without warning. Thankfully the friends I had made there offered up alternatives for me.  I started going to a place called Mister G’s, a hole in the wall dive bar tucked away in the back of a strip mall.  That was my ‘get drunk and walk home’ spot.  Boy do I have stories.  I made more friends there but eventually stopped going there.  While I was going to Mister G’s to get my drink on, I was going to Brickhouse to get my meal on.  I’m still meeting new people there.  Brickhouse is my current home for my butt on any given day but usually on Saturday night.  Saturday’s I go there to see one of the bartenders that I met while going to Friday’s.  She only works on Saturday’s now that she has a day job. Lastly and definitely not the least is Brownies.  I started going here after I stopped going to Mister G’s and I still frequent the place, usually after Brickhouse closes on Saturday nights.

Not really sure what the point of this entry was.  I guess I was just wanting to document the restaurants that I have at some point called my ‘Home’ or comfort zone for social interactions.

Diverticulitis: My Adventure in Pain

•June 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared my thoughts like this.

After that crazy bitch finally exited my life in January of 2015, I set upon the task of getting myself into a healthy condition.  I joined a gym and started going there every day.  It was around April when I started this journey.  The idiot that I am, impatient with myself, wasn’t happy enough with my progress so I decided to push myself.  Too hard.  The walking and running on the treadmill was ok but the lifting part wasn’t.  One time, I was doing stomach curls on a machine.  You’d set the weight, then loop a harness around your shoulders and then lean forward and pull the weight up.  I was trying to strengthen my abs. Something I’ve never been very good at or liked very much.  I set the weight to something light and did a few.  Felt good.  Next couple times I was in I did the same.  Then I got stupid and decided to notch the weight up quite a bit. When I bent forward, the increased force and pressure of my fat stomach, when curling downward, caused something inside, on the left side, to pop.  I felt a sharp stab and then it was gone.  I thought right then and there that I did something very bad.  I got on the treadmill after that and did some walking and a jog and could feel some soreness in the area.  I decided to give myself a break from all the activity and let my body heal.  Took about a month for the soreness to go away.  In my mind I was thinking it was a hernia and got into the habit of poking at the area I felt pop.  It eventually became sore as a result so I focused on stopping that habit.

Fast forward and things seemed ok.  Some slight stomach issues but nothing bad.  That ‘pop’ though, kept nagging me.  My bowel movements have always been very loose, at least for the last decade or so.  Suffering IBS as a kid, I got used to those cramps and with the loose stool, the lack of constipation kept me feeling pretty well and convinced that I had outgrown that issue.

In November 2015 I met a gal, we went out, had fun. During our fun she put her hand on my left side and while I didn’t know it then, for the next few weeks afterwards I was in a bit of pain.  Very sore.  I got through that thinking it was just a strain and put it off.  At the beginning of 2016, in the early spring I made some changes again.  Guy at work was following a strict diet and he influenced me to change mine.  I started eating good.  One of the side effects should have been that I was feeling great and on one aspect I was but my bowels were not happy all the time.   I was eating a ton of vegetables and sticking to good protein like chicken and tuna.  I was specifically staying away from really starchy foods like russet potatoes and instead, eating sweet potatoes.  I was also completely cutting out sugar and if I wanted something sweet, I was drinking diet cola but not even that much of it.

The growing discomfort in my bowels over the next few months went away when I bought my house.  I was so happy.  Coincidentally I had a followup appointment with my doc and when he ran the bloodwork, all my stats had greatly improved.  He told me that whatever I was doing, I needed to keep doing it.  Grand praise!

So, this is the part where things start to go south.  After I bought the house, I was offered a promotion at work.  They offered me the position of supervisor to replace my boss who was to become the new plant manager.  I should have been super happy but I was super stressed instead.  Stress, stress, stress.  Every day.  I found that every single time I got stressed, that left side would start hurting and aching.  So I started poking again.  My eating habits swung from great to white castle.  The constant flux of stress, bad eating, poking, and drinking alcohol caused my body to go through a drastic change.  I went from loose stool to constipated.  Terribly constipated.  Painfully constipated.  My colon would get so sensitive that I could feel the stool travel from one end of my colon to the other.  The pain was worse at the point where I always poked and prodded.  The left sigmoid area.  It always seemed like the stool would simply stop right there and then fester.  I would push and push and with a lot of blood in the process, finally move it out.

Now were talking about the more present time.  Back in March, I had a very bad time with the pain and constipation.  I set and appointment with my doctor to talk about it.  He set me up with an appointment with a GI doctor.  The GI doctor, after I told him of my last attack, put me on antibiotics immediately and scheduled me for a CT scan.  I did the full course of antibiotics (flagyl and cipro) and once I was done, the doctor got me in for the CT scan.  CT scan was done incorrectly and didn’t show my full lower area but it showed the sigmoid colon well enough to see several large diverticula as well as indications of severe inflammation.  On of those diverticula was exactly where I expected it to be.  Surprising to me was that there were more than just that one.  So, after the scan was read, he scheduled a colonoscopy.  That procedure revealed several diverticula and he was nice enough to give me pictures of them from the inside.  He also found a precancerous polyp. (like I needed more stress)

So it is at this point where things go sideways again.  The doctor prescribed me bentyl for stomach cramps.  Said to take them 4 times a day.  Thing is, I’m not having cramping problems.  I know what a cramp feels like.  This pain isn’t cramping.  It is my colon getting angry because stool is fermenting inside a diverticula.  Further, they tell me to eat a high-fiber diet with probiotics and drink a lot of water.  Of all that, so far only the water part has been of any use.

A month ago I had another constipation attack.  I missed work.  First time I have EVER missed a day of work.  I laid in bed from 10pm to 1pm the next day.  The pain was so bad.  I found that Aleve helped so I took a couple of those and drank a ton of water.  I ate very little.  Eventually the constipation passed as did the pain.  The soreness remained but was vigilant about not poking at it.  That was a month ago.  Zoom to 6/13/2017 – I felt something coming earlier in the day.  I woke up feeling fine and had a good amount of bowel movements previous to that.  However, by noon, I felt dread.  I felt something moving through my bowel.  I felt it enter the colon on my right side.  It burned.  I could feel whatever it was, moving all the way through.  By 2, the ache had started and by 3 the pain was growing in intensity.  By 4, it was all I could do to keep myself sane.  I had work that needed to be done.  So, on my feet, moving around for about 30 minutes, the pain making me nearly vomit, I finished up what I needed to do and went home.  Drank tons of water but the pressure that my bladder was putting on my colon was tripling the pain.  I could feel pain ripping from my prostate, my urethra, my bladder, my rectum, my colon, my ureter.  It was absolutely terrible.  I was convinced that water would fix me.  At around 10pm I settled my things in the house and took myself to the ER.  Got another CT scan, this time with the whole system from my liver to my prostate.  Acute diverticulitis.  They gave me IV flagyl and then IV levaquin.  The doc wrote me scripts for flagyl and cipro and added norco as well as an anti-nausea med.  Then handed me the same preprinted advice that I got from my colonoscopy: high-fiber, probiotic, lots of veggies, lots of water.  It’s the same piece of paper, same info. It’s also the WRONG info.

I started the antibiotics on Wednesday morning.  Missed work.  Started to consume only broth and eating a few triscuits, and probiotic yogurt for the fiber intake. I also picked up prune juice.  Prune juice, for me, forces a bowel movement within a couple hours.  I’m having movements and they’re runny but the pain is still there, still in the same spot.  If I lay on my right side, stretched out, I feel better.  It’s the only way I can sleep.  Thursday, missed work, drank tons of water, triscuits, yogurt and prune juice.  Have to continue to take the norco’s every 6 hours because the pain is still quite intense.  Then I start doing some research and talking to people from a group on facebook for diverticulitis.  These are people who have had pieces of their colon removed as a result.  I discover something.  Inflammation is not the same as infection.  They’re treated totally different.  I’ve been treating my current condition as if I had no condition but diverticulosis.

What the ER should have told me was to go on a strict liquid diet.  My colon needs to rest.  It’s inflamed.  While it may still be infected, I’m not going to take the chance and stop taking the antibiotics but once I stopped with the high fiber intake I did start to feel a bit better.  Still not well though.  Other discovery is that too much movement causes it to flare up.  Also, too much stress.  Friday morning I felt pretty good.  Took a shower, got ready for work, and the moment I got to work, felt dreadful.  I got up and moved around a little which did help because sitting seems to be irritating it a lot but not standing.

So, here I am now.  Still in pain.  Took a norco a while back and was about to head to bed but instead decided to write out this horror story.

I can tell you honestly that this whole thing has me feeling very bad and not just physically.  My mental state is trying to keep myself above the water but I feel like drowning in depression and helplessness… and anger.  The one thing I think about at this time is the people from that support group I found.  The people that have had giant chunks of their colons removed due to this same problem.  I’m not in their shoes at this point.  I want to find a solution that doesn’t require me to lose yet another part of my body.

Only time will tell.

Bought a House

•March 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment

So, I see that one of my posts in the past discussed my plan to buy a home.  Well, that story was nothing at all the negative experience I had before and was writing about.  Instead it was fraught with some frustration but eventually put me into a house that fits me perfectly.

I was worried about my credit score but buckling down (after I dumped the crazy woman) and saving money again, then being responsible with my credit cards found my score to be pretty well set.  After that hurdle was reached it was a matter of coming up with the money for a down payment.  That was found in my retirement fund.  I borrowed a few thousand from that and boom, found my house and bought it.  I closed on the house on the day of Muhammad Ali’s funeral here in Louisville.  A truly bitter-sweet day.

I wasted no time getting my items moved here.  I owe my neighbor Chris huge for helping me haul the bulk of it.  The apartment complex is still trying to get me to pay for the damages that my ex’s dog did to the place but they’ll not see a fucking dime after I had to fork out 2000 dollars just to break my lease.  Hell no.  Not one more cent.  Not ever.  Hands washed, moved on.

So, now I’m realizing my dream of having a woodworking shop in the basement.  It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember.  I’ve built work benches, table saw stands, I have a compound miter saw, 14 inch band saw, 6 inch jointer, 13 inch planer, a giant toolbox, 1 industrial dust collector and 2 shopvacs.  I have plenty of space to build in.  I’ve built a few bird feeders, cutting boards, and bandsaw boxes.  I’m having a blast!

Intermec PM43 Label Printer Notes

•March 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Update: I have continued to chase this problem and have found that the only solution is to force Windows to do a direct print to the printer, no spooling.  So, if the printer runs out of paper, it will not be able to print and thus our application that sends jobs to the Windows spooler, will stop.  Of course, this shuts down printing for all 70 of the other printers we have in-house.  To mitigate this, I have been working with OpenNMS and SNMP traps to capture out of media events which then notify the on-duty supervisor and IT administrator that the printer is out of paper.  This automation has greatly improved our reaction time to these events.

I have posted this to get it out on the internet so people can find it and not have to go through all the crap I did to get here:

Over the holiday season this year, we made the mistake of leaving our broadcast clients for one of the lines at the KTP plant active. Over the holiday Ford moved product on their line which caused our client to process the data. Hundreds and hundreds of jobs were processed which meant that probably a thousand printouts were done. Most of our printers at the time were low on label stock and ran out. I recall taking a look at the printer server to see how many jobs were queued up but discovered that none of the print queues had any jobs nor did any of the queues show they were in an error state. I knew otherwise. I was annoyed. This leads me to problem number two.

Problem two: When I actually got on-site to take a look at the piles and piles of labels at the printers, I began to reload the stock. I made the silly assumption that all the printers were done printing. Nope! After loading the labels, the printers began to print once again, only this time, it began to print jobs out of sequence. No bueno! Very bad. We’re a sequencing center, the jobs must come out in order. We have error proofing in place to prevent out-of-order sequencing but in normal operations the jobs always come out in order and deviations are cause for concern. I sorted what I could and then reprinted the jobs that were messed up. This took me a few hours when it was supposed to be a, ‘take a quick look to see if things are ok’ job.

I took a look at the settings on the print server and on the printer itself to see if there was anything obviously different between these new printers and our old printers that we have at our IP assembly plant. Since we don’t have this problem with our old printers on our old line. I didn’t find anything obvious so I swept it under the rug and forgot about it.

Over the next few months we’ve added more commodities to our sequencing center here at our original plant. I’ve encountered the out-of-sequencing complaint several times now and it has caused a rift between myself and the night shift coordinator that manages that commodity. The expectation from this guy is that it should work exactly right, every time, and deviations are unacceptable. While I agree with that stance, no amount of digging has, up til now, uncovered a shred of a clue as to why these problems occur.

To reiterate the problem, if the printing operation is interrupted due to running out of paper, the printer server will not record the device as being in an error state and when it is loaded again, will print some jobs out of sequence.

I have become totally fixated on solving this problem. Having zero documentation to work from, needless to say, it has been a bear.

I made a discovery though about a setting that has no explanation that is only accessible through specialty software made for these printers. There are two methods to get to it, through the Intermec equipment management system called SmartSystems and through another printer-only program called PrintSet 5. The setting follows the same path in both programs: Network Services, Net 1, Queue=”On/Off/Multiple” The default value is On. Not knowing or finding any actual explanation as to what this setting does, I took the route of just changing it and seeing what happens.

Here is how our system is setup. We have a Windows 2012 R2 server which is primarily a printer server. We run a proprietary application which looks at a flag in a table on our SQL server that tells it to IDLE, PRINT, or REPRINT a report. Each commodity has two reports, a Part and a Rack report. When a new broadcast comes in, it adds to the report queue table with the PRINT flag and the report manager then grabs the data and packages it up into a single print job and sends it to the print queue, it then changes the table value to IDLE. It’s a very simple and logical operation. The print queues are individual printers, mostly label printers, and all Intermec PM43 printers.

When I change this queue setting to off and then rip off the labels so that it runs out after 5 prints and reprint 9 jobs, it will print 4 jobs and half print the 5th and then the printer itself will flash that it’s out of paper. At the print server the printer will queue up and count down 5 jobs then stop and wait. It will take one more job after about a minute, leaving 3 in the queue on the print server, then the print server will report an error. I reload the labels and it prints out the 5th and 6th jobs immediately, then pauses to clear the error at the queue, then takes the rest of the jobs. Nothing is out of sequence.

When the queue is set to on, which is the default and I follow the same procedure, it prints 4 labels, half of the 5th and then the printer displays the out of paper light but at the print server the queue continues to count down to zero, slowly. About one every minute. It never reports an error on the server. When I load the label stock it prints out what it had queued up and it prints it in order.

I have not been able to replicate the out-of-sequence printing problem but I can replicate the out of paper error reporting problem. I strongly believe that this Queue setting is the key it and know for certain that it is the cause of the non-reporting problem that I have encountered before.

I have posted this to get it out on the internet so people can find it and not have to go through all the crap I did to get here.

Fear of Success

•January 29, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Part of the negativity about my house buying situation is that this is the third time I’ve tried. My first two attempts led me to negative experiences. All my doing. Being treated like trash because of your credit rating is pretty shitty. Watching and being responsible for my sisters foreclosure on her home that trashed her credit rating while mine remained in the trash, is a harsh responsibility and guilt to bear. It’s difficult to overcome the idea that I don’t deserve it. So there’s the actual root-cause to my chorus of negative thinking.