30 October 2011

Oh, how I love the rain...

I was floating around the internet last night, with no particular destination in mind. Clicking random links, getting lost in Wikipedia and TV Tropes. I'd worked a 12 hour shift and then did laundry, so I felt nice and productive.  All in all, it was a rather relaxing evening.

Then, I stumbled across RainyMood.com, which totally changed my world. It's a simple site, really, with just a loop of the sound of a thunderstorm playing in the background, but it settled my brainwaves into some deep Jedi/Zen trance, and I don't remember much of anything after it started playing.

I remember wanting to write a specific scene, about characters under a large skylight or in a greenhouse or something, while the thunderstorm quietly raged outside, but that's it.

Nothing else until I went to bed.

I love the rain so freakin' much.

29 October 2011

Late nights with the Goddamned Batman...

So I started playing Arkham City last night.

How stupid-fun is it to be Batman?

The day started off like any Friday. I went to work, did stuff, and went home. Plan was for my Sweetheart to leave for her overnight Halloween party around 1600, and I'd do laundry until my partner in crime (C.) was off work. Got home, found out that plans had changed and the girls weren't leaving until about 1900. Still fine, no big deal. I could do the laundry I needed in that time (laundry soap was in Sweetheart's car). Sweetheart and  C.'s Sweetheart didn't get to our place to get ready until just before 1900.

Dunno what it is about girls, but when they get together, it seems that their "getting ready" time frame quadruples. Sweetheart didn't wind up leaving until close to 2130. Granted, they got super dolled up for Halloween, but still.

So we got in C.'s car to go grab him a shower and change of clothes, along with Arkham City to bring back to my place. As we tried to parallel un-park, his engine made this little rattling sound. We popped the hood and found that one of his belts (not the timing belt) was just a tiny bit loose, and made a flapping sound. Didn't appear to be anything catastrophic, and so we said "Ah, fuck it.". Got back in the car, and then it started making this horrible screeching clunking sound. We checked again, and the crankshaft pulley was at a 40 degree angle to the engine, and the timing belt was all sorts of mangled into the second belt.

So, we wound up taking my car....

Went to dinner at Hooters, and except for the whole "The Final Game Of The World Series" thing, it was good. My drink glass stayed full (mostly), which is my indicator of how good the service is. The food was good, and I only felt like punching two people for being annoying drunks, so I call that a win.

Went back to C.'s house and wound up just chilling there. Played Arkham City, which is the best game in the world (until Skyrim comes out). I beat the crap outta bad guys, and even it all it's single button mashing glory, it was still epic.

I looked at the clock once and it was midnight. Two minutes later, it was 0230. So I decided that after this current wave of bad guys, once I reach a checkpoint, I'll stop and head home.


I didn't leave his place until 0250. Got home about 0315, took a shower, got ready for bed, and by 0400 I was asleep.

And then my alarm went off.

At 0630.




28 October 2011

Why? Dear God, why?

Well, apparently I don't have the motivation to post blog entries on my days off. Too much time to sit and mess around with vid'ya games and such. God help us all if I ever get motivated to do something constructive.

So, yeah. Why are people stupid?

I'm not asking to be a dick, I'm just honestly curious. Why are people stupid? And I'm not talking about the normal "low intelligence" people, or the "blonde moment" people, or even those some might label as "airheads". I'm asking about the people who, when you explain that there are only two options, insist on not only refusing to pick one of the two, but also asking stupid questions over and over and over.

"Either you can sign out against medical advice, or you can return to the unit to which you are assigned. Those are your two options."

"But, can't I go to this other facillity?"

"Not unless you sign out of this one, which is totally within your rights, and only requires one signature from you."

"But why not?"

"Because we're responsible for you as long as you're 'admitted' to this hospital. If you leave property without letting us remove your IV, we're still responsible if it malfunctions and kills you. You need to either let us remove your IV, and then you can leave, or you need to return to your room."

"But can't I just go over there and see what they have to offer?"


"But why?"

How do some people not understand very basic concepts, when explained very basically? I just don't understand how people can be this stupid. The only explanation I can come up with is "PEOPLE ARE FUCKING STUPID!".

24 October 2011


Not much to say today. I'm at work, on a Monday, which is technically my Friday. My Sweetheart's sick and going to the doctor. Having chili dogs for lunch with self shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top.

Not that the cheese will shred itself. I'll be shredding the cheese myself, from a large block of sharp cheddar. Which is delicious. I forgot how good really sharp cheddar is until last night. Made chili dogs for the Sweetheart, and had a little nibble of some of the shredded cheese.


But, of course, as a human being reading this blog, you know that cheese is awesome. Unless you're an alien reading this via some advanced translation technology, many galaxies away, or even in the future. Let me give you the key to our civilization, Oh Great And Mighty Alien Overlords.

Cheese is awesome.

Good cheese is awesomer.

Really good cheese will blow your secondary brain right out of your chest, possibly taking your ancillary splanch (see http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/1695.html).

Use with caution.

23 October 2011

Halloween came early...

So I went to a Halloween party after work last night. I put on one of my Batman T-shirts and went as a "Son of the Bat" (it's a comic thing). My girl went as a "pin up girl", which basically means she got all dolled up in super trampy makeup and had her hair curled. Her words, not mine.

The party kinda sucked, but that's because I didn't know anybody. We were only there for a few minutes, and then took the party back to our place. My best friend C and his girlfriend J (who just happened to have her 21st birthday yesterday) came over, along with my bro-in-law and his girl.

It was awesome.

J got hammersmashed (that's hammered and smashed, for double your drunken pleasure). Every body had a little bit to drink (except for me and C, since we both had to be at our jobs at 0700 this morning, and my girl, who did her drinking early).

Bro-in-law gets dizzy and talkative when he's drunk.Not crazy dizzy, just "cant walk a straight line" dizzy. He's always talkative, though, so I'm not sure if that was just him or the alcohol.

His girl (also C), who's usually super shy and softspoken was all loud and outgoing, but also still saying things that were super adorable.

Actually, everybody got super adorable. I just wish I could have been adorable too. These plans get made a week in advance which, for normal people who work a weekday job, wouldn't be a problem, but in order to get time off, I've gotta put it in several weeks (if not months) in advance to get it covered. I work Friday through Monday, and so every body else's weekend is awesome, and I get to spend twelve hours at work on Saturday and Sunday...dang it.

Probably doesn't help that it takes a lot to get me drunk, and for the most part I don't like the taste of alcohol.

My girl, obviously, was the most adorable out of the bunch, but then, my opinion might be a little biased by the fact that I'm head over heels....*shrugs*

Bro-in-law was worried that his mom would find out that he got drunk and made us pinky swear that we wouldn't tell her how drunk he got (not that drunk, but he's and my girl are both lightweights, so...). After I pinky swore he said "I love you, man. I approve of you dating and impregnating my sister.".

That might be the most adorable thing I've ever heard.

22 October 2011

Locked doors and what they mean...

So, I work in security. Specifically, I'm in Hospital Security, which is much like any other type of security, plus we get to deal with psych patients.

Every "Code" that's called, Security has to respond to. Each code corresponds with a color, and we have codes for just about everything. Fire, Security Needed (usually for a physically violent or aggressive patient), Bomb Threats, Bio Terrorism Attacks, Disasters (hurricanes [which will never be called as a disaster, since they're entirely too common down here], mass casualty incidents, tornadoes [which we don't get], earthquakes [which we don't get], decontamination situations) Chemical Spills, Active Shooters, Infant Abductions, and Cardio Pulmonary Arrest.

Now, I get the first eight, and why Security should be there, but the last one throws me. Cardio Pulmonary Arrest. I am (or was, until I let my certification expire) an EMT-Intermediate here in the state of Texas, but as far as my job at the hospital goes, I'm not allowed to do anything that could be termed "patient care", for obvious liability reasons.

The reason they give us for needing to show up to a Code Blue (which is Cardio Pulmonary Arrest), is that we need to be there for "crowd control". Now, when a Code Blue is called, nurses, doctors, patient care techs, unit secretaries, EKG techs, and respiratory techs from all over the hospital show up. There's no such thing as crowd control. The bed that the patient is in becomes the center of a hive of frenetic activity. People running around and doing stuff (which I won't detail) and shouting things and freaking out (in a controlled way, of course). They're there to make sure that the patient doesn't die, which is a good thing. A great thing, really.

When Security shows up to a Code Blue, 999 times out of 1000 we show up and stand around for a few minutes (out of the way, because nurses WILL shove you) and then take off. Every once in a few years we'll get a family member who's freaking out and needs to be controlled, but for the most part, we're just there for looks.

Now, on to the locked door thing mentioned in the title.

I showed up to a Code Blue yesterday, in a secure unit that has doors that automatically open when you scan your badge. The motors to the door opening mechanisms (and the locks) are electric, and they don't like being pulled on. Actually, they hate it. Let's go over the steps of what happens when someone pulls on the door.

1. Door is pulled from the outside. Door goes clunk, locked.
2. Door freaks out. It won't open unless you use your scan badge, or the emergency push bar inside.
3. Someone badges in properly, or pushes the "Door Open" button inside.
4. The door unlocks and opens just a little bit, and then hangs there for five seconds.
5. Both doors slowly open as the motors and sensors reset themselves, and then slowly close.

If this process is interrupted, it starts over. So when the door pops open and hangs for five seconds and someone yanks the door open, the system freaks out and starts over.

I was inside the unit yesterday for a Code Blue, and someone pulled the door, despite the hot pink sign just above the handle that says "DO NOT PULL ON THIS DOOR. USE THE BADGE READER.". The door clunked, like it's supposed to, and didn't open.

This is a good thing.

So I pressed the "Door Open" button from the inside, and the door popped open just a little bit, just like it's supposed to. A tech from the EKG department yanked the door open, and then stood there with her foot in front of the door so that it wouldn't close. She'd let it go, and then yank it open again at the last second to let someone else into the unit.

This makes my door (that Security is responsible for keeping locked and operational) sad. If someone does this enough, the electric motors that control the door openers will burn out, and then the doors won't open automatically at all. They'll have to order the parts, and the door will be on "manual operation" for at least a few days, if not weeks (which the nurses and doctors don't seem to understand). I get calls daily, sometimes hourly, asking why the doors aren't working, why we don't have the parts (we don't handle the physical maintenance of the doors, as it's done by a contract company), and why we don't just go buy the parts and fix it ourselves.

Needless to say, I was not happy.

So I told this tech to stop pulling on the door, to just let it close, that she was going to burn out the electric motors. She snapped at me, "I just held it because the patient's doctor is coming. You don't have to be all bitchy about it.".

Now...I understand that the patient's doctor was coming. I get that. The only problem with that, is that the EKG tech doesn't know every patient's doctor, and even if she did, I'd seen three doctors get turned away, because there was such an excess already.

What bothers me is that I explained what I needed her to do (or not do, in this case), and why. I didn't say "Take your god damned hands of my mother fucking door.", no. I just explained what I needed, and why I needed it.

If I said something like "You don't have to be all bitchy about it." to any person in this hospital with the possible exceptions of my fellow Security Officers, our Engineers, or some of the Emergency Room doctors and nurses (Hug an ER doc or nurse next time you see them, for they are awesome), I'd be written up and very probably fired.

I'm Security, so it's my job to be the bad guy and tell people no. When a patient wants to smoke in the room and the nurses can't convince them not to, I get the joyful task of taking their smoking items away. When someone wants to leave, but can't because they're on a psych hold, and they start getting violent, I get the job of helping to tie them to the bed. I step in and take the hits, I get complaints heaped upon my head because I'm the "bad guy", and I honestly don't mind these things. I kinda enjoy it, honestly. If I'm not getting complained on by patients and visitors, I'm probably not doing my job right.

What bothers me is that when I tell a staff member, who should know better than to pull on a door that SAYS IN LARGE BLACK LETTERS ON HOT PINK PAPER "DO NOT PULL ON THIS DOOR", not to pull on the door, because I'm trying to save her from having problems later on, I'm still the bad guy.




Also, we've got an entrance to the hospital that's locked on the weekends. The automatic opener on the sliding glass doors shuts down from the outside, unless you have a badge. On both of the doors, in fairly large print, are the hours for these doors. Under "Saturday and Sunday", there's a line that reads "Badge Access Only". These words are right at eye level, and there are signs posted at both entries of the parking lot to that effect, and yet people insist on walking up to the doors, staring at them like idiots, waving their hands at the sensor, and then pulling the doors open.

Then I get calls that the door is broken, as it won't open from the outside. When I explain that those particular doors aren't supposed to open from the outside, I get yelled at, because "That's a stupid rule." and "Who came up with that?" and "Well, I parked over there, and so I'm just going to use that entrance.".

And once again, because someone else did something stupid, I'm the bad guy.

I hate people sometimes...

21 October 2011


So, I write. In my free time, in my not so free time. I'm a writer. I love nothing more (except my sweetheart) than having an idea, and a reason to write. When I get myself a decent writing partner, I can write for days and days and days.

When everybody around me sucks (and I only judge because I'm an elitist douche, and I know that I'm not as good as most of the writers I've had the good fortune to write with), I'm miserable. Or when everybody around me has a life that interrupts their writing, that's even worse.

Why the hell should other people's lives not revolve around me? Just because I work Friday through Monday, and I wind up with three days off during the week, and at least 24 (cumulative) hours in which to write through my work week, doesn't mean anybody else should think that their so-called "life" is more important than writing with me. Oh, no.

Obviously I'm the center of the writing universe. All others are simply fodder for my NEED to write shiny things.

And that is why I'm a sadface when I have nothing to write. Like now. *sadface* :(

So tired....

Ugh. I'm so freakin' the title of this post. 

Spent yesterday morning at work, doing some overtime. Didn't have to work very hard, but I was up at 0630. After that I went home and changed, then we started running errands before a fancy dinner out with friends, followed by hanging at the in-laws' place. Came home, finished my book, and then got to bed at 0030. Woke up several times during the night from being cold or just having to roll over. Then got up again at 0630. 

Today, though, I don't have anything to do after work. Fiancé is taking her little bro and his girlfriend costume shopping because he's gotta wear one for work (When did they become mandatory? Most jobs I've ever had disallowed costumes.) and some "game" he's running at the school's fall festival or something.

Speaking of costumes, Halloween sucks for a fat guy. Just sayin'. It's hard to be anything particularly creative without spending either a ton on a custom costume, or assembling one yourself. Also, it's near to impossible finding a creative costume on two days notice when you're broke. 

So, complainy complain whiny whine. I think I'm gonna just grab a plastic spoon and some fake blood and be a cereal killer. 

20 October 2011

Stuff and Junk

So I got up this morning, and realized that I haven't posted in two days. Dammit. I was hoping to have at least a weeks worth of daily posts before I went all "hurr durr" and forgot about this.

Also, I got up this morning and my car wouldn't start. Because of the cold...in Houston...in October. What the hell kind of super crack is Mother Nature smoking? They say "The hotter the summer, the colder the winter", but I say bullshit. Summers have been getting hotter and hotter over the last 20 years that I can remember, and the winters have been comparatively mild.

If our record setting highs this summer are any indication of the winter to come...JEEZUS!!!! I suddenly feel the need to dress up like Sean Bean and hold a sword while saying "Winter is coming..." in an ominous voice. Houston's going to go full on retarded. People freak out if the temperature drops below 50, and we're expecting our first dip into the 40's since April of this year. It's only October 20th.




17 October 2011

Too many words....

So I'm sitting here at work, and am waiting on replies to several posts on one of the RPG message boards where I play, and I got to thinking.

I know blogging is sort of like having a journal or diary that everybody (or in my case, nobody) reads, and so it sort of bothers me to blog more than once in a day. Of course, this leads to the conundrum of me forgetting that I even have a blog, and it going unnoticed for months and months and perhaps years and years. Pause...

Okay, so I'm back. I just set myself an alarm to remind myself that I have a blog every day that I work. On my days off, I still hope to remember, but my Sweetheart would probably be mad if I woke her up early every day (because 0900 is early) to remind myself about a blog that I might or might not post on that day.

Also, my hope is to post every day, but I do enjoy sleeping in. When she's curled up next to me and I am trapped between the wall and her toasty warm blanket stealing self...well, I can think of worse places to be.

Also, my phone sits across the room from the bed on the charger (so that when the alarm goes off I HAVE to get outta bed to shut it off), and if I'm toasty warm and seven kinds of comfy in bed...well, fuck that noise. Maybe if I'm only six kinds of comfy, but not seven.

So, yeah. That's all. Blogging once a day is cool. More than once bugs me.

Down with a sickness, and not in a rock music kind of way...

Well, good morning, world. And a fine Fuck You, too.

I'm sick. I've been sick for 8 days now. And not your normal kind of sickness. Oh no. I'm sick like I've never been sick before in my life.

Of course, I don't get sick much, so that's not really saying a whole lot.

It started last Sunday with a tickle in the back of my throat. I knew when it started that it would develop into tonsillitis. I get it twice a year. Once in the spring, and once in the fall. Been that way since my early teenage years. Other than that, I don't get sick. I can be around sick people, sleep next to my sick girlfriend, care for sick children. Hell, I work in a hospital, and I still never get sick.

Thank you, US Army.

When I went into Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, they stuck me in a room with a bunch of guys from (not just all over the country) all over the world. Germs from places I'd never even heard of attacked me, and I was sick for two days, and then all of a sudden my immune system got it's pussy ass up off the floor and became a FUCKING MONSTER!

Since then, tonsillitis knocks me down twice a year, and that's it. Last time I went to a doctor for it I was sixteen, and after me and my dad telling him that I was allergic to penicillin and had a long family history of the allergy, the mother fucker gave me meds with penicillin in them.

When I swelled up, broke out in hives, and had trouble breathing, I was a little freaked. We went back the next day and he said "Hey, whaddaya know? You're allergic to penicillin!".

Fucking brilliant, doc. Since then, no doctors other than military entry and exit physicals.

So, instead of seeking treatment, I self medicate on my days off with NyQuil (the hardcore green kind. Fuck that nasty "cherry flavored" bullshit) and chloraseptic spray (again, hardcore green. Fuck cherries [heh, the perverted twelve year old in my brain just giggled]). I take NyQuil, lay down in bed, go into a Jedi trance, and twelve to sixteen hours later, I come out of my "healing coma" feeling like a boss. Simple, routine, perfect.

Last Sunday, my throat tickle (which sounds unbelievably inappropriate) was exposed to smoke and dry chemical fire extinguisher material. Needless to say, there was a fire at work. Everybody's fine, and there was little damage done, but my throat was a little raw. Understandably so, of course, but it didn't stop there.

I checked with one of the ER doctors before I left work, and he cleared me of any hazards associated with the chemical. Basically told me to walk it off. Which is cool. I dig my ER docs for being like that. I went home with a little tiny cough and went to bed. As the night wore on, my cough got worse, and I went ahead and called in sick to work for Monday morning.

Woke up Monday, and I couldn't put air through my nose. In or out. Not only was it full of mucous, the interior lining of my nose had swollen up so much that I couldn't use it. I had to expend an entire lungful of highly pressurized air just to clear the snot out so that the sinus-y nose flesh could swell some more.

Needless to say, it was not my most attractive moment.

Tuesday I woke up and my nose was fine, but my cough was back with some chest congestion, and my right ear was all wonky. By wonky I mean it sounded like I had fluid in my ear, but I couldn't hear it moving. It was like my right ear was underwater, without that little air bubble that gets trapped when you're swimming. Totally threw off my balance for the whole day.

Now, at this point, I was sick of being sick, but a little intrigued too. I'd never had a cough, or balance issues, and that nose thing was crazy, right? So I was interested to see what Wednesday brought.

Coughing, it turns out. Coughing that refuses to go away. Not having nasal congestion problems, but if I try to speak too much, I get this tickle (a different kind) in my throat like there's a dandelion poof hitting the back of my throat. It's low in my throat, and I when I cough low enough to rattle my chest, it helps. Otherwise my coughs are high, like just at the back of my tongue, and that part of my throat is raw. 

My fiancee, whom I love to death, and I know she's just trying to look out for me, has insisted several times over the last few days that I go see a doctor. I keep brushing her off (not unkindly, mind you) because I'm not that sick. I feel bad, and it sucks, but I'm just not bad off enough to go see someone who (in my brain) is most certainly going to try and kill me with penicillin.

I don't have a primary care provider, and haven't needed one in well over a decade. I don't get sick, I don't need a doctor. Nice and simple. Sure, I've got health insurance, but just the bare minimum that I can have. I have to have insurance, just so that my paranoid brain can rest a little easier, but I've not used my own insurance for anything other than an eye exam for new glasses. Ever. Since I started working, my insurance has been wasted.

So I keep telling her that I don't need a doctor, and when she insisted that I do, I said "Well, I don't have a primary care provider, and I'm certainly not driving all the way back to Pasadena (where I was when my insurance was set up) to the one that was automatically assigned to me when I got the insurance.".

Then she dropped the ultimatum.

"If you don't get into your insurance and find a doctor and go get checked out tomorrow, you can't go on your man-date of epic sword dueling on Wednesday.".


Slow the fuck down.

You're telling me what I can and can't do? Who the fuck do you think you are? Telling me I can't hang out with my friends just because you say so? Please. I'm a man. You don't make my choices for me. Go ahead and try to stop me from doing what I want. See what happens.

Also, now that I've successfully proven my manly status to the interwebz, I love you, and I've already found a doctor out in our area, and I'm going to call as soon as I get home to see when I can get an appointment.

TL;DR- I'm going to the doctor today.

16 October 2011

I suppose I should introduce myself...

Hi there. I'm Joe. This is my blog. Now that I've successfully hidden my identity as Captain Obvious I can-



Okay, so now that the hard part is out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks (why is that even a saying? Who gets down to brass tacks? Wouldn't that hurt?).

I'm from Texas, but not "Movie Texas".
     -see http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GreaterHouston

I can ride a horse, but I don't own one, and haven't been within fifty yards of one in well over a decade. I have to drive half an hour to see any "pasture".

I've never been considered a "cowboy" by anyone (though my mom liked to dress me like one when I was a kid). I absolutely loathe tight fitting jeans, and I hate long sleeved shirts because they cover up my tattoos. Also because it's almost never ever ever cold enough for them in real life here. We have two seasons here: Summer, and Not Summer (which is late December through mid February, when we still wear shorts).

I don't chew tobacco, though I used to (a terrible habit I picked up in the Army), and my preferred brand when I did wasn't Skoal or Copenhagen.

I don't drive a truck. I've never even owned a truck (though I should, because they're useful). I drive a Saturn Ion currently, and am thinking that my next vehicle will probably be a Kia SUV of some kind.

I don't speak with a thick southern accent. Think Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory's Dr. Sheldon Cooper) only less nasally.

I don't grill much, but I do love to cook. I do most of the cooking in my house, since I'm super territorial about my kitchen.

I don't go to a church of any kind. I was raised Southern Baptist, and that pretty much ruined any kind of organized religion for me forever. I do believe in some sort of supreme being, but I can't put a name to it. God, Mother Nature, the Force (yes, like Star Wars), the Flying Spaghetti Monster...I don't know, but there's someone looking out for me.

I went into the Army to travel and see the world, while getting free training. Good deal, I think. I'm patriotic, but it's a result of my time in the Army, not a result of my birthplace. I support our troops wholeheartedly and I always will, even if I don't agree with the orders they're given.

I think that everybody has the right to be happy, regardless of their sexual preference. People who disagree are close-minded cockmongers. And not in a good way.

So, yeah.