May 4th, 2011

#2701: Never, never, never stay at Days Inn if you can help it

...unless you're on vacation and not intending to use the Internet. Days Inn's "free Internet" is for the birds.

No, it sucks.

It's slow. It's laggy as hell. Before you can access the Internet you have to undergo a "validation" process and you have to agree to terms of service.

All of this I discovered last night, and while it annoyed me I wasn't going to worry too much about it.

Today, however, I'm getting supremely annoying banner ads across the top of nearly every site I visit; it doesn't scroll out of view and it's the asshole flashing kind which makes it impossible to concentrate on anything else on the screen. It's gone now, and good thing, because I was seriously considering packing up my stuff, going to the front desk, and telling them to stick their Internet where the sun don't shine because I'm checking out of this shithole and going to a hotel which offers real free Internet without ads.

Trying to play WoW last night I was getting latency as high as four seconds. That's four thousand milliseconds for those of you who don't know your decimals.

Here's how that works in a game like WoW: you enter combat. You press a key to cast a spell. The monster beats the everloving shit out of you. Eventually, you cast the spell, if you're not dead first.

*sigh*

...so it looks like old Ormus will be working on his Archaeology for the rest of the week.

* * *

There is no epidemic of autism. We're seeing more cases of autism now because doctors are diagnosing it more often, because we know more about it than we used to.

Turns out that if you check the adult population for autism, it turns up at exactly the same rate as in the newborn population. Vaccinations don't have a thing to do with it.

* * *

Che was a murderer and anyone who wears his face on a t-shirt is either woefully ignorant or just plain evil.

* * *

I slept well enough, I guess. I got to work around 6:35 and had to wait for the gates to be opened, but that was okay because I had to choke down two egg McMuffins. I was hungry but the smell of them nauseated me; I managed to eat one and most of the other one, but it was not exactly an enjoyable meal.

By lunchtime I was starving so I hit McDonald's again for a Big Mac. That, at least, tasted good.

I think tonight's dinner is going to be chicken lo mein from the Chinese place I found last week, and I'm going to stop at a Subway to get a sandwich for breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

...after a shower, of course. Today I worked through my break and stayed until about 4:45, because they're letting me do that now; and the robot cell is nearly finished with the "erector set" stuff. I have three of the four walls complete, and when I called it quits for the day I had just finished part of the delivery chute. It's nearly ready for the conveyor belt, the video system, the lights; air piping, wiring, dust collection, sensors, etc, etc. I need to finish the fourth wall first, but it is coming along. Everything inside the cell (but for various sensors and the conveyor) has been bolted down for good.

The extra-cool thing is that I cut my own plexiglas for the delivery chute surround. I was told where there was some scrap I could use, and I marked it up and fired up the bandsaw and vzzzzzzz had what I needed, so I was able to finish that part. It's awesome just to be able to make what you need.

I still need two larger pieces of plexi, and the actual chute itself is still not built, but it's actually beginning to look as if I'm building something useful. Which, y'know, after six full days of work it for damn sure ought to.

It's tedious, but if it was nothing but fun and games, they wouldn't have to pay people to do it, now would they? And now that I'm actually getting things done I'm starting to get the feeling of accomplishment that is what makes me like to do all this kind of stuff in the first place. And though it's something I've never done before--and I've made plenty of mistakes--it's still a damn good job, at least to my eyes. WTF--ten days ago it was a table with a bunch of crap all over it, and nothing was mounted or even anywhere near it. Not quite fifty hours of work later, it looks like something useful.

I still don't know how we're going to proceed from here. I'm going to have to find a place to live down here, I guess, and I'll have to get the Jeep's trailer hitch finalized so I can tow a U-Haul with my large furniture items. But that stuff takes time; what do I do, live out of a hotel while apartment-hunting? *sigh*

I'm still not entirely convinced that the commute is impossible. I had one good day and one rotten one, and if I'd been able to sleep Monday night there wouldn't have been a problem. I even took Xanax and that didn't help. My brother offered to get me an RX for a sleep aid but for crying out loud, if Xanax doesn't help I doubt anything else will.

Now that I've finally gotten a handle on what it is that bothers me about this situation, it's easier to understand why I feel the way I do. It's not easier to deal with, but with understanding at least there is some tiny bit of solace in the fact that I'm not just being lazy and there's an actual reason for me to feel the way I do.

It's not that I don't want to work; it's that I don't want to leave my home.

That's why getting a job with Og's employer would have been ideal: I could have stayed there and been fine; and after a year or two I probably would have been in a place where I could just buy the house and not have to move at all.

With the way it worked out, I'm looking at moving out and living down here, and probably not ever living in that house again; and when I think about it, it's almost more than I can bear. That place is home, damn it.

If I had been able to remain in Cedar Rapids, if I'd not lost my career as a tech writer, if I'd been able to buy a house there, none of this would be a problem. It's because I moved back home for seven years that I'm facing this feeling.

Still, there's no way to tell how things are going to work out. The housing market is for shit right now. My brother estimates the place will be on the market for a year before it sells, and it's nowhere near ready for placement on the market. We'll be lucky if it only takes a year from now to do that, because we're all very busy people, after all.

I expect to remain with [employer] as long as they'll have me, but you never know what the future holds. When I moved out in 1997 I did not expect to move back six years later; I expected to be out on my own from then on. Maybe I'll end up back there in a few years, just like before.

I'm such an idiot.

* * *

...BTW Pat Quinn is saying he'll veto the "shall issue" concealed carry law if it hits his desk. Of course. "What if you bump into someone in a supermarket, and he's carrying a gun?" Quinn asks.

What if? Ask Indiana residents. Indiana is a "shall issue" state and there don't seem to be too many supermarket shootings like the one Quinn envisions.

You could bump into someone at the supermarket in Illinois right now and the guy could be carrying a gun illegally, and someone who's ignoring the gun laws might be enough of a criminal to decide he wants to shoot you for the offense of bumping into him. WTF, the presence of a legally-carried firearm doesn't increase the chances of violent crime, but of course Quinn is a Democrat and won't waste any time thinking about the facts or anything. Shit.

* * *

Okay, I need food.