Thursday, September 16, 2010

Look Out! It’s Mom on the Road!

“My new car is making a strange noise when I take the key out of the ignition to get out,” mom said on the phone last night worried, afraid to tell my father. “It’s a buzzing sound. It has been doing it all afternoon. I was almost afraid to drive it all day today.”

I was due for work in an hour, but decided to drive over anyway – worried something was bad wrong with mom’s new Civic. Mom had the garage door up and ready for me when I arrived. I immediately knew what the problem was when I pulled up behind mom’s parked car. Her parking lights were on and the buzzing sound was the car telling her she left her lights on when she took her key out.

“Don’t tell your father!” mom pleaded with me. “I feel so stupid! I can’t believe I had left the lights on. I don’t remember turning them on. They must have been on all day!”

Earlier in the day, mom and I took a long drive down through the Valley again as has become our daily custom after my therapy appointment. She came within inches of slamming into a big Dodge Ram truck. It would have been an airbag moment. 

“Holy Shit!” I exclaimed as mom swerved to miss it. “That was so close!”

My heart was just racing a hundred miles an hour after the incident.  Mom’s hands were shaking violently as she gripped the steering wheel. It seems mom is not going to be able to drive much longer – at least not extended visits through the traffic in town. She will be 66 this March. I am going to drive her to Connie’s down in Auburn next week fearing her driving that long drive down the interstate would prove disastrous. Hopefully, she will still be able to drive to her three hair appointments each week with them being just a half mile from home.  But dad and I are going to have to make a more concerted effort at getting her around. This means lots of doctor’s appointments and waiting in lobbies. I could always just drop her off and she could call me on her cellphone when she is ready to come home I guess. I am also going to do all the driving on our daily trips through the Valley from now on.

Getting Into My Mind…

“Today is the first day I have felt anxiety in over a week,” I told my Therapist somewhat proudly yesterday morning during our therapy session.

“What’s the big change today?” she asked as she studiously looked over my anxiety workbook carefully and all my short notations for this week and last.

“The stress of getting all the way down here,” I replied, feeling that was the most likely culprit. “It is a long drive and the traffic was just absolutely crazy coming down the interstate and within Auburn. I wish you were closer. I don’t much care for driving these days.”

“That’s understandable and normal,” she said as she closed my workbook and folded her hands in her lap.

“So, what else is going on with you?” she asked, trying to lead the conversation after a lull.

“Insomnia,” I replied, exasperated. “I am having the most awful and terrible time sleeping. I sleep in spurts for about three hours at a time, then I am up wide awake again. I repeat this throughout the day. I constantly feel tired not getting eight uninterrupted hours of sleep.”

I told her I am still taking my Ambien which makes me feel groggy somewhat, but I fear I have grown chemically resistant to the Klonopin – those pills doing nothing for me as far as rest goes. They used to make me feel so relaxed and comfortable.  I would enjoy lying in the bed as I felt them take effect. Now, I feel nothing when I take my three for the day as I go to bed. We both agreed to talk to my doctor at the end of September at my next appointment. It is common to grow resistant to benzodiazepines she told me.

“How is your new position going?” she then asked very inquisitively and eagerly after I told her about my new job.

“I love it!” I replied very honestly with much enthusiasm. “I love working nights. My job is very stress free. The night’s are so quiet. I have a passion for electronics and enjoy sharing it with my customers – the few I have.”

“Well, that certainly helps to love your job,” my therapist replied with a smile of encouragement. “You have come so far since our first visits. You’re one of my success stories.”

That made me feel so good with her saying that.

I left therapy for my usual custom of breakfast at Hardee’s as I browsed the web wirelessly with my iPad as I sat and ate – those two steak biscuits being a delicious treat. 

iPad Ruminations…

Don’t worry Apple fans, I am still enjoying my iPad as an internet browsing machine and a media server. I also use it a lot to keep up with the weather for which I am obsessed with, but it is no substitute for my laptop as far as computing at work goes. My favorite use for my iPad is to lay in bed and browse – it being so small, light and convenient. I can’t blog with it, though, I have found which is one of my primary computer uses these days. I realize it is just a very expensive toy. This is an observation and not a criticism mind you. It will never replace my desktop or my laptop for most of my daily computer uses since I am a power user as far as computers go.

Free HDTV!

I clocked in tonight and immediately made a purchase of my own. I purchased a digital optical toslink cable for my HDTV after learning last night I could still get my basic HDTV channels without my cable box. I was overjoyed last night when I reprogrammed my HDTV and it picked up many digital channels that the cable company must allow for free by law since they are available over the air with an antenna. I can’t wait to get home to see if I have Dolby digital surround sound with the channels and the digital optical hookup.

Work has been slow other than that. I’ve had a few people browsing cellphones tonight and asking lots of questions about service plans. These plans are commitments and can get expensive. That’s why the phones are so cheap to purchase. The cell companies make all their money on the service plans which subsidizes the cost of all but the most popular and expensive phones.

One man asked me a question that stumped me about his Charter digital cable service. I have Knology at home and have no idea about Charter. I told him to call his cable company when he got home. He wanted to know if his digital cable had Dolby digital surround sound. I told him I doubted it from my own experiences with Knology’s digital cable. Only the HDTV channels had true surround sound. The digital channels would be in stereo, but it would only be Dolby Pro Logic surround – a big difference from Dolby digital which is true 5.1 surround.

Dating and Women…

Jim showed up on his lunch break at three as usual.

“You always make me so hungry with those deli sandwiches,” I told him with a smile as I rung him up. “They look delicious!”

“What’s going on with you tonight?” Jim asked.

“The usual,” I replied. “Stocking items and cleaning and straightening shelves.”

“That’s my job,” Jim told me. “That’s what I do for eight hours every night in the grocery department. I loathe it!”

We didn’t discuss politics or religion tonight much to my relief. We talked about women for a change, and it was a nice change.

“I’ve never been married,” he told me. “But I’ve dated a lot of women.”

I can’t imagine a woman being interested in Jim. To be frank, he is quite frumpy and disheveled looking every night. I guess there is a woman for every man it seems. I smiled at the thought of some of the women Jim might have dated over the years.

My dating life has been put on hold for the time being with me working nights. Stacey is entirely not happy with it either. We do try to get together every night for supper which I prepare, but we don’t get to go out to eat which she so adores. She misses us sleeping nights together as well and our nightly ritual of lying in the bed as we browse the web. I don’t know much what to do about it, but hope for the best. Maybe a position in days will open up in the next few months, but I am not getting my hopes up. I doubt Derrick will be quitting soon. He has worked in electronics for years.

An Email from a Reader…

Hi Jonathon,
I've been a long-time reader but don't comment much.

I wonder if you can give me some advice?  It is computer/web-site related.

Recently my grandson stayed with me for about a month. While here, he found this website:

and he watched about 4 scary/zombie type movies on it and a couple new movies that are still in the theaters at this time.  He said he did not download anything, did not join names exchanged, no passwords required.....but he enjoyed the movies in their entirety, although some of them weren't the best quality. I have excellent virus protection as well as a firewall and it did permit him to go there.  I've scanned my system several times since and I did not pick up any viruses or spyware from the site.

My question is......Can this be legal?  My dad always told me "there is no free lunch" and I am suspicious. Remember all the trouble those people got into from songs on Napster?  My grandson says its "streaming" and since you're not downloading anything and only watching without keeping it, its not illegal.  Is this true?  Do you know?  I'm afraid to go back there.

Thanks for any help you can give me. I love reading your are such an inspiration to so many. Do you have any idea how many people look up to you?  God Bless you and yours.

Reader, your dad was right. There is no free lunch and this website is doing this illegally. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is.  Since it is streaming, you are less likely to get sued than the offending website. You just can’t own a copy of the movies in question. 

This brings me to something I have been saying for years – that these media companies have got to start making these movies and music easily available online for purchase to skirt piracy. I quit downloading music illegally when iTunes arrived on the scene. It was convenient and economical. Anytime I wanted an album or song, I could easily go to iTunes and download it. It was easier than searching on Pirate Bay and going through bittorrent to download it for free. That whole piracy process was a hassle and it stopped when I had an easily viable way to get music on the Internet at .99 cents per song.

Internet Explorer 9 Beta Started Yesterday…

The beta for IE9 started yesterday. You can download it at Microsoft’s homepage. So far, I like it. It is a much quicker and more responsive browser than IE8 or IE7. Hopefully, Microsoft will be as adept at updating as Mozilla is about Firefox. I tried to like Firefox, but found the download manager entirely not to my liking. 


Tee said...

I suspect your mom's driving problem might be over medication. Don't stop her from driving, help her get off those meds.

That was great news with your therapist--you are her success story. You ARE a success story.

You amaze me with all your electronic knowledge. We could have used your help last evening when some weird stuff was happening with our PC. We finally turned it off and walked away. This morning it seems to be working fine. I hear Walmart is going to have a cell phone plan with unlimited minutes for just $45/month with an additional line for $25/month. We are going to look into that since AT&T is ripping us off with their plan!

Gulf Coast said...

I really enjoy your blog...just wanted to post that.

Syd said...

Regarding the blog posting from iPad, did you download the app BlogPress? It works fine for me on my iPad. I have the 3G one. It doesn't replace my laptop or desktop Macs but is good when I just want something light to carry or when I am on the boat. I have no trouble doing posts to Blogger with the iPad.

The legal site for instant movies is NetFlix which will allow you to see a movie right on the computer.

Have a good day.

Jenn said...

I hate driving with my mom. I always drive whenever we go anywhere together.

glittermom said...

I agree, your mom is not too old to drive, its probably the medications shes on...Even some over the counter drugs say not to operate heavy machinery or drive...

This IS The Fun Part! said...

It would be so sad to take away your moms driving. As it is, she has so few opportunities for any freedom or enjoyment at all. Taking away her driving could put her over the edge. Be careful talking to dad about it - he may go overboard and go too far. Try to help her as best you can.

Boy, do I like your doctor! Whoever suggested her needs a big thank you.

Things will sort out for you and Stacey. Where there's a will, there's a way. Y'all will settle into a new routine sooner or later.

Hope the pups enjoyed their lunch sammiches! That sounded so good, I had to go fix myself one, too!

Got two questions for ya:
#1 - What happened to all your GREAT pictures? We need more Maggie and Caramel - and videos from you. Seems like you have just quit cameras altogether!
#2 - How is the painting going? Are you waiting for cooler weather so you can open the windows to let the smell out? Can't wait to see it!

Happy Thursday, my friend!


Judy said...

You are doing amazingly well!! I have been reading your blog for a real long time. I am so very happy for you.

It's Jan! said...

Jonathon, I couldn't be prouder of your progress if you were my own son. I'm sure a new doctor and the therapy helped, but YOU are doing the work!

I have to chime in and agree that Mom's meds have to be re-evaluated! I'm sure any one of them could be the culprit, but your experiences with pharmaceutical overload makes me think Mom may be experiencing the same problem. This is going to be a tough one to deal with, I am afraid...

Best of luck,

Blogger said...

Have used AVG Antivirus for a couple of years now, I recommend this product to all you.