Coping: With Serious, Personal, WoWW

(Amarillo, TX)  As the sun comes up over the Texas Panhandle this morning, and the winds have died down so the scent of the feedlot operations west of town are down, Ures truly is slowly on the mend from one of the finest encounter with the World of Woo-Woo, WoWW, ever.

The tale begins on Tuesday morning after publishing the UrbanSurvival column.  I was dead tired after grabbing breakfast,  and so I decided to snooze a bit before hitting the shower and heading out on the road for our next stop, a casino-hotel outside of Albuquerque, NM. It was only supposed to be a 4-5 hour drive…Besides, I had gotten up at 2 AM local time to write the Tuesday column due to the time zone changes from home base.

While snoozing, I had what can only be described as a “vision” kind of dream. 

In it, there was a road closure with all kinds of “Lane Closed” signs out and about, such that our car was being routed to the right and around a problem area.  The dream was so remarkable that I told Elaine about it on waking.  The intensity of the orange flags for the road closure was particularly intense.

Not that we were apprehensive, at all.  It just felt like a kind of “preview” dream like it was something we should be ready for.

So we headed out from Payson, AZ, up the side of the Mogollon Rim to Heber, AZ, where we planned to take the cutoff road (277) and head over to Holbrook, AZ where we would hop on Interstate 40 as our return journey got underway.

And now we get to the WoWW part.

As we were coming into Heber, there was an electronic overhead  sign that informed us that 277  was closed and that we would have to reroute.

The reason?  There was a fatal car accident up ahead that likely had just happened about the time of, or just after, my oddly prescient dream!

We filled up with gas at the Heber Chevron station, decided to drive up 277 anyway, on the chance that the road would be reopened, but after a mile and seeing all the tail lights in the line of delayed cars, we went back down 277 and took highway 260 on up to Showlow, AZ and from there to Snowflake and then into Holbrook.

As we were getting back onto 260, eastbound, it occurred to me that “Hmmm… odd metaphor in the dream about the lane closure and going off to the right because that’s where 260 went. “ I maybe should have followed the “dream advice” about going right to keep out of the way…

All of which was interesting, certainly a bit suspect, and we mused about it most of the way up to Show  Low.  That town was named after a famous card game, by the way.  In fact, the winning card even has the main drag named after it:  Deuce of Clubs…. I kid you not.

After making the turn from Show Low toward Snowflake, and getting about five miles outside of town, what do you suppose we run into?

All kinds of “Lane closed ahead” and “Move Right” and “Prepare to stop” signs.

Due to our being delayed by taking a shortcut (featuring a 15 MPH school zone) from 260 off Old Linden Road (or some such) we were just in time for the lane closure signs to be coming down.  But the direction still had cars lined up on the shoulder and being led through with a pilot truck.

About here, I started having more of those “Well, I’ll be damned…” moments as I tried to figure out the precise mechanism of my prophetic dream and the events of the morning. 

There had been a kind of “feeling” about the snooze, both going into it and coming out, that….well, I can relive it, but I don’t think I can put it into words, exactly.  It’s a kind of “cloud” that comes along when I don’t have much on my mind.  No stress, just going with the flow of life.  Weirdly put, that it’s it…a kind of white/blue cloud kind of thing that brings nearly total clarity.

Oh, also a reminder to avoid a guy (an image of his face was burned into memory) who was carrying a Glock right side hip holster under a brown horizontal striped golf shirt, slacks, and who had a squarish face with rounded off features. He hasn’t shown up yet.  But that part of the dream was “don’t chase him and confront him  yourself, get the cops …really odd…

So there you have it…another brush with the WoWW as I see it.  After all, I don’t dream, about trips, I don’t dream about lane closures, I don’t dream about “detour off our road and going to the right” and I certainly don’t tell Elaine about bright orange street work signs, and then run into all of the above in a two and a half hours period following the dream!

The one thing out of the ordinary was that before taking the snooze, I had eaten some breakfast.  It was the rancher special at the casino restaurant:  Two eggs over easy, hash browns,  a bit slam of ham, and two pancakes with butter.  No milk, just a glass of water.  But there was butter and syrup on the pancakes…

No telling if it was the right combination of sleep, stress relief, food, or what, but it was a curious set of circumstances that seems worth reporting.

WoWW and Disappearing People

Reader Georgia thinks you might find this video about people going missing from National Parks worth being aware of…especially if you’re thinking about going hiking in the wilds…


Researcher David Paulides has several books on point but you could start with his Missing 411-North America and Beyond: Stories of people who have disappeared in remote locations of North America and five other countries.

Writing and Travel

I did want to seek your comments on the idea of changing the writing and publishing time of UrbanSurvival, because it’s a real beast to keep on schedule when we head west.

The daily column generally spills onto the Internet about 7:55 AM Central Time and that allows me a few minutes to process economic stories, like today’s Retail Sales figures, and have things fresh for the morning readership.

To do this, I  start writing about 4 AM and it’s all done by 8:00 AM.

When we go west two time zones (and let’s toss in Daylight time, too, while we’re at it) it means starting the writing at 2 AM and finished by 6 AM.

I’ve considered moving to a different time zone, and truth be told, one of my reasons for not moving back to the Pacific Northwest (beside Fukushima, earthquake risks, and ridiculous home prices) is this time zone issue.  The idea of a semi-permanent 2 AM wake up isn’t exactly a retirement dream come true.

On the other hand, had I not done so badly in Ms. Harvey’s 8th grade Spanish class,, as a kid, moving to Spain would make a lot of sense.  We’d be able to stay up late, party, and still sleep in to a respectable time and have plenty of time to write a column in time for that 8 AM Central time that seems to be about optimal.

Had Ms. Harvey been ugly (she was a total stone fox babe and a half) and not built like a brick you-know-what, I might have paid attention to what was going on in class, and not been so distracted by her being hot (I mean smokin) and me being young and easily distracted.

But, since I can’t rewrite history, moving to Spain or Portugal is off my list. I keep getting the Plimsuer   and Rosetta Stone ads…they must be hoping I’d forget Ms. Harvey, which ain’t happening…

We don’t know a lot of people on the East Coast, and then there’s still those shaky Canary Islands to think about.

It all brings us around to wondering what’s the best move.  For now, the morning publishing times seem best.,  When I do write ahead (the undated) parts of the column, it lacks some of the spontaneity that comes from sleep and waking up to Senators babbling on about climate change.

It’s like “If we can’t find enough ways to piss away tax dollars by fighting senseless wars and giving away guarantees to two-week old governments (like Ukraine) maybe we can do it by outspending Mother Nature…”  It proves to me that the “best and brightest” aren’t the ones leading us…one of the major factory defects the Founders overlooked.

Idiocy is particularly clear when I’m just out of the rack and the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.

The same problem exists with Peoplenomics, but since the articles there require time and research, a good bit of them is prewritten.  That allows time for proofreading…one of those luxuries in my world.

Getting into the Albuquerque place, Tuesday night, however, I discovered after dinner (9 PM)_ that the advertised “free internet” didn’t work.  The hotel had insufficient capacity…so I worked on how to get around that until midnight…and then up at 3 AM…when I finally got a connection solid enough for publishing.

Reliability is key around here.  Some websites have the luxury of content that is not time-critical.  If you ever decide to be a writer (I’m going to, one of these days) be sure to pick something that has a good shelf life.  Being topical means being up early and that’s just the facts of how life works.

Why employers, in general, can’t see this is a mystery.  Instead of putting “productivity” out there as the Holy Grail of Capitalist Economics, couldn’t we put “Shorter work week” and “more time off” (with pay and benefits) out there?

Oh-oh…topic drift is setting time.  Time for more coffee and a return to searching for a point to this morning…

OK, time to hit the shower, shortly, amble back to the Outback…more tomorrow.

Write when you get rich, break-even, or just get a wild hair…and don’t forget to send in WoWW reports…