Coping: With Woo-Woo, Being 67, and Gone Driverless

imageThe first bit of Woo this morning was that after working for about 8-hours on Thursday, I decided to take a 2-hour nap. 

This is not common for me, at all.  Usually I’ve got more pee & vinegar in me than a SaniCan outside a salad bar.

This was odd in that it felt like a phenomena we have talked about before:  something I call the “earthquake tiredness.”

It doesn’t happen all the time, but the sequence of events seems to be something like this:  I’ll be going along with the usual energy levels, and then at no time in particular, there will come this wave of dog tired over me. 

It usually passes after a nap – anywhere from 2 to 12 hours will do the trick – and then all the energy levels are back to normal, if not higher.  Thing is, there is usually a 6+ earthquake along in the 48-hours after the nap.

For sure, you could make the argument that 6+ quakes are frequent enough that I should not be surprised by the proximity of one.  And I’ve been through all the math.  Still, it’s a different texture of tired, if that makes sense.

Doesn’t seem to be health related.  I’m smart enough to check blood pressure on the spot and take a second baby aspirin and 500 mg of turmeric, but it doesn’t seem to be related to a health issue.  BP 68/127 with a serious load of Folgers.

My pet theory is that some people – millenniums back – somehow got an “early warning” about quakes to come down at the DNA level.  By warning the Neanderthal versions of Ure to sleep in advance of a quake, we could be out of the caves and such.  Those who didn’t have the gene were at higher risk.

To tell the truth, this is an absurd projection on my part.  But, here in the past 10-years or so, I’ve seen even dumber things that this turned into a 10-minute set of talking points and a big name publisher book and a 300 page book.  ISYN.

Besides, now that I have explained the theory, there should be no quake for a while in order to make a fool out of you-know-who.

Which isn’t that difficult, just so’s you know.

The Case of the Flipped Battery

There is one other minor woo to mention and this is a lot like a scene from The Adjustment Bureau, which is one of my favorite flicks.

I have a cheap Sony portable radio on the nightstand on my side of the bed.  (Specifically it is a Sony SRF59SILVER AM/FM Walkman Stereo Radio which I bought for $18.98 on May 7 of last year and which is presently selling for $37 something here in the land of “No Inflation” but that’s not my point…)

The thing about the radio is that it runs on a single AA battery and that will last several weeks of intermittent, got up to pee and can’t get back to sleep, kind of listening.  Half the time the radio gets left on.

Anyway, I have a routine with the radio.  When I am about to sleep again, I simply lower the radio to the floor next to the bed by way of the headphone wires and then lower the headphones as low as I can and drop.

Every “next morning” the radio is there and ready to work again.  If I forget to pick it up, the Elainamator will ensure nothing is on the floor not properly authorized.

So one night last week, the radio wouldn’t work.  “Well, fine, battery is due…”   So I went out to my media chair beside which there are two shortwave radios, a Sony SWF-7600 and a Tecsun PL-660.  Swiped a single battery and put it in.


Then, on a hunch, I flipped the battery in the other way.

Presto!  It works.

But then so did the battery I took out…

Naturally, I figured the spousal unit had “helped”  but she denied ever having touched the radio.  I got the short “I don’t pick up after you…” reminder.

Now this has been bugging me since last week.  Who the hell turned the battery around?

Elaine didn’t (she can be taken at her word).  The cat doesn’t usually get the right batteries – he says the AAA’s are easier for him to paw.  And that’s it.  We’ve been home…no one else comes in the house.  No cat stations around here for Z.

I know this may sound like a trivial thing to mention in a column, but I am worried that this could be a sign of early onset dementia with my too quickly advancing age.  Only a couple of weeks until 66 disappears into the sunset of memories.

Which get’s me to wondering:  Is one of the signs of early on-set aging putting batteries in radios backwards while sleep-listening?

There is no logical answer on this one.  Other than the Philip K. Dick novel’s Adjustment Bureau, but….someone else may have had a similar thing happen, so thought I would ask.

Speaking of Marriage

This is National Shower With a Friend day according to one of the calendar sites.

This is not to be confused with National Drop the Soap Day which last time I looked was April 15…ahem…

Self Driving Car Solution

What a fool I have been on this driverless car issue!

I solved the problem coming home from shopping in Tyler this week coming back from the car key dealy over in Shreveport: Until then, I didn’t realize what a genius I was.

“Here Elaine…you wanna drive?”

She did and presto, I had a car that I didn’t have to drive.  Driverless for free, or nearly so.

Which gets me to wondering if the real market for driverless cars will be drug and alcohol overdosers and those who are single with no one to drive them.

Admittedly, there is one key difference.  In the case of a true driverless car, you can issue commands.  In the Elainermobile, the best you can hope for is a suggestion and even then one needs to pay attention to syntax, tone, inflection, regionalism, and amplitude.   And timing is everything.  The “command word” is “dear.”

Or wear walking shoes.

Driver’s License Time

Got me a new one.  In the past 10 years the two major changes I have encountered in driver licensing are 1) Texans get to give their thumbprints to drive. I was going to ask the lady at the counter what they do with people who don’t have both thumbs, you know, shop or industrial accidents.  2) it now costs $25 instead of $16.

Yes sir, that’s a big increase in government efficiency, I’d say. Only one counter person with 15 people in line.  They were having computer problems…which follow me to Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Brookshires – whatever line I am it, it doesn’t matter.

I break computers, plain as that.

And for Long Suffering Subscriber Jim

He was asking if we still like the little under $150 laptop/convertible tablet/10.1 inch win 10 box.

Hell yeah.  Only $145 now –  best deal out there on a small anywhere box. iRULU Walknbook 10.1 Inch Tablet PC, 32GB Hybrid Laptop, 2-In-1 Tablet, Microsoft Windows 10 OS, Quad Core,1280*800 Resolution, Detachable Keyboard With Stand (Grey).

Ours now lives in the kitchen next to the Amazon Echo.

OK – a short column, as there is much work for Peoplenomics today – another chapter of the Second Depression Handbook due in tomorrow’s report.

Have a great weekend and remember, weekends is when we work for our own accounts, not that of the man.  Yet for some damn reason, most people prefer to watch sports and get drunk and lardo a lot.

But that’s OK, it makes it easier for the rest of us to be “above average” – the level of that is shockingly low.

Write when you break even


36 thoughts on “Coping: With Woo-Woo, Being 67, and Gone Driverless”

  1. George,

    Here’s a game-changer for you:

    How will the insurance industry adjust to self-driving cars? Every “driver” will become a mere passenger, with no liability for any crashes and therefore, no need for insurance (and the hefty premiums paid to the insurance companies).

    And,the providers of the cars will be strictly liable for any crashes – sort of like railroads and airlines. They could sell insurance to those providers, but with the technology getting so good, will there even be any crashes to insure against?

    The personal injury lawyers are in for a similar rude awakening.

    Take it to the bank.

    You’re welcome. No charge.


  2. George, the Walkman issue maybe evidence of you having shifted from one timeline aka “time-stream” to another.

  3. Driverless cars. It’s simple, George. The government will simply pass legislation that eliminates personal injury damages, just like they did for the drug industry. That’s how they do business in your country, if you haven’t noticed. Like the latest GM issue, management decided that death was just another cost of doing business.

    It’s been like that for a while, but you just can’t (choose not to) see it. They advertise prescription drugs on tv with side effects of death. They get away with that because all Americans are exceptional (your president told you so) and therefore those statistics will NEVER apply to them.

    • The decision to buy a driverless car still puts the liability of actions of that car on the owner. How about a driverless car from Zip-Car which is the car’s owner?

      A passenger on a plane that crashes into something is not liable. So, is a passenger in a driverless Zip-Car liable? Wondering…

      And, presuming driverless “allows” high speed driving (right now, Tesla limits their “autopilot” to 5mph over the posted limits) – what else comes into play? People late for an appointment wouldn’t want to let their car do the driving for them. Lots to think about in this area.

  4. Had a nice two-hour visit at the DPS Drivers License office on Tuesday. Here in Carrollton, when you arrive, you are assigned a number.

    Because they had a problem with “number jumpers” they now only let 10 people at a time into the building.

    So instead of punishing the rule breakers, instead they punish the rule followers by making them stand outside in the cold.

    Welcome to the new Amerikka. Where wrong is ignored and right is punished.

    Just sayin’

  5. Why are you so Pro-driverless car, but you are so anti-drone. I am more worried of driverless cars on the limited street/sidewalks at my level, than a drone flying in an infinite sky????…

  6. George:

    I wouldn’t worry, yet, about dementia over your radio. I’ve got a full year of extra “old man” experience on you and I have been alert to any sign of decline. Logically, why would you have wanted to reverse the battery in the first place if the radio was working – which it must have been. Unlikely; worry about something else.

    As to riding shotgun with Elaine, by the time you’ve paid attention to syntax, tone, inflection, regionalism, and amplitude either you’ve forgotten what you were going to say (see paragraph above) or you’ve gone past where you wanted to suggest she turn.

    Best regards,

  7. Weird timing. I, too, took an out-of-character nap yesterday for an hour. I was working and could not keep my eyes open through the report, so finally finished it, signed off and laid down for an hour. Only happens to me maybe 2-3 times a year tops. The last two times I connected it to taking two 500-mg Tylenol instead of just one for a headache, which I hardly use either. I had not taken anything yesterday.

  8. I think have the same convertible tablet, only running Windows 8.1, and love it. Mine has a full size USB 3.0 port, which I LOVE and the reason I bought it over other convertibles, and it also has a micro USB 2.0 port and a micro HDMI port. (plus the micro SC slot for up to a 128 gig card and an audio jack )

    I did try to upgrade my tablet to Windows 10, but Windows 10 decided it needed to battle it out with various hardware in the machine and so the machine decided to play it’s trump card and stop noticing any wireless connections around. The “fix” apparently required manually editing registry entries, which I wasn’t going to do so alas, back to Window 8.1 via an exchange from where I bought it (Micro Center). (I blame Microsoft for it’s crummy Win 10 upgrade – Micro Center tells me that LOTS of various machines from well known vendors do NOT run correctly if upgraded to Win 10 so their general policy is to recommend people to NOT upgrade a Win 7 or Win 8 machine to Win 10 unless absolutely necessary)

    It is so much easier to carry when traveling than my full size laptop (it is not just the size of the unit but the power supply is super small also which reduces the combined weight and size dramatically) which is why I got my version of the same tablet, and I have not been disappointed. If I have any complaint it is about the touchpad – my big fingers keep touching it when typing which then causes text to do strange things including disappearing – so I may just tape a piece of cardboard over the touchpad since I use a plug in mouse anyway (one of the benefits of having a USB port on it). OH … and to get the thing to really shut off one needs to use the old DOS shutdown command, otherwise it will only go to a deep sleep mode and will drain the battery out in a day or so.

  9. 6.4 quake in Taiwan a couple of hours ago. Interesting that I had to lay down and shut my eyes for a while late yesterday afternoon also. I need to track this closer!

  10. It is 1812 central time. Just heard on the news about the 6.4 in Taiwan. I don’t know why I’m surprised anymore when you get it right.

  11. George,

    With the 6.4 earthquake in Taiwan today your “earthquake tiredness” was spot on.

    I was a little worried because I’ve been consulting in Seattle this week and I didn’t want the big one to happen while I’m here.

  12. George,

    Your “earthquake tiredness” was spot on with the 6.4 quake in Taiwan.

    I was worried this morning when I read it. I’m in Seattle this week consulting and didn’t want it to happen here.

  13. l am also nearing 64-when these inexplicable things happe,advancing age usually comes to mind. l have many small unexplained events every week, but recently had a LARGE one…l was driving my usual route down back roads to a small nearby town last week when l noticed a newly placed culvert over a small bridge, surrounded on each side by stacked bags of quikcrete being used as a retaining wall on the sides. Since we just had a new culvert put in last week, l thought “wow, that’s a great idea for the sloping sides of our bridge that go down to the creek.” l noted the location so that l could bring my husband back to show him. The next day we drove to the spot(about 4 miles away), and you guessed it-NO culvert and NO retaining wall. MY husband gave me the “now dear, it must have been another road” routine; l replied that l always take the same 2 roads-l have been driving this route for 23 years.We drove around anyway, to try to solve the mystery, and never saw a culvert or a concrete bag wall….this is bothering me a great deal -did l have a vision or an hallucination or ?????….still looking: l go out every day and drive this area looking for an answer!

    • This is some serious woo woo – was it happening in advance of the Taiwan quake, by chance? That’s when I was having my “tiredness bout” – just wondering G

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