Building PCs, quitting jobs, and intents to vacate

KC put in her notice yesterday after meeting with HR about the (im)possibility of working from home/remote. It’s funny the university doesn’t allow it when most of their staff does so anyway. Their loss, and she was often bored silly in her role most days.

I also put in our intent to vacate, it felt nice after receiving notice rent would be going up by $100… from $1495 to $1595 LMFAO. I composed them a longer email about how I expect a minimum of maintenance services for anywhere near the monthly rent cost.. I ended up having to fix the aircon myself as they kept sending out a nice, but unlicensed tech that didn’t know what the hell he was doing.

I’m really proud of Kasey, I think that she’s going to end up more fulfilled and it’s not like she’s going to become stagnant over the next few. We’ve built her a good spec desktop for the RV and we’ve been talking about learning new skills, doing courses, and gaming on the road, which will come in handy during cold winter months.

RV base load, inverter idle and fridge is manageable overnight. This has some PC load around 6-8pm. Again, at least doubling the bank is going to be necessary. Again, still not looking forward to the work that entails. It’ll go by quickly once I get started, I’m sure.

My sleep has been meh lately. I’m up like a child on Christmas due to the Nvidia launch this morning. It’s funny that I’ve been waking up around 7 or so as KC stopped going into work at the ass crack of dawn these last few weeks and instead goes in around 9. I do need to go back to sleep, so I’ll get on that.

Why do I keep dreaming of you?

It’s been a long time since I wrote an Amanda post, I decided to stop putting energy into it and I’ve been relatively happy. A vast majority of the intrusive thoughts are gone now and I feel like I’ve figured just about everything out, I wrote my narratives and even explained how and why you seemingly changed overnight.

But why the dreams? I mean, I know why, it’s what my brain does after a major relationship and it’s the last part of the healing process, but damn. A few months ago, they were why and such a struggle to be seen. I lost count of the dreams I used to have that were focused around trying to communicate just how badly you were hurting me and asking why, what I did to deserve it.

Now they are different. I’m talking to you now, laying next to you for moments. You’re wanting to work things out, get back together. You, Kasey and I even sat down and Kasey stood up and cried, ran away when you told her we were thinking of getting together again.

It’s about 5:30am now, fresh out of that space, no filter. Fuck, I even asked you why the dreams? Are you sending this energy to me? And you said, with a look on your eye like I should have known and I was crazy for not thinking you could feel anything, “well, yeah, I’m hurting, Ross”.

Amanda went off the deep end in NRE with Kayden and spoke to her ego, autowrote to her “spirit guides” (ego) into hating me and demonizing me. Her personality and complete demeanor changed nearly overnight once Kayden came back into the picture. They’ve been living together, something she said they’d never do, and if I had to bet, I’d say things could be starting to feel a bit ordinary again after what, two years?

But that’s all unfounded assumption on my part and it honestly doesn’t matter. I think it speaks more to my personal mental state when I fall into these spaces and I’m willing to entertain it for the sake of writing to understand. I usually cut it off, mentally, and move onto another task. There is a balance between burying it, and taking time to sit down and process, vs going off the deep end and giving energy to unhelpful thoughts.

My therapist asked me today why I think I have these dreams and why they are hitting me again now. Previously it was due to not being able to understand how someone I trusted, cared about, and that I regretted not being able to be vulnerable and open with could hurt someone like that. I’ve been though some shit in my life, too, but damn, that was especially cruel and cold.

I think it’s coming up as I’m finally closing the last chapter, moving away from Indianapolis. I’ve been here for the last three years, all in the same 10 mile bubble due to agoraphobia. I don’t think I’ve ever had it this bad. December 3rd, the keys are turned in and I’m out of here.

And more than that, I’m in the RV with someone I love and care about who is taking the leap of faith to put in her two weeks and travel with me. Yes, eventually, hopefully finding remote work.

We are going to keep her savings account stacked, her car is paid off and she’s keeping it. She’s in a great place to not be reliant upon me and can hit the ejection seat if needed, it’s a peace of mind both her and I need and it’s smart, mature.

It’ll be really nice to be at my parent’s house and have time to connect with family, my momma and sisters with my hard-won vulnerability and emotional openness I’ve cultivated. Then, hit the road and truly travel, do some soul searching.

I never wanted to live in Indianapolis. Like, Whitestown was fine, it was enough outside of the city at the time. But fuck this eastside inner city bullshit. The people, the traffic, crime, noise, asshole people. Lafayette, Indiana was the biggest city I ever wanted to live in.

I nearly had solid plans to head up to momma’s last weekend, but I got hung up that I’d likely find it much harder coming back here to the point I wouldn’t want to come back. I wanted to move back home all the way back when Amanda and I first started having major trouble, but couldn’t due to the pandemic. I wonder how different things would have turned out for me and my trauma.

But we can ask what if all day long and it isn’t helpful. This is the path I took and sitting here, knowing I should go back to sleep, Kasey gently snoring, knowing she’s going to work in a few hours is exactly where I am right now. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t take the path I did.

And I think, ultimately, that is why I’m dreaming of you more vividly. Moving away from Indy is the last closure, the last chapter, and it’s going to be so nice on the other side of it.

My motherboard for the new computer I’m building should arrive today! I received the CPU, RAM already. The case and new cooler should be here tomorrow. I even ordered some fancy fans with good static pressure to help keep things cool. The laptop sold on eBay and I shipped it yesterday, as did my old CPU. I still need to list my motherboard, case, and a few other things.

Fingers crossed the Nvidia 4090 series doesn’t sell out and is perpetually out of stock when it releases next week.

So much work needs to be done packing, sorting and such. I’ve been lazy and not sleeping well lately. We’ll get it done.

I’m going back to sleep.

Fall. PC rebuild, colder weather solar metrics

8 weeks to go until we are out of here, and I bet it’ll go quickly. KC is asking for remote work or putting in her two weeks this week. Momma and Mike came down Saturday, it was nice to see them.

Kasey had finally gotten the strep I had some weeks later and she’s been off and on this past week, period on top of all of it too. We’ve annoyed each other here and there, which is understandable.

I’m so looking forward to being out of Indianapolis. I went down to the gas station yesterday and a homeless man was very loudly pandering to me..I usually buy a sandwich or something rather for the gentlemen out there, but not when I’m being practically yelled at. I think it’s hard for an empath especially because like, you don’t want to ignore their existence, but you don’t want to get wrapped up and taken advantage of, either, which has happened to me several times in my life.

I’ve leaned more into giving a moment and saying “god bless” as I continue walking, then using COVID as an excuse not to contact further. I almost said I’d need a new excuse eventually, but soon I just won’t be in this shitty city and I won’t have to worry about it. Thank fucking god. Well, until I travel. Portland is mindblowingly bad.

I’ve been doing much better saving money this past month, I really challenged myself to save as much as I can and not give in to whatever that weird trauma is that made me uncomfortable having money in my bank account. Really, no joke. I don’t quite understand it, but I’ve felt uncomfortable having money.

I’ve managed to take that discomfort and enjoy it in some way, I think it’s especially knowing that I’ll be an astronaut soon, traveling in my little lifeboat. Can’t have a breakdown and be fucked, you know?

It’s now a few days later, I have a small footprint PC case coming with a new generation AMD build 😂

silverstone alta g1m

Most critically, and the whole point, it will fit in the RV! I got lucky, it’s the footprint of an ITX, but somehow fits a mATX, 360 radiator, and practically any size GPU. There’s not many interesting mATX cases out there..

AM5 Motherboard pricing FUCKING SUCKS, however, while the 7950X isn’t that bad and DDR5 has dropped price, finally. I’m not sure what to make of the 40 series Nvidia launch, lots of drama and the market is flooded with 30 series. I think we may see initial scarcity and panicking, scalping, then a quick restock and availability. Nvidia got fucked and must commit to their 40 series chip production through TSMC while they are already flooded in 30 series.

I wouldn’t run it past them to artificially choke supply to artificially raise pricing, just as they were doing with mining sales. I also see pricing dropping sooner than later; the initial sticker shock to capture some revenue. Could be wrong, they are already fucking us over with the 4080 drama.

Fingers crossed AM5 sticks with us for the next 3-5 years and there’s a good upgrade path.

Switching gears..

Past 12 hours

Heat Pump metrics are in for fall electrical heating, off grid. Here’s the bigger picture:

Past 24 hours

It was 58F starting at around 9PM and my solar production was over at 7pm (sunset).

I can produce 2.6kW at peak and as you can clearly see, my battery storage is very much lacking at 6.7kWh, reaching 20% (and 120V cutoff) by 7-8am. This technically, barely, scrapes by to sunset to runrise, however, we can’t always have perfect weather, clear panels, and daytime is only going to get shorter.

I do have generator backup, and yes, running the heat pump in heat mode consumes more energy (1,130W vs 500-700W cooling), but still far less than a resistive heater for the same heat output.

The fact is, I’ll need to double, triple the battery bank to be comfortable. 20.1kWh feels like a good target, without going completely overboard and consuming all space with batteries.

Thankfully, if I build my own packs, that’s “only” another $2,503.20 in raw cells, round up to three grand for BMS, compression materials, etc. You can’t buy a pre-assembled battery for around that price and capacity for sure.

I would have to store them in the outside accessible storage area, which is not climate controlled. The heat should be fine, however, the cold, no. The BMS will cut off as expected, but we need to be able to charge. I will need to come up with some sort of safe battery cell heating system.

We should be able to harvest somewhere around 17.5kWh daily under current daytime light and such, very rough calculation. No, that doesn’t provide us with multi-day cloudy/dark sky backup at current load, but I have other heating methods that should make that so pretty easily, such as the diesel heater.

In fact, I think the diesel heater is going to end up bring the primary heating source when off grid. It kept me comfortable last winter and diesel is plentiful to come by. There’s also other optimizations, like not running the heat pump at 72F (where I have it set now), closing off the bedroom (where the heat pump is installed), using a heated blanket, etc.

When on-grid, the heat pump is the most economical way to heat the RV for sure, which is very likely the normal state of things. It’s not like we can go boondock for long stretches of time, I think, at least while society keeps it together.

The heat pump can work in temps as high of 140F for cooling and as low as -22F for heating, which is awesome. It’s why I bought this specific, high efficiency model!

I will need to run DC power cables under the RV and to the storage area, boo.

But that’s enough for this blog post for now, happy Tuesday!

Good morning, 4am; plans to leave Indy, and tech talk

I was a tired bitch and fell asleep at 8pm. The only issue is that my dumb ass body wants to wake me up 5-6 hours later, without fail. Buuuut, if I stop for a second and think of pre-industrial society, that’s the natural rhythm. Fall asleep with the sun, wake up around 2-3am, fuck, read, pray, fall back sleep and feed the farm animals at 5am.

I picked up an Apple Watch Ultra as the sleep tracking is supposed to be awesome and the increased battery life can get me through multiple days. It doesn’t end up tracking my sleep some nights and surely doesn’t track naps at all. The Oura ring was also a bit unreliable, but not as much. The only device that was very accurate at tracking sleep in my experience has been the Fitbit series of devices, and they don’t officially sync with Apple Health.

You can use a 3rd party app to do it, but it’s not optimal. I also had some bugs, the wayfinder watch face wasn’t appearing in the Watch app on iOS and I literally just reset my watch yet again as AirTags in Find My wasn’t syncing to the watch.. “add your items on iPhone”. Hopefully yet another sync fixes it.

I also played phone tag with AppleCare over the last two weeks as messages was taking up 52GB in iCloud and message sync was funky. I finally cleaned up my messages, deleting 90,000 or so since 2018. It took an engineering escalation as deleted messages kept coming back after deletion. I also had to use AppleScript to automatically delete messages, as Apple makes it hard to delete messages on macOS.. no keyboard shortcuts and you can’t bulk select. It’s either an oversight, or an intentional ploy by Apple to keep messages in the cloud for as long as possible.

As for PC and other tech.. AMD AM5 releases tomorrow, gonna pick up a 7950X and a 4950 to rebuild the desktop into an ITX case, a Hyte Revolt 3. The mid tower doesn’t fit in the RV, at least not without taking up valuable desk space. Much of Nvidia’s behavior has been bullshit lately, but it sucks that AMD Radeon is far behind when it comes to Machine Learning acceleration on their cards. Objectively, I’m excited for DLSS 3, I think the massively increased frame rates are going to be epic for PCVR, Microsoft Flightsim getting 100FPS is awesome for VR, or it should be. Without DLSS, it gets around 60FPS and has much studdering due to CPU bound workloads, it’s just how MSFS works.

I still need to install the HAM radio in the RV and swap out the Jeep’s auxiliary lithium battery. I had bought a Chins heated battery and it cell overvoltaged out of the box, also, it was only at 6% SOC, sitting in some warehouse since 2021. The seller says that it does NOT have cell balancing, which is absurd as it’s pretty much a requirement in lithium batteries.

I’m going to bite the bullet and go Battleborn, they make them in Nevada, US and actually balance, match their cells.

I also want to figure out what loads I’d like to power on the Jeep. Of course, camping loads are a given, there is a roof top tent on the RV. I also want to install a “emergency” battery isolator where I can flip a switch and it’ll charge the Jeep’s battery from the lithium aux.

Starlink also comes to mind. I can’t always park the RV where I need it for optimal dishy placement, but I can park the Jeep where I need it and do a Wi-Fi bridge.

Changing gears a bit, KC and I decided to have the house done and move out by the first weekend in December! She’s also going to figure out her work by November. I’m excited to GTFO. Now comes the long process of minimizing and figuring out what we shall take in our new home.

Anyway, time to reach out, again, to Apple Support and figure out this find my issue. Bleh. Have a good day!

Installing a dashcam, throat is better & reflecting on leaving IBM

Finally, my throat feels better! Perfect timing as we go into the weekend. Kasey and I went to Target and I bought some new clothes, just a few things I needed, like socks and undershirts. I wasn’t able to find any button-ups I liked, our local Target’s clothing section was a mess.

We loaded up the bed of the truck with donations to goodwill, it’s time to start slimming down the stuff and figuring out what we’d like to take on the road with us. My biggest project is going to be sorting tools, electronics such as wires, PCBs, and maker stuff. It’s really difficult to get rid of tools, they are just so handy and always usable!

I know it’s easy for people to say they really like the new shiny, but damn, I do really enjoy this Jeep. For the same car payment as the Tesla, it’s just so more functional and I’m looking forward to the snow this winter. The last unanswered question is how slow will the RV be pulling itself, loaded, and the Jeep? Yes, I need to visit some scales to ensure what’s safe to tug around.

Nothing will make you want to install a dash cam more than watching idiots in cars on YouTube. I picked up a front and rear combo cam, the biggest thing I missed from the Tesla. I also picked up an aux panel switch kit.

It’s been 5 days since I started this draft. The baseplate and tow bar is installed!

I still have brake wiring, brake light wiring to go. I chose an invisibrake kit, a permanently installed braking system and the install is going to be involved. Should take me this weekend to get done. I don’t know how anyone would consider towing without supplemental brakes, the RV is heavy enough to stop as it is.

I’m reflecting on some of the reasons I left IBM today. It was six years of service and I was nervous to leave after being at a company for so long. IBM, and my previous boss really took care of me. It was my first startup experience, acquisition and “big job” if that makes sense.

I really kicked ass and contributed in big ways early on. I was the first person hired after the official acquisition, no equity for me, but I have a feeling that my boss at the time really helped put me in a good salary bracket. I heard over time that others made much less for the same role.

The final straw was new management coming in and conflicting management styles. I was asked to submit a doctor’s note to reschedule a 1:1 meeting so I could attend my weekly therapy session, how absurd is that? It immediately threw me back to working a minimum wage fast food job, no thank you.

But IBM had many other ethical issues. Recently, news broke that the board was committing fraud by fudging sales numbers to get bonuses. In the last few years they did a fake “return to office” effort right before COVID to terminate many of their aging workforce, that age discrimination class action is still being fought in court today.

It just feels so ironic considering all of the ethics training we are required to take every year, maybe it’s because IBM needs it. Experiences working at an IBM call center on the Apple account were equally unethical, many were fired just to scam Apple out of hiring bonuses for new headcount instead of receiving raises. This was a close to minimum wage job, too. One employment contractor got health insurance, we did not and when pointed out, we had a pizza party to make up for it, LOL.

I really enjoyed my coworkers and the skills I learned, some really good people. My experiences were good for me to grow professionally and I left things in a good place. As much as IBM struggles and is the underdog in the cloud market, I feel as if they will always be lagging behind with their fragmentation of systems and inability for any one person to meaningfully contribute.

Little things are highly irritating. I shouldn’t have to sign back into slack every other day, it leads me to miss messages and DMs. I shouldn’t have to use several discrete support systems because we can’t use just one fucking support system. And I think one of the most irritating things is the expectation to cross train across teams and learn many systems, each of which someone could get a DBA and spend a lifetime of learning just one.

The teams are also constantly chronically understaffed as IBM doesn’t have the budget to hire, even when people leave. This puts them in a negative death spiral as customers have bad experiences with support, so they leave, IBM looses budget so they don’t hire, or only hire interns/college kids, then more leave as we provide even more piss poor support.

I just don’t understand and it’s never made sense.

Oh, and they fired my boss back in the day so they didn’t have to pay out his equity after the acquisition, I feel. They nailed him for some “security breach” which sounds like to me was him just doing an SOC audit or something. I don’t know the details. I just know that he got shafted, hard. I should reach out and thank him for helping hire me and coming down to Indiana to meet now that I don’t have a conflict of interest.

Anyway, time to get some breakfast and get this wiring done!

Goodbye Tesla, it’s throat hurt-o-clock

The Tesla should be paid off and gone in about 6 hours! I could have waited a bit and got more cash, but honestly; just having it paid off and out of my life is nice. No more Tesla payments or Tesla insurance. No more cunt Elon Musk association or buggy-ass software.

The Tesla is one of the more unreliable vehicles I’ve owned for having 10k miles. I also came from the aspect of openpilot, an alternative, open source vehicle autonomy stack on Prius and Rav 4. Autopilot is behind and feels abandoned compared to openpilot, and I think FSD is really dumb when decent highway/ADAS is the 95% use case.

I can’t stand George Hotz, either, though.

It’s now the next day, before bed. The Tesla is gone and paid off! My semi-rant made it on the front page of the Tesla forums, lol.

I’m kinda just burnt out of vehicle autonomy in general, it’s made me a net worse driver overall and while I miss hacking on code and solving problems, that’s all it really was to me at the end of the day. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m sorely going to miss even having adaptive cruise, but it’s nice to take a good break and return back to basics.

Went into the doc and got my ears cleaned out, also, tested positive for strep throat. I’m just kinda over it at this point and not even the strep is really getting to me past the first day. It’s just kinda like, okay, this is the new normal now. I am happy the COVID brain fog and funk/depression has worn off a bit, though.

Looking forward to riding this once I feel better!

A new Jeep, feeling generally better, and sudden sore throat

I suddenly woke up to the gagging sensation about 30-45 mins ago, not the most pleasant thing to wake up to. My throat was hurting and I was doing that thing where you are half awake, repeatedly swallow, and just want it to go away so you can keep sleeping.

The cat climbing on me woke me up the rest of the way. I woke up Kasey, which I feel pretty bad about now, it’s her first day back to work in a while. It hurts to talk and my throat is smaller. It sucks. I’m gurgling salt water to get the swelling down, I should take some ibuprofen.

I had a mini-panic attack as my first thought, as I was chilling and shaking due to getting out of bed and the A/C being cranked, oh fuck; I somehow got BA5/COVID again. Maybe I had another strain and I have another now due to being out in public and foolishly thinking I was good for a while.

My general body temperature is still elevated at night per my Oura ring. Here’s the night of July 29th, when I was hit like a freight train with COVID

My fever seemed to break on the 5th day. It’s been like 17 days since, clearly out of the woods for major respiratory issues, thankfully!

I did mow the lawn yesterday, I hit some tall weeds and I’m wondering if this is just post-nasal drip and general allergies. My brain fog has been subsiding a bit and I don’t feel so depressed. I was active all day yesterday starting at 7am! I’m going to take it easier today.

Anyway, it’s been about 45 mins since taking the ibuprofen. My nose is running and I’m spitting up some shit from the back of my throat, yep. Very likely post-nasal drip coupled with the bedroom being 64 degrees. Relative humidity in the bedroom has been between 50-60%, so not super dry or anything. I’m going to need to close the vent in the bedroom again.

About the Jeep! Selling the Tesla and good riddance. There are some cool things about the car, it’s just super buggy when it comes to software and it’s unreliable. The speakers and microphone stop working in heavy rain and the car wash, the climate control is fucky, meaning, the aircon sometimes gets confused and just blows at your feet. The climate keeper (runs the A/C when you run into a store, etc) fucks off sometimes for no reason “climate keeper unavailable due to system fault). And as for Autopilot, it’s garbage compared to openpilot. Like, I don’t know how it can be so bad in some situations.

I had an FSD sub, a 99 driving score, and 100 miles under my belt, still didn’t get into FSD during the last opening. They should recall FSD and make the 98% use case acceptable, Autopilot and semi-autonomy.

I also feel like a tool when driving it. Not that a giant Jeep doesn’t make me feel like a different kind of tool, but I’m tired of people thinking it’s “cool” and everywhere I go getting compliments on the car. That may seem like a weird sentiment to have, but like, it’s the Elon worship I can’t stand for a car that’s kinda cool in some areas, but mostly meh to terrible in others.

It’s also insane to think that this thing only weighs 600lbs more than a Tesla Model 3.

Oh god, we’ve become a Chrysler family *barf*

It is ironic that as much as I make fun of Chryslers and the people that drive them, here I am with a slice of American Excess. I went to college in Kokomo around the recession and when all of the Chrysler factory workers were laid off and in my classrooms. Dumb as rocks, ignorant people. Driving through Kokomo and seeing yet another Chrysler with a wheel that fell off on the side of the road.

They make exotic car transmissions right along with your Chrysler 300 transmissions in Kokomo, Indiana LOL.

Something about driving it just feels primitive, raw, yet, comfortable due to the curb weight and long wheelbase. The truck wanders a bit in the lane and there’s a bit of a tire thudding due to the mud tires at low speeds. The windscreen is a brick and your view peering outside is a little restricted, like you are inside something going down the road instead of just floating down the road. Opening the top and going open air is exciting, suddenly the lid of the sardine can is ripped off and the infinite sky greets you.

There’s no automatic emergency braking, no lane keep. No blind spot alerts or adaptive cruise control. The transfer case is heavy and the first few times I shifted into 4wd I felt like I was going to break something. There are exposed hex bolts (intentionally) integrated into the cabin space, and there are holes in the rubber floor mats, and undercarriage, so water can drain onto the ground.

We still have heated cloth seats, a heated steering wheel, and an Alpine audio system with amp and subwoofer. Remote start, fog lights. Built-in nav and some tech features like off-road pages with vehicle vitals. The dash has screens and you can display your range, current media, and so on.

I removed the “Willys” badging and the cheap “Renegade” decals as I considered them to be tacky. I’ll leave the JEEP, trail rated, and 4-wheel drive badging.

I have some upgrades planned and some installed. Door still protectors, cloth flip top for the front as wrangling hard panels suck, and bed cover.

Sun visor organizers with a morale patch area. Some interesting patches

I’m going with a mostly function over form build to remain true to the tacti-cool, rugged aesthetic, with some accents to actively make fun of the masculinity and tactical cultures. Think of my Glock, tactical gloves, along with a rainbow Apple Watch wristband. Or dude showing up to the gun range with an AR-15, rainbow suspenders, driving a Prius.

That’s pretty much my brand right there, LOL.

I loaded up my fancy first aid kit, a new Scott respirator with two cartridges, and my bugout bag with food, water, etc for 72 hours. I have a dechoker onboard and I should remember to pack along a fire extinguisher. Lighter, knife, multitool, flashlight. I would like to figure out some sort of jerry-can mount with lockable fuel to complete the preparedness aspect. I should also install my low battery disconnect.

My goal is to have everything onboard that makes me feel safe so I can just jump in and go, but not so much that it becomes absurd. I think I have a healthy balance right now.

Well, I have a bit of a sore throat now, but I no longer feel like I can’t breathe so that’s cool. I’m getting snot running down the back of my throat which isn’t as cool. Time to take some allergy meds and go the fuck back to sleep.

Aug 10, 2022 – Post COVID derealization

It’s the 12th day since testing positive for COVID, I’m very thankful I survived the scariest parts. My SpO2 never dropped below 95, my fever broke after day 4 or 5. I’m coughing less today and feel a bit less mucusy.

Kasey seems to be doing alright, she never seemed to get a fever or be stuck in bed. It makes me wish I got vax+boosted. I panicked so hard when I tested positive, the fever and trembles hit me like a freight train.

I’m trying to give myself time to fully recover, it takes about two weeks for the worst of it, or so it’s been said. Now that I’m 12 days in, it’s very unlikely I’d be hospitalized due to breathing problems. I have still been sleeping 8-9 hours a night which is unusual for me, I usually get around 6 hours a night, but I’m not complaining. This does lead to more REM sleep, and more dreams.

I’m dealing with some mental/emotional issues, though. I think it’s a combination of things. I was so busy working on the RV solar project day in and day out for a month or two, I completed that work right around getting COVID and the RV can be driven now. That, coupled with suddenly being scared and experiencing being bedridden due to being sick has led me to some derealization/depersonalization feelings.

I just feel kinda lost and disoriented, like everything blends together. Maybe some of it is the pre-COVID feelings and having this big thing to worry about for all this time and now that I’ve had it, the space that was taking up has been released.

I was working with Kasey on breaking down a bedframe to burn and using a pocket knife to separate the fabric, I had to be very careful I didn’t injure myself. I kinda felt like I was watching myself.

I listened to the Derealization/Depersonalization DARE track and it spoke of how our minds can do this when faced with extreme emotions, trying to save us from our feelings and such. It makes sense. COVID can also cause depression/anxiety, fuck with our mental pathways and so many other things we don’t quite know.

I am tired of my right ear is clogged, I can hear my heartbeat in my head and it makes me think of the potential for hypertension and clotting that can come with COVID. I’ve been tracking my blood pressure over the last year or so and I settle around stage 1 high blood pressure, which I’m sure doesn’t help my anxiety symptoms. Nicotine usage really doesn’t help this and I already know how painful an erupted tooth can be. God, that hurt.

I decided to get an electric bicycle ordered. Kasey has never ridden a bike, it’ll be fun teaching her and going on rides.

It folds down, and should fit in the RV!

I’m hoping I can ground myself a bit with some light exercise and getting out in the world a bit after being inside for the past week.

I just have to keep reminding myself that these feelings will eventually pass and it won’t always feel this way, that I’m still recovering.

Post-COVID… depression?

First night I’ve been up late this week, I’ve been getting 8-9 hours of sleep in a night which is insane for me, it makes sense as my body is healing. Everything came to a crashing halt when I got sick, it just hit me, hard.

Kasey seems to be handling COVID well, she may return to work this week if her test comes back clear. It’ll be a little lonely around here, Brad is in Seattle and I’ve gotten used to spending my days hanging out with Kasey.

I’ve had some weirder dreams today, sometimes I just get thrown back to the traumas of years back and it throws me off balance. The brain trying to make sense of what can’t be made sense of.

I’m not sure why it matters. I was who I was then and there was nothing wrong with that iteration of myself. I don’t know if I could say I was happy, though. I kinda settled and was ready to settle down, if such a thing exists. Kasey and I are more than a year in by now, it’s crazy how time flies in retrospect.

It’s August now, just a handful of months until we hit the road. Not other choice but to break free, leave Indy, close this chapter in a real way, finally. We took the RV onto the interstate, first time it’s left the driveway since starting the big project.

She seems to handle just fine. Nothing rattled or fell off, wind didn’t catch the panels and cause chaos on the highway. I think with some finishing up work, she’ll be ready. Downsizing will be a task for sure, no choice but to use a local storage unit, tying us to this place in some ways but that’s fine.

I wonder what it’ll be like on the road, this thing I’ve wanted to do for so long. Untethered. It’ll be a big change at first, but like most things, it’ll become familiar over time.

That’s about it, really. The big project is done after an evening with Lo getting it bolted down on the roof and I’ve just been feeling kinda meh. Getting better after COVID and feeling a bit stir-crazy after being under the weather for so long.

It is crazy how easily I caught it, I never want to get COVID again or be that sick again; it’s scary shit.

We have liftoff!

What an exciting day, the panels are finally on the roof! It’s very impressive, considering I built the frame and did all of this work in about a month! I can raise, and lower the panels from anywhere in the world on my phone or laptop; and in fact, control the generator, water pump, water heater, and other controls the same way.

I’ve lost some faith in humanity sharing on social media, people don’t think of the panels being motorized and assume I’m driving around with a 10′ tall wing on the top of my camper. But most people tape down some 100W panels on their roof and call it good.

It was my first time being around a crane, you gotta stay aware of where the weight is, what could break and fall, the dynamics of the object and wind, gravity, and momentum.

The weather station is on top of the roof frame, a todo will be to program auto panel folding in high wind. The hardware to secure the panel arrives today. One commenter recommended a more secure method of securing the panel when folded, I’m thinking power failsafe electromagnets.

Still some more tidying up and finishing to do, but the major work is now complete!

I think Elon Musk is a cunt, but I like Starlink

Starlink RV is finally here. I had a dish in 2020 with promises of it going mobile, but it didn’t until a few months ago. Finally, internet on the road, literally anywhere you can drive. I was a bit nervous as Indiana wasn’t marked as “available” on the coverage map, which just means reduced capacity due to other users, but it seems to be working just fine.

What’s the first thing you do with your fancy satellite dish? Cut the cable in half, of course. These specific connectors are garbage btw, not recommended due to how noisy they are:

They use cheap ass S-pins which introduce noise and crosstalk to the point the dish won’t communicate with the router. I found a PCB-based passthrough and it works fine with a shielded one on the way today.

Brad leaves for Seattle in a few hours. Kasey just left for work and it’ll be an empty house, the first time in months. Not that Brad really ever left his bedroom in the mornings, it was still nice knowing he was here. Anxiety is weird, my body woke me up at 7am and I managed to get in 5 hours and 25 minutes of sleep.

I’ve been dealing with some allergies, it’ll be time to try out a nasal spray this weekend. It hasn’t rained much and the dust, pollen is afoot.

Anyway, time to work!

Heaven and Hell; preparing to be on the road

Who would have thought getting a blog all the way back together to blog about.. a dream? I had a new house and a neighbor moved in and he ended up putting a brand new motorcycle in my drive, said it was for all of the back luck with the last one. How did he know?

We went on a drive. My family was there, lost relatives. Things just felt… slightly off. I kept trying to use my phone, and text my mom, Kasey. GPS said I was… somewhere in Michigan, 890 miles away. I had no idea how I’d gotten there. Nothing was getting through and I was struggling.

People started to act weirdly. I had a sudden inclination to ask… am I dead? I was tele-visioned and witnessed what was myself from the third person, however, the character of this person was an Asian man. Apparently, I was fixing something rather for someone, and the electricity popped, which caused a part to fly out and remove my head (into the air, in quite a cartoon fashion).

I was in shock for a moment… but then didn’t decide to worry about it too much as hey, I was dead and there was something. We were suddenly in the wild west, I got onto a horse, which I struggled with to pull my leg over for a moment. This is kinda like Westworld, huh? Then everything changed.

There was a woman who looked young, yet, as old as time itself. We were nude. Pleasure, teasing. Then she asked me to fuck her. He said, welcome to hell; we are going to fuck your brains out. Overcame with lust and thoughts that this isn’t that bad, she told me not yet, then returned to the teasing.

I started to think in horror that this could be for eternity, a very long time indeed. That punishment and torture could be a lot worse. I woke up and had the inspiration to write.

The RV is coming along, I finished the solar array yesterday and it’s ready to be mounted to the roof! Peak capture is around 2,600W, nothing to laugh at; it’s a serious array that can power aircon, easily.

I also DIY’d an off-grid water filter, this setup can filter down to 0.02 micron, a lifestraw is only 0.2 micron. The water coming out of this unit is tasty, it’s amazing what it can do to our well water!

I’m more than halfway done with the project now. Some parts have felt a little strange, at least in the beginning as I was buying a few of the same parts I built for the van. It ended up being therapeutic for me as I worked through some trauma around the van.

For the first time, I’ll have someone who wants to travel with me and be on the road! We could go anywhere, and that feels a little overwhelming. Back to Portland, Washington State, Maine, New Hampshire, Canada. We’ll be headed up north to my parents first, it will be winter, after all. I also really want to return to Brown County, France Park before we travel more broadly; get some boondocking in.

Brad, our roommate, moves out this Friday morning. Kasey and I will have the house to ourselves; a new balancing of time and companionship. I think that the transition period has been good for them, even if a little heavy by the time he actually moves.

There’s been a few things that threw me back to the Amanda and Kayden dynamic – not in a romantic or sexual way, people are pretty gay, but that feeling of being the third, the one left out in some ways. It’s tested my insecurity here and there and there’s been a few moments I’ve asked myself why in the fuck I’d get back into this dynamic again. And while they have a really strong bond since knowing each other since childhood and living together for the past several years, it’s actually been healing for me, as again, it’s a situation that allows me to process some previous trauma.

I’ve been out of polyamory for a while now, it’s been so good for me to get out of the dynamic, the situation I was in. I think a majority part of the issue was the people involved in my circle. Not that they are inherently bad people or anything, I’m still friends with Lo and Linley to some degree. I strongly disagree with the sentiment, “all of this was already in you” when it comes to bad behavior. It’s much more situational and people aren’t inherently good, or bad. More like a product of the immediate environment and themes for a period of time.

I handled my transition into polyamory, well, my coercion into polyamory poorly and I’ve come to accept that. I’ve also come to accept that a vast accounting of individuals who find themselves much in the situation I was in have handled it poorly. The seed of wisdom is to expect an ending of a relationship if you try and transition a previous relationship into monogamy, as many turn ugly. It also didn’t help that I literally just got married and my newlywed was suddenly gone in NRE with someone else, yadda yadda.

But anyway, yeah. There’s still room for play there without having to go off the deep end and tend to multiple, serious relationships. I’m experimenting with ENM and dabbling with play and more casual arrangements with my partner. Fully open, consensual, and from the place where neither of us needs the dynamic, only that it can be fun.

So far it’s been nice! More emotionally mature, already partnered people who also want to return home to their partner at the end of the night. Not that we’ve had many experiences so far, or have gone off the deep end; but it’s been a breath of fresh air to engage with other queer, open-minded folk, get to know them, and exchange ideas.

I think, overall, it sounds a bit scary to be on the road, but for some reason, I’ve always wanted to do it, actually, travel. I think putting things in storage and acclimating to our new home on wheels, it is real, is going to be the turning point. I’ve talked to my therapist about it and it isn’t negatively codependent to desire to want to travel with someone, that doing it alone like I’ve had the opportunity to previously, can be lonely, and that be healthy.

After all, home will be where we park it.