Oh, where to begin. Since last personal post (skipping the hating on ViLayer), things really haven’t gotten much better in many aspects. Let’s just dive right in, shall we? I think we will start small and go from there. Then we will throw in some minor victories as well.
As many (or some) of you know, I purchased a new keyboard and mouse because I had a run-in of the liquid type with my old ones. I purchased a Ryos MK Pro keyboard and a Kone XTD Laser mouse. I was super pumped because I had my eyes on the MK Pro for quite some time and the mouse I was trying just to give it a whirl. When I first got the products, I was in LOVE. They are rock solid, well built, and the software that comes to manage, manipulate, and program them is actually really well done. I was very excited that this purchase had worked out so well. Well, 3 months in and they have both shown a defect in some way and I am in the process of fighting with their support to replace them. I opened a support ticket to them for the mouse and they got back to me in 2 days. I find that to be a little too long, but I can let it go. They e-mailed a few times to make sure I wasn’t being stupid and there was an issue (the issue is that a button just flat out stopped working). They offered to RMA the product and replace it (with no option for advanced replacement, I might add – which I was mildly upset at, but oh well). The VERY NEXT DAY my keyboard starts to have an LED not light up (it’s a per key illumination keyboard). While not a big deal, I paid a lot of money for these things and they should work as intended. I opened a support ticket and waited 5 days with no reply. I decided to tweet at them, and after one more day they replied asking for my e-mail address so they could find it. After that, they admitted that they couldn’t find my support request and that I needed to submit another one. At this point, I’m starting to get a little frustrated, but I want to LOVE these products so bad that I’m going to let it go. I open another support ticket to them and tweet at them with a screenshot confirming I did. I got a reply back 2 days later again and they asked for my info so they can open the RMA process. I gave them that info 5 days ago and I still don’t have an RMA slip or any type of reply, AGAIN. I’m running out of patience here.
Next, a couple of the long term opportunities fell through and I didn’t get them (I’m thinking because of my last manager whispering in their ear a little too heavy), but things are still moving along on the consulting and side job front. I’m bringing in money to pay the bills and feed the family and things are great for that. The issue is that I’m not fantastic with time management all the time, so it’s something that I have to really work at, but things are going well and I’m learning and growing as I go. There are a couple of new opportunities on the radar as well that I just started the interviewing process for, so we will see where they take us. Here’s hoping!
Next, my oldest son plays minecraft a lot and enjoys doing so. He plays the Pokemon mod that is fairly popular on it. He earned 20 dollars for his birthday or something (I don’t really remember what for) and he wanted me to purchase him some in-game items. I agreed and logged him in and all that so that he could purchase the items. After he was done, I was sure to log him out and make sure it didn’t keep me logged in so that he couldn’t bill me more without my permission (which he has done in the past). Well, I neglected to think about the password manager. He figured out how to use it and by the time I caught him (by seeing the paypal e-mails), he had amassed $416 dollars in virtual Pokemon items on a server. I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at my child so bad in my life. We are making him “work” around the house at a rate of minimum wage to pay it off (even though I called Paypal and disputed the charges saying they weren’t authorized and got my money back). I think it’s important that he learns that money comes from work, not from the heavens magically.
Next, let’s move onto some of the GSN related stuff that has been causing me some stress as well. Usually working on GSN material and admining the stuff over there is a stress relief and helps me calm down. It’s still work to most people, but for me it helps and I enjoy doing it. That is until Bohemia Interactive decided that they didn’t like the way that we were running our server and told us that if we didn’t change it immediately, they would pursue legal actions. I went back and forth about what they were fighting for was none of their concern and they needed to mind their own business and that we would oblige by their rules, but anything else was our decision and not theirs. I eventually decided that it was better for our community to knuckle under and let them “win”. My logic behind this was that I wanted to respect the ARMA community and not shit on anyone. I have ZERO respect for BI now (not that I had much before), but I still want GSN to have a positive note in the ARMA community since that is where we primarily reside right now. We reached and agreement with them and are working on other means of funding our operations and opening our donator ranks to GSN wide perks, and not just tied to a particular game. This will most likely be better for us anyway.
Next, my two youngest boys decided that it would be hilarious to throw things at their walls until there was hold all through them (and these were exterior walls). After they had the holds there, they thought it would be even more fun to fill up water balloons and throw them in said holes. My oldest son comes down to my office and says “There is water leaking from the roof on the front porch, come quick”. Now, you wouldn’t know this, but there is absolutely ZERO plumbing in the front of my house, so what the hell was causing this water was unbeknownst to me at the time and was I in for a surprise when I found it. So of course, I had to tear out all the drywall and insulation and replace it so that it didn’t mold, so my boys room has <some> walls right now…..
Next, I’m seeing a new doctor to try to figure out why my brain is so difficult to work with. Seriously though, I’m still having a ton of anxiety and panic issues that are also causing turmoil in my stomach as well. He is optimistic that we will be able to find a solution that works for me, and didn’t want my past history from my doctors because he believes in starting from scratch, which I think I am in agreement with. The largest issue is the medicine he wants to try is $390 for 30 pills….. Who can afford that? I know I can’t. Especially right now. We are working on a way to get the funding for it, and they are willing to provide me samples for a month or two (while we make sure the medicine even works), so we will see where that takes us.
This last week has been a fun one because my dryer decided that it didn’t want to dry anymore. It still tumbles and turns on, but never warms up. The high heat fuse is shot, or the element is gone. I have a guy coming to look at it to see if we can figure out what the issue is without having to spend too much money on getting it fixed. A house of 6 without a dryer is quite the task to complete. I have taken rope that I have and run clothes lines all over the house and we just have clothes drying freely everywhere. Makes for a fun trip from room to room.
Next, let’s move to last week. My wife is driving my car (yes – the same car that had $7K damage done to it by a pizza driver) was hit by lightening (and yes, while she was moving). The HUD lit up like a Christmas tree, but the car did keep moving. She called me frantic, asking what to do and I calmed her down and assured here that there was likely no immediate damage (I figured it took out the battery, alternator, or both), but that she would make it home just fine. Sure enough, I was right. Two days later, as I’m driving it down the road, I notice that it goes into “low power mode”, which <apparently> was someones intelligent idea to make the car run as long as possible by turning off features of the car. Even safety features. So, here I am driving down a windy road and I lose traction control, power steering, radio, window controls, anti-lock brakes, and air bags (or so it told me). I did manage to make it off the hill and to the mechanic and by the time I got it there, the battery was down to 7.1 volts….. They have looked at it and as I suspected it DID take out the alternator, which is a whopping $670.60 for the part and labor. Additionally, they had for the part to come in before they can test anything else since they need it to test the ECM, and other components since cars actually “talk” now rather than just sending an on or off signal to various parts. If the ECM is shot, we are looking at closer to $2k in damage. My insurance WILL cover it, but only under my comprehensive, which currently has a $1K deductible. I guess we will see on Tuesday, which way we go, but the crap just keeps on getting piled…..
I’ve been leaning pretty heavily on music to help me through these times (as most do). I found myself listening to this song the other day and I think it describe my feelings perfectly.
The lyrics are spot on and I love the way the video is done. The color is coming back as he moves through it. Right now, my world is very black and white, and I’m just waiting for the day that it starts to be seen in color again.
Now, to the small victories. Due to my current situation, I was able to get some medical assistance that has GREATLY reduced the cost of me seeing the doctors (of which I was paying out of pocket for), and is helping with prescriptions (but not the one I need, unfortunately). Additionally, my oldest has started seeing a new therapist since his last one went crazy, and I think we found a GREAT one here. I feel that we got more accomplished in a single session with him, than we did in 5 years of the old one. He recognized that my wife and I have a lot of experience in dealing with these types of children and gave us a lot of tips and ideas to use. He also gave us some names and books to read to which my wife has been reading and they have been truly eye opening. They are spot on when it comes to my kids behaviors and EVERYONE the kids have been to see before this was wrong and not even close. We are very excited to have made this transition and look forward to seeing this grow.
I think that about takes care of the last couple of months. Being a religious individual, I truly believe that I will come out on top of this battle and that I am being put through this to make me a stronger human being. “What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger”. I WILL be victorious over all of these negative aspects in my life and I will come out on the other side and be able to look back and laugh. That day will come. I KNOW it will. It’s just hard to see it that way all the time, but I’m trying.