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My body keeps on surprising me with these new maladies.

Went in to medical a couple days ago for an appointment concerning my Effexor prescription being refilled. As I've never been on sustained medication (other than INH for tuberculosis back in 2004), I honestly have no idea why these appointments are required, but... there you go.

Turns out the appointments are to make sure that the medication is helping (or at least, not further harming), and that I'll get the privilege of going to them every few months for the rest of the time that I'm on them.

But before that part of the appointment, I got the typical check-in vitals done.

"Has your blood pressure always been that high?"

"For at least the past few years, yeah."

"Alright. You'll be seeing me again, then, after your provider is finished."

My blood pressure was 140/110. I've never been big on looking into the significance of those two numbers—really just knew that they were systolic and diastolic. Consequently, I was never entirely aware of the seriousness of the values.

Turns out the max range for those is generally 120/80.

After my provider was finished giving me the all clear for more Effexor, the nurse came back and gave me a blood pressure log.

"I can't prescribe you a cuff," she said, "But they're pretty affordable out in town. I think even the Exchange has some good ones at an affordable cost."

And of course, me being me, I opted for Amazon.

Ordered the cuff and it came in that evening. Took my blood pressure.

145/108.

And then again this morning.

155/120.

Welp.

Time to try to get this body of mine wrangled back under control.

Not gonna lie: I'm excited.

The cutoff point for everyone to be transitioned from the legacy home and share drives is swiftly approaching, and the adoption rate is unsurprisingly low.

The imminent schadenfreude is almost palpable.

I shouldn't feel this way, but it's hard not to when I've been doing all I can outside of physically doing it for people to get their stuff in line.

But who knows? Maybe the day of reckoning will never come.

Maybe the cutoff is just another in a long line of hollow threats and legacy indeed isn't going away.

...Especially if enough truly important people fail to adopt in time.

2022 has been absolutely flying by.

Zero complaints there.

Dad had come down and visited back in the middle of June, and it's already a few days shy of August. Crazy how quickly time flies when you stop actively tracking it.

On the work front, I've recently been gifted with the chance to spearhead some pretty substantial migrations thanks to the Flank Speed initiative. Moving our home and share drives to a Microsoft-powered cloud service is pretty amazing stuff, and definitely nothing I would've ever expected to see during my time in the Navy.

Goes without saying, though, that there are plenty of folks that are entirely resistant to the change. Either because they don't care, or because they've grown entirely dependent on an old, deprecated system.

It also goes without saying that when you use "this will allow you to telework more effectively", it's not exactly a selling point.

I can kinda understand the hesitance, but at the same time... it gives people more flexibility for a vast swath of things we'd normally need to be physically present for.

In other news, went and submitted my Fleet Reserve request again. August of 2024, you can't come soon enough.

A day in the life.

I've done at least one post in the past detailing my day-to-day, but that was more of a bulleted list kinda deal, so I figured I'd revisit the idea in a more expanded way.

Ladies and gentlemen (and everything within and without), I give you... my daily routine.

I wake up at 0345.

Sometimes I've got bubbleguts, sometimes I don't. This decides whether or not my morning starts off with an emergency bathroom run or a casual one. Bathroom needs satisfied, I return to bed and scroll through whatever new nonsense has populated reddit since my last perusal and contemplate the day. More often than not, this contemplation is deeply steeped in brooding depression. I may or may not reflect on the past actions that have led me to this point. I'll definitely consider what the worst outcome could be if I just didn't go into work today (obviously, assuming it's a work day).

It's also this point where I remind myself that I should be thankful for the multiverse theory, as it means that somewhere out there, there's a version of me that's truly happy.

The girls remind me it's time for a walk around 0430.

Kerri is generally pretty patient about it, but Pola is—as you'd expect from a puppy—a bit more rambunctious and forward. I force myself to get back outta bed, and we make our way downstairs. Depending on whether or not I feel like it's gonna be a longer day at work (perceptually speaking), I may pop a frozen pizza in the oven.

I pull on my clothes, put on their harnesses, and lock them in. Once outside and the coast is guaranteed to be clear from the random early-morning dog walkers, we get started. In the past year or so, I've found myself listening to the Freakonomics podcast. More recently, I've started realizing that I come back from the walks a bit more agitated as a result; the content is generally entertaining and informative, but the ads make up a solid 40% of the overall experience. What's worse, they've recently started panhandling for donations on the front end as well.

The morning walk is the girls' longest, coming in at exactly a mile. Both of them have many pees and at least a single poop each. I dutifully pick up after them and drop it in the HOA-provided bins near the front office. There's always a small army of rabbits around the neighborhood, and I've no problem with Pola trying her luck at catching one.

So far, no dice.

Around 0450, we're back home.

I free them from their harnesses. If there was a pizza in the oven, I take it out, cut it into six slices, add some random seasonings and my ghost pepper powder, and wash the pizza cutter. The girls are waiting patiently just outside the kitchen for their post-walk treats. I grab the treats and lead them back upstairs. A quick pit stop in the office to drop my Apple Watch on the charger, then back into the bedroom. I latch the baby gate behind me so they can't escape unsupervised into the house now that they're awake.

Treat for Kerri.

Treat for Pola.

I go into the bathroom and turn on light, fan, and the shower; water temperature slightly cool. As it's running, I brush my teeth with a somewhat inexpensive electric toothbrush while continuing to scroll through reddit. Thirty seconds in each quadrant of the mouth, and then the toothbrush turns off. I rinse it, replace it on its charger, then hop in the shower. One squirt of body wash lathered on my face, then rinsed. Two squirts of shampoo/conditioner for my hair, lathered in and left while I continue on. One squirt of body wash lathered into my crotchal region. I take my well-worn shower scrunchie and lather up two squirts of body wash and wash everything else, ending on my back side.

Thoroughly rinse all the things, shower off. Grab a towel, briskly dry my high-and-tight hair. Skipping the face, I dry my arms, torso, butt, crotchal region, and legs. Open the shower door and step out. Boxers on.

I turn on the faucet to the hottest setting and place my razor under the stream while I put some shaving butter on my face. Water off, razor up. Against the grain, I quickly scrub off whatever managed to grow since the last shave. If it's the first shave of the week, I'm guaranteed to have no nicks and the smoothest shave of the week. If not, results vary wildly. I rinse off the remaining crud, dry my face, and drape the towel over the shower door. A quick application of Old Spice Fiji deodorant under each arm, and a squirt of moisturizing lotion rubbed over my face. Particular attention to my nose since that has the tendency to dry out more quickly.

Light off, door opened and closed as quietly as possible to not wake the wife if she's still asleep. By the subtle glow of my phone's screen, I find the girls.

Kiss on the noggin for Kerri.

Kiss on the noggin for Pola.

If the wife is awake, she gets a goodbye kiss. If not, I'm not gonna risk waking her.

I grab a pair of socks, a brown undershirt, and leave the bedroom, latching the baby gate behind me. Grab the watch from the office, change out the battery for my e-cig if necessary. Cursory glance of the peppers to make sure they've got enough water.

At around 0515, I'm downstairs.

Stop in the kitchen, grab two frozen breakfast burritos, cut off a corner of their bags for venting, and put them in the microwave on a paper plate.

I press 3 for the quick three-minute setting, and it's off to the races.

Socks on. Shirt on. Open the closet and grab my uniform from the hanger. I put on my pants, grumble at those stupid fucking crotch buttons. Left boot. Right boot. Left blousing strap. Right blousing strap. I put on my blouse, close the closet door and make my way to the shelf by the front door. Car keys in my right shoulder pocket, wallet in my back right pocket. KitKat is on the couch meowing. I put her on her kitty shelf so she can grab some food and water since she's too lazy to get up there on her own.

A quick pat of my left thigh pocket to make sure I've got my badge and ID.

Back into the kitchen, I manage to stop the microwave just before zero. Package up my lunch in my lunchbox, and then fill my 64oz Hydroflask knockoff with two small cups of ice. Add some water flavoring, then fill up, seal, and shake. Grab an energy drink from the fridge, the lunchbox, and head out into the living room. Hydroflask knockoff and energy drink in the backpack, I grab my cover and everything else, then head outside; door locked behind me.

At around 0530, I get in Nebula (our car).

Backpack and lunchbox in the passenger seat. Phone plugged in, cover upside-down on the lunchbox. I take out my badge and ID, and put them in the cover.

Seatbelt. Start up Nebula, and wait for her engine to settle down.

Podcast resumes playing. Windows may or may not be a bit foggy, requiring the liberal use of the defoggers and wipers. Once visibility is decent, I check for any randos that may be coming before reversing into the street and then head out to work.

Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Left. Right. Left. Left.

At work by around 0550.

Depending on the situation, we may have gate guards present, or I may need to badge in. If the latter, I wait 45 seconds for the gate to open, pull through, and stop. Another 45 seconds for the gate to close.

Park. Engine off. Phone in the center console, and depending on the forecast for the day, I may crack the windows a bit to keep things from turning the cabin into absolute hell by the end of the day. Badge on, ID in left breast pocket, cover on. Open the door, grab my lunchbox and backpack, get out.

Sling the backpack over my left shoulder and close the door. As I step away, Nebula locks behind me and I make my way inside.

There may or may not be a Sailor on watch, which may or may not lead to a "good morning".

By 0600, I get back to the office

I slide my door sign to "IN", and close the door behind me.

I turn on my radio while furiously spamming the volume down so as not to wake the sleeping duty tech next door. Volume is at 8, tuned in to 93.7 BOB FM.

Lunchbox on the desk, backpack underneath. Grab my trusty bottle of hotsauce from my locker and sit down. Slide my ID into the reader and log in. Depending on whether the goddamn thing rebooted over the night, I may be in for a ten-minute wait for everything to get situated.

Crack open my journal and make my opening entries for the day:

DDMMMYY DayOfTheWeek (JulianDate) ■ Arrived @ Time ■ 4/10 ○ Task 1 ○ Task 2 ○ etc...

I sit down, set the e-cig on the desk. Take out the Hydroflask and set it alongside the e-cig. Take out the energy drink and set it to my right. I dig out my burritos, grab a pair of scissors and cut from the vents I'd made earlier to the end of the wrapper. Dry the scissors of their condensation, and put them away.

Click Outlook shortcut. Log in.

Outlook may or may not fail to open. If it does fail, I click again. Success.

Open Edge and go to Google News.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see the wallpaper of Nick and Judy in the tram above the Forest District.

"I feel ya, Nick. I feel ya."

Eat the burritos while swapping between doom-scrolling the shitty state of the world and the amazing state of technology. Fold the wrappers into a somewhat neat square and put them back into the lunchbox. Hot sauce goes back into the locker. Open the energy drink and most-likely obliterate it in seconds.

Check any email that may have come in since the last time I checked. Respond if necessary, sort into the appropriate folder or Shift+Delete if not important.

0730, people start filtering in.

Boss man normally gets in between 0745 and 0800.

I sit, legs propped up on the desk, and ponder the day.

Random conversations with random people and usually random taskers and meetings throughout the day, and then I leave. Stuff as much as I can back into the backpack, slide my door sign to "OUT", and depart. Trip home is obviously the reverse of the trip to work, and now I get to fight the traffic I spared myself from by leaving so early.

So much screaming in Nebula's cabin that I'm sure she's got tinnitus as bad as—if not worse than—my own.

Get home, gather up my things, get out of Nebula, then head inside.

Pola acts as if she hasn't seen me in years, while Kerri hangs back like the good girl she is. Much loving is dispensed on both. Kiss the wife, and quickly catch up on each other's day.

Get out of uniform, return everything to its rightful place for tomorrow's repeat performance, get dressed into civilian attire and take the girls out for a much shorter walk unless the weather is too insanely hot.

Get back home, strip down completely, and grab one of my 32oz tumblers. Fill half with ice. Grab the cheap whiskey I keep stocked and fill to just below the top of the ice; the remaining space is then filled with Pepsi.

Head back to the living room, grab a PS5 controller, boot up the console.

Sit down, take a gulp of booze, and play to fill in the void.

Every two hours, the girls remind me that it's time for another walk. I oblige.

2000, my old body decides it's bedtime.

Rinse out the tumbler and set it in the rack to dry. Wife may or may not join me as I head upstairs.

I climb into bed, make sure all five of my alarms are enabled for the morning, then set the phone in its charger.

Laying on my belly, I do what I can to tune out the shrill tinnitus that keeps me company as I eventually drift off into oblivion.

And that's my day.

Every day.

Unless I don't work.

Then it's just booze. And video games. And walking the girls. Hanging out with the wife. Tending to my plants.

And generally, just avoiding humanity as much as possible.

"Chief, I've got a question."

"What's up?"

"WHAT'S IN THE BOOOOOOOOX?"

"Ha! Are you sure you wanna know?"

"...Wait, really?"

"Sure, why not? It's just a box. Though I lost the key..."

Another voice from outside the office: "We can break that lock!"

"I'd prefer not to. I'll eventually find the key, but if y'all have a flathead handy..."

They returned with said flathead, and I removed two of the screws holding one of the two sides of the handle to the box.

"Before I open this," I told them, "Gotta make sure everyone knows this is a spoiler warning. If you're gonna stay in and feel like you're gonna make Chief and/or wanna retain the mystery of the box, leave now or forever hold your peace."

Nobody moved, all eyes fixed on the box.

"Why don't you have a problem with showing us what's inside? Every other Chief we've asked has said 'Make Chief and find out'."

"Because it's not a secret. You can legitimately find out the history behind the box—which is called a vessel _—over at GoatLocker.org."_

I cracked open the box and showed them the contents: a random slip of paper dealing with the latest high-year tenure instruction, my chargebook, and other knickknacks I've gotten along the way from either the CPO season or the Sailors I've led. Even a random piece of hardware I had to crack off of something to make it work.

"Well that's underwhelming." one of them said.

"I never said it wasn't! Not sure what kinda irrational value other Chiefs put on this thing, but it's legitimately just a carrying case for your chargebook and other mementos. I value the contents of the vessel, but not the vessel itself."

And so they left, enlightened if not more than a little disappointed?

In other news.

My body committed one of the most ultimate betrayals it can commit this morning: I got into the shower, and about thirty seconds before it was over, I felt a rumble in my belly. Best case it was a fart, worst case... well... you know. And having approximate knowledge of many things, I knew I didn't wanna risk the outcome of either in the shower. Finished up, got out, and dried off.

Rumble.

Alright. Just gonna... test... see if this is what I think it is.

Chambered the round, gently pushed, and—

NOPE.

It was definitely a poop.

And not a small one.

Did my business and was thankful the pandemic was the final push I needed to get a bidet installed on at least one of the toilets.

Also!

Got a new Amazon Basics hamper yesterday to replace the one we've been using for the past seven years.

It.

Is.

Amazing.

Having that hard top for folding/ironing laundry helps to further maximize the amount of floor space we've got and makes things noticeably less claustrophobic.

All praise to Amazon!