Josh’s Helpful Road Trip Tips

Hello dear reader(s)!  

For today’s post, I’d like to once again welcome resident auto travel expert and certified professional road-tripper Joshua Wrenn, GED.  

Josh:   Good day, Mr. Wrenn.  I understand you have some advice for our dear reader(s) about going on a road trip.  

Joshua:  Is it a good day?   Yeah, sure.  Whatever.

Josh:  We agreed we were going to do this.  Rember?   

Joshua:  And you agreed I wouldn’t have to visit your mother anymore.  How did that work out?  I still have nightmares from Thanksgiving.

Josh:  It’s just like you to keep bringing up the past.  If you want any tonight, or ever again, you’ll do this post.  

Hello dear reader(s)!

I am Joshua Wrenn, GED.  I just took a cross-country road trip, which makes me an expert in taking road trips, because I said so.  My house, my rules.  As long as you’re living under my roof, you’ll do as you’re told!  Don’t talk back to me!  Anyway, on my road trip, I learned many things I will now share with you, absolutely free of charge.  And at the end of this post, I’ll tell you how you can learn even more!

So if you’re ready, and judging by that bored look on your face, you are…  Here are my tips to having a successful road trip.

  1. Don’t do it!  Seriously, if you can fly or take a train, or anything else, do that.  I had cats to bring who are very ungrateful anyway and so I really had no choice.  Insolent bastards!
  2. Don’t take a vehicle which is bad in the wind into the planes states.  Panic attacks while driving as you’re barely able to keep on the road at 65 in an 80 mph speed zone is not the recipe for successful road tripping.
  3. Stay on the interstate if it will take you where you want to go, no matter how much faster Google tells you another route may be.  I’m looking at you, 212, you sorry excuse for a road.  Fuck you and your Battle of Little Big Horn site which was actually on the easy part of that road so I take that back, but still fuck that road and whatever state it’s in for not making a proper road.
  4. Estimate how long it will take you, and add two days.  Especially if you have any issues driving at night because Congress would rather spend your tax money on a bloated military than on paying for infrastructure like painting fucking lane markers on the road so you can…I don’t know… Not drive off it!
  5. Bring a cooler with fresh fruits and veggies.  Otherwise you’re pretty much stuck with crappy road food, and if yours is like mine, your stomach will not be happy!
  6. Try not to freak out about your check engine light going on until you know it is freak out worthy.  Thankfully it was nothing.
  7. Try to sleep at night.  Easier said than done when people are getting the room next door for their sex parties.  No, I don’t want to hear about much better he is than your husband, lady.
  8. If you have to drive, hire a driver.  Maybe you could pay that person by hosting a hotel room sex party.  Just not the room next to mine.
  9. If you have a disability, take that into account.  Don’t be an idiot and try to drive across the country, then move an entire apartment into a house the next couple of days after you just went and moved a lot of your stuff around a week before.  Trust me on this one.  You have to accept you’re not as able as you once were, no matter how much you wish it wasn’t true.  Otherwise, you will fall like I did and hurt your knee and then you’re laid up writing posts while your framily is working and you feel horrible about it and you’re probably going to get sick now and end up hospitalized, idiot.
  10. Invent a transporter.  Who cares about the philosophical question of whether or not the disassembled you and the reassembled you is the same person?  Instant travel with all your memories intact and believing you’re the same despite the possibility that you are actually, technically dead is worth it.  Get on it, science.

Well, dear reader(s), I have made it home. It’s amazing.  I’m very happy to be here and just hope I didn’t kill myself doing it.

Follow my helpful tips to avoid dying the next time you’re on a road trip, with the exception of number 10 where you might, but it would be totally worth it.

For more road trip tips, you can pre-order my special, exclusive, members-only guide for the low, low price of one hundred billion dollars.  Operators are standing around on street corners, holding, “Will answer calls for food” signs, so call now.  Or else a poor operator starves.

I hope you are all well.


Oil Change Blues

Hello dear reader(s)!

My draft folder was boring.  But luckily (or unluckily, in your case), I’m waiting on my oil to get done, so I figured I’d write a little post while I wait.

I tried to get an oil change earlier today, but the wait was insane.  So I made an  appointment with Sears Auto for 5 o’clock the same day (since you won’t be reading this on that day).  Or so I thought.

In actuality, I thought I made an  appointment, but due to system glitches after their server lost power a few days ago (according to the manager), it did not transfer over, meaning no appointment was made.  (And Sears wonders why they are having financial trouble.). Anyway, long story less long, there was no appointment and they close in an hour.  The service guys say there would be no time to do it, leaving me stranded.  Fortunately, the manager decided to squeeze it in (poor service guys, wasn’t their fault), and so my oil change will get done, but probably later than their closing time.

This cuts into my decompress and finish the last few things up time, and I’m not amused.

At least the manager was nice and decided to help me out.  I think I’ll write a letter to corporate to tell them how he has saved their asses in my book.

This seems to happen a lot when making appointments online.  I wonder why companies try to push the online options when their site’s functionality is crap.  I’ve had it happen once ordering pizza.  The whole point of online ordering for me, is to be able to avoid talking to anyone, and invariably it just causes more taking when online fails.

Still though, if I didn’t get this done tonight, it was not getting done.  That’s an awfully long drive to take without fresh oil.  I wasn’t due in miles, but I was overdue in months.  By the time the trip was up, I would’ve been too.  This also gives me an opportunity to ensure my tires are properly inflated and all that good bullshit.

Better safe than sorry, that’s what I almost never say, anyway.

I can’t wait until I live in a place where doing something as simple as getting an oil change isn’t such a major pain in the ass.

I’m thinking you will read this on day three of my trip.  This will be the long part of the journey (don’t stop believing).  Hopefully everything is still going smoothly and that wheel in the sky keeps on turning.  So that I know where I’ll be tomorrow.

The oil change is done, and I’m home before six.  The Beastess got a pretty clean bill of health and I’m confident in her abilities to make the trip.

So on that note, I guess I had better get going.  There is more stupid cleaning to be done, and a few last minute items to be packed.  Until next time, my dear reader(s), remember that the journey is a band that used to have Steve Perry.

What What? In the Butte

Hello dear reader(s)!

Greetings from a hotel in Butte, MT.  Butte, MT, for those of you who don’t know, is a city in Montana named Butte.  I am sure it is lovely, and there are many things of note here, but I have cats with me, so all I care about is this hotel in which to crash before hitting the road again tomorrow for another exciting day of wondering how Montana can set their speed limits so fast when it isn’t all in a straight line, like I thought.

It is beautiful in this part of the state, and if any of you are looking to see some pretty country, I do suggest you check it out.  Despite all the “Big Sky Country” stuff, it isn’t all that flat.  I really thought it would be flat, and in a straight line.  Instead people get to go 80 in windy mountain driving.  The wind was beating up the Beastess, so 80 was not for me, especially around those mountain curves that scare me at 60.  As such, I made shitty time.

Hopefully by the time you read this, I will be on my way to the next stop before my long day of travel to beautiful Kansas City and home.

I would have loved to post pictured of the beautiful scenery, but I am responsible and do not take pictures while driving.  It really is gorgeous, though.

So yeah, that’s it for me.  I am tired, I am going to eat and sleep.  Then it is back to the road for me.

Also, it should be noted that Piedmont never shut up.  The whole trip.  Never.

I hope you are well, and I look forward to reading your posts and writing something other than this kind of garbage soon.

Until next time, peace out.

Going Back To Kansas City

Hello dear reader(s)!

As you are reading this, I should be on the road again (like a band of gypsies the cats and I go down the highway).  I’m going back to Kansas City.  A year ago, I had a feeling my time in Seattle would be short, and I had a place I actually wanted to move to if things had gone the way I saw them going.  Of course, that didn’t happen.

And as much as I wanted things to work out a certain way back then, I have to say that I am very glad they did not.  I found great friends who are very close to family, a great new place to live with a lower cost of living, and of course, my Luna.  As much free will as we have, it does seem as though sometimes there is a grand scheme to things.  When I think about this time last year (before I had even moved back to Seattle), and then look at now, it seems like it was a whole lifetime ago.

Today, (as I write this, yesterday to you), I got a few more things done and am all but ready to leave.  I have an oil change appointment coming up, and then I will just need to wrap a few loose ends before going to sleep and shoving off.  Seattle has done its best to let me know I am making the right decision by its infuriating drivers and long waits at every business I have had to go to.  I don’t usually make appointments for oil changes, I just go.  The wait at Jiffy Lube was 90 minutes just to take my car, before they even would have started the oil change.  There was no room in the lot to put the car for the next 90 minutes either.  I am so glad that Kansas City is not as anti-car as Seattle.  As much as I am for public transportation, there has to be decent public transportation before all the options for cars can be taken away.

I am hoping the drive is easy.   I have a slight fear of mountain driving, so I am hoping that the drives through mountains are easy.  I am also hoping that the Beastess does well and has no issues.  I am also hoping that the very fast speed limits are something I can handle.  I am trying not to let any anxiety get the better of me, but I am a little nervous.  Solo road trips on a such a large scale are new to me.  I hope the cats are going to be okay with this.

Anyway, I do not have much to say.  Just letting you all know I am still here.  I hope you are well.

Cascade Mall Shooting

Hello dear reader(s)!

I wasn’t going to post something new today, but last night there was a shooting at a mall in Burlington, about an hour North.

And right now, I am listening to a self-congratulatory press conference from the police who basically know nothing and let the suspected shooter slip away.  They will not say it is a terrorist act, but they won’t discount it either.  They did not set up a perimeter, but worked solely on clearing the mall.  They have not yet identified the victims.  Either they are keeping everything quiet for their investigation, or they know nothing.  In the meantime, they are puffing up their chests and talking about all the wonderful agencies involved and the excellent response that has yielded exactly zero.

Now, I understand that investigations can take time.  I understand that the police might not actually know anything yet.  I understand all of that.  But do you know what I think should happen if they don’t?  Press releases saying so.  Not a press conference talking about how great they are as a suspected slipped away either due to a slower response or bad police work.  I don’t want to hear about all the hard work clearing the mall when the shooter is still out there somewhere.  I don’t care about who is taking the lead on the investigation.

Furthermore, this is the reason we have police.  It isn’t to stop a vehicle of black kids and harass them searching for drugs.  It isn’t to shoot people with car trouble.  It isn’t to go on television and claim there is a war against you because some people think that there are poorly trained and even racist officers among them that need to be weeded out.  It is to catch people like this when they hurt the public, in order to try to protect them from similar acts in the future.  I don’t know if the resources they had committed to the enforcement of unjust laws like the war on drugs would have made a difference in the speed of this investigation, but I’m not going to discount that either, like they won’t discount that this is terrorism.

Then there is the mall.  The footage is awful.  The stores in that mall sell GoPro cameras, but use what seem like 80’s era surveillance.  I have gotten better pictures with a child’s toy camera.  Makes me wonder how they hold onto any of their merchandise, with such terrible technology.  Gotta save a buck, I guess.

I also want to know where the good guys with guns were.   Skagit county isn’t Seattle.  It goes red.  Washington has fairly easy to obtain concealed carry permits.  Where were these saviors of the public with their right to bear arms?  Were they running the other way in their Mossy Oak gear?  What happened to them?  It seems they are almost never around.  As if the one or two times a private gun owner has actually stopped someone in the commission of a crime might not actually come near balancing out all of the harm that even law-abiding gun owners and their guns have caused by accident or failure to secure their weapons.  But no, that couldn’t be, right?  Then the NRA would be lying, and we just know that can’t be true.

Finally, I am sick to death about hearing how strong the community is.  The news, devoid of facts to report on, but feeling it is necessary to only talk about what they have no information on, are reminding everyone how great the community is and how they come together in times of tragedy.   What a community.  The people here are good and caring people, never mind the guy who shot 5 people in a mall.   As if people around the world think that the actions of this one piece of shit are representative of everyone who lives in the area.  We get it, news.  We get it.

But this kind of shit is becoming increasingly representative of humanity.  Once we scrapped mental health funding in this country, and cut every program we could in favor of a bloated military and endless war, we have shown our priorities.  We don’t give a shit about you.  You’re on your own.  You are just a piece of shit to us.  And then we wonder why people decide that everyone else is a piece of shit too.  We solve our problems with violence, as if all of human evolution from the days of warring tribes have been for nothing.  People are under increasing pressure from companies who pay less and expect more.  We are being watched everywhere, except for when it counts, and then are fed grainy surveillance images so the companies can save a buck.  Nobody is reaching out to solve differences, only drawing battle lines.

In 2013, Burlington had a population of about 8.500.  It is probably much higher now, along with the rest of Western Washington (fuck you, Amazon), but even if it three times the size, it’s still a relatively small place.  It is the kind of place people fed up with this kind of bullshit move to.

So this shooting should show there is no getting away from it.  There is no running away from the problems that occur when people are forced to live in a powder keg because we won’t confront the very real issues that cause things like this.  Ridiculous gun violence isn’t just a problem in Chicago or Mosul, it can and will happen everywhere.

If we have a society that works to take care of its people, maybe we could have people who work to take care of their society.

I believe in the right to bear arms, but I believe in reasonable limits.  I believe in a functional mental health system even though there is rarely any evidence to suggest that the criminals who engage in these acts were mentally ill, because I believe that everyone could benefit from mental health check-ups, just as you would for a physical.  I believe in health care for all, and I believe that we have the capability in this society to take care of all of our basic needs.

But as long as we continue to treat people as though their lives do not matter because we got ours, someone is going to treat of all of ours as if they don’t matter in response.

You can spend all day arguing the morality of that, but you can’t argue the facts.




Lunch Break

Hello dear reader(s)!

I surprisingly got a few of my few errands done in a few hours this morning, allowing me an unexpected few minutes to eat a few things and blog for a few minutes.  I took 3 bags of clothes to donate, shredded 1 bag of papers, got a few snacks for the road, sifted in one cup of flour, and went to the bank.  Tomorrow I need to get my oil changed, buy a cat carrier (they were ridiculous where I went), buy an air filter (never pay for the oil change people to do it), pick up Dosson’s prescription from the vet, add a dash of cinnamon, and get gas.  It looks like I will be on-time for my Sunday departure.  (Flight attendants, please clear the cabin.)

I won’t have the webs of inter right away when I get there, so likely my blog-type-thing will go into a slight state of dormancy (like the zombie plague in Obama’s blood, ready to be released as part of Operation Jade Helm after the election.*) for a few days.  If I have the time tonight, I may finish up some drafts to schedule for y’all while I am away.  Be advised they are drafts for a reason, so the quality might be um…not.  Also, be advised that I will only be able to read y’all on my phone if I have the data room, so don’t be looking for a lot of that.  Also, be advised that I will probably be busy unpacking and setting things up for a bit.  Also, be advised that you have been advised but should remain advised in the future until such time it is deemed no longer necessary by MyFridayBlog™ or any of its employees.   (Me.)

I am slightly nervous about the drive, still.  I am not used to going as fast as I am allowed to go in certain states I am driving through, and am unfamiliar with the route.  I believe conditions will be favorable, however, so at least there is that.  The likelihood of unfavorable conditions is unfavorable.  Conditions do not favor unfavorable conditions.

The hardest part of this will be traveling with the cats.   I have made the trip from Reno to Seattle with them, but this is like that trip times three.  I believe they are beginning to plot my murder, so if anything should happen to me, be sure to investigate them.  Especially Piedmont since I yelled at her in the middle of the night for walking over my head and keeping me awake.

It is cool and drizzly today, which is my favorite Seattle weather, but by Sunday it will be near 80 and sunny (at least over here).  Should be good road tripping weather, although hopefully not too hot east of the cascades, and it’s never good trip in the road.

Tonight I am going to one of my favorite Seattle restaurant type-things for one of my favorite things to eat, like ever, as a goodbye.  I am thrilled beyond thrilled, and that is pretty damn thrilled.  Thrilling.

My things are getting to the “just throw it all in boxes and leave” stage, since I am pretty much done sorting through things.  That is a good place to be, even though is that really a place, or a time?  Is time even real?  If it isn’t real, than am I really in that place, for real?!?!

I could have done the other few errands today, but since I have to wait until tomorrow for the prescription anyway, and since there is only so much running errands in traffic I can stand before I want to beat my head against the steering wheel…I decided tomorrow would be better, for my head and steering wheel, and for America.

I’m just ready to go.  I will miss being close to my mom and brother, I will miss weather like today’s, the water, the tablespoon of nutmeg, and a few other things; but I won’t miss Seattle.  Onward and upward, that’s what I always say, (except I actually really never say that except for just now and maybe one or two other times, but certainly nothing that could remotely qualify as “always”).

So, I guess we will consider this my goodbye letter.   I suppose it is possible I will write something fresh (and all natural, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  Gluten free!) tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath.  Unless you are surrounded by things you shouldn’t breathe in, like water, smoke, or toxic fumes, in which case, by all means, hold away!

So long story slightly less long, but much longer than it needed to be, and with more run-on sentences, and a quarter teaspoon of salt…I might not be around as much for a tiny bit, but should be able to knock a few posts out while I am away maybe, and also if not, this is just a temporary thing while I move so please do not unfollow me, mom.

Until next my dear reader(s), peace be with you.  (And also with you.)

*-May 2016, Bartbreit News

Featured Image is not my actual lunch today, unfortunately.  

Merry Mabon

Hello dear reader(s)!

Last night at sunset, I began the celebration of Mabon.  You may know it as Autumn or Fall.  Regardless of what you call it, we are officially entering my favorite time of year.  The Autumnal Equinox for me was at about 7 this morning, but Mabon goes from sunset yesterday to sunset today on my path.  Today is a day for balance, and for celebrating the harvest (since I am not a farmer, it means showing gratitude for all the work I have put in to get me where I am today, and gratitude for the light that allowed the food to grow that will sustain me through the winter, even if I am buying it from a store.)  In addition to celebrating and being thankful for where I am in life today, I will begin working (although not too hard, it is a day of balance) on preparing for my upcoming move.

As I celebrate, I reflect on all that has happened this year.  My health and strength have seemed to improve somewhat.  Not to where I can consider myself healthy, but to where I am feeling less ill than I have since prior to my diagnosis.  I have been through countless appointments, taken awful medication, and just physically put in the work to make this happen.  I am thankful for all that has allowed me to feel close to human on more days than for quite some time now.  I have forged friendships that led to me meeting new people, including my beloved Luna.  I have traveled and made preparations to begin a new life where I may stand a chance of being able to have a life close to some kind of independence, surrounded by those who raise my energy.  I have cast aside much of what no longer serves me.

I am moving within days.  It is by total coincidence that I will be arriving during the upcoming Lunar eclipse.  The blood moon.  A day I believe is good for new beginnings.  Although, as I walk further along my path, I wonder if perhaps it is no coincidence at all.  As I started paying attention to the natural universe, it seems as though the natural universe has been paying more attention to me.

Who knows?  Who cares?  I’m no zealot.  I’m happy today.  That’s the point.  Life is going well, and I am taking the time to celebrate it and reflect on it.

After I move, I get to start all the wonderful Fall activities I love so much.  The things that I like to do that make me feel more connected to the world.  I am going to go to at least one pumpkin patch.  I can’t wait to carve jack-o-lanterns to go out front of the new house.  I am going to go to at least one corn maze.  I am going to go pick apples.  I am going to go to a haunted house.  I guess they rule in Kansas City.  Not an actual haunted house, but you know, the kind that are set up to scare people for fun.  I am going to drink hot apple cider and eat pumpkin treats.  I am going to take walks in the leaves where it is not too hot.  I am going to celebrate Samhain next month and talk to Hannah when the veil is thin.  I am going to celebrate my friend’s birthday.  I am going to celebrate my own birthday.

There is a lot of terrible things going on in the world right now.  Many of it is done in the name of religions and strict interpretations thereof, that brainwash their followers into believing that not only is their God the one true God, but that the particular interpretation of what their God wants is the one and true interpretation.  Then some take it a step further and push the belief that anyone who does not follow their God, or their specific interpretation of their God is evil and must be destroyed.  Not only that, but they push people into attempting to destroy the people their God is either unwilling or incapable of destroying himself.

Regardless of what you do or do not believe, I think it is time all of us understand that attempting to force people into believing in your God isn’t doing anyone any good, including your God.  Your violence in the name your God turns people from him.  Whether you believe it is your God, or my Goddess and God, or nothing but happy coincidence in the way particles combine, I think we can all agree that we are blessed to have the gifts of the seasons, the sunlight, the streams and rivers, the plants and trees, the weather, and the chance to attempt to create the happiest life here on this blue rock in space that we can.  Whether you set aside days to do it or not, how about we appreciate the gifts that either the divine or science bestow on all of us, and quit trying to fuck it up for us all over petty arguments about who gave us the gift?  Give thanks to whatever you believe by appreciating the gifts given while you can.

Merry Mabon, Happy Fall, Happy Autumn, and Happy Spring for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere.

Blessed Be.