During the Pandemic

I relived hell in a hospital

This is a letter I sent to my employer in asking to remain working from home instead of being forced back into the office during an active pandemic. 

As a little background, I used to be a fully trained and Accredited Firefighter and specialized Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  I have been with SolarWinds since May of 2015 working in Technical support for US DoD and premiere customers supporting tools such as Serv-U, Dame Ware, DRE.  As well as Complex Orion, NPM, WPM environments. 


While working remotely I was able to train for WPM and DRE, as well as taking on Smart Start Assisted Orion Upgrades, being promoted to Senior Technical Support.  I have also become mentor for new hires. As well as continue to be an active KCS coach for our Knowledge base.  I feel I have adapted and excelled while working remotely.  My job can actually be done easier from my home than going into the office, such as making early meetings or working off-hours.  This also provides me a life work balance to keep up with the care of my special needs wife.


This December, I will have been with my wife for 23 years now. I was her mediator during her disability hearing for her SSI. A few years ago, She had to have extensive back surgery to keep her spinal column from deteriorating any further preventing her from being a paraplegic and try to correct her bad back. It resulted in 51% of her spine is fuse with 4 rods Titanium Rods, and screws where they could, and Surgical Hooks where the bone density was too thin for the screw. Other doctors have referred to it as resembling an Erector set. (see attached picture for reference).  She was officially declared disabled with Failed Back Syndrome and requires special medical attention because of it.


My wife is also allergic opiates and a few other medications which really limits her medication options. A lot have their own side-effects, which causes a need for other meds with more side-effects as well as some mild confusion and other strong emotional difficulties.   There is also a Neurostimulator device implanted in her back with a battery powered computer and a paddle array sitting on her spinal column. It comes with an iOS App on an iPod that controls and disrupts a portion of the pain signal going to her brain so she can get some of relief therapy. 


Being a real-life Bionic Cyborg has its own issues. She has loss strength in her arms and hands, and is unable to lift anything heavy like a skillet or carton of milk. Doing so will cause accidents, more pain and collapsing from passing out.   She still has to walk with a cane or a walker if a sturdy handrail is not present, because her balance is shot and stumbles constantly. Stairs or standing for long periods of time such as cooking for herself has become no easy task and she spends most of her day in bed the past few years. Falls and accidents have been prevented while I have been able to be at home.  I feel that My medical training has personally paid for itself being able to provide the level of care necessary for my special needs wife.


During the Time I have been able to be working remotely from Home, her condition has diminished further than when I was commuting.  Last Month (August 6th 2021)  my wife’s hardware broke in 3 places where the metal pieces snapped off.   We fought to see a surgeon for a week after we were able to get the x-rays.  During the surgery, the Neurostimulator was damaged and would not connect to the controller.  Recovery in the hospital was a nightmare for someone in her condition.  Any Jarring is extra painful, had to bring her own meds (which conveniently disappeared), nursing staff kept changing instructions for shift change, etc. 


She wasn’t able to start feeling better until she got home where I could take care of her properly with mobility assisting, proper medications, etc.  It will still be weeks of healing before she can get her Neurostimulator replaced and start that healing as well. 


My wife and I both desperately need your help for me to continue to work remotely on a permanent basis.  My Gracious co-worker of mine even made the comment during a team meeting, that he would be willing to give his 2 days a week of WFH to me, so that I could still stay at home with my wife.  I was speechless at the gesture, but the ones that know about my daily challenge all wish her the best, and know my special needs situation.

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Bearded Dragons aren’t exactly for beginners

I went to petsmart early this morning to get some crickets. I normally have dubia roaches on hand, but they arent reproducing as quickly as I would expect. Hungry dragons aren’t going to wait for USPS to deliver their supply. I was getting down to the bigger of the small bugs. Which isnt a good place to be in when trying to establish a growing colony. Little ones have to get adult size and making their own wee ones to complete the cycle. As they get older they reproduce more. It will probably be a few more months before that happens. So when getting too low I have to grab crickets in the meantime to keep my growing dragon feed and happy.

I dislike crickets. They dont stay where you put them, smell, die quick, are a pest if they get loose in the house, and produce alot of waste. But they are easy to obtain from the local petsmart for 11cents each for a quick fix. They also sell bearded dragons and have them labeled as a beginner pet.

This isnt exactly accurate. However bearded dragons are the king of chill

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Jury duty

So here is a new experience for me. Getting the opportunity to serve as a juror in Travis Co. I’ve never been given a jury summons before, but first time for alot of things this year. Good and bad alike.

I called at 11am-ish like instructed to see if I would even need to show up. When I called I was told that I was indeed expected to be there, bells excluded. I was able to finish up my last emails, grab a sloppy potato from the lunch line, print up my parking pass and be on my way.

20minutes later, passing the homeless shelter I found the free parking across the street, threw on a polo shirt over my DirectHit x Fat Wreck Chords tshirt and crossed on over to my court room where I was expected.

Everyone was super nice and almost appreciative that I was there. Doing a civic duty has it’s own reward. I dont quite understand that sentiment. It’s like that old adage of a task no one wants or knows how to do so ‘let the maid clean it up’ kind of gig. Like signing up for the draft and voting. Without some volunteer initiative nothing that we depend on no one in their right mind would volunteer to this sort of imprisonment. The money isnt worth it.

The biggest problem I saw is finding unbiased judgements of people. Say someone was robbed and never got any justice over the incident. They may not be able to separate the 2 unrelated incidents in order to say the opinion of a guilty or innocent.

Luckily in my jury duty experience I returned from the restroom just as the judge was announcing that we were dismissed and our duties fulfilled just for showing up and waiting. Both trials were not going to need a jury that day.

2 hours later I was back at work getting asked why did I return to work, and they would have gone straight home. I guess i have a better work ethic and rubbed it all in.

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Read more about the article Why do grocery stores bother with in-store coupons?
HEB coupons

Why do grocery stores bother with in-store coupons?

HEB Aisles

Perhaps, I just don’t get the idea behind it or how coupons work. I understand the manufacturers of goods issue out vouchers to vendors to get consumers to purchase their goods at their store outlets. Everybody wins. But why does the printed voucher have to be a part of this? Does someone at the end of the night actually mail all the vouchers back in to the manufacturer in order to receive the stores rebate check? Honestly? this day in age, they still have to have a printed copy of a receipt before we honor a transaction? When we can go a good long while without using cash for anything. School lunches are paid on an account that is funded over an Application on a website. Paychecks, taxes, rent, utility bills, purchasing a vehicle and streaming entertainment can all be done without one scrap of paper being used by the consumer.

HEB Instore Coupons

However my local H-E-B grocery store still recommends that I rip off a yellow piece of paper from an aluminium ring and give it to the always friendly cashier before I can save 55 cents on my package of bacon. Why don’t you lower the price? Why not just offer the lower price automatically with an HEB app? Encouraging people that would save money if they signed up and used the app that automatically applied their coupons when they used their Application which could give display ads of deals, save time applying coupons, and free up a ton of man hours printing and stocking those yellow coupons. You could even provide analytics of how much overtime the customer was saving by shopping at HEB. You would even be able to apply receipts to accounts and save by not having to print receipts. Saving a ton of time and resources and progressing to the Future.

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Read more about the article The US trailer

The US trailer

I had gotten invited to hangout with a quasi famous, atleast to me bassist that just happens to be in one of my most favorite bands this week, plans got crossed and perhaps another day we will hangout, now that i know he lives in Austin too. I had to pass on Blazer tag to check out the new Jordan Peele movie ‘Us.’ Everyone ive informed ill be seeing this immediately turned green with jealousy. Myself have been waiting to see this one as well. I like everything Ive seen peele do so far, it’s smart and funny. Reminds me of how Tommy Chong was a brillant actor, Chow from the hangover whose a fricken Doctor turned comedian.

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The todo list dilemma

Things have been interesting lately. I thrilled about having new clients for my website gig. Having the time in front of my magic box to create has been the challenge. I have found that keeping a checklist keeps my focus for the things i forget i need to have completed.

Ive heard before about how keeping todo lists are a waste of time. Thats where ideas go to die. I call BS. Im learning things that i heard and remembered but didnt understand when i started being interested in what actually hppens with my money. Take advice with a grain of salt, filter the ideas with what gives you results and dont be afraid to try something different when it gets hopeless, and it will get hopeless. So i hear dont make todo lists, have action and do it. Maybe thats the trick, im constantly looking for somethjng to grind on but get frustrated when i cant focus on working instead of getting lost somewhere between facebook and instagram.

Todo lists are a system, if you work the system that works for you.

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New Websites are being made

New Websites Are Coming

New Websites are coming and now I think This will have to be a lame way of Editing my posts before publishing them.  Damn you free plugins.



Watch Now
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Getting work completed

Getting work completed

I took this weekend to get a todo list completed. I’d say for the most part I completed it to the best of my needs.

There are some aspects that need some additional work and time. But I feel if I really devoted the time to my present skill level it would leave no time for the rest of my todo list and I would not feel as accomplished as I do for completing as much of my list as I have.

I almost feel I could use another weekend from my weekend. But it wasn’t so bad. Kinda like spending it at a workshop, or helping a family member move. It was for the greater good it seems. At least I learned a few things, and most important. What I still need to learn.

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Glass Screener


The sequel to the sequel

I receved passes and have watched several times Split. Unbreakable had some memories but I only remember certian scenes.

The horror movie screeners usually have an apperance by The Austin Horror Society. Since their last management change attendance in the facebook group has declined in both attendance and enthusiasm. While in line getting our wristbands we were asked if we reserved passes through AHS. We declined and got our own passes through Slyfox.

instagram post

While we are waiting for the screener to start some of the bigger production movies have extra swag bags when they showed it earlier today at the Alamo Draft house. I’m sure you have to actually be someone to get invited to a screener then. One day at a time. One day at a time. I posted the above on Instagram as a best hope in getting selected for a grab bag. They usually have a tshirt and some other goodies the are worth the post. Only a small handful of times I have over heard someone mentioning something about a movie shirt. In Austin, movies get filmed so conversation went “maybe he’s apart of the crew” does get mistaken. I would never claim credit for work I didn’t help create, however it is cool to be guilty by association on the occasion.

Ok so the contest happened and i didnt win. Whaa. But, my lovely wife did get picked, and got not 1 t-shirt in her size and in the design she wanted, but a 2nd tshirt as well, in the same perfect size. Yaaaaay!

Anyways, the movie was really good. I may need to watch a second time to fully understand the nuainces and nods that m. Night is capable with his ‘twiiists!’. I personally enjoyed seeing Bruce Willis again in his role as a hero. I always saw him as a bit of a father figure. And now seeing him very grey reminds me of time does not escape us. Ececept Bruce Willis will never stop being a bad ass. Like seriously though, every movie, he is the sterotype hero action, bad guy gunna lose that keeps surprizing you. Has anyone thought of him as a batman role?

There isnt a stinger, and may be a fourth eventhough everyone dies, but not their stories.. opps spoiler!

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Friendsgiving break

So I didn’t do any of the writing I was expecting to get done. Big shocker, I know.

I did spend the time re-energizing. I realized how much sleep I had missed. Usually after staying up late, and back up early the next morning drains on me. I’ll crave those extra sleeping hours, eventually getting them back over the next few days.

We stayed up late on Thursday night watching the Joe Bob Briggs last drive in Turkey edition. I made it to see what the last movie was and had to call it quits.

I love hibernating during the colder months.

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