Friday, September 09, 2016

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.

 This is the blurb for a William Gibson book suggested to me by Wil Wheaton. Today instead of reading any of the books I brought with me, or doing my homework, or wasting all day on reddit, I'm catching up on a few blogs including Wheaton's. He's doing his monthly where do I stand on my midlife reboot column. So I'll follow along with my own notes.
Drinking less beer: Well beer's never been my drink, but my gin and tonic consumption has been cut in half this year. Not a conscious choice, I just lost interest, and less I drink the more I notice it the next day if I do drink. It's a subtle thing, because if I drink, I don't get out of bed the next day and don't get anything done, whereas if I don't drink, I stay in bed blogging, like now, and don't get my homework done.
Playing more games: Yesterday I won two games of chess and lost two. Losing is better than winning, it means I have a good opponent. Today I lost at monopoly, a game I enjoy but had been sitting out while the other guys played. 
Reading more, and reddit doesn't count: Not even trying the 50 book challenge this year. I have Mike Rokyo's "Boss" with me, but I'm on page 1. Reddit has been all-consuming of my reading space.
Write more: I'm writing enough, but not the right stuff. Writer's block since May on the Nebraska case.
I'm doing a good job with my election law blog, while this one suffers. I rarely update, so my hits have fallen from a  typical 100 a day to 25 a day.
Work: made one phone call today, waiting on a call back. When this study pays off in a few days I'll be at $19.5K gross for the year from my main gig of doing studies, so I might or might not end up having a record year and hitting 24K. Not a whole lot of other income coming in, some rental income, some oil lease revenue, one insurance check, no legal fees. 
I had two huge offers for my Texas oil property which turned out to not be serious offers. Oil income is way down from last year, although that also means gas prices are down. Gas is one of my only expenses. Spent $220 on gas in the past month.
Investments: I bought another house this year with cash so I have 4, 80% of where I wanted to be when I turned 56, but none of them are generating significant positive cash flow. I'll need to keep working, and this may be my last year doing studies. Might try the Amazon warehouse this Xmas season.
Cars: My daily driver isn't a Volvo, just a temporary Geo. It's nice getting almost 40 mpg highway. 
I have one Volvo wagon that runs but needs work, and I have leads on a couple. Also might buy a small winnebago from Brian if I want to drive it from Vegas. 
Watching more movies: I can't count this one as a positive. Wheaton is a professional actor and writer so watching movies is homework for him. This year I got some documentary voting rights footage up on youtube that I hope to show in court someday, and made some unwatchable amateur porn, but the point of starting bad is to get better over time, so that was a fun project that I won't worry about backing up in case this computer dies. I've done very little about writing down a few screenplay ideas I have and will probably never fully write up much less turn into videos.
Get better sleep: probably not. 
Eat better: Nope. I cook way less than last year, I just grab something ready to eat so dinner might be a box of crackers. With my current roommates I don't feel like my kitchen is mine.
Exercise: I'm way out of shape, from not currently having a bike. Aside from some walking and dumpster diving, I do nothing physical, even when I'm not in a study.
Sex and romance: quantity up, quality down.
Law practice: I wrote and filed one amicus with unclear results, I have co-counsel for my Nebraska case but am not ready to file. I paid my dues and took my CLE classes. I can't find counsel for my voter ID cases. So just muddling through, less than I hoped but about what I expect.
So overall: Same old same old I think, nothing dramatically different. 
Next year I'll see whether or not I can keep making a living from studies now that I'm too old for most of them, so that will be a year long experiment, unless I stumble into a job I like. I might take a phlebotomy class and try working at one of the clinics where I've been doing studies.  I had thought that by now I would have to look for a job, but it turns out there's no hurry, and I'll probably keep putting that off while I can. I have about a year of money in the bank, but I'll get a job if I have to before the money is gone.
I should see if Kelly services has anything.  If things get bad I could sell a house or two; if things get really bad I can sell the oil lease, but my plan is to keep muddling through until my ship comes in.
So overall: physical health is good, mental health is better than last fall, living situation is substandard but OK, social networks tenuous, law practice still on hold, finances fine, changes to employment likely.
My stress is low. My expectations are low. I'm mostly content with how things are going.

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