The original words of Phanes, tirelessly carved into a slab of "No'".

Holy Shit It’s Over (Maybe)

Title says it all.

March was the month that just kept on giving.  Luckily for me, it fell short.  Or maybe I got taller in the process.  Who knows.  I admit fully that this is an early declaration of victory as there are still 26 hours left in March to fuck my game up.

Since my last post, I had to miss some work to schedule moving, pack and clean, rent the U-Haul truck, and all of the bullshit involved in moving that I hate.

God HIMSELF Tried

Then, the next night after getting the U-Haul, a tornado hit, so, I had to load it under siren and questionable wind.  And rain.  Oh, and uh…a tornado..

Screenshot_2017-03-30_22-00-39

I destroyed my knee in the process of loading in the rain.  It’s slowly healing.  Trying an Epsom salt soak tonight.

Circumstance Tried

Bought a washer and dryer for the new place.  The mattress got upstairs but the box strings wouldn’t fit in the staircase (seriously), so I found the only place between God and Country that sells “split full boxsprings”.

Fun Fact:  3 employees at a place called “Bed, Bath and Beyond” did not know what box springs are.  I am unsure of what they sleep on.

The King’s Men Tried

The following night after returning the U-Haul I had a bizarre encounter with law enforcement.  Now before I continue, I want to reiterate that I’ve never been arrested.  I’ve never been charged with a crime.  I don’t even jaywalk (much).  I have an almost perfect driving record barring one event, that, much like March of 2017, just keeps on giving.  Here’s the backstory.

In June of 2016 I rear-ended a guy going like 25 mph, resulting in the collapse of the plastic front end of my Ion and scratched paint on the bumper of the guy I rear-ended, after he slammed on his e-brakes post-stop at an intersection in a rural road.

When the Sheriff arrived was when I found out that Ohio was one of those states that had compulsory auto insurance requirements.

So, I got a ticket for no insurance and another for failure to assure clear driving distance (the rear-ending).

So, I went to court, explained it to a Judge who didn’t give a shit, was told to get insurance and that I’d need to settle with the other driver’s insurance company.  So I got insurance and settled with his company, and paid them in full — every penny.  Problem solved.

9 months go by.  I’m moving the night before last.

Screenshot_2017-03-30_22-18-16

As I’m pulling into the driveway of my old apartment to do some detail cleaning I see blue lights.  Blue lights everywhere.  All of the blue lights ever behind me.

I thought there was some kind of situation going on in the adjacent building.  I park the car, turn off the lights.

The primary responding officer, who I pretended not to recognize as the guy who responded to the wreck back in June, ran up to my window nervously and said “your license is suspended”.  I said “what?” and he says “your lights are off, can I see your license and insurance verification”.

I told him my lights were clearly on until I parked and disengaged the vehicle, and then we test my lights which were working fine.  He comes back after running my license.  He says, again, “Your license is suspended”.  I told him it’s likely not.  He tells me to put my hands where he can see them as he puts his hand on his gun.  Then tells me to get out of the car slowly.

I get out of the car asking him what’s going on, he asks me like 30 times if I have a weapon with me repeatedly, calmly saying “no weapons, no weapons” and I could just tell this guy was trying to get me nervous and he had his hand on his gun while he talked, and he was super nervous.

He puts me in the back of the car and I’m just like “this is really weird man, what’s going on here”.

He gets in the car, I reiterate how weird this is and how it feels like a setup.  He says “it’s weird for me too buddy”.  I tell him to let me out of the car where a dashcam can see me and he does, thankfully.  He spends a few minutes writing the tickets, then comes over again to give them to me while talking to me about the ticket to convince me that my lights were off, to which I calmly replied “I am sure the dashcam will show this when I dispute it”.  He places his hand on his gun again while talking nervously.  I had to unbury some long unused situational management techniques to keep this guy calm and I’d have probably been assaulted or killed had I not.

While I was out of the car, the man who was the officer’s passenger stated he worked for the local jail and when another officer got out while I was asking him, he told that officer “He’s doing fine so far”.  It was at this point I asked if this was “training or something” to which he replied “no”.  Interestingly enough this man was inspecting my vehicle illegally with a flashlight while I was in the car.  The first responding officer then hands me my ticket, gives his speech, and I sign it while saying “congratulations”.   What a weird fucking encounter.  The third office spoke little and was observing, and when I asked him about what’s going on he said he felt like I was giving him an attitude (was super nice to this guy) and I handled that well too.  That dashcam footage won’t ever make it to court though I think, because the passenger filed (this wasn’t announced except on the ticket) a U-10-100 which is a statement filed by field observers to corroborate each other’s stories.

Anyway, the next day I find out I needed to have filed an SR-22 with my insurance company per the judge, which I somehow missed (apparently is compulsory if you get pulled over without insurance?) and then pay a reinstatement fee (they tried to suspend my license until I settled with the insurance company which went on for a few days as I tend to actually negotiate during negotiations).   I had immediately gotten auto insurance when this all happened so thought I was ok.

So, I find out my insurance company won’t do an SR22 the next morning.  This then turns into bouncing between two auto insurance companies via uber, then the BMV, 3 times, to get a new policy and an SR22, which should have taken weeks to finalize but I got through in a few hours by doing the legwork.

Another day of work missed over the Ides of March.  But, problem solved.  E pluribus unum.

I go to court for “Driving on a Suspended License” and “Driving without Headlights on at Night” on April 4th.  Never seen a court date be 7 days after the incident.  I’ll have to check for any relevance of that date and should see if the sheriff will release the dashcam footage for my defense.  It is a first offense so I will likely pay a fine.

Anyway, I hung out for a bit, walked to the store and back with my cell dying knowing I need the GPS to get to the new place and it’s not holding a charge even plugged in (which caused all these fun mini-situations all week that week).  Then drove a route I knew they don’t patrol to get home until I could sort this out.

My Own FATIGUE TRIED

The same night, which was the last night I had the U-Haul to unload at the new place, in the dark of night, I locked my keys in the car to get out to go into my new place and start unpacking.  The front door was locked.  My cell was dead.  My car was impregnable without breaking stuff, with the keys gloatingly shining in the brand new ignition switch I just replaced.

The only place nearby was a hospital, so I hiked down there and used their lobby phone to call roadside assistance and then sat in the cold without my coat waiting for the jimmies.

My Rivals TRIED

If you’re following the SURRO Linux progress blog you’ve probably already seen this, but someone got to a member of Freenode staff and has derailed our base of operations using repeated klines against all surro-related domains, preventing even our channel bots from remaining in the channel.  We immediately relocated from Freenode to OFTC as a result and have been back in action ever since.  Fuck ’em, I’ll just work even harder on it now and am unburdened by any policies that would have kept me low profile.  I’m just generally immune to network bans, so all this did really was serve as an aggro factor.

My Car Tried (Or Someone TRied on its Behalf)

Already whine-blogged.

My Neurotransmitters Tried

Seasonal affective disorder was in full gear this month.  That dose of 5-HTP was a game changer.

A Ghost Tried

So, a few years back I lived in Virginia.  Apparently a guy I used to rent from’s insurance company filed a subrogation claim while all this was going on and sent the summons to my old address.  In the thralls of moving I had to ignore it because it was a summons to appear in Virginia with almost no notice, and was a claim for about 7k to pay dudes to lay fans down in like 2013 when a sink flooded in the kitchen (my fault, I was exhausted and left a drip, came back and it’d flooded the kitchen floor).  Got a default judgment and I’ll have to deal with it.  Apparently they waited years after I left the state to even approach me with it.

Huh.  Interesting.  2008 – Water in the floor.  2013 – Water in the floor.  2017 – Water in the floor.  Another convergence that will not be explained here as I do not have enough details.

What’s Coming

Old Landlord.

They’re sneaky pricks.  I’m sure they’ll try to nab me for the water damage caused by the burst pipes in the living room floor that destroyed the carpet a few weeks before I gave moveout notice.  I’ve still got some cleaning to do and some stuff to pick up.  Tomorrow’s the last day to do it.  Then I’m finally out but will have to make sure this account is settled.

New Landlord.

Sweet lady but after move-in wants to ammend the smoking-friendly lease to be a firm non-smoking lease, and hasn’t installed the AC yet as promised.  I declined to alter the lease but compromised by moving smoking area from office to back porch, and then saw an upset email (it’s insurance related, much like about a third of all human problems apparently).  I’ll wait a couple days to ask when the contractually obligated AC is to be installed.  Also finding out that they might be entering illegally already based on some statements made in passing.  I’ll have to address it when I see it or I’ll sound accusatory.  Don’t want to break the peace.  God, please let this be peaceful.

Job Maintenance

The absolute fuckstorm that was March has eaten up a great deal of time, including some missed days at work with a 4/7 deadline for several projects.  I’ll have to bust ass hard between now and then to keep up, but, I got this.  I’m actually pretty decent at what I do.

Court

April 4th, already mentioned.  Almost perfect driving record, had to file SR22 and faced two suspensions over paperwork.  Fuck me.

Loans and Bills

This was a very, very expensive month.  After replacing all the stuff that broke during the move, getting everything paid regarding deposits, rent et al, and generally doing the move I had about what I had borrowed to get through left.  It was like these events converged in a perfect way to have totalled the perfect amount of what was going to be in my bank account had I not gotten a last minute loan.  Supposing that these are coincidental, which I have to assume, it is interesting to say the least.

It is enough to explore the paranoid.  If these were not coincidental convergeances, then that loan might have been a big deal as no coordination of convergeance would hit that exact number without the intention of catching me where I needed to spend money fast and couldn’t.  Luckily it’s just coincidental, but, if it hadn’t been, I’d so be covered.

Student loans are back.  Need to get on that.

Conclusion — All Failed, I won, Nana-Boo-boo.

There were so many alignments in March.  I’ve never seen anything like the kind of convergence I encountered.  I’m actually a little weirded out about the frequency of alignment as March comes to a close.  Had I not been a total mutant this would not have ended well.  I’m calling it a near-miss and I’m actually amazed at how well everything turned out.

Action Items, Most Mentioned

  • Finish cleanup at old place tomorrow after work.  Don’t forget the US Flag on the wall.
  • Washer and dryer install Saturday
  • Box springs arrive Saturday
  • Settle with subrogation firm from Virginia (like, now, before they domesticate the default judgment)
  • New plan on student loans (like, now, before they turn)
  • Pay back existing loans from March (starts in May)
  • Buy living room TV
  • Buy TV stand for living room
  • Buy couch for living room
  • Build new desk
  • Buy 3D Printer
  • Buy new dishes and cookware, utensils
  • Decorate walls and windows
  • Wait a couple days.  Ask when the AC is being installed.
  • Try to maintain discipline on smoking on the porch (probably the hardest one on this list).

Bring it on, April.

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The Personal Blog of Chris Punches