Home Sick

I’m recovering from some sort of virus. As I lay down to take a nap on Monday I felt perfectly fine, when I got up from the nap I felt poorly. I worked a half day on Tuesday, then went home and huddled under a pile of blankets for the next 24+ hours, sweating and shivering. Because I had slept so late Wednesday, I didn’t get to sleep that night until Thursday morning – after I would normally be at work, though I still feel rather crappy. I woke up at 6:30 AM because I forgot to turn off the ringer to the damn phone before I finally got to sleep. I stayed awake because I want to call work to tell them I won’t be in today. An hour later my mother-in-law is _still_ on the phone, so I figured I’d put out a blog post to kill time and update my reader(s) on what has been going on.

Three weeks after I started my new job, back in May (I was hired onto overhead in April, so got nearly a month paid before I was back in the vault), the agency I work for announced that they were no longer going to support the product I was working on. At that time, the prime contractor (yes, it is a rather silly way to do things, as a tax payer I am mortally offended at the waste) said that we had enough funds to last at least until the end of October, most likely until the end of December, given how fast the rats were likely to abandon the sinking ship. As such, since we were in the middle of refinancing our mortgages, I decided I’d just sit back and let my new company try and find me another position somewhere. That lasted for about six weeks, then we got a ‘correction’ in what they meant to say was we would have until the end of September. Since it can trivially take 4-6 weeks to switch to a new job even after acceptance all around (what with clearance transfers and whatnot), I decided I couldn’t rely just on my new employer any longer, so revived many of my previous job search contacts. I have had some positive steps, but no official offers yet, so may get to be unemployed all over again.

Regarding the refinances, we are supposed to sign those docs on Monday (which is 5 days away as I type this). Though tings didn’t work out entirely to our expectations (the appraisal of our house in the Va countryside wound up significantly lower than I had expected, fortunately we could get a much higher loan-to-value rate on our house in Maryland to compensate) the end result is satisfactory. We will wind up with just two mortgages, about $500 more expensive each, but no other debt at all. All credit cards, student debt, etc. all paid off in two interest deductible loans. Of course, that also means we will be paying our Va mortgage until we are 81. However, at 3.5% actual interest rate, closer to 2.4% once interest tax deductions are factored in, I figure we are far and away better off putting any money we might have to prepay the loan into investments.

Refinancing dramatically reduces our fixed monthly expenses, by over $4K, which makes my job search immensely more flexible. According to our budget spreadsheet I could take a pay cut of 60% and still cover all our bills. Since I was making only 35% less when I was last working in the uncleared world (yes, there really is a 35% premium for putting up with this nonsense!), that means I have the potential to find a job on the ‘outside’ if things don’t work out on the ‘inside’. Of course, I’d rather keep my current pay, our plan is to put that extra money into investments so we can retire in 6 years. Six _long_ years…

After the refinance seemed in the bag my wife allowed me to schedule a professional editor to go over my first book. He is busy (beware professionals that aren’t!) and won’t be able to look at it until mid Sept, so I probably won’t get feedback until Oct. It is ‘only’ $750 to give a detailed appraisal of my work, including the most important to me: is it worth a damn. Depending on his feedback I should be able to make a clear decision on whether to pursue this dream (fantasy) or not. I’ve approached nearly 30 agents with none asking to view the manuscript. I’ve also submitted the manuscript to Tor/Forge (one of the few mainstream publishers that will consider unagented submissions) and got rejected. Now, it might be simply that my writing is crap, despite the encouraging words I’ve been given, but it also might be I’m selling my work incorrectly, for instance by targeting the wrong genre. The editor should be able to help sort that out as well, and perhaps even provide some input on my ‘query’ letter, maybe that sucks as well.

Though this post wasn’t triggered by any specific article I’ve read, I did read a couple recently I think my reader(s) might find interesting. This one:

Growing Organs on Apples
The future of regenerative medicine may be plants.
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/growing-organs-on-apples/493265/

Is quite fascinating as it talks about some ‘low tech’ ways of engineering organs for humans.

On a more political note is this one in a theme I’ve ranted about a few times before:

FBI Agent Goaded Garland Shooter to “Tear Up Texas,” Raising New Alarms About Bureau’s Methods
https://theintercept.com/2016/08/09/fbi-agent-goaded-garland-shooter-to-tear-up-texas-raising-new-alarms-about-bureaus-methods/

Yes, it really seems that, on purpose or not, the FBI is involved in ‘false flag‘ attacks on our own nation.

According to Scott Adams, Clinton now has a ‘master persuader’ in her own camp, which is why she is no longer getting roundly beaten in the court of public opinion. This doesn’t mean that she is a shoe-in for the elections, though, as the difference is that Trump is his own advisor, so will always take his advice and Clinton is likely to ignore her advice at some critical juncture. While I buy into Adams’ master persuader hypothesis, I’m rather upset that the only way to win an election now is to start enough fires to burn down the nation. This idiot nonsense with Trump ‘dog whistle‘ of encouraging gun toting morons to go after Clinton and any SCOTUS appointments is pure and simple idiocy. With the two sides working so hard to make the other into non-human aliens who aren’t fit to exist, it seems like any success will result in half the nation actively working against the winner. I had expected Trump to moderate his attacks and go back to show that the Main Stream Media (MSM) had misinterpreted his earlier inflammatory comments, yet he seems to be doubling down. Of course, if you go look at his actual quotes they are no where as inflammatory as reported, yet in the vast majority of the cases he is perfectly happy with the MSM interpretation. For a while I thought I might get off the fence and vote for Trump just to see what would happen, now I’m starting to think of voting for Hillary because I hate so much how Trump is dividing the country. Not that Hillary would be a ‘good’ president, we are well and truly in the situation of ‘death by hanging’ vs ‘death by firing squad’, all outcomes are going to suck.

I’ve spent an hour writing this post, so my mother-in-law has been on the phone for two hours and seems to be going strong. I had to use my cell phone to call in to work!

Now that I seem to be awake, I may get something to eat and watch some Olympics before going back to bed…