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Space X Launch

It didn’t get rained out this time! It was really cool to see history unfolding in real time yesterday. Not only did the launch of the Falcon 9 go well, the booster returned to earth as planned and landed successfully on the ocean-based landing pad. Pretty slick compared to how the old rockets and fuels tanks of the shuttle came back to earth. I checked in on them a few minutes ago and watched the Dragon capsule do their manual test maneuvers and then dock with the ISS. That was awesome! I love space stuff.

I’ve been wrestling with my story idea for days. Bit and pieces have emerged as I’ve tried to brainstorm using Q&A, but key elements have been missing, especially how the main character fits into the story as a whole. It felt as if my imagination randomly picked a character out of bucket and then threw them into an unrelated situation which has nothing to do with them. Yeah, I’ve been banging my head against my desk. How did you know? I went to bed frustrated because I wasn’t getting anywhere. 1am rolls around and I wake up with a little heartburn but as I laid back down, the next big piece pops into my head. More pieces continued to come to me as I furiously scribbled stuff down in the dark. It’s funny how that works.

So where does that put me? I now know why my main character is there and why he’s needed. I also know more about my antagonist and the method to his machinations. Also gained some tidbits about side characters that I was also lost on. I even got the first line of the story last night. That’s a really good sign. I still have plenty of stuff yet to work out, but I like I might be over that big hurdle that’s been tripping me up. I’m so ready to get back into writing stage but I can’t rush it.

Mood: An artistic green star with an painting easel. Creative

Music: The Offspring – “Self-Esteem”

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Atlanta Protests

Holy crap! There were protests here in Atlanta last night. At first, they were peaceful, as they should be, but then it turned bad. People started smashing police car windows and then set a police car on fire. Starting with the CNN building, protesters vandalized store fronts, smashed windows and looted businesses as the mob travelled along the streets. They lit more cars on fire and even a building along the way. The protesters even made it as far as Lenox Mall, which is quite the walk from the CNN building, where they proceeded to continue the same smash and grab activities.

Mayor Bottoms went full angry mom mode and pleaded for folks to go home because she couldn’t keep people safe. They even had T.I. and Killer Mike get on TV to speak. Like the mayor, they were both angry and heartbroken, but they made really good points. Killer Mike especially, was raw and held nothing back. He agreed that there should be civil unrest but that it needed to be channeled the right way and organized. He said looting and vandalism isn’t the way, that those activities don’t honor the death of anyone and only makes things worse. They were hurting their own community and that they needed to stop.

I can only hope people hear his words and listen to them. If they want change, it must be done by voting, organizing, and speaking out. Sadly, the people of today have embraced the more radical forms of protest because they feel the non-violent resistance that Martin Luther King Jr pushed for doesn’t change anything. That feeling of hopelessness leads to anger and causes people to strike out. Before 2016, I thought we had mostly gotten past the racism of yesteryears. I knew there were sporadic pockets of out there that still held those ill feelings toward peoples of color but as a whole I thought we had snuffed it out. But during the last 4 years, it’s become clear my perception was wrong. It had been there the whole time, simmering beneath the surface. How do we as a nation fix things? Right now, things only seem to be getting worse.

Mood: An achy green star. Shocked

Music: Def Leppard – “Love Bites”

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Post Purchase Regret?

Now that I’ve been putting in serious effort to pay off all my debts, I look back at some of my purchases over the years and feel a little post purchase regret.

When the car I had for 16 years finally gave up the ghost, I financed a used car rather than buying one of lesser value with cash. Then a couple of years later, I ended up trading it in and financing a brand-new car. Why did I do that? While I do like the car I have now, I should have just bought a used car with cash. A little bit after that, I had to get my wife a car because hers died too. I tell you; we drove our cars into the ground! We financed hers as well, but it was a used car for a good price. I’m trying to have hers paid off by year end. Maybe, if the stars align, I can pay off mine by this time next year.

In the computer department, I’ve had a hell of a time. In the last decade, I’ve gone through a ton of cheap computers. They didn’t last but in hindsight, you get what you pay for. Last year, my previous laptop was on its way out. It couldn’t go more than a couple of hours without hardware errors. I’d reinstalled the OS several times and the hardware was no longer supported by the manufacturer. I had to get a new one. But instead of buying another cheap computer, I told myself I should get a nice one because it’ll last. Talk about sticker shock! Next month I’ll pay it off, but I still wonder if it was the right thing to do. At the very least, shouldn’t I have gone for something in the mid-price range?

Looking at our debt and doing budgets has really changed the way I look at things and how I spend money. Let me tell you, living paycheck to paycheck is no way to live. But after starting this journey, I went from just surviving day to day to really thinking about the future. The changes we make today can have a real impact on tomorrow, especially around spending habits.

The idea that we could potentially become debt free in a few years is amazing.

Mood: A pensive green star. Pensive

Music: Evanescence – “What You Want”

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