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D-Ray Kenobi

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Posts posted by D-Ray Kenobi

  1. I love In N Out and make it a priority any time I'm out on the West Coast.  But if I had it around to get anytime, I'd probably get tired of it too.

    I won't go on my own accord to Chic-Fil-A because the people that own it are trash, and it tends to attract the holier than thou crowd.  But if somebody is buying it for me I'll keep that to myself because it's still good.

  2. I'm a stan for anything Adidas.  I run a lot and their shoes hold up incredibly well, they make really good shorts and pants too.  I never had any of the same luck with any other brand like Nike or whatever.  I also will pony up for Levi's pants.  I've had some of the same pairs for nearly a decade and they still basically look new.

    Also Tesla has completely won me over.  I got my Model 3 used for an insanely good price before the chip shortages hit both used and new prices hard, but I still have like three years of a full warranty on it.  Apparently even if I get a flat tire, the remote repair truck will come to where I am and there's no charge whatsoever.  It's also the only car I've ever had that's gotten better as time goes on.  Software updates have made my speaker system better and increased my battery range, I'm living in the freaking future.

  3. Nothing would shock me at this point.  The lack of regulation is going to end up biting us all before too long.

    Back on our front, I have been starting to get some stuff done at our place to either stay here for a long while or get it market ready in a few years.  The house we're in is a little over twenty years old, so it's about that time for a number of things.  Last year I painted and sealed the garage floor and we had professional painters do a few rooms. 

    The latest project was getting some foundational supports installed.  My home office / dude room extends a little out from the house, and it had started to sink around a quarter of an inch from the rest of the house.  We had some guys literally dig underneath and put in some hydraulic lifts.  Wasn't too cheap, but the warranty paperwork will make any house inspection look at us very favorably when the time comes.

    Next up is getting the roof done.  That's probably coming in a year and I don't imagine it'll be that cheap either unless I can get away with just having it reshingled.

  4. On 10/26/2021 at 1:11 PM, Ms. Spam said:

    It's crazy because of those investors. I hate those ppl. I can't afford a single house I really like and because I'm contingent any offer I make is ignored. 

    I hope I'm wrong, but I really suspect the overall market is headed for another 2008 style crash.  There's no way that the continued pace of housing prices can be sustainable.

    The outside investor angle is what really concerns me.  I know this is the same story from many other towns, but there's entire neighborhoods in Huntsville that now are basically owned by those oligarchies.  A group of investors buys out an industrial site, turns it into a yuppie mixed use playground, then buys up all of the housing nearby so the Whole Foods crowd can continue to patronize it and drive up property value.

    I'm largely a centrist these days, but stuff like this makes me just want to entirely go to Socialism and make you all my comrades. 

  5. I don't know what I am or what label if any applies to me these days.  I personally think that the universe and just about every law of physics suggest that it's impossible for there not to be some sort of intelligent creator, but the older I get and hopefully the wiser I get, the more that I realize that it's above my pay grade to assume anything about who that might be.  There's bits and pieces of what might be evidence around, but I think years of decontextualization and the warped way that so-called Christians have distorted things recently have made it impossible to lean on some invisible pillar of blind belief.

    If I don't even understand all that much about this plane of existence, it's certain that I don't understand much at all about any other one.  So there being some sort of afterlife isn't entirely impossible to me, but there isn't enough independent evidence to say much about it.  Whether there is or isn't, beyond doing right by people, I'm still taking this present existence a lot less seriously.  Maybe what we do in it now might make a small little ripple, but all ripples fade out and are forgotten, no matter how much we try to pretend they turn into waves.

  6. Things are insane in my area right now.

    At least four major manufacturing plants or distribution centers have expanded or opened up within a half hour drive of here.  They're from like likes of Target, Toyota, and other big companies.  That's in addition to the new secondary FBI HQ at Redstone Arsenal, as well as the Space Force HQ that's coming in a few years.

    The house across the street from me sold to an out of town investment company after two days on the market for $15K over the asking price.  I've been getting mail and calls about offers on mine, and we've never had any intent to move.  The county tax assessor's office now says the value of our place is about $60K over what we originally paid for it in 2007, and that's not even the market price.  Zillow estimates it to be double what we paid for it.

    Part of me wants to cash in and upgrade, but there's literally no point since every other house in the area has skyrocketed as well.  

  7. On 10/14/2021 at 1:11 PM, Tank said:

    My current dilemma is that I'm this show, and I don't love my episode. I'm adapting a so-so book, doing my best with it because I really needed the job to make my minimums with the union to keep my insurance. I'm doign my best to have fun with it, but the showrunner is VERY prescriptive and I hasn't given me a ton of freedom.

    Worse, he's made one of the characters really sexist and gross. At first it was funny and intentional, but when the studio came back and said it was making the whole script feel sexist, he decided to push back even harder and write all these lines that are even worse.

    As showrunner, he has the right to do that to my script-- but my name is still on it, so the studio and network are going to think this is coming for me. He will fight for it, but at the end of the day when it's shot and comes out my name will be on it. I've pushed back a little with him, but two other writers have already left the show. I don't know if it is because they had trouble working with him, but I have my suspicions.

    I always love learning how the meat gets made from you.  This sort of stuff is always really obvious and glaring in a lot of big studio movies.  Certain scenes come out of nowhere, or feel unnecessary or shoehorned in.  Sometimes it's even line to line.  I liked No Time to Die a lot, but the parts where they had Phoebe Waller-Bridge come in to brush things up really felt like an apple put in with a bunch of oranges.

    On my side of things, I'm feeling really stale.  I love where I work, I always wanted to be at NASA since I was a little kid.  But the role itself has gotten incredibly mundane and discouraging.  Everything's in a long slog of a routine, and new projects are tough to pick up as long as we're still working remote.  We're going through a bit of a reorganization, and I'm seriously considering reaching out to my current and former PM to see if there's a more comm-centric role I can take before too long.  I really can't complain, but I'd really like to be challenged a bit more and feel more excited about it like when I first started. 

  8. I have struggled a lot with this in recent years, I'm having a continually evolving background existential crisis.

    Around four or so years ago, my beloved niece flatlined and technically died on the airlift to the children's hospital.  She eventually made it and is now a nonstop and deafening bundle of mischief, but there was a few days where we thought she was gone and a few months where we thought she'd never be the same again.

    Last year was tough too.  I lost my grandpa and my cat of over a decade,  both were normal and had to be expected because they were both old in their own ways.  But another instance that really hurt was a very good friend that was around my age.  It was very much not expected, and it is still an awful situation all around because she had just had a daughter no more than a year before she passed.

    Also recently I lost an uncle to COVID.  It's very discouraging and infuriating because he was very much an anti-masker / anti-vaxxer.  I couldn't even bring myself to go to his funeral because that whole side of the family is pretty vocal about their stance on that thing, and I knew if I was there I would end up saying something I couldn't take back.  I just had to do the emotional math and realized that the distance I'd make by not showing up would be less than what I'd make by getting drawn into an argument in that situation.

    All of that combined with the mess of the last year and a half can't help but make you question existence.  All of the needless death in that time has taken parents away from kids, split families like mine, so many different things.  I think it's caused me to be a little more nihilistic than I'd like to be.  I've found myself withdrawing from more things and more people and perhaps subconsciously and intentionally making my social circle smaller.  Because what's the point, right?  If anything could take us away at any moment, what's the point of striving for a goal you may never see?  I find myself living in the moment more and not worrying about tomorrow, and I'm still trying to find a better balance for that all the time.

  9. And Zathras I am so sorry to hear that.  I lost my grandpa a few months ago, I understand a part of what you may be feeling right now.  Emotions are like waves in times like this, ride them out and lean on someone if you feel like any wave is too heavy for you.

  10. Something positive I learned from the few therapy sessions that did help is that sometimes it's the deeply rooted things from long ago that often come back to bite you.

    In my case, it's been a few things.  Feeling inadequate and always having to keep up in unhealthy ways to feel worthy when I was a kid, and then dealing with loyalty and abandonment issues when my parents split around a decade ago.  Whenever I feel like I'm having to compete for attention or whenever I feel like someone has ditched me, those feelings get dug up from deep inside mental storage.

    Being able to recognize that those things have been dug up sometimes helps in kind of classifying them and putting them back into storage.  You'll never really get rid of those things fully, but being able to take a step back objectively and define them helps to keep it from spiraling or soaking into other parts of your life.

  11. Best movie I've seen all year.  Maybe in the last few years.  It's one of those kinds of things that requires a lot of work of the audience and a repeat viewing or two.

    I wasn't prepared to love a movie that included mom's cum rag, but here we are I guess.

    • Pretty much everyone in our circle is fully vaccinated now, so from a "doing things perspective," the pandemic is over for us.  We're already making up for lost time and have gone to theme parks, ballgames, concerts and things like that.
    • Work is going really well.  I got promoted to a new role again about a month ago and I get to work on some more mission-related stuff so that's pretty cool.
    • A few months ago, I bit the bullet and treated myself to a Tesla Model 3.  I'd driven my old car for twelve years, this was always my dream car, and I found an insane deal on a used 2018 model.  So I figured why not, I love it.
    • We're doing a road trip through New Orleans and Austin in a month and a half, I'm excited to visit there again.  I haven't been since I went to SXSW ten years ago and I am dying to get some BBQ.  Also if things go well and borders reopen, we're going back to Thailand in February.
  12. I didn't think it was bad, I just think that it kind of turned into paint-by-numbers Marvel in most aspects.

    There were some solid action set-pieces, possibly some of the best there's ever been in the MCU.  That chase scene in the first episode and that truck fight were amazing.  Also, they really had some good thesis ideas for dealing with a lot of important topics.  But it felt like they weren't bold enough to say anything about those topics, and were more interested in being a standard MCU four-quadrant crowd pleaser.  At the end of episode two, I thought this was going to be something really special.  But a few more episodes in, it just felt like a lot of bland filler to get Sam into the suit.

    After WandaVision, I kind of expected it to be more fresh or have something more to say.  In the alternate universe where Falcon and Winter Soldier came first, I might have felt differently.  But the first real MCU TV show set up big expectations for me that Falcon and Winter Soldier didn't meet very well.

  13. I've dealt with this kind of stuff for forever.

    Most of it stems from a lousy childhood.  Home was fine enough at the time, but I was in a really terrible school situation up until the ninth grade.  The place I went to was kind of a magnet school for all the kids that got expelled everywhere else, so it was a combination of them and the biggest overachievers ever.  Add that to the fact that kids that age are just ***holes in general, and it was a perfect storm of mental torture.  Years of that warps your brain into having the worst conceptions of yourself.  When my parents split right after I moved out of the house, it kind of locked in a lot of things psychologically for me.  I thought for years I at least had a good home life, but it was tough to not see it as some sort of facade after the fact.

    These days, I should feel confident because I'm lucky to be in a pretty good spot.  But often times I don't feel that confidence.  I often don't feel like I'm good looking enough, that I'm slowly aging out of relevance, often have some sort of imposter syndrome going on, or any other vague range of insecurities.  Just when you start to feel good about yourself, you remember some past incident or past voice that has a compelling reason as to why you shouldn't.  I've gone to many therapists over the years which have sometimes given me odd ways of trying to retrain my brain on some of this stuff.  It helps to a degree, but I think I've come to conclude that even the most trendy therapeutic methods can only do so much when you had so many things happen as a young person.  Some scars just don't go away, no matter how much makeup you put on it.

    It takes continual work, and sometimes it takes a little convincing yourself.  It's work that never really ends either.


  14. I don't pop into Nightly these days as much as I probably should, so here's what I've been doing.

    Trips - We're going to do a road trip to New Orleans and Austin in a few months, basically just to take advantage of COVID basically being over.  I haven't been to Austin in ten years so I'm excited to be back for some BBQ and the Alamo Drafthouse.  We're also keeping an eye on how Thailand's vaccinations are going, hoping we can go back there for two weeks in January or February.  Also, we *might* go to LA for the next Star Wars Celebration in May.

    Hobbies - With Captain Trips coming to a close, live music is happening again.  Just when I thought I was out, they're pulling me back in.  I've already been involved with a little with helping to plan events at Bonnaroo, I might be a guest host on Sirius XM in a month or two, and my entire life has led up to me getting to see my favorite band Tame Impala on my birthday this September.

    Work - I got another promotion and am working on a few more mission-specific things lately.  SLS finished Green Run Testing so things are starting to look really real for the Artemis program.  In theory, the first uncrewed mission goes up this November, and I've started to be on a few calls about processes for what IT needs to do ahead of launches.  I love my job, it's blast to even have a small hand in this stuff.

    A lot of good stuff is going on, and I'm so glad karma has evened things out from last year's garbage.  My grandpa passed away, another long time friend passed shortly after having a baby, my wife lost her job, my beloved cat of ten years passed away, all sorts of awful stuff.  But she got a cool new job and stuff is going great now.

  15. My wife and I did a weekend trip for our fifteenth anniversary this past weekend, so that was pretty cool.

    I had a buddy ask what it takes to keep it going for a while, and honestly I don't even know.  Disagreements and fights happen, and if anybody says that two married people are always on the same page with everything that's just a lie. 

    If anything, I think there's just an awareness in the back of our mind that things always level out.  We might have it out and not be able to stand one another on one day, but then probably be cackling and inseparable two weeks straight after that.  The only thing I can think of that I actively do is always have something to look forward to, whether it be some trip we're planning or project we're working on.  That way, even if you go through a rough patch, you still know you have something fun together to look forward to.

  16. I don't see it crashing anytime soon.  The main reason it did back in 2008 was because of predatory lending and finance market inventions that largely don't exist anymore.  For the most part, people can afford the houses they're buying and their mortgages aren't tied up in securities anymore.

    Even in the last year, supply just seems to be far below demand in most towns.  Places that used to be cow pastures in my area just a year ago are now spiraling mazes of suburbia.  I think eventually it'll change over to a buyer's market when Gen Z can't afford houses or doesn't care about owning a house, but that's going to be a little while longer.

  17. Artists of any medium being involved socially and politically is in no way a new thing.  They just have a bigger megaphone for it in recent years.

    I personally feel as if anyone has a right to speak their mind to a reasonable extent.  Blowback is just kind of natural selection for those that take it too far.  

  18. We've been dipping our toes into the idea of getting our next place, we've been in our relatively small house for around thirteen years now.  (Funny how the last year changed things pretty drastically.)

    I was shocked at how much the market has changed in what was once a really affordable area.  A house that would have went for around $130K just a few years ago is now pushing $200K.  That's mostly in areas that's within city limits and a quick drive to the government installation or downtown, but it's certainly a harbinger of things to come.  I'm still looking for places outside of town that we might like, but I'm also looking at ways to build onto or improve our existing place.

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