Home Sweet Home

The following is the 14th time I’ve posted this journal entry. It’s my first-hand experience surviving a sudden ice storm that paralyzed the Seattle area for one night in 2006 …

This is my almost 20 hour (19hrs 56mins) odyssey from Costco Travel (Issaquah) to my Home, Sweet, Home (Bothell) and the 26 miles that separate it…

“Home, Sweet, Home”
November 27th 2006

[The car radio clock: 430p]
Left work to start my commute home. Since it had rained/snowed earlier, I knew that traffic would be delayed. I just didn’t realize what the Gods of Lunacy had in store for me…

Home, Sweet, Home – the Sapphire Sled

[The car radio clock: 630p]
Two hours into my usual 1.5 hour commute, and I was only near 160th St SW on I-405 North. I sat there for 15 minutes with no movement. I made the fateful call to bail off the freeway and brave the surface streets to home.

Now to fully appreciate the situation, you must know that accessing Bothell from the Woodinville is like connecting via Hong Kong on a Seattle-Los Angeles flight. It was dark, cold and starting to freeze the water on the roadway. I started to make my way east up the 160th hill. With tires spinning, the rear end of the SS at a 45 degree angle and 20,000 miles less on my tires, I summited.

I turned left to go down the hilly street. The nose of the car came over the crest and started sliding because it’s nothing but a sheet o’ ice.

I tried to stop.

I manage to plow into a small snow bank on the right with the tires.

Whew, I breathe out a sigh of relief. I think, Screw this. I manage to turn this tank around on a inclined skating rink. Don’t ask me how I did it!

New plan. Go back to the damn freeway. 

As I’m 6th car in line, I might just make it… hold da door. DOT & WSP closed the ramp – They are yelling it’s too dangerous. Now they are turning around the cars to get them off the ramp.

LOVELY. Never mind. New route. I can travel west along 160th to 100th street to Lake City Way to Highway 527 to home! I arrived to Lake City Way easy enough.

[The car radio clock: 805p]
My wife, Charlene, calls on my mobile phone and asks where am I? I answer with mere car lengths to joining the pile of cars turning left onto Highway 527.

She presses, “Do you see the Highway 523 sign to head into Woodinville?”

“Yep,” I answer. I’m almost 4 hours into this situation, so I’m damn near delirious.

“Go there,” she directs me. “Circumvent this mess and hop on 405. You should be north enough.”

I motor along the prescribed route. WSP closed off both directions of the 405 ramps at the interchange.

WTF?! NO choice. I’ll travel into to Woodinville. I’ll cut over to Highway 527 on the Beardslee Blvd entrance. YES!

[The car radio clock: 933p]
Charlene calls again to inform me while I’m waiting at the nearest entrance that Interstate 405 North has been closed at Highway 527.

OMG! *insert a Denis Leary tirade here* 

Luckily, I’m literally adjacent to the driveway of a Residence Inn. I think, they should have rooms. I park and exit. By the time I open the entrance door, the counter person, bellows, “NO vacancy! Don’t try Springhill Suites either, full.”

I mutter under my breathe, you’re full of

I return to my car. I’ll heroically navigate the narrow, dark, icy roads to 228th and get to Highway 527 and finally home. Since I’m 5 hours into this worst case scenario, now this is a personal damn vendetta as I’m getting home tonight!

[The car radio clock: 945p]
My dear friend, Sidney, who’s contacted me several times and my wife, Charlene, are genuinely concerned about my safety.

It should have been my sanity in hindsight. I’m on the threshold of Hell. I’m beyond tired, hungry and frustrated. The reports of closed highways is longer than the ones open. I get out of my car to survey the situation.

Charlene calls my mobile while I’m outside my vehicle to inform me that she reserved that last room at the Willows Lodge in Woodinville for tonight.

She almost pleads with me to return to the car. I think, I can walk this. I can abandoned the car like several others have done. However, cooler heads prevail as she coaxes me back into the Sapphire Sled.

[The car radio clock: 1015p]
I claw my way BACK the way I came from Woodinville (haven’t I seen this hill before?)

By the grace of God, my Mom’s heavenly help, Charlene’s sweet voice on the end of my mobile (thank Christ I bought a car charger as the battery expired) guiding me in, and some mad skills behind the wheel I get to the open Highway 202.

[The car radio clock: 1045p]
I arrive at Willows Lodge. The front desk employees, Colton and Antoinette, have my room keys ready. 

They ask, “Are you hungry, sir?”

“Yes, I am,” I acknowledge. “Is there somewhere I can eat?”

“No, but we have these Chicken Margarita sandwiches that you can have since we’ll donate them in the morning,” Colton offers. Antoinette adds, “Here’s a free bottle of 2004 Cab-Sauvignon, and a bottle opener.”

With my arms full, I drag myself to the room. I call Charlene to inform her that I’m safe, but far from sound.

Quick note: at the end of Die Hard and Die Hard 2, “Let It Snow” plays during the credits. As I place my dinner items on the room desk, and finish my phone call, I hear in that Isn’t-It-Ironic type of way… “Oh, the weather outside is frightful…” Of course it is!

[The room alarm clock: 1010a]
Now I’m on the verge of heading out, and getting HOME!! H-O-M-E, should be me. I blaze outta there with a wing and a prayer. I’m hungry, again. The roads are great: bare and wet.

I pop through Woodinville (again) to travel along my regular route home. I drive through McDonald’s to buy brunch for Charlene and I.

[The car radio clock: 1100a]
Chains! I’m buying some damn chains. Les Schwab should have oodles of them! I step inside to discover only 1 set left for my tire size: P205 / 55R16. 

I struggle mightily to test fit my chains. Are you kidding me? Ron, the tech, politely and compassionately demonstrates me how to put them on. Apparently the last step wasn’t necessary and I could have easily been home by now.

[The car radio clock: 1226p]
I park in my driveway with the chains on still. I am triumphant! Alive, not injured, with the car (no damage) after 20 hours but home at last. 

Home, sweet, home. As I enter the house, I look up from the foyer, Charlene smiles from the top of the stairs. “You’re home!”

I smile. Yes. Yes, indeed.

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 317

I don’t know about anyone else but I started tracking COVID-19 from December 31, 2019 as my beginning of the global pandemic. Since it’s not “going away” any time soon, I’m thinking that instead of continuing with A.D. (anno domini) the year of the Lord, we should transition to A.C. (After COVID-19)

And the years beforehand can be referred to as B.C. (Before COVID-19) It’s a GLOBAL EVENT that’s still in play. It’s rather apropos, all things considered.


Social media has really gravitated away from ‘unprecedented times’, because almost a year of coping with this, the strange events the continuously happen, and the lasting effect this particular virus has had and will continue to have … it’s now the new precedence, the new standard, per se.

I can envision for the rest of my lifetime that 2020 and/or #COVID19 will be new harbinger of death.

Other buzzwords and/or phrases that I don’t see much of anymore is ‘out of an abundance of caution’, ‘until further notice’, and ‘essential workers / essential businesses’. My thought is those have outlived their relevance to social media, the news outlets, etc. as now different policies are adopted which make it a #newnormal.

That said, the buzzwords and phrases of ‘social distancing’, ‘(self) (forced) quarantine’, and ‘mask up’ most likely will be incorporated into our daily vernacular. Speaking of ‘mask up’ …

CDC and WHO: Mask Up!

Americans, and passengers of Spaceship Earth are divided on mask wearing.

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 314

The Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization have agreed that transmission of COVID-19 can be suppressed further by combing physical distancing, washing hands, and more.

Despite our current understanding of the disease is more so than the first of the year, we still are learning. The number of cases continues to rise as we are allowed to roam around so long as we have the aforementioned items.

I comply with the #maskup because I seek a harmonious existence in the communities, businesses, and area I interact with. I don’t like it anymore than anyone else, but my Dad’s Two Rules of Life are in play.

  1. Shit happens
  2. A man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do

I didn’t realize just how much of a genius my father was at the time. I continue to adapt to the changing conditions. At this point, most folks I speak with “just want this to go away”.

That’s the rub – it won’t.

And it (COVID-19) won’t go away for quite some time, I predict. I’m left wondering when will I see the bottom portion of my friends, co-workers, and loved ones faces? I’m afraid there isn’t a hard and fast answer for my question.

I can keep digging, but it certainly helps if I learn how long I need to hang in there. No vaccine can be created, full developed and replicated quickly. The human body is too complicated and unique. We’re all different on a genetic scale.

Sigh. What are the next steps?

It’s unclear. New cases are reported every day. The United States alone has 10,733,210 cases and 247,580 deaths. My state, Washington, is 31st on the list of 50 states that is reported (ing) data. And of that data, there are many that say this is misinformation in order to create panic amongst the populace.

The folks that don’t chose to wear a mask claim they don’t work. My logical rebuttal is (was) how so? Masks are not a cure, the end-all to be-all from preventing transmission. Masks are another layer of protection to suppress and slow the transmission rate versus no safeguards and letting COVID-19 run rampant completely unabated.

I’ll continue to seek out that harmonious balance, and adapt to the changing conditions because that’s what humans have done to survive since the beginning of the species.

Even when this seems like the end.


COVID-19 Movember

Movember started today. What is that you ask? Movember is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of all the men in your life. The month commitment to Movember takes on three serious issues facing men’s health – prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health.

C’mon – these are our dads, brothers, uncles, husbands, and friends we’re talking about. The goals are

1. Grow your mustache for charity and raise some money for charity.
2. Walk or run a distance of 60 miles for each of the 60 men lost to suicide each hour.
3. Host an event to raise funds for charity.

Trying To Staying Positive But Negative of COVID-19

2020 has been rough to say the least. I will gladly usher in the new year! My mental fortitude has been tested all-year long, by now, 11 months into this … it’s starting to fray at the edges.

Every morning, I swing my legs out from bed, and place them on the worn out light blue colored, 26 year old carpet. I mentally sigh. I’m exhausted in every aspect of my life, and is visually represented by this carpet that frustrates me.

Movember To Remember

I struggle every day to find purpose in the world. So instead of trying to resolve such a ginormous task like that I seek out happiness. Until January 1, 2020 that had been a relatively easy, daily, task to stave off the darkness of depression.

However, with the cancellation of many events during the calendar, I’ve had a clearer vision of what my true priorities are in my life at this point. And it wasn’t pretty – still isn’t. My friends are either engaged, married, having children or other life resume line items. Then there’s me: I have my house.

I started a refinancing loan in May 2020 which has since converted to a rehabilitation loan and I’ve regretted it ever since. The past 6 months I’ve encountered some challenge with a contractor, or the relentless amount of paperwork that never ceases.

I digress.

Sorry about the online pity-party. Let’s focus on the #Movember. Men will real issues such as fighting off cancer or coping with mental illness. I should be grateful of my current status, but it’s tough to see that the grass is still green where I’m staying versus my mental image of greener grass on the horizon in someone else’s yard.

It’s November 1st, 2020. I’ll make every effort to stay positive, walk at least a mile or two every day in memory of the 60 men who commit suicide every hour! Fairly easy to do at my job, and with my life in general.

In fact, I walked 2.27 miles today while I was #Geocaching today with my sister. So instead of focusing on what I don’t have: a significant other, amazing career, a large social orbit, unbelievable retirement fund … I’ll look at what little I have, and be grateful for it.

Crazy Taxi To Karaoke

I looked at the calendar today. I’m fast approaching the 5th anniversary I left Costco Travel, thus leaving the one and only Bayne there. One of the many memories popped into my head …

Aloha, Bitches!

I remember it was late September 2012. I was still reeling from being dumped by my what-I-thought was my girl. A business trip opportunity to Hawaii arose so in order to heal my broken heart, I accepted. One door closes, another opens, right?

On the first night, and after dinner, our trip leader released us until 8am the next day. So all I heard was I don’t have to be anywhere until much later.

Apparently, word around the company playground was that yours truly is a helluva party animal after hours. I would neither confirm or deny those allegations, but I did admit to having a good time wherever I roam.

Imagine, if you can, it’s a group dinner on the roof deck area of the hotel you’re staying at on a cloudless, beautiful Hawaiian evening. Your group leader asks everyone what their post-dinner plans are.

Jodi then looks at me, “I already know that you’ll be out. Just remember my rules.”
An impish smile creeps across my face. “Oh, I remember alright. Don’t you worry, I’ll be there, in the lobby, bright eyed and bushy tail before 8 am.”

I thought, #challengeaccepted!

My new buddy, Bryan, asked to join me as his roommate was posting up in the room, he didn’t want to disturb the roommate, and Bryan also didn’t want crash out just yet.

I scoffed, “Aiight if you wanna lose some sleep tonight, then let’s get started!”

He fired back, “Don’t threaten me with a good time.”

I was determined to karaoke so I could sing my heart out to rid myself of the venom I had inside me. I asked the concierge where the nearest karaoke joint was, and luckily it was nearby and within walking distance.

We strolled to the recommended place which ended up being the Japanese style of karaoke. You rent a booth, and you can select songs, etc.

I furrowed my eyebrows. This is not right; two dudes, getting drunk with each other, singing songs to each other essentially.

I mentally stomped the ground, “NO! I’m in Hawaii, on business. A girl broke my heart, I need a drink, sing badly, and torture those around me at a bar.”

I asked at the recommended karaoke place where we should post up for that kinda action.

He said the Karaoke Hut – on the other side of the city but they don’t take kindly to Haole. Then he gave us the once over. He shrugged his shoulders, with the words, “You’re close enough. At least you’re not white.”

Crazy Taxi To Karaoke

Bryan and I exchanged worried looks.

I suggested we flagged down a taxi because I don’t wanna waste our precious time walking and/or trying to locate this place which cuts into our drinking and singing fun.

We roll to a busy intersection. In the opposing left hand turn lane is a taxi, so Bryan tosses his hand up to signal the taxi driver we want a ride.

The vehicle waits for the signal, completes it’s left turn and pulls up to the sidewalk where we are waiting. We pile in right quick. It’s a light brown Chevy Caprice driven by a man of Asian descent. Then a crappy blue minivan pulls up and blocks him in.

The driver rolls down his window, as the other driver from the minivan approaches the window. They start yelling at each other!

Bryan immediately grabs the door handle to exit, but I shoot him a stern look of Not-Yet-But-Be-Ready. The other driver finally leaves with the words from our driver, “Go to the zoo, that’s where I’ll kill you.”

The driver turns to us with his arm draped on the seat, and asks in the most lucid, no-accent whatsoever, “Gentlemen, where to this evening?”

I chuckle, “The Karaoke Hut, please.”

Then another vehicle draws even to our car. The driver of that car rolls down the passenger window. He looks similar to our driver. They exchange looks, our driver points to the mini-van that pulled away, and with the other hand gives the “kill” gesture.

Next our driver mutters to himself, “Honk at me, no reason!”

Bryan and I try to stifle our laughter because the Asian accent finally was revealed!

I ask him, “Hey man, have you heard of the Karaoke Hut?”

He nods, as he looks in the rearview mirror. “Oh, yay. I know it. Been there many times.”

I continue, “Do you karaoke as well?”

He shakes his head, “No, no. Just drink.”

I smile, “Awesome. Hey man, you should join us.”

“I’m banned from there,” he replies with shame.

“Oh,” I slump.

The voice inside my head wins out as I fought the urge as to why. We arrive in short order. I know how taxi services like this operate, and apparently from the altercation that competition is fierce.

After he parks the Caprice, and I pay, I quip, “Hey bud. What’s your name?”
“Billy,” he smiles. And he hands over his business card. It’s a simple white background, blue lettering with a blue taxi car on it.
“As in Billy the Kid? Got your guns ready?” I joke.
He continues to smile, “I have guns.”
Bryan gives me a disapproving face for encouraging this situation. “Aiight, Billy the Kid. We’ll call you when we’re done. Here’s more money for the tip.”

The Karaoke Hut is a classic dive bar for the locals. Just like we thought, only a few patrons were around, and they didn’t pay us any attention after the initial once-over. We don’t look like tourists, talk like them with entitled demands, and act like we’re locals.

The format for singing was odd to me. You paid $1 per song, and the bartender or bar back would press a few buttons for your song to play.

Drinks here were strong and cheap, so I treated Bryan to them. My heart hurt, and wanted to have some fun.

Hours later, many drinks killed, and all of our songs were sang, including a Kryptonite duo by us, we were done.

I suggested to lessen our taxi ride that we walk a grip towards our hotel yet on a main street to make it easier to find a taxi. We’re not convinced Billy will be available.

We did stumble up to a WALK-UP WINDOW at Taco Bell which was glorious?! I called up Billy from my mobile phone. We noshed on our food of shame until Billy came roaring up. He approached from side streets so he surprised us as he stopped. The back doors open up.

It was then I noticed the angry Tweety-Bird rubber floor mats. How apropos.

We gleefully yell out, “BILLY!”

“Hey fellas. Wanna meet some nice girls now?” he suggests.
“No, Billy. We’re here for business,” I retort sternly. “We’re gonna go back the hotel, early start, yo.”
He frowns, “There are Japanese girls, and Filipinas there for you.”
Bryan finally pipes up, “No, man. We’ve gotta bounce.”

Once we arrived at the hotel, he tells us, “You call anytime. Billy will be here. I can even bring girls to you.”

Billy the Kid would be our driver anywhere we needed to be in the Waikiki area outside of the group. And no requests for any girls whatsoever.

But anytime Bryan and I want(ed) to share a laugh for our inside joke, we’d point at each other and yell …

“Honk at me, no reason!”

~ Asian Billy the Kid, Taxi Driver

My First Use of Creatine: No Xplode, My Ass!

Snohomish County is still in Phase 2 of 4 since May 2020. However, many of the gyms, workout facilities, etc. are opening up. In my 30’s I was hellbent on being a gym rat, and definitely wanted to look “hot” in post-divorce mode.

One of these I’ll post my misadventures at the Costco Wholesale HQ Corporate Gym with my Icy Hot Incident, or Been Caught Kaepernicking. However, I’ll start with my first use of creatine.

My First Use of Creatine: No Xplode, My Ass!

If you’re reading this while drinking, eating, or an area that it would not be appropriate to be laughing out loud – I highly recommend you cease those activities and find some privacy. You’ve been WARNED …

My First Use of Creatine

Before my 30th birthday, I had meltdown. Many of my friends who were 30 + were in the best shape of their lives, and here I was, in the wrong shape of my life – and I knew it doesn’t improve by itself. I talked about my fitness goals, and someone who knew me, introduced me to her brother. I called him, Big Kenny, the Personal Trainer. This man completely changed my working information about personal fitness, nutrition, supplements including my first use of creatine for the good.

When we met for information intake, I kinda felt like I had to audition to be his client instead of vice versa. Regardless, we both stared at the piece of paper. We decided I can accomplish these goals (16 inch guns, V-like shape for my core, and broad shoulders – always wanted that) with a fitness, nutrition, and supplement plan.

One morning session aka sesh, Big Kenny asked me, “Hey have you used creatine before?”
I furrowed my eyebrows, “Nope, haven’t even heard of it. Is it a steroid?”
He laughs, “No, sir. It’s a supplement. You should really invest in some, grab some No-Xplode is the brand I use.”

This would lead to my first use of creatine.

That afternoon I purchased No-Xplode at Super Supplements if memory serves me well. I packed up my gym bag that night, and prepared to use it in the morning. The next morning I read the instructions, “One or two scoops of creatine into 10 oz to 20 oz of water at least before 30-minutes before exercise.”

Christ on a cracker, it should’ve read for me, “NO MORE than 30-minutes prior to being near a bathroom.”

I knew my drive from Bothell to Issaquah was averaging 45-minutes at 6 a.m. So I raised the blueberry flavored No Xplode to my awaiting lips. The first taste was good! Or at least, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I pounded it, and jumped into the Sapphire Sled to drive to the gym.

30-minutes down the road, my stomach started gurgling from my first use of creatine.  Then my situation escalated quickly. Within a minute or two, my stomach and intestines roiled around in my body. I was bombing around the South I-405 exit to the East I-90. Still a solid 15-minutes away from a bathroom.

I’m deathly afraid of unclenching my butt cheeks at this point to let out a fart – I knew damn well it wouldn’t be just a fart. In fact, I’m trying hold back so much that I felt a bead of sweat trickling down my forehead.

My foot gets a grip heavier as I speed towards the Issaquah exit. If I was caught by Washington State Patrol, and I’m envisioning my explanation of a high-speed chase to a bathroom; all due to my first use of creatine.

I stopped at the street light, and thinking, “I might be alright.”  And then? My stomach revolted. Gurgled, twisted in knots in my body cavity. DEAR GAWD! An alien is trying to leave me!

As soon as I saw the green light, I stomped on the accelerator as I raced to the Costco Corporate Gym. I remember tearing through any red light I encountered. This is DEFCON 1 type of situation.

I started planning what I needed: security badge, line-of-sight of the gym bathrooms, and an empty stall.

I mentally complained, if this what happens from my first use of creatine, then this is my last time!

Back to my dilemma … I parked as close as I could to the entrance, jumped out, and bee-lined for the door. The runwalk-with-my-butt-cheeks-clenched-tighter-than-a-snare-drum was so awkward. Must’ve resembled a penguin on crack, honestly. With an arm outstretched in front of me, like a NFL running back trying to score a touchdown, and my hand holding the security card, I storm through the first set of doors, and then next set. As I approached the door for the Men’s Locker Room, I slowed down.

My worst nightmare happened!

My best efforts to hold back the biggest Keister casserole failed. I soiled my boxer-briefs!

I still stormed into the nearest stall to finish blowing ass into the toilet. It was a literal shit storm coming out of me. In the first 20-seconds, I let out a whimper, perhaps a sigh of relief as 10 pounds of body mass was violently expelled!

And the stench was toxic, even with a courtesy flush. I dared to look down on my shorts and briefs inside of it. As my cousin Sami would say, it was a craptastic mess.

I wanted to cry

Thankfully, no one else was in the bathroom area or locker room at this hour. I wiped as best I could, gather up my clothing and what was left of my dignity and dashed into a shower. I shut the curtain, my heart is pounding. Then it stopped dead.

My towel in my gym bag is in the car.

I removed the detachable shower head and directly rinsed off my lower half, and the soiled briefs. I wrung out the briefs, balled it up in paper towels, got dressed with my remaining clothing and left. I tossed the soiled yet rinsed off briefs into the outside garbage can and returned my car.

I contemplated leaving and ghosting my gym lesson for the day. I already learned my lesson on creatine intake! I drew in a deep breath, let it out with a “fuck it” resignation and returned to the gym.

Big Kenny eventually greets me with a smile and his Rockstar in his hand. “So, Los. Did you try that creatine I was talking about?”

I grumbled, “No explode, my ass … it was everywhere.”

He was confused. “Excuse me?”

“Yes, I did,” I confessed. “I know to make sure I’m near a bathroom within 30-minutes.”

“How was it?” he pressed, “What were the results? And why are your shorts wet?”

Again and always, Spaceship Earth and Seattle, be good like you should and if you can’t be good, be good at what you do!

Mic drop *bOoM*
‘los; out

Second Screening: Bad For Your Health?

I know I’m guilty of this new habit: scrolling through my social media feeds WHILE watching TV. As if watching television wasn’t bad enough, but I compound it with looking at my phone.

Second-screening — watching TV while also looking at your phone, tablet or laptop — is probably the  most widely adopted destructive behavior of the decade. We keep hearing that it’s bad for us; we keep doing it regardless. It’s the smoking of the 2010s. 

Psychologists were sounding the alarm as early as 2012 that this kind of screen-based multitasking seemed to be correlated with depression and anxiety. Did we listen? Did we hell. Back then, according to Nielsen, a mere (!) 40 percent of American adults looked at their phones or tablets every day while parked in front of the tube. By 2017, according to eMarketer, that number had climbed to over 70 percent

The same study anticipated that second-screening would afflict 76 percent of us by 2019; looking around our living rooms now, that figure seems too conservative. 

~ Chris Taylor

Second Screening: Bad For Your Health?

Honestly, I didn’t realize I adopted this habit until I looked up from my phone to the big screen TV and thought wait, what did I miss? I muted my phone, closed all the apps, turned it face down, and concentrated on the TV.

I can hear my Dad already, “Jesus, pick a task, son!”

Second Screening: Bad For Your Health?

Multi-tasking of the 2000’s seems to be monitoring and interacting with two screens as mobile phones of incredible capabilities became easily obtainable. Televisions are now woven into the fabric of American culture.

You’re considered odd if you don’t own a TV.

Seems to me that second / double screening is really bad for your health, and companies know this – in fact, they are leveraging this destructive behavior to their profit.

“The zombified nature of the worst kind of second-screening may also be responsible for another  trend: we are ridiculously receptive to advertising when we’re doing it. 

That’s partly because we’re in more of a position to follow up on a TV ad if we have a device in our hands already. A 2018 study found the average viewer is 75 percent more likely to search for the product if they’re second-screening, and that you’re even more likely to do so if you’re over 40.” ~ Chris Taylor 

Now that you are part of the countless Americans that are second-screening … will you stop or blithely continue?

There are several reasons that it’s a good idea to second screening according to a few other folks. Personally, there is no justified reason enough to double screen.

Just don’t do it.


Depreciative Skills: Use’em or Lose’em

The other day I was mulling over my West Coast Swing Dance Lesson while instructing my dance instructor’s driving-eligible daughter on driving a manual transmission vehicle, and concluded one thought: Every learned skill is depreciative.

Either you use’em or you lose’em.

Depreciative Skills: Use’em or Lose’em

I am thorough in most things in my life, including instruction. So I explained that there 4 Levels of Competency, therefore she should be patient with herself, and as well as others. I have been driving a ‘stick’ for 16 years.

As you would assume my driving a manual transmission is the Highest Level of Competency: Unconscious Competency.

That statement got me thinking: what many years / days / hours does anyone need to achieve that level of competency?

And is the inverse true? How many years / days / hours removed before you “lose” that skill, or must re-learn from the beginning?

Depreciative Skills

For example, how long would I have to not drive stick shift vehicle(s) before I forget how to do it? Or is it not theoretically possible for that to happen, barring memory loss or major brain damage?

Or if I stopped today, would the skill be latent for 16 years then it expires?

Furthermore, how many years / days / hours will it be for Grace to achieve Unconscious Competency for manual transmission vehicles?

Dance, Dance Revolution

With COVID-19 still in effect, my instructor limits instruction to 5 people including herself. One of the comments consistently heard, even I’ve uttered it, is “it’s been awhile, I don’t remember that routine immediately, can you recap it?”

Hell, sometimes I don’t even remember last week’s new move in West Coast, let alone an unpracticed country line dance such as Fake ID.

Dancing is much like driving a manual transmission vehicle … many hours of practice to finesse that skill into unconscious competency, but seemingly easy to lose if not.

Again, use’em or lose’em skills.

I’ll be mindful to keep driving, keep dancing, and to keep digging.

Neo-Renaissance Man

With my experience of depreciative skills, I suppose that unconsciously guides me to continue to practice my photography skills, photo editing, videography, home improvement and several others.

A Fil-Am Renaissance Man, perhaps?

a person with many talents or areas of knowledge.

~ Wikipedia

I was quite a whiz at HTML coding for websites, but as technology lent itself to quicker tools, easily understood programming language, and turn-key website making, I stopped practicing writing that type of code.

However, that knowledge is super handy on the Geocaching website while writing up Geocache Description Pages! You can either use Source or Visual or … Manual or Automatic.


Aiight Spaceship Earth that’s enough about me. What are your specialized skills? What are you continuing to practice so you don’t ‘lose it’?

Or what skills have you forgot, but would love to re-learn?

Drop me a line or comment below.


COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 268

Where is the love, y’all? I’m not just talking about the Black Eyed Peas collaboration featuring Justin Timberlake. I’ve noticed about a month ago that patience, understanding, compassion, and love have but gone away since Washington State’s Safe Start.

Goodness … year 2020 A.D. has been brutal, to say the least. Honestly, I will refer to this year as 0 A.C. [After CoVID-19]

Where is the Love?

Random acts of kindness. I miss the days that followed the worldwide release of the movie, Pay It Forward. Or the morning of September 12th, 2001 when we woke up united as Americans.

Where is the love?

During the months of March through July, I observed the general public in the #UpperLeftUSA being patient with one another. Then George Floyd was killed as the global pandemic of the #COVID19 ravaged the world.

Riots erupted in protest, the #BLM social movement gained more energy, and many other incidents occurred to further divide us on many levels of social, racial, political and economic levels to name only a few.

The rat-race, dog-eat-dog, get outta-my-way feeling was palatable today on the road as I commuted from my home in Lake Stevens to Woodinville; 26 mile journey.

Where is the love, y’all? Can we please gravitate towards those days? I’ll do my part to spread the love but I can only do so much.

If I’m So Great …

One frequently received compliment I received from a woman is, “You’re such a great guy, there is someone for you.” I have a rebuttal for that, but I’ll digress for a moment.

Every once in awhile, my eyes burst open and I think, “Crap. The Universe didn’t scoop up my incorpreal soul into the cosmo while I was sleeping.” I swing my legs over the side of bed, feet touching the carpet that I wanna replace badly.

“When Mom said there’ll be days like this, she never mentioned how many it would be or how many in a row,” I muse.

If I’m So Great

I strongly believe in transparency. I act the same with friends, family, co-workers so I don’t have to worry about who I told what, or how I acted around such-and-such. When I hear them say to me: You’re so great, Carlos. You’ll find someone.

Well if I’m so great, then why am I still single? The answer is simple.

I’m not that great.

Any other conclusion is illogical. I’ve coped with it as I didn’t like to that conclusion. Trust me, I wish it was something else. This’ll sound #salty but the folks that say, “You’re so great, Carlos, you’ll find someone”, comes from the lips of people that always have someone.

They don’t know what I have experienced.

Kinda wanna scream at the top of lungs, “There isn’t someone for me!”, because it’s true. Like I said, if I was good looking, great personality, and more, why would I be single?

Why would I be alone for more than a day?

The reason is simple: I’m not. I’m damaged goods. The one thing I’m great at is not being great.

Being Ghosted: Invisible Touch

Recently, I’ve experienced a type of avoidance unlike any before. I was ghosted today. It wasn’t the first time, and I guarantee you it won’t be the last.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term and/or the experience, lemme tell ya.

Ghosting is a colloquial term used to describe the practice of ceasing all communication and contact with a partner, friend, or similar individual without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out or communicate made by said partner, friend, or individual.

Being Ghosted: Invisible Touch

So I braved a small portion of the online / app-based dating world through Facebook Dating (yes, it’s a really thing) I had matched with several women, reached out and no responses.

Save for one: CJRose

Being Ghosted

I didn’t think much of the ‘match’, when we mutually ‘like’ each other’s photos. I commented on the photo in the hopes of starting a conversation. After a day or two, she replied. Then … I do what I do best: start and continue conversation.

One particular night, while we were exchanging messages she straight up called. We had light-hearted conversation that was the usual interview-y, yet organic discovery of the basics.

By the end of the phone call, we agreed to meet face-to-face even during the global pandemic known as #COVID-19.

Great, right?

My Spidey-sense had me apprehensive from minute one. Now? NOW it’s in overdrive. It’s not as powerful, or omnipotent as women’s intuition but it’s the best I’ll ever have as a male.

Today was a craptastic day since I had zero sleep from the night before, and I swear the garbage pick up crew has a personal vendetta against my sleep. I didn’t wanna seem intrusive, so I waited until this afternoon to message CJRose.

Well, every rose has it’s thorn because the error message at the bottom: This person is no longer available on Messenger.

Tried to locate her Facebook profile page – also gone. Deleted. Disappeared like a ghost.

#ghosted again, I mentally groan.

Collateral Damage

Science states it’s costly to both parties. For me, not really. I’m a confident guy, and smart enough to know that avoidance behavior is a direct reflection of the person ghosting.

It tells me that they have no maturity, lack communication skills and mostly that they are cowardly. I don’t respect cowards whatsoever. Avoiding conflict will only serve to build more anxiety than ever before.

I’ve have had those hard conversations when I was the deliverer or more often than not … the recipient. I’ve been told during a break-up, “I don’t love you, I can’t fall in love with you, and I want a divorce”.

Brutal to hear, but at least she had the stones to say to me.

As I’ve said, I’ve also had to deliver the coup de grace, “I’m flattered that you like me but I can’t be honest and say the same”. Again, savage to the delicate egos of the world today, but words needed to be said to be clear on your intention.

I posted a social media meme: I’d rather be slapped with the truth, than kissed with a lie.

It’s still true for me today. What I don’t understand is why trouble yourself with establishing a profile, phishing for targets, only to give up at a moment’s notice. What’s up with that?

It’s an invisible touch to your psyche. “What’s wrong with me to literally be so repellent they bounce?”

Or more ego-shattering than ever: “Am I that horrible that I don’t get closure?”

I’ll move on with my happy-go-lucky self, but others reading this might not be so comfortable with that response. Being ghosted is not a punishment, it’s enlightenment.

Think of it like this, y’all: it truly IS them, and not you.

Keep digging,


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