August 18th, 2022 7:54am pdt

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Strike, Last

 read ( words)

"Yesterday held a bad situation. I became very disappointed in the way of the world, the feeling sticking with me from that point forward. There has been a change which continues to illuminate the massive gradient between ‘then’ and ‘now’. I don’t fully understand, either. At this point, I can barely try to understand before the problem rears its head again and leaves me at the mercy of time. I believe I have the strength to work through this day without a repeat. The day will be slow, that’s all. Not much work will be completed beyond the routine, nothing in the garage will advance further, and I will probably remain indoors unless forced to go elsewhere. I can’t stop thinking about this problem. It’s hurting me.

The final episode of the show played out last night for the second time in a week. I was in tears, naturally, due to the industry on the screen again. The process is wondrous (or was, anyway). We had another short discussion on the subject, too. I decided to apologize for talking so much the previous night. I do tend to ramble, often saying the same thing over and over and using different terms either for emphasis or analogy. I don’t know why I do that. My emotional state is not going to improve no matter what I do, so the best option for the future may be to just keep my mouth shut. I’ve gone over some of that film crap so many times that I’m tiring of hearing my own words. The show brought it out of me, I suppose.

Also yesterday I watched part of a long movie in the afternoon. There were two versions, one being the theatrical cut for distribution, the other being the longer version with added footage from the original print. Well, the longer version is usually my choice. In the case of yesterday, I noticed that the film is in four separate ‘episodes’ rather than being all run together. I don’t know why he did that, though. I realize three hours is lengthy, but in my opinion the cut should be run in one piece. Whatever. I watched two out of four and will probably watch the other two later today. There are only two films in his repertoire that I have yet to watch, and yesterday was the first. Sometimes I look back at ninety-four when I was on the cauliflower line and see myself yearning for the release dates of two films that year. The period now appears surreal, I suppose. I was floating along in life and fairly comfortable, yet inside there were those bloody thoughts every day which seemed unavoidable. Watching the story slowly play out yesterday put me back in the Midwest for a time when I was fascinated by camera movement. One of the films for which I was waiting is now considered one of the best and most influential films of all time. The industry shined like never before. Now? When I see the same name on a film, I am typically intrigued. They don’t always blow my skirt up, but I have to at least give each one a chance.

There has yet to be mention of a strike here. Or has there?

Today will be very slow and relaxing. I need the time to think about everything which has taken place during the past week, along with the other three strikes and what it all means for my future. Taken as a whole, the strikes are worse than anything I could have imagined years ago when I thought I was happy. Now that I have been in the fucking dumps for so long, the whole enchilada is easier to swallow. I understand some, but not all. Maybe I am not meant to get it, or maybe I’ve become a fucking idiot. I don’t know.

0829.

This is already more comfortable than I had hoped. In caring for the morning business, I also took a little time to sweep everything so the routine holds a bit less today. Relaxation shall be key.

Everything is so generic these days, and I realize how that must sound. I recall hearing my elders going on about the world being so different and not as wondrous as they aged, and I may be doing the same thing. The process could be a natural part of the progression of time, but I don’t know for sure. The point is I see movies and television the way they were produced and broadcast decades ago, and then I see the way things are done in the present. There is a huge difference (to be expected), and some of the ‘art’ in the artwork appears to be missing. I’m not speaking of screenwriting or directing or any other work in bringing stories to the screen, either. I am referring to the near-complete abandoning of a very beautiful, finicky and tangible medium in favor of ease and reliability, not to mention speeding the process of going from camera to editing and on to the screens. I realize no one is going to give a shit about this, as well. I already know people will listen and then roll their eyes. Everyone has a ‘thing’. Mine just happens to be FILM. The opening credits of the movie I began to watch yesterday included something surprising. Shocking, really. The sequence was very short, and toward the ending of the credits was a huge logo revealing the process. Right there on the screen was Panavision’s own ‘Filmed in Super 70’. I loved it. No one else does that anymore. From the ‘Filmed in Panavision’ (which is a process, not just the maker of cameras and lenses) to the top of the heap with regard to capturing the story. Typically, the filming process is toward the very end of the closing credits crawl. I further learned this morning that he released the movie for a short time in a very specific theatre before being widely sent around the nation. The theatre in question was the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, one of the most unique in the world. 70mm film is extremely expensive and difficult to utilize.

Enough of that for now.

The strike is here, somewhere. Find it. The alternative is a cascading exothermic inversion. And the garbage was picked up as scheduled. Very good. I don’t need any issues with that.

This morning cannot be a repeat of yesterday. I just can’t fucking have it. I’ll have to finish whatever I’m doing here and then hop to the housework. Also, I may head over to the hardware store later to see if they will cut stock sheets of plywood. When I was working on the bathroom four years ago, they cut one in half for me so it would fit in the van. Well, I no longer have easy access to the vehicle, so the wood has to fit in my car. I’m hoping they will cut a sheet into thirds, which will slide into the back of the car with ease. That would be ideal for the projects, should I decide to continue. Right now building materials are more expensive than prior to the pandemic, though. I’ll have to research the idea by visiting the lumber yard. I can also pick up a few items to further the garage work, namely my flame bulb housings. On the return trip, I’ll swing into the market for some staples. Hopefully I can get in and out of there without being hit upside the head again. I really don’t need any more shit on the pile or the last strike will pull me under. Find it.

A few years ago I decided to limit my pricey hobbies to three, namely the Clodmaster, my camera and computer. Well, the truck ceased production because I decided I’d had enough of that fucking difficulty. Two years ago I placed the chassis in a display box and added lighting so it is shown when the garage is lit at night. That is that. Now I just look at it or talk a bit if someone else asks. As for the camera, I have everything I need for that hobby to operate smoothly. The only forward motion would be different lenses, and they are beyond expensive. I don’t shoot with it very often, anyway, so it will remain as-is for the foreseeable future. Two down. The computer upon which I am working right now enjoyed the memory upgrade and new keyboard, so it is fine for the duration. The desktop system has been halted until I can put together enough funds to complete it. I still need two monitors and the machine itself, which combined is upwards of a grand. I’ll have to wait. There is the possibility that I will change my mind, as well. The speakers can be used with any source, and the keyboard and trackball can support this machine if I decide to use it in the office. A standalone keyboard would be more comfortable at the desk because this laptop is quite thick. The trackball can be a backup in case the present unit fails for some reason. Considering the hobbies have all but been halted, I can put away money rather than spending, eventually leading to a good feeling. Having money in reserve can be very comforting.



01

My love...


I brought all that up because during the film discussion the other night I recalled how amazing and wondrous my old home theatre system felt while we lived in the trailer, and later in the house. Old technology is far more interesting and rewarding than anything new, and much more difficult to reproduce. The idea is a challenge. If I decide to make some changes to the system here in the living room, I’ll have to throw money at it in order to have what I want. There is just no getting around that fact. The positive is that no one wants the older analog receivers or disc players, meaning the cost of such equipment has dropped in recent years, mostly bolstered by the advent of streaming media and digital ‘everything’, including the fucking phones. To me, watching a story play out on the phone is completely ridiculous and truncates the experience, effectively diminishing the vision of what had been so lovingly created. Years ago I went on one hell of a tirade after a certain industry figure reduced the value of film enough to push others into shooting digitally. Doing so is akin to removing the warmth of an actual motion picture – a fucking PICTURE in MOTION. Get it? Not memory in a device, but a medium with which a person can actually, physically connect. I’ll try to avoid bitching further. The point is I can bring back some of the wonder since the other hobbies have been all but stopped. This computer is all that remains.

1133. The routine is finished and all direction for the day has been lost for the time being. I’ll finish my typical cocktail and then head in some other direction. The troubling situation that arose yesterday has not returned, thank the maker. Alcohol may have had a hand in this. My friends are still on the television for the time being. I’ll eventually go back to the remaining two episodes of the movie. I still don’t know why it was split into four rather than being run as a whole product, however. Some aspects of entertainment were apparently not meant to be fully understood. Lengthy films do not intimidate me in the least. Quite the reverse.

This episode appears to have been partially shot at Joshua Tree National Park. I recognize what resembles White Tank campground, a place where I spent much time in the lens, along with that dark beauty who did the same. Lots of turmoil during that trip.

There is good reason for this strike to be identified as the last.

I keep seeing things. I see the damaging dream and a stairway. I see darkness. Yesterday I could not get the fucking scenes out of my head. Today is better, although the imagery remains. I see the closet door and the snow. I see the trees lining the road. I see the construction workers, too. They were within view when I saw the trees. I see the mirror in the hotel in Sparks. I see the chair next to the mirror. I have to get away from this shit for a while.

0656 on Wednesday morning. I am still alive. The glowing period has been brought to the forefront again due to the third show. The current episode aired in ninety-eight (I did not see the show at that time) and the glow was long gone, yet just the title and cast remind me of first seeing the stories and characters in the beginning of ninety-three, and that was a banner fucking year. The film industry, the radio shop and CD changer girl, the radio club where I lived, and a few other aspects of that period which I hesitate to mention. This show, more than any other, stands as a reminder of ninety-three and all that took place between January and October. I can go back further, as well. Ninety-one, for example. That was a bigger banner. Ugh. There is Cathy again.

Dreams again, one of which involved a scene from years ago. I still see it. There was a bit of a routine back then, the type of thing that helped my work week to feel satisfying. Well, worthwhile, at least. Everything of the like is now gone and I have suffered accordingly. Two days ago I realized there had been some sort of change that may be beyond my control. This has been a concern since early this year and the only way to know for sure that something is wrong would be a trip back in time. Splendid. The scene playing out in my dream this morning has only worsened the feeling that I am doomed. I still see it, too. The imagery may end up haunting me like all the other pictures mentioned above. I feel a strike coming on soon.

I watched the last two episodes of the movie yesterday. Wondrous, yet not what I had been expecting. Fortunately, I avoided going on another informational bender last night. No one needs that kind of thing, especially from the likes of me. I can be a handful. I am fairly proud of myself for avoiding a dissertation. Between the series I just watched (twice) and the subsequent film information that I’ve been seeking, it is no wonder the industry hit me again and had me gushing all over the place. When I get in the middle of all those feelings back to the mid-nineties, my head simply has to explore and expound. This will fade. I brought up the home theatre ideas up the page a bit because I had been feeling everything very acutely. The passing of a few days will calm the situation, I’m fairly certain.

The principal character’s name in this episode is a match to someone I’ve known for a few years. A while back, I mentioned seeing her at the bar and I was struck upside the head by her resemblance to the Raven. We had a conversation before I went back to my table, flabbergasted. Throughout the following months, I saw her on a couple of job sites and began to feel more and more (very bad). You may recall my gushing over her. To this very day when I hear that first name, her face comes to mind. Every fucking time. Anyway...

Today I will have a few hours to myself in the center of the clock’s travel. After watching the remaining parts of the movie yesterday, I have been thinking that I need to do something fairly dramatic sometime soon. I don’t know what, exactly, but something has to change in this little house, and I have to apply force during the process. Ninety percent of my waking hours are spent with little to no clue as to anything I can do, and pretty much in every direction. I have not found the ability to give a shit for a long time, and this needs to change. Perhaps not in the direction one may think, but I definitely need to make some alterations here. This entire year has been nothing more than one method of passing the time to another, leaving me a worthless, tired pile of shit. And don’t fucking disagree, either. You don’t know me. Hence, something about the film made me angry and I must take whatever steps in whatever direction, soon. My mood will not improve no matter what the future holds because I already know of the impossibilities, so for the present I will simply remain straightforward and do whatever I can in order to continue living. That will include some kind of change.

This is a bad morning already. I’ll have to move to the garage a little earlier than I had thought. My brain is overloaded with the past and realizing the future may be more grayed out than the way it appeared mere weeks ago. I am becoming quite angry this morning. Something will have to be done. Steps. Right now I don’t know, however. Concentration is not my strong suit this morning.

Now the paragraph is haunting me again. Fuck. I really don’t need this kind of shit right now. The dream keeps coming back, along with the visions within, and then I get hit in the fucking head with the shit which has been sitting there below this section for months. It’s always there because denying the truth solves nothing. The closet doors, the conversations with Ashley and two others since... All of it adds up to a very dangerous state of mind. Maybe I’ll initiate a failure and move the paragraph to a note and shove it into some folder on the RAID.

And the issue I brought up a while ago continues. From some time early this year, it shows up when least expected or during those times when my head is fragmented enough to believe I can be ok in the long run. And then I end up all pissed off with zero control over my words and a very dim view of the world. Such a combination is developing at this very moment and leaving me at the mercy of the past and my problems. Oh, just shove the past back into the dark and look toward the future, you say? Yeah... Okay. Fuck you. I’m not going to sit here and claim that I have things worse than anyone else because I can’t fucking comment on other lives, but I will say that I have some problems that seemingly grow without solutions. I’m fucking sick of this shit. I need a hammer more than a pair of ears.



02

On the set of '2001: A Space Odyssey', ca. 1966


1037 on the same day, the 10th of August. The routine is finished and I feel severely depressed again. Next to me is a nice, big glass of liquid which will depress me further. Splendid. Today has been a failure thus far. I have laundry to do and little else. I’m not even hungry. I am so fucking sick of feeling this way that I feel like burning the world to the ground and stomping the ashes. Nothing is good. I worked a bit on the story I cannot publish and the emotions involved drove me mad. Hence? A failure of epic, disappointing proportions. I don’t see another method for living through these mornings. Third show. Cats asleep. I’ll be alone very soon.

1124 and I have the next few hours alone. Good and bad, I suppose. The third show is in its seventh and final season, all dramatic and beautiful. The recurring characters represent segments of my heart. I still have to get to the laundry, too. When I decide to wash clothes, I will probably transition into the garage and blare some music and work on the flame bulb housings. I can further the project without throwing money at the situation. There is enough wood to get them mounted for another test, hopefully tonight after sunset.

I FUCKING NEED HELP.

None is available, both because I am scared to death of speaking my mind, and the fear that the recipient of my harsh nature will quickly retreat. I am scared to death, the latter word being operative on a daily basis. Mark my fucking words, suicide is on the horizon. Just a matter of time, people. Freedom from thinking is as big a dream as the machine. The more I live, the more impossibility I see.

0703 on Thursday morning with coffee and friends. I'll have to be up and about soon to take care of some things, and then right back here immediately thereafter. Lots of thinking to do. I removed a portion of the archive because I’m pissed off again and I don’t want anyone reading some of the older stories. They can be embarrassing. 290 titles are no longer present. I’ll have to think about this for a while before making any other changes. I just don’t know how I feel about some of the decisions I’ve made in the past, so advertising the more questionable actions I’ve taken is beginning to seem unwise. I don’t know if the content will return in the future.

0805. Something is wrong with the streaming channel again. Episodes are now missing from the series I’ve been watching. I swear, this is the worst example of how to operate a service for paying customers. I’m getting pretty fucking tired of dealing with their problems. Episodes of some series come and go and there has yet to be an explanation. A hundred dollars per year to watch without commercials may not be worth it much longer. I switched to the other channel for a while after turning on the news. I can’t deal with so many advertisements anymore.

I took care of part of the routine already so that my morning can be more relaxing. The quiet cannot be overstated right now. This is the last strike, meaning anything bringing a sense of comfort is very important. I’ll have to maintain a good pace today.

1142. My routine is finished and I made some nice tuna salad for lunch in a little while. This morning was very difficult, however. I nearly fell down before hopping to the housework. Actually, I did fall down. The recovery was forced like many other occasions. My head has not risen, though. I’m so fucking sick of this shit every day. It’s like an uphill climb that has a perpetually increasing grade. One of these days I will not rise. The laundry is finished. The third show continues after a brief hiatus due to the interface leaving me on the side of the road earlier. I have no idea what happened, but everything is working fine now.

1642. I drove over the hill to the AAA office for an appointment and returned without issue. There is something wrong with the trunk lid operation of her car, though. I’ll have to take a look upon her return from the dentist. This has happened before. I had to reconnect some ground leads inside the trunk. I guess either I did a faulty job of it, or there is a larger issue. Whatever. Troubleshooting electronics just happens to be one of my specialties. I still have the third show up there. I noticed that some of the schools in town have been in session the last two days, meaning there may be traffic in the morning and afternoon in a few areas. I'll have to work around them if I need to go anywhere.

0652 on Friday morning. Just like every other day for the last two years. Well, there is one difference. I’m not going to speak of it, though. This day is not beginning with the best of moods. Ah... Now the time is 0803 and I have hours ahead in the quiet and left to me for whatever feels best. There are a few ideas, one of which is heading to the hardware store at long last to see how my window idea can shape up. Anything that can keep me busy is going to be important, especially while the morning remains. Earlier this morning I was reminded of the wickedness and sat there dwelling for a little while before I fed the cats and brewed coffee. I can still see some of the imagery and angles, not to mention the black strap again. I must find a way to remove some of the information from my head during the day in order to remain upright as much as possible. I don’t like the wicked strike and still don’t understand where it originated, so dealing with it has now become a priority. The more I think about it, the worse it becomes, and then my brain focuses upon details better left out of this content. The whole situation makes me almost as angry as the other shit condition I have to deal with all the time. No wonder my mood never rises very far. Strike one, two, three... Upside the head. My skull is dented and distorted.

Did you find the strike? I have already felt it this morning. Foiled.

'She's SCREWING with your head, Nick. Stay away from her.'

I certainly hope I don’t lose direction today like I have on so many occasions. There is always something in my head working to drive me down, so perhaps I have yet to learn how to cope. I may never know. A bad morning leads to anger, and then I finish the routine with my drink and lose my way, afterward I’ll stand in the house and look around at everything I could be doing, but bereft of enough drive to actually work. This is a single home, meaning there is always something to improve or clean. Unfortunately, my head does not often allow me to concentrate upon anything for more than a few minutes. I am lost. The enjoyment is shrinking. My options are narrowing due to dwelling upon unpleasant subjects. For a while, I was including the question, ‘Will today be exactly like yesterday?’ in every essay. I became tired of seeing the words, but the truth is I don’t know how to move in another direction after all this time. The past issues, physical problems and recurring images in my head have the power to overtake my mind very quickly and without respite. Once that takes place, I can’t fucking do anything. I’ve read that taking a tiny step and accomplishing something simple can lead to more, and I have practiced such methods in the past. To be honest, the worst has been just the last few weeks. I don’t want a repeat, though. Something must change and I have to be the one to change it. There is no getting around such a fact because everything boils down to the idea that I am in control of the time and my actions. No one else can hold sway. If I am the one in control, I am the one who must push. Believe me, I’d love the ability to toss blame toward other people. That is simply not the truth.



03

On the set of 'Back to the Future', ca. 1984-85


I can’t stop my brain from remembering wonderful things, nor can I cease reminders of that fucking dream that has my head all fucked up. I am powerless to change any of it because those moments have passed and are now frozen forever. The damaging dream came into play on the return trip from AAA yesterday and I did not wish to mention it because it makes me appear weak. Well, I am pretty damned weak these days, so fuck it. No denying that one. I guess I was just trying to avoid another expansive description of forms. No one needs to hear that kind of shit anymore. The point has been hammered enough already. Everything ends up on the pile, and then I have more memories to gum up the fucking works of trying to just live. There may be several ‘equal’ reasons that I have been holding myself down during the days, and often what I see in society serves not only as one of them, but also the key that unlocks additional reasons. 0934 and I need a fucking drink.

1109 and my routine is finished. I have no idea of how I moved away from this and into the work. A big, fat modified White Russian has kept me company for the last hour. The one glaring positive this morning is the Final Chapter of the third show on the televisions. The story keeps me intrigued despite already knowing of the outcome. It is compelling beyond description, thank the maker. The story arc continues through several episodes, much like the third season of the fifth show. I may run that one when this concludes. My failure earlier has been pushed away thanks to my friends. I have laundry and dry cleaning to complete after something for lunch, and then I’ll probably fall off the edge of the world until late afternoon. And the more I see Kasidy, the more I love Jennifer. The latter appears more beautiful with the passage of time. Maybe instead of running the fifth show, I’ll go back to the beginning of this great series. I love these people more than those in reality.

A scene just reminded me of the 1236 period when my truck production was at an all-time high. Everything had been spread all over the coffee table because I disassembled most of the chassis for some design work. And then something unexpected and most unwelcome took place. I was slighted. Yep, that word. No, not the nickname. The other one to which I take offense after all of the shit I’ve plowed. I’ve recalled the situation many times over the years, and sometimes I let it go because it can be conceived as funny, but other times it is highly offensive. The bottom line is the fact that I had to explain the sheer complexity and extent of the work I had performed for many years in order to achieve and overcome difficulties. The person in question successfully reduced my years of electromechanical design, engineering and study to a single sentence, both demeaning and disheartening. The impact upon my psyche was tremendous, leading to more than one heated discussion with my then-partner. Right now, I feel anger due to the memory. I’ll tell you one fact... If the person in question was standing before me at this moment, she would be advised to make peace with God. I believe I just made the decision to remove the project from the public eye. We go.

Mere seconds and the link is gone. It will never return. The jaded nature of society has slighted me for the last time. That is that.

The day is moving along better than I would have thought at this point. Laundry is rolling and the dry cleaning is also in process. The gardeners may be here. If so, I’ll have to close the garage doors and back windows while they work. That means the sun will gain an advantage for roughly an hour, but it’s no big deal. The evening can be cooled by the fan above my head. It works well. Once they have departed, I may head to the garage for a little while to contemplate projects and storage. Right now all I can do is wait. The strike is still apparent. Do you see it?

I am threatened. Issue two never faded, despite my words to the contrary. There is probably no tempering of such a problem in my future. I don’t see it as possible any longer. The fact is I am threatened even while alone. On the other hand, the evening is appearing better and better as my alone time progresses. Distractions aplenty.

And now the day is Sunday, August the 14th. Coffee and the gangsters. Wow, the house is actually cooler than the last thirty days. I guess the humidity dropped a bit. This is much more comfortable. Yessterday I took another left turn from the norm in order to try rising above some of the things that continue to plague my head. The board came off the truck and I delved into the electronics to remind myself of just how wondrous that project still is. I even broke out the radio and took care of some issues dealing with memories. Years ago I was all over that thing during every free moment. Lately, though, the tools and equipment just sit there much of the time.

The damaging dream came up again last night due to some words I overheard. Thinking of the dream brought back a vision of the bra strap, and then everything nearly went to shit. Fortunately, all this took place just before bedtime. I was able to shove it away with force and relax. The quiet and dark is very comforting. This morning I’m recalling a few images from weeks ago, however. Sometimes I can’t help it at all. The ‘wicked strike’ is named as such for good reason. I can’t control if and when the pictures will take over my brain. Hence the electronics work yesterday. I already know at some point in the future there will be a reminder or something else that has the power to send me down again. There is nothing I can do about it. When I say power, I mean the strongest force in existence. Well, one of two, anyway.

I believe later today I’ll dive back into the electronic shit, hopefully to help keep my head on straight. I often enjoy breaking out the tools and test equipment just to be reminded of the past. When I troubleshot for a living, the mystery was the draw. I had to find problems. On a side note, yesterday I decided to look into repairing the backlight on my scope rather than the original idea of just buying the panel and replacing it. That may not be the problem. I ran across a very detailed video of how to trace the information along the board’s pathways and determine if the panel is the problem. Apparently, there are a few key components which are suspect due to being susceptible to failure over time. I might get into it later while in the garage.

The only issue with watching this show is Jamie is all over the place, especially since I left off weeks ago in the fourth season. Good Christ, you wanna talk about eyes? They don’t get any better than hers. Anyway, there is still a problem with the playback, so I can’t pause the episodes. As such, I’ll probably miss some moments here and there. No big deal.

Jamie could be a strike in and of herself. Well, her character, anyway. I know little of the actor. I’ve been writing about her for a very long time, and there have now been 372 occurrences of her name, although there have been a few mentions of other people with her first name (also spelled the same). Sometimes I believe gushing more about her is a waste of time because I’ve already hammered the point into stone, and on the contrary I feel so much that the repeated lovie-dovie words only solidify what happens in my heart when I see her in certain programs. All the gushing here also supports the possibility that I’ve already lost it and am beyond repair, my little world having grown smaller with more room for fictional characters than real people. See? Jamie needs to be here sometimes. Helpful or not helpful, she shall remain. Fortunately, her name has nothing to do with the damaging dream and subsequent never-ending fallout. That is an entirely different situation, and one which continues to hurt me.

0850. Last cup of coffee before I rise and care for the floors. Today is garbage business and dry cleaning, and then whatever appears best for the time being. Like most Sundays, I’ll have some hours alone, meaning I can either embrace the comforting devices or be more productive. The shrub in the backyard is almost complete, too. Last week I did not cut more due to the warm weather. So far today, the mercury is fairly low. Maybe I can chop the last of the lower limbs and make plans to spruce up that side of the yard. It already appears much larger than in the past because of the sheer amount of area covered by the branches.



04

On the set of 'The Hateful Eight', ca. 2014-15


Not much mention of a strike here. Perhaps I should have used the word ‘straw’ instead. There have been plenty of those piling atop my head lately. I don’t care, anyway. I write what I feel and rarely remain on the same track for very long. This shit won’t make any difference regardless of the wording.

I put the news on the television for the time being.

I successfully avoided being foiled this morning. I need a bit more time to pass, though. The longer I sit here, the larger the possibility that I will begin to dwell upon dangerous topics. Once the work commences, that possibility will diminish quickly. The bad stuff lingers, honestly, no matter what may be going on with work or anything else. There are always reminders, not the least of which is that fucking black strap I can’t forget. I know who was wearing it. Wickedness, clearly defined.

Almost time to work around the house. I’d like to have my routine finished within the next two hours in order to focus upon the truck electronics again. I will also look into the scope light repair. One item I’ve never owned is an LCR meter due to them being fairly expensive. I’ve had the need to use one only on a handful of occasions. Well, I found a company that uses very inexpensive processing technology to build everyday test equipment, and after some research they appear to be very accurate and reliable. Whereas a brand-name meter can be well over $200, the company has a scaled-down version for less than $20. I realize it sounds sketchy, but the reviews from technicians pretty much sealed the deal. I need the meter for a single project right now, and even if it sits in the toolbox for months, the price is justified. If I can repair the display only to have it fail again in the future, the plan will be to use better technology for the actual panel so the circuit involved does not become strained. This issue is similar to the stereo receiver I tried to repair some months ago only to watch it fail again within days. The supporting circuitry was doomed from the beginning. Just a matter of time before there was a failure. The scope is much simpler and less expensive with which to work.

1127. The routine is finished aside from a few things I had to remove from the fridge. I also have a head start on the garbage work. The first show is on for posterity. I have the next few hours to myself. The episode on the screen right now involves one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. That is not an exaggeration, either. She is unreal, hence the connection to both the obsession and my current state of mind being weakened to a great degree. Her hair is not very dark, either. Do you have any idea of the power involved? I do. I see everything. Too bad the episode I’ve mentioned is rather stupid. Despite such a fact, I’ll have to care for a few more items and then venture to the garage for some electronic troubleshooting in order to keep my head out of hell (or her thighs). Oh, shit... There is another beauty. This never fucking stops. The last decade helped to fashion me into some otherworldly, desperate and damaged individual. There were pauses, yet nothing was enough to pull me entirely out of this hole. I would quickly give everything I have for just an hour of...

0702 on Monday morning. Coffee, cats milling about, and the first show again. I’ll have to take care of the morning business very soon. Afterward, more of this. I am looking forward to the quiet later this morning. I may need to visit the market in a few hours, too. Just a few items.

0750, and here it is... The quiet time which allows me to think. One refill of the coffee and the show keeping me company adds up to my feeling pretty comfortable so far this morning. I don’t know when I’ll go out, though. Perhaps after the coffee and half my routine. That is typically when I’ll shop so that the return feels nice and comfortable. Plus, I can pick up something for lunch. I have pizza on the brain for some reason. Anyway, the bulk of the day may be devoted to the continuing efforts in understanding the board and radio. I worked toward that end yesterday and learned that most of what I designed works as it should. Other aspects of the system tend to be a bit flaky, meaning they will be the focus. Once my typical stuff is finished, I may head out there and do more research. I don’t know if there is anything else pressing that I need to care for today.

This evening is to be the first dinner of the newly-formed group which came up some weeks ago. I still don’t know how I feel about the whole thing, but I’m going to give this first occasion a try for reasons of good form. I plan to ride there alone and arrive a bit early in order to get the lay of the land. I’ll probably find a comfortable seat at the bar and look around. Of course, this is not the ideal situation with which I should be involved at all, but as I said, I need to give it a chance. The restaurant is of the teppanyaki style, meaning we will have a table all to ourselves. That is good. I don’t need anything nearby these days which can flatten my brain. Oh, I’m sure the lounge or restaurant (or both) will come with its fair share of problems. I’ve been there before, although not for some years. I’m quite sure there will be forms that cause me to clam up during dinner. I have to break out a pair of slacks and a dressy shirt, too. One certainty is that the food will be fantastic. Better than nothing, I suppose.

What happened to the title? Does anyone care? I am so fucked up these days.

This is not a good morning. I have the last of the coffee, the house is very quiet aside from the garbage trucks, and the next several hours are open for me to take care of business, shop, and then get myself ready for a trip over the hill this evening. Those are all decent, yet inside remains a gigantic hole that may never be filled. All the issues, that fucking paragraph below, the damaging dream, and the obsession becoming out of control due to feeling so desperate all sum at some point each day to force my brain into the fucking soil. Not good. I even went over to the other story to add a few lines and fell further down. Shit. Another strike upside the head, and one made up of the feelings which result from consideration of everything in my brain. A summation from hell. Satan must be a math instructor.

But it is real.

1103. The routine is finished and I have lunch in the oven. I’d like to eat a bit early so that dinner is timed well. I have yet to find my dressier clothes for this evening, though. I’ll get around to it after lunch along with a load of laundry. I visited the market for a few items and returned without issues of any kind. In fact, the store was nearly empty. That is a good condition for my condition, if you understand. I really don’t need anything else on the pile. The first show is still gracing the screens and my icy glass of whiskey is right next to me. Medicine, as it were. ‘Opposite thinking, lieutenant.’ I may or may not work on the big board today. My concern over being in a nice restaurant is light right now, yet still a distraction from anything requiring a degree of concentration. The Asian theme could bite me on the ass and send my already harsh difficulties into the stratosphere. All the way back to the server at the big Mexican restaurant more than three years ago, an employee working in such an atmosphere is invariably in my view far too much for comfort. The distraction of those at the table and the display of cooking prowess can help, but still... My eyes are often beyond control and can quickly lead to disaster. Even knowing that such visions only shove my head further downward, the compulsion remains. There is no saving throw versus beauty.

This series is fantastic. The beginning of the entire universe which has spanned nearly sixty fucking years. It all started with Gene’s vision of the future and spidered out in many directions. The program is deep in my heart.

This morning has been very difficult. Only the housework and my trip to the market have helped to diminish the strong feelings and stopped them from taking over my psyche. Every fucking day is like this, anything more comfortable being the exception. Said exceptions cannot be predicted, however. I am at the mercy of the near and far past.



05

Damn


1236. The alcohol helped.

I looked at my only two pairs of dress pants and concluded that only one can fit me anymore. Ugh. They are nice, so I have some laundry going, including the black pants. I also grabbed an appropriate shirt for the evening. Jewelry shall complete the outfit. My LCR meter arrived. Perhaps if I feel motivated at some point I can assemble it. Right now I don’t feel like doing much of anything, honestly. My head has become Napoleon Blownaparte. I wish that was funny. The morning was disassembled and repaired, though. My intention was to find enough distractions to avoid failure, and now that the time is beyond lunch, I believe I’ve succeeded. Tomorrow will be another uphill battle. The imagery in my brain does not stop. Ever. Tonight will not be joyous as this type of event once was. It will be nothing more than a trip outside my comfort with a plethora of possible, damaging visions. I plan to be there earlier than the others so I can have a nice glass of Scotch and gather my thoughts.

Maybe I should not have crafted that other story. It’s been weighing on my head due to the factual, detailed nature of the passages. I am certainly glad I made the decision to remove a good portion of the archive. There was excruciating detail in some of those recollections, the effects of which have had me at sixes and sevens far too often.

I mentioned the LCR meter arrived a while ago and I just assembled it (yes, it was partially a kit). A few tests later and I am overjoyed to have confirmation if I suspect a passive component and need to test it out-of-circuit. My scope repair can proceed whenever I wish, plus the meter may come in handy for checking out my second audio receiver which failed within days of the repair. I did not have the ability to easily pull and fully test transistors. This afternoon I am not feeling up to any electronics work, however. I took care of the pants and the rest of my laundry, yet on the inside I feel that relaxing must take precedence over anything else. In a little while I will clean up and get ready for a drive to the restaurant. My plan is to arrive there and be inside the lounge by seven, a full half hour before our reservation. I am anticipating something stabbing me in the head within minutes of walking through the doors. I've experienced that place before and there was always something to see, be it a guest or employee.

I guess I really am paying the fucking tab. I just never knew it would be so large.

The story is still being crafted because apparently all I have left in the world is the ability to reminisce about the past. The bad is being left out, though. There has been enough of that on these pages lately. Oh yes, and those fucking stories of me traveling all over the place. Plenty of bad. Enough already.

1636. I am all but ready except for my clothes. The weather is warm, so I’m keeping myself as cool as possible before leaving. And I don’t believe I’ll be the first to arrive. Someone else informed the rest of us that he will not have time to return home before heading to the restaurant. Ugh. Whatever. I’ll deal with it somehow. I don’t feel that anxiety like two years ago before leaving to visit people. This will be one of very few occasions finding me actually not worried about the outing. I can sit there for a couple of hours. Scotch will help (I hope).

0814, Monday morning. I was up late due to visiting the bar after dinner last night, so the morning has been a tad slower than usual. The coffee is next to me, thank the maker. I’m not planning to do much today. All those months of sticking to the same schedule have conditioned me for sleep time and wake time. Last night pretty much railroaded that conditioning and I am tired. I don’t regret staying up late, though. The music was nice and I had a very comfortable spot to relax. Some post-dinner drinks can be rewarding. Others can be really bad ideas. Last night I agreed to have a nightcap at the bar due to being completely floored by two problems in the restaurant. Unfortunately, sitting at the bar for a few hours only partially succeeded in extracting them. As of this morning, I can see again... Two strikes to the head, each very different from the other. I needed to drown a bit. I may have to think about those two women for a while before deciding whether or not to put my thoughts here.

As I said, today will be very mellow and slow. I have no need to leave the house, either. I can remain here and be comfortable. Up the page somewhere I mentioned Scotch might help me relax in the restaurant. Well, the bar over there is not very well-stocked at all. None of my favorites. And believe me... Just parking the car was a fucking trial. A pair of long, vulpine legs was strolling on my left as I sought an empty space. I knew before even exiting my vehicle that she was not going to be the last. Lots of consideration is on tap for this morning, mainly due to the obsession being stood on its ear last night by a...

FUCKING STUNNING JAPANESE GODDESS

of the highest possible order with the lower face thingy combined with big, sweet eyes and the shoulders of Aphrodite's more slender sister. I don't need to go on, though. I'm fairly certain that the sentences prior to this one get the point across well enough. Never before have I been so close to a real, living, breathing example of Japanese print advertisements (believe me when I say I've seen my share between mainland Japan and Okinawa). I need to think about this a while. Such a sight should not affect me so deeply. There are lots of Asian folks on this peninsula and in the City, most of whom actually hail from China. My ability to recognize a Japanese face was born through years of searching. Just another weakness. I should know better than to visit a restaurant like that, especially considering all of the crippling thoughts I’ve splayed here for years. Torment and pain are the possible results of going places better avoided by someone so fucking weak. I’m not even talking about a glimpse, either. This was two Goddamned hours of sitting not ten feet away with her facing our table due to the layout of the seating. Two hours. But that’s not the point. Have I become so desperate to daydream of a woman while looking straight at her? Is such an idea the end result of everything I’ve been through in the last decade? The biggest strike of all? Destiny? Density? Something.

So far this morning has been quiet and slow. I need this today. The first show is up there on my big television. Coffee number two. I’ll have to drink plenty of water today. I don’t know what to make of the imagery in my head this morning, so going through the motions of the routine and whatever else may be accomplished might help me avoid dwelling on impossibilities or my past, which is fast disappearing in the rear view mirror of life. I don’t believe there is anything I can do to let go of things. Nothing. I am helpless and held hostage.

0909. I can’t get that beautiful face out of my brain. There are a few other visions swirling in there, too. I really don’t need this shit right now. What I do need is... Ugh.

Maybe I’ll continue the story, or whatever it is becoming, despite my mind’s protestations toward the subject matter at times. The whole shitaree could operate as a catharsis, although I believe the opposite is equally possible. I just don't know the value of any of this shit. The final strike is much worse, however. Not good. Not by a damned sight.



06

Those fucking lines again


What I have become has been a point of contention inside for some months, and to equate different situations as 'strikes' because of their effects upon me only supports the theory. My difficulties lend credence to all that I predicted years ago after my time with Her. The obsession and my need for the right type of validation pretty much came to a head not long before our first meeting. I should have known where it would lead. Anyway, everything is irreversible. The last strike has arrived. The dinner yesterday was timed perfectly to coincide with this downfall, complete with two additional sights I all but expected. I am weaker than months ago, more desperate than ever in my life, both being continually offset by the fact that I will never do anything about them. My thoughts are unrealistic to the point of being completely ridiculous, if not impossible. The visions have been equally unrealistic. Too fine a point has been sharpened over the years.

I’m tired of this entry. Nothing is being served or solved here. Perhaps I am just bitching in different ways than I did at the outset of the site change in early fifteen. My brain is still sore from sighting those damned legs outside the restaurant and then a second time as I strolled through the entry and toward the bar when they were fucking PAIRED for crying out loud. A little rear end perched on the bench with ideal posture. I didn’t see the Japanese beauty until we were seated at the table a while later. This entire entry could have been much shorter if I left out everything which is unimportant, honestly. Maybe I truly do love the keyboard enough to ramble on about nothing anyone would wish to read.

1127. I took care of half the routine and stopped. I am very tired from being up so late. Dinner was nice and the nightcap session was rather enjoyable, although that sweet, sweet face kept creeping into my head and derailing any conversation. Thankfully, there were no females at the bar aside from the one serving everyone, and she cannot cause worry. The knees and the face. Oh, did I mention her shoulders? They resembled those of Laura. Damn. The knees were all manner of trouble. They actually related a bit to the damaging dream, believe it or not. I believe my best course is to continue to remain in this fucking house as much as possible. I have control over the environment, entertainment, and need not see other people. The dinner group is scheduled to meet again sometime in either November or December. There will always be a strike somewhere, so I am basically making a conscious decision to trade very good food for mental stability. Splendid.

She may have been the most beautiful Asian woman I’ve ever seen, and such a grand statement must take into consideration my time spent in two other countries populated by the same nationality. I did not see the legs once we were seated, but boy oh boy, right there was the face for the next two-plus hours. So, why is this such a fucking issue? Don’t people see other people daily? Do those individuals go home and write about torment? Some of my feelings are clear and have resulted from a number of circumstances over the years, yet I still fail to understand why seeing her sitting at the table turned into a fucking mental debacle. Typically when I state that I am losing or have lost my mind, the thought is mostly figurative. Obviously I can still function for the most part. Many others cannot. Now, could it be that part of me is actually, truly unhinged? I don’t know. Moreover, I often feel that what I DO know is unimportant. This is not good by any stretch of the word. That much is certain. I may need a cocktail very soon. Or a nap. Or both.

Today is the type of day in which I feel very fortunate to have such time and space, not to mention a vast amount of quiet (aside from the television, of course). Too much thinking can be detrimental to anyone, yet I’d rather have an excess than a lack. I’ve lived with that situation for years while working. There were much better days sprinkled into the schedule, though, mostly around the holidays, yet at some point each day I wished to be the hell away from work and alone. Here I am in the middle of that wish. At the very least, I am grateful for the living situation right now.

0744 on Wednesday morning. I am at the beginning of the quiet time with coffee and the first show again. This episode features Elinor Donohue as a guest, and boy is she something to see. Yesterday the main guest was Barbara Luna, with the ‘holy shit’ apparent in every damned scene. This series is full of really interesting cameo appearances from the period. I wish I could have been a part of the production, but unfortunately I was not even one year old when these episodes first aired. Anyway, the morning is nice and peaceful right now and I feel much better than yesterday at this time. Going to sleep at my usual time certainly helps.

Yesterday was tough due to the lingering image of that fucking woman at the adjacent table. There were facial features present which are rather atypical for a Japanese woman. The more I looked at her, the more I saw, eventually leading me to remain turned away and focused upon our own table. Ah... There is Elinor again. Damned cute, that woman. So, this morning I am not feeling the obsession so acutely as twenty-four hours ago. I see some details from time to time, but the overall image has faded considerably. Now all I have to do is deal with the fallout (like always). Upside the head. Struck. I really didn’t need to see her so closely and carrying an entire universe of beauty all crammed into one face. Was she the last strike? No... That was much more. I am worse off for both.

I suppose I can work on something interesting once the routine is finished, but any possible concentration may be difficult. The electronics may have to take a back seat so simpler endeavors today. There is no issue with my attention, though. The problem is I am feeling more alone than in many years. On top of that wondrous shit, I don’t see any good on the horizon. The upside is as I mentioned a few paragraphs above, and that is the idea that I have the time and space to either sit and do nothing, work my ass off trying to improve the house, or focus upon something enjoyable, such as a hobby. I have lots of time, and one of the huge benefits therein is the lack of pressure on my shoulders when I hit the bed at night. I used to be stressed about working the following day, whereas now I only need think about how to best structure my time and shove the bad things away as much as possible. Once again, I feel compelled to point out that the only aspects of living which still keep me going are those little enjoyments I sometimes find during the day. Today will be another search for them so I can remain upright. If those enjoyments go away, I will fall off the edge very quickly because I literally have NOTHING ELSE. Get it? The strike is the entirety of my life as it has unfolded since the early zeros.

The weather is cool and overcast this morning. I hope the house warms a little, though. The furnace has remained dormant for nearly two months, something very good for the utility bill. Heh. Anyway, my options are wide open like most days. I’ll do first things first and then see how I feel about branching out in some other direction. Right now I have a little coffee left and my show. I had to do two software updates, as well. The machine is running well. This supports the fact that the desktop system will have to wait a while due to resources.

I no longer have any hope of understanding, nor do I feel that there may be something out there which can help. I just keep seeing things, remembering situations, yearning for that most necessary of comfort, yet the days continue to roll under the trucks and fade on the rails of life. I have been railroaded far too long to be positive. Everything is false, fake, manufactured. Every smile is a lie, each greeting the same. Lies. The level of bullshit in my life has increased to the nth degree out of the need to maintain privacy with regard to the worst mood imaginable. Lying constantly is exhausting and requires additional falsehoods in order to maintain the illusion that I am alright. I will continue to be completely fake and full of shit for the duration because there is no other way to live. I see people around me who appear happy and/or content, but the truth is I just don’t know. My ability to snow the world does not mean others are not capable of the same. They could all be full of shit, and that brings on an even more difficult thought...



07

On the set of the pilot of ST:TNG, 'Encounter at Farpoint', ca. 1987


Trust. I have done that. I’ve trusted some and been completely burned to a crisp as a result, one most decidedly standing head and shoulders above the rest of the pile. That situation affected me more than any other in life. Now? There is no trust remaining inside me. At least, no trust for people. Nothing. Not a fucking shred. And make no mistake, not a single fucking soul on earth can trust one word coming out of my mouth. The only truth is right here on the site. It is all I have after being struck with the realization that my life is over.

Switch.

1124. The routine is finished and I have a partial plan for running more experiments on the board. I believe some years ago I fried the drive motor controller – which is mounted in the center of the main board – and have yet to see any indication of life. I do have a backup controller still in the package, so the idea is to run a few tests with it solo in order to make sure the radio operates the PWM input properly before swapping the board with the old unit. I torched the first controller so long ago that I can’t even remember how. Keep in mind I began to design the main board back in zero-seven and did not have it manufactured until fifteen. Yep, seven years ago. The design had to be without errors because there is no altering a four-layer PC board. Anyway, I also have a slew of discrete 2v LEDs which were to be mounted all over the underside of the chassis for effect. That will probably prove a simpler installation than all the rest of this shit. When it comes to the drive, I feel rather stupid for leaving a very complex mount design untouched for years. Now I have to go back through the entire system and ensure that the numbers are correct before having it manufactured. The drive electronics are very simple in comparison. Mechanical work is tough, to say the least. I no longer have the resources or ability to machine parts myself, meaning if I have something made by an outside firm, everything has to be spot-on or the part will be a waste of money. So far, I’ve only fucked up once with regard to design and manufacturing, and thank the maker the loss was less than a hundred dollars. The lesson, however, was invaluable. Whenever I get a head full of the truck, other aspects of life which press me down tend to fade into the background. This is good. The truth is I made a very complex and impractical model which takes all of my concentration when I decide to dive in. This is a major distraction from daily living that I find necessary for survival.

My ‘True Blood’ neon sign has been delivered. Hopefully, it will enhance the appearance of the garage when lit. I’ve been looking for one for more than three years and finally scored. Whenever I decide to head to the garage, my first project will be to evaluate and test the sign. This is very nice and another boost to my day. And yes, I love the series enough to spend money on a prop. Shoot me.

Holy crap, the sign is beautiful and already has a mounting spot in my garage. Not only that, but the seller included an actual bottle of ‘Tru Blood’ [sic] just like on the show. Wow. I’ll have to light the bottle, as well. That is not something you see every day. It is absolutely awesome. A little joy in my day is always welcomed.

This woman in the episode resembles Olivia D’Abo when she guest starred on the second show. Well, sometimes. Her facial expressions and structure appear similar to Olivia at times, depending upon her mood, of course. Kind of lovely, to be honest. Olivia is several rungs up the beauty ladder, though. Eh... Never mind.

I have something to eat in the oven and have yet to work in the garage. The time is now 1238. The story I mention from time to time drew my attention for a short period before I walked into the kitchen. Fortunately, the feelings have been completely foiled by alcohol. God damn is that stuff ever useful these days. I avoided deeper issues earlier this morning by engaging in an activity which has become necessary, yet one also not even remotely recommended by anyone. Ugh. The recollections of certain past events drive my fingers to that other page and I add to it as necessary. After lunch I shall do some housework and then mess around in the garage. Anything to get away from the IDE for a while and hopefully distract me from all that has been lost forever.

I can’t take anymore fucking STRIKES, people. The restaurant was bad enough. I had the opportunity to fucking stare at that woman on and off for more than two damned hours, an activity even less advised than alcohol every morning. Hence, I am further damaged than prior to dining out two days ago. Between the stunning and unreal Japanese goddess and the fucking story to which I continue to add, I am sliding downward at a much more dramatic angle than ever before. Suffice to say, I am not fucking happy in the least. The garage shit barely keeps me alive.

0659 on Thursday morning. I have my coffee and the show, as usual. I have to work on the morning business very soon. Afterward, the plan is to sit here and try to understand how I ended up completely struck down this year. The previous year held its share of troubles, yet the last few months I’ve seen a great decline in my willingness to ‘try’ doing things which were simplistic just two years ago. They had been second nature, really, and I worked through whatever was necessary for my evening to feel deserved, relaxing and comfortable. Work was a trade. Now it is a trial. I suspect a few situations which may have had a hand in this decline, yet everything else is a mystery.

Well, it looks like the morning business has been halted. I will not have the house to myself today. Not a big deal. I pretty much control the whole place no matter who is here, anyway, so my day shall move along as it would regardless of changes.

There was a friend of a friend some years ago who visited us from time to time. I believe her name was Lai Sin, and my connection to her was through a friend’s daughter, if I recall correctly. The Japanese woman from Monday night reminded me of Lai Sin, just older. Something about her lower face, and a feature I’ve discussed here several times, also a detail I cannot describe. I was going to line up some images for comparison a while back, but then abandoned the idea because there seems little chance that others will see what I see in the first place. Anyway, Lai Sin was likely but twenty years old when we used to see her. The woman in the restaurant was a full decade older, I would guess (if not more) and appeared to have a child of single-digit years. As I look back upon both faces right now, they appear very similar. The fact is, I may have had a ‘thing’ for that specific and indescribable facial feature way back in the early zeros and simply did not put it into perspective. The goddess in the restaurant quickly became the culmination of several different ‘things’, leaving me completely floored. Sometimes I see her face again and other times it fades.

This is important right now because I’ve realized that all my scrutiny in recent years has jaded me. The beauty is at a much higher level, while the average is no longer as such. The rest of the world has fallen away with respect to importance, leaving me even further out of balance than just a few months back. Such a fact is yet another part of the last strike. The beauty has affected me more than any aspect of life or living, and I don't give a hoot in hell, either. I really don't fucking care. This is what I’ve become as a result of time and circumstance. Between a distinct and very hellish lack of some of life’s most important jewels and the fucking repeated broken trust, I’ve been left here to rot without hope or any regard for other people. I can see how some are driven into madness through this type of thing, as well. I really can, but that is not me. I shall remain quiet save for the words, and those words are only here. I’ve been hit too many fucking times to treat another person as a person anymore. They must remain at a distance and with a lack of understanding as to how I am feeling. I must be more closed off.

The strike of strikes, and likely the last of its kind for this life. I am completely bereft of options anymore. I’ve stated over and over that this shit would eventually come to a head, and here we are. The abcess is about to burst.

We have arrived."



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