updates from the desk of TMO

Starting the day up right – went to the neighbor's apartment, BS'd with him briefly (morning chats for no reason at all, always nice), then I started laundry, with the Final Spin photographed above. Now, I await for noon-ish time to roll around to renew the CL posting, b cause I think more shoppers will be online around that time.

Now, the clothes are in the dryer, I may do some walking today. IDK. My feet are nearly 100% healed up, but the left foot is slightly swollen, but the swelling has gone down immensely. All of the blisters from the Montana Excursion have more or less subsided and are now calloused over (gross sounding, I know).

The landscaping crew who maintains the property here have all descended upon the property, so the smell of freshly burnt off gasoline from lawn care appliances(?) if that is a proper term? (riding lawnmowers, leaf blowers, weed eaters, etc.) fills the air, coupled with the aroma of freshly cut grass. The sky was overcast, and then blue and sunny, and now overcast again. That's cool, whatever.

The day is nice. Glad to enjoy it 😊

Back soon

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So, I called Amtrak (via the # they gave me in the Voicemail, the same Voicemail they left to confirm that I am being refunded for my fare from earlier this month), and it said in the Voicemail to be transferred to Customer Relations when I got through. So, I did that, and got long bouts of music-less hold times, with little COVID-related messages in between.

Now, I am not “getting into a snit” (or, whining publicly) about this, just thought I would mention that i have now experienced what it is like to wait on hold, with nothing confirming that I am on hold, for minutes at a time. I was always checking the phone to make sure there wasn't a disconnection, and was almost excited when the little COVID-19 precautions message started playing, because it confirmed that the call wasn't all for nothing, and that I would get through eventually.

Of course after 15 minutes of this, I gave up and DIDN'T get through, but, I tried. They (sorta) tried. It's whatever. I will just have to await for “2 billing cycles” to pass before the refund hits my account. I do not know what Amtrak considers a billing cycle, so it's anyone's guess. I can just be patient :/

Moral(s) of the story: A) I could be waiting a while for the refund, and B) even though hold time music is usually on a warped cassette tape from the mid-1980's, and contains indiscernible violin music that “wasn't good enough” for an official release, all of that is better than waiting in silence.

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I woke up this AM and went to a neighbor's apartment, and had coffee and BS'd with him for a while. The rain was on and off. Still overcast. Then I checked the mail – got nothing, expecting a couple of things. Later, I will catch my ride to the store for grocery shopping (arriving here at 2:10 this afternoon).

Later or tomorrow morning I will do a load of laundry. And I also await a possible sale of the standmount speakers on CL, which has had the posting renewed every other day for a week, and no interest in them, yet. I find that weird (either people are opting for Facebook Marketplace or want the speaker price to come down, which it will not).

I also wrote out a lengthy note to myself on Standard Notes that has specific details for the writing rig setup I wrote about yesterday, on I got down to the nitty gritty with that write up (meaning the lengthy note I took in SN, the blog post linked above is mostly the initial “idea” behind it all).

I broke it down to five sections:


...and then I wrote a few bullet points for each section, getting as specific as possible about each element.

I also decided to call the project init commit, because it is my first significant software/hardware project I have taken on...ever. I mean, I have assembled Raspberry Pi computer cases before, tacked on the heatsinks (correct spelling?), and have assembled a tower PC one time (while I lay on a carpeted floor – NOT a good choice, but everything worked out ok). And, of course (as I have written extensively on this blog before) I picked up web development starting in early-2020, and know a few things in that realm, which is very good. But, I wanted to take on a larger, more significant project to really keep me busy, and something that I can be proud of short term and long term. I plan on documenting nearly ALL of the project as it goes along, so it will be fun, for sure. Likely, I will post progress updates over on the Ghost blog (

So, updates as they happen :)

Other things

Therapy, personal appointments with my counselor, have been delayed throughout this month, as I have been in sticky situations in regards to finances. I have remained in contact with her through text messages, but it has been agreed to that my next appointment will occur on, or around, June. 1. It will be over a month since I have had an appointment at that point, but, it is what it is. I am doing alright in the meantime, though.

Budget stuff

As I wrote the other day, I am planning on “taking stock” of many things for the apartment, for personal care, as well as food items, and tobacco, etc. But, the specifics regarding my finances in June are still “up in the air” a bit. I will have a more concrete budget laid out soon (in fact, I will start that right after this blog post), but for right now, some things are not 100% – or, they cannot be “counted on” for the time being. Such as:

  • the sale on CL (who knows when someone will buy the speakers I have posted – could be today, could be a week or more?)
  • the refund from my Amtrak trip ($266, which could “make a dent” in the “taking stock” list)
  • and also, I have not arranged the specific amounts I will be paying back to certain individuals in regards to small loans that I needed when I was SOL and stranded in Western Montana (travel, man – always an “adventure”)

So, I will get down to the “nitty gritty” in that regard, as well. I will hammer out a good, “concrete” budget in Standard Notes right now (at least in terms of live-or-die life necessities), and then see where I can go from there.

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So, I started writing about a possible writing rig I would like to build. Expecting the post to be around 500 words, and it turned into 1,200 words (and even has a photo!).

Here is that post (from

The post was initially inspired from my own post over on a small “sub” blog I set up today on W.a, (sub)TMO, and I just sort of expanded on that idea/concept. The concept of having an always ready, go-to way to write throughout the day, that is.

I think it took me around 45 minutes to complete the 1,200 entry, but it was fun, and I was able to hash out what I want to do, or at least get my head around what I want to do with this whole thing. I encourage anyone/everyone to check it out, because there is no way for me to summarize here :/

Anyhow, I am having coffee now, and I am feeling pretty good. 10:19 PM, and my mind is slowly but surely drifting onto the subject of development. Not just “web dev”, but Computer Science in general. I was entertaining the idea of (eventually) buying the stuff I need for this home writing rig, and perhaps just getting a sort of standard 9x11 or 10x12 vertical CRT monitor (which would likely have to be salvaged from an old tabletop arcade game), as well as what the possibilities are in terms of a capable circuit board, and a half dozen other things I will not talk about right now. A lot of notes can/will be taken soon.

Right now I just want to enjoy coffee. LOL!

Anyway, proud of that little write-up :)

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So, I just Published/Unpublished some silly, superficial, complaint about sponsored content within Firefox.

But really, who cares?

I read it, and re-read it, and it came across as some superfluous whinefest, and I don't want to have stuff like that on this blog.

I was probably sitting in the sun for too long when I wrote it (several minutes ago, I am now inside in the AC where I am comfy again (and happy, again)). So, I suppose I was in a snarky/nasty mood a moment ago? IDK. But I deleted that ish.

Also, I've been writing probably too much stuff that is filling up the R.w.a feed lately (though, trying to moderate how much gets posted and tampering it down a bit (though I DO feel like writing more than I am, oddly)). So, I created a small UNLISTED blog for certain updates called (sub)TMO and I will put stuff there on occasion, and made a fast shortcut for it on the home screen of my phone. Mostly because I cannot put anything on the Ghost blog ( via my Android phone, because everything goes haywire on the editor when I do, and there are not any third party apps for Ghost that cater to mobile blogging :/ Oh well.

Ok, I'll be back later on.

Hope everyone is well

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...and balcony sitting. Because it is amazing what can be accomplished via a smartphone and a data connection :)

I called and arranged a ride to the grocery store tomorrow, so I am not constantly trekking back and forth to the store. Though the daily treks will likely still happen. I just need to start the “TAKING STOCK” shopping trip(s) that I mentioned in a blog post from yesterday.

Also I have a pricey-ish item listed on CL at the moment, and I just renewed that listing an hour ago + changed the wording of the listing – made things more clear and concise so there is no confusion. I also mentioned that anyone interested (or if they just have general questions) can contact me through CL. So, hopefully that item sells quite soon.

And, as mentioned, I am sitting on the balcony listening to birds and seeing neighbors come and go. The #stlwx is delightful today, so I am enjoying it.

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On the balcony again. Or still I should say. I barely went inside today. Nice change of pace. Outdoors are beautiful ❤️.

Even though it is 80°+ out here, I am having hot coffee ☕ and just “bracing it”, because it is worth it for the caffeine hit and the ambiance.

Also, nonny's are happening (non-filtered cigarettes). Delightful.

But, a random observance I had: there was an old lady walking her two dogs earlier. Slowly. Solemnly. Nearly invisibly and without noise or disturbance, when I thought:

“All three of those creatures will be dead in ten years”

Bizarre, perverse, and downright morbid, I know. But, the lady was nearing 80 (or appeared to be), and the dogs looked like senior animals, as well. Dogs lifespans are also relatively short regardless. It just happened to cross my mind, and I am fairly open/candid on this blog, so I decided to share it. I am not a morbid person in any way whatsoever. But, anyway...

The coffee is delightful. The air is delightful. The slight breeze is delightful. The sun is everywhere. The clouds are nowhere. So I will get back to balcony sitting for now.

Back later

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I went ahead and snapped this just now. A view from beyond my balcony, as I sit ON my balcony. A large tree in the courtyard has it's leaves lit up from the noonday sun, and the cloudless sky peeks out beyond them.

A nice day, for sure. The nicest we've had all Spring (dare I say). Neighbors and their dogs wander about the area (well, not “wander” – they are going to/fro their respective residences or/and vehicles).

Behind me, or behind the building behind me, I can hear the Gebhardt Road traffic roar, zoom, rev, and hum along the street. I can see a looming shadow of a chicken hawk in the sky above the parking lot, but I have not seen the bird itself, yet. Perhaps even a bald eagle? (they are everywhere along the Mississippi River (a mile from here)).

Birds chirp. Squirrels collect rations for the day. I write. And we all have our place in the world.

Back later

... Discuss...

So, I decided that I need to Be Smart™ and take stock of things for life – food, tobacco, hygiene products, and life goods. With any/all upcoming income I have, I am going to start stockpiling (kinda/sorta) things that will be useful to have on hand longterm. Not “prepping” in any sense of the word, just things that I will not have to “worry about” buying for a while, as I tend to do this once or twice a year, because it is simply a smart thing to do :)

So, I made a lengthy list on Standard Notes of everything I can think of that I will actually USE and benefit from. This is that (lengthy) list -


  • (2) LARGE bags of mixed vegetables (oriental + Normandy blend – keep both frozen)
  • (4 to 6) 6-packs of Maruchan ramen noodles (homemade vegetarian style, pitching sodium packet)
  • (1 each) McCormick spices – pepper (grinder), basil, Cavender's Greek Seasoning, onion powder, lemon pepper(?)
  • (1) 4-pack container of stick butter (real)
  • (1) LARGE olive oil (cheap stuff is ok) ✅ (1) LARGE container of quinoa, in-bulk
  • (3) tall jars of Folgers Noir Golden Dusk instant coffee
  • (3) packages of Mission tortilla wraps (large, fluffy – use one, freeze the other two)
  • (1) Teriyaki sauce
  • (2) LARGE jars of JIF peanut butter ✅ (2) LARGE jars of grape jelly
  • (1) LARGE bag of brown sugar (+ container to store it in (Mason jar))
  • (2) LARGE containers of Log Cabin maple syrup
  • (2) LARGE containers of Quaker 1-minute oats


TAKING STOCK pt. 2 (tobacco + tobacco products):

  • (2) 16 ounce bags of Hearth & Home Louisiana Red Bulk VA/Per tobacco
  • (?) several various tins of tobacco (mostly English blends)
  • (4) 12-packs Dill's pipe cleaners
  • (1) $0.99 nail tamper
  • (3) 5-packs of Bic (full-sized) lighters (Schnucks, best price)
  • (1) bottle Briarville Pipe Sweetener
  • (1) estate pipe from Etsy (best price)


TAKING STOCK pt. 3 (hygiene/life goods):

(a. hygiene)

  • (1) 2-pack of Old Spice Fresh deodorant
  • (2) LARGE packages of (soft) TP
  • (2) LARGE Suave shampoo (original)
  • (1) 8-pack Irish Spring soap
  • (4) LARGE packages of Bic disposable razors
  • (3) LARGE(?) regular-sized(?) tubes of toothpaste (any brand)
  • (1) backup toothbrush
  • (1) LARGE container of Extra Strength Tylenol

(b. life goods)

  • (2) LARGE containers of Clorox Wipes
  • (1) container of Swiffer wet mop pads
  • (1) LARGE container of off-brand Cascade (generic dishwasher soap)
  • (1) LARGE pack/case of lightbulbs (Daylight light bulbs, the brightest)
  • (1) small pack of AA batteries
  • (1) small pack of AAA batteries
  • (1) page/packet of Forever stamps

...and I think that will do it, for now.

Should cover me for quite a while :)

back soon

(EDIT – I added in the deodorant and TP into the hygiene section, as the original posting of this entry negated those two things (as I forgot) – THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT THINGS!)

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I put together a 10 page issue of TZATC just now (issue. 8), and it was/is all photography-related. Just a few of my favorite shots I took from going Out West (not to snag the terminology from my friend, Mike – who also has a written series about going Out West).

One of the photos I shared is from here in STL, but it was too beautiful to NOT include in the issue. Of course the NEW hub for where one can get the zine can be found at:, and I encourage anyone/everyone to take a look, and download, and tell me what you think :)

Had fun with this issue.

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