The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

May 7, 2014

Fun With Insomnia: A Series of Unfortunate Decisions

Filed under: Bad Ideas, Fun With Insomnia — Brian Lutz @ 2:21 am

One of these days I should really learn to stop eating at my computer.

Back when I added Fun With Insomnia to the category list on my Blog, I figured I’d be using it quite a bit.  After all, I tend to have problems sleeping at times, and I got the idea that spending that time writing rambling half-coherent drivel instead of lying awake in bed being annoyed by the fact that I can’t sleep might make a somewhat more productive use of my time.  Then again, by now I’ve pretty much figured out that I can write rambling half-coherent drivel pretty much any time I want to, so there isn’t really a whole lot of point in restricting myself to certain times of the night to do it.  Of course, I try not to make that fact too obvious here, so I tend to toss most of that stuff into other categories and hope that nobody notices.

Ironically, I wrote most of that first paragraph a few hours ago, then stopped because I was having trouble staying awake.  The net result of this was a roughly 1 1/2 hour nap, from which I woke up nice and groggy right around 9:30pm.  Given the fact thart I was pretty much half-awake at this point, I figured I’d be making it an early (by my standards anyway) bedtime, and made the usual preparations.  It was about 11 or so by the time I was ready to go to bed.  and roughly 11:30 by the time I actually turned the lights off.  Naturally, this is right about the time that the sleep inertia from the nice little evening nap happened to wear off, and I found myself wide awake in bed.  This is usually right around the point where you remember why those after-work naps tend to be a bad idea.  Typically it takes about an hour or so of tossing and turning before I start to realize that sleep doesn’t seem to be on the agenda, at least not anytime soon.  It is also right around this time that I start coming up with some of my “best” bad ideas.

Tonight, it was right around 12:30 that I started pondering completely absurd things, and started to wonder just how quickly I could be eating eggs if I jumped out of bed that very instant.  One thing led to another, and roughly fifteen minutes later I found myself at the second-nearest Denny’s (there’s actually one just a couple of blocks from my apartment, but I don’t go there all that often because it’s kind of a dump)  ordering something else because I had completely forgotten my original aim by that point.  Oh, and since I was already in the process of doing any one of a number of stupid things, I tried to write this Blog post while eating, which probably explains why I’ll be reading it sometime tomorrow morning and wondering what the heck I was thinking.  In theory, the Surface Pro I picked up a couple of months ago when they had the things really cheap (I don’t think I ever mentioned that I got one of these) would be perfect for this type of situation, but I’m quickly learning that the $129 type cover I bought with it seems to be better suited for decorative purposes than for use as an actual keyboard.  I could probably get better at this with practice, but quite frankly, it’s kind of a pain to use.

Anyway, based on my admittedly very small sample size of largely irrelevant data, I figured out that under ideal conditions someone could probably be eating eggs at an all-night diner within roughly 15 minutes of jumping out of bed, although this does assume roughly five minutes of dressing oneself in a socially acceptable fashion, no significant traffic between their current location and said diner, and fails to take into account the traffic lights that might be encountered along the way.  Specific optimizations could be made to streamline the whole process, but who in their right mind would call ahead to Denny’s to place an order?  Then again, there are plenty of other ways that eggs could be consumed within the comforts of one’s home.  I suspect that if someone has a quantity of eggs in their fridge and isn’t completely repulsed by the prospect of eating them raw, they could significantly reduce that number, down to almost zero.  Then again, as efficient as that may sound, don’t expect me to try any experiments on that anytime soon.  I could probably continue to overanalyze this to death for at least another thousand words or so, but I should really be in bed by now, so I’ll refrain from doing so (either that, or I’ll save it for another post.)

In retrospect, it occurs to me that by the time someone finds themselves at Denny’s ordering a three-course second dinner sometime after Midnight, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to trace this occurrence to one or more bad decisions, usually made in rapid succession.  One of these days I should figure out that those nice little naps after work, although they seem like a good idea at the time, have an annoying tendency to end badly.  Then again, I’m not really up past my bedtime, just everyone else’s.

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April 4, 2013

Fun With Insomnia: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Filed under: Fun With Insomnia — Brian Lutz @ 2:12 am

Don’t worry, I’m not planning on getting all creepy and/or depressed here, it’s just a song lyric.  For some reason, Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence has always seemed to me to be an especially appropriate insomnia song.  Granted, it was released in the early Sixties right around the time things really started getting weird (although, as the Wikipedia article on the song notes, it was written just a few months after John F. Kennedy was assassinated,) but for some odd reason, I seem to have picked up a bit of a taste for at least some of the various psychedelic 60s music out there.  Even though I have no intention of ever abusing various recreational controlled substances for fun and profit, occasionally a little bit of Grateful Dead, Byrds, Animals, or even a bit of the out-and-out druggie music just hits the spot  Incidentally, if you ever find yourself trying to figure out the meanings of some of these songs, something I’ve found to be a useful exercise is to just start randomly replacing various nouns in the song with the word “drugs”.  This song makes for a particularly good demonstration of this theory.

Anyway, as you can probably tell by now, I am currently awake at nearly 2am on a weeknight, not particularly thrilled with this fact, and probably a little bit loopy to boot.  Come to think of it, it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these Fun With Insomnia posts.  Not that I’ve necessarily been sleeping any better than usual, but lately I just haven’t done nearly as much lying awake in bed as I used to.  I’ve been pretty good about avoiding caffeine lately (which I pretty much have to do, since pretty much any amount of caffeine will keep me up half the night and send me flying up the walls in the meantime) but even without that, every once in a while I try to go to sleep and find myself completely wired for some reason.  Tonight seems to be one of those nights.  Granted, I might have gotten myself just a little bit more sugar than I really needed this evening, but usually that alone isn’t enough.  It’s probably the combination of that mixed with anticipation.

Earlier this evening, me and my friends spent some time sorting out details for some of the upcoming trips we have planned.  In just a couple of weeks me and one of my friends will be headed to Disneyland for a badly needed weekend getaway.  Yeah, I know that I seem to end up there a lot for some reason, but with as hectic as work has been lately, I’ll take any excuse I can get.  Given the fact that once again there are multiple trips planned throughout the upcoming year, it looks like I will also be renewing the Annual Pass I bought about a year and a half ago.  As I’ve found through quite a bit of experience, there’s no such thing as a cheap trip to Disneyland (unless you’re a local, then you might actually be able to manage it every once in a while) and it’s looking like this one won’t be any exception, but I actually found that the Annual Pass can be a pretty good way to save a few bucks if you know you will be going often enough to justify the cost.  The included parking alone on the Premium Annual Pass is $15 a day that you won’t be paying at the gate, and amounted to over $200 in savings by itself on last year’s Annual Pass.  On top of that, the discounts in the parks on food and souvenirs can add up.  The only real problems with the Annual Pass are the blackout dates (if you get the Deluxe version instead of the Premium version) and the steep initial cost.  Either way, it looks like I’ll be getting one again, and it looks like I’ll need to find some excuses to use it.

After that trip, it will be only a couple of weeks later that me and my friends are taking a 3-day cruise up the West Coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver.  Shockingly, it’s been over a year since my last cruise at this point, and I have no idea when the next one after that will be (although there’s been some talk of a European cruise next Summer.)  And then a couple of weeks after that one I’ll be heading to Atlanta for a weekend to attend my brother’s wedding.  I still haven’t sorted out all the details for that yet, but since it’s a part of the country that I’ve never been to, that should be an interesting (if brief) trip as well.  After that…  Who knows?

Anyway, I should probably try to get some sleep now.  And I should probably stop writing words on the subway walls and tenement halls too.  Be sure to tune in next time I can’t sleep for more fine quality semi-coherent rambling and pointless drivel.

January 27, 2012

Fun with Insomnia: Not Quite Getting Away From It All

Filed under: Fun With Insomnia, travel — Brian Lutz @ 4:47 am

For some odd reason, I don’t think I have actually been writing a whole lot of these Fun With Insomnia posts lately, and I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a good thing or not. Either I am actually getting most of the sleep that I should be getting, or I am just failing to make appropriate use of the time I spend lying awake in bed. I actually think that a lot of these posts that I have written recently have been travel related, mostly written from airplanes, trains, boats or other big moving things that I seem spectacularly incapable of sleeping on. And sure enough, once again I am writing this from an airplane on a cross country flight, although by the time it actually gets posted it will be coming from some airport (most likely Houston, where I have a connecting flight) since there isn’t any Wifi on the plane. Not sure how people managed to survive cross-country flights under these conditions, to be honest. Interestingly enough, this particular plane has DirecTV installed in each seat so I can watch television to pass the time, but given the fact that it’s somewhere around 1am right now Seattle time, most channels are deep into infomercial territory. I did find a random Italian soccer game to watch for a bit, but the satellite signal was a bit flaky, and I got a bit sick of the skips and stutters in the picture and sound. So now I’m just writing this and trying to figure out how to make it through the two-and-a-half remaining hours of flight time on this plane.

Owing to the previously discussed unexpected change to my employment situation, I actually considered bumping up my flight a couple of days and spending a couple of extra days in Florida prior to boarding the ship tomorrow, but ultimately I decided against it, mostly owing to the high cost of the airline change fees. To be honest, it was probably a good thing that I did, because I ended up having a couple of phone screens for potential jobs to deal with in that time. Besides, I am actually traveling with people this time around, so it was probably best to just stick to the original arrangements. I’m still thinking the return flight is looking a little iffy, but at least if we miss it I’ll have some company, right?

Anyway, from here in Houston it should just be another couple of hours of flight time to get to Miami, at which point I should be my usual nice and loopy self (I don’t know why, but I don’t think I’ve ever been down there without being somewhere around 36 hours of no sleep…). We board the ship tomorrow, and from there I should have some Internet, but very limited, so I may or may not post something along the way depending on how motivated I’m feeling about it at that point.

September 19, 2011

Fun With Waking Up Way Too Early in the Morning Again

Filed under: Fun With Insomnia, travel, Wanderings — Brian Lutz @ 9:49 am

As something of a hardcore night owl, I try not to make a habit out of being awake at 6 in the morning too often, but lately it seems to be happening a lot more than I’d really like it to.  Then again, given the various reasons that I’ve been getting up early, I suppose I probably don’t have much excuse to complain.  On this particular fine morning, my excuse happens to involve catching a train on my way up to Vancouver BC, where I will next be catching a light rail in order to go catch a ship, from which I will be catching…  Oh, probably not much really.  I suppose that I’ll eventually be catching a ferry, but that one’s still a couple of days off.  And then a few days from now when I get off the ship I’ll be catching an airport shuttle, then a rental car, then a Doom Buggy, and finally at the end of all that I’ll probably manage to throw in an airplane somewhere along the line just for good measure.  When you think about it, it’s really kind of an unusual trip.

This particular trip started out this morning at King Street Station in Seattle to board the train.  The place has been under renovation for a while now (I recall posting some stuff about it back when I was working over in the neighborhood last year, but seeing as how I am currently on vacation I’m being just a little too lazy to look it up right now) which is mostly intended to reverse the effects of a radical stylectomy inflicted upon it back in the mid Sixties, with perhaps the biggest indignity coming in the form of a drop ceiling covering up the ornate original, which remained until the middle of the last decade.  As you can tell from the photo above, “Hatchet Job” would probably be a good description of the approach taken to this renovation.  I’m sure the whole thing was considered oh so very modern at the time, but then again, so was LSD, and we all know how well that one worked out (your mileage, of course, may vary.)

Anyway, it took about a 40 minute delay before the train arrived at the station, but once it did boarding was quick, mostly painless, and surprisingly free of pointless security checkpoints.  As far as I can recall this is actually the first time I’ve traveled on a railroad that didn’t involve an amusement park anywhere in the process.  It probably helped that I paid extra for business class, which results in a bigger seat, more legroom, shorter lines and a faster trip through Customs in Vancouver, but ironically, it did also make the train trip from Seattle to Vancouver cost more than the flight back to Seattle from LAX on the return trip.   That said, there are a few nice things about the train when compared to flying.  For one thing, even with the assorted noises that come along with rail travel, it’s still a lot quieter than having two big jet engines blasting outside the windows.  You also have the ability to get up and walk around freely on the train, and don’t need to be in a seatbelt the whole time (in fact, I’m pretty sure the seats here don’t even have seatbelts.)  There’s free WiFi on the train, as well as actual power outlets to use it with.  In other words, this ain’t the Chattanooga Choo-Choo (although in a certain nostalgic way it might actually be fun to take a trip like that, as long as you weren’t in much of a hurry to get anywhere.)

The scenery on the train is also a lot better, although I ended up on the “wrong” side of the train car to see Puget Sound in all its glory.  One thing I’ve noticed about air travel is that even though you’re going about six times faster in an airplane than you would be in a train, the fact that you’re 35,000 feet in the air tends to make the scenery stay mostly the same for long periods of time, which mostly serves to remind you that you’re not going anywhere for a while (well actually you are, just a lot slower than you’d really like to be.)   In fact, if not for the nagging reminder in the back of my head that Amtrak would probably implode in a huge crater visible from space if the whole thing wasn’t being propped up by about half a zillion dollars of taxpayer money every year, I’d be tempted to say that rail travel might be a nice way to get around.

Anyway, being on a ship means that I’ll most likely be Internet constrained again for a few days, but I’m going to try to post at least something when I make it to San Francisco in a couple of days.  I’m looking forward to sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and seeing Alcatraz, even if it does mean I’ll have to be awake way too early again.  Oh well, I suppose I can sleep when I’m dead, right?

September 3, 2011

Fun With Waking Up Way Too Early in the Morning

Filed under: Fun With Insomnia — Brian Lutz @ 10:08 am

As anyone who is familiar with this Blog knows, I’m a bit of a hardcore night owl, and as such have a tendency to do a lot of my writing at semi-ridiculous hours of the night.  I’m pretty sure if you went and averaged out the post times on the last, oh half zillion Blog posts or so, you’d probably find yourself somewhere in the neighborhood of 1am or so.  As a result of this, I tend to prefer to keep my mornings somewhere in the realm of theoretical concepts.  I hear sunrises can be quite lovely (and the time a few weeks ago when I somewhat annoyingly got awakened by one of the things blasting through my window would seem to suggest that there’s something to that) but fortunately, there are guys out there who are far more motivated than myself to go out and take pictures of the things so I don’t have to worry about going out and experiencing the wonders of nature for myself.  Sunsets I can manage every once in a while, although my apartment is facing the wrong way for one of those.

Of course, every once in a while, even I have to figure out how to actually wake up at what I would consider to be semi-ridiculous hours of the morning.  And for the past two mornings, I have been doing just that.  Recently, my job responsibilities have shifted to supporting a different team from the one I have been working on for the past ten months, and as a result, instead of working with people in the local office, I’m now working primarily on stuff that comes from the team over in France.  To make a long story short, it means I had to be on a 7am conference call yesterday morning, which translates to about a 6:45 wake up time (at least I can take the calls at home so I don’t need to worry about heading to the office at ridiculous hours.)  Trying to decipher technobabble with a French accent coming through a telephone line is something I have a bit of a tricky time with when I’m wide awake on a good day.  Try doing that on about five-and-a-half hours of sleep, and it gets to be tres difficulte (or whatever that term is supposed to be, I’m writing this with no Internet available at the moment to go look it up.  I’m hoping I don’t have to deal with the early morning calls too often, but I suspect I might have to get used to them.  At least when I start work that early I usually get to leave early too.

But none of that explains what the heck I was doing waking up at 5:30 this morning, an hour even most sane people tend to put in the ridiculous category.  Granted, that one’s pretty easy to explain by itself, as I’m currently writing this on an airplane about halfway between Seattle and Oakland, with an eventual destination of Orange County and Disneyland for the next three days.  Breakfast this morning consists of airline peanuts and pretzels, the breakfast of champions (who didn’t have time for breakast anyway.) and I’m posting this on a quick layover in Oakland (voted best place in the Bay Area to get mugged, three years running!)  The multiple trips that I’m taking down to the Los Angeles area by air and by sea, I’ve decided to make the (somewhat expensive) plunge and get an annual pass to Disneyland, which means I’ll probably need to find excuses to sneak in at least another weekend trip or two down there over the course of the next year (and if the Winter in seattle sucks again this year the excuse will probably be welcome.  And as much as I try to avoid the really crowded times of the year, it looks like I’ll probably need to make a trip down there next Summer once the big renovations to California Adventure are completed.  The annual passes certainly aren’t cheap (especially the premium one I got with no blackout dates and included parking) but it ends up being cheaper in the long run than buying 3-day Parkhopper passes each time if you’re going for multiple trips.

So in other words, expect to get really sick of me talking about Disneyland soon.

March 26, 2011

Fun With Insomnia, Sleep Deprivation And Jet Lag

Filed under: Fun With Insomnia, travel, Wanderings — Brian Lutz @ 1:49 am

You would think that with as much traveling as I have done over the years I might manage to actually get used to it at some point. Even though I currently have two different frequent flyer cards to my name, I would hardly use the term “frequent” to describe my travel habits. For that matter, “infrequent” is kind of pushing it too, Nonetheless, over time I have presumably accumulated enough time on airplanes and on car trips (not to mention the occasional cruise or two) to make it look like I have some idea what I’m doing here. That said, I’m pretty sure I am far from an expert on the subject. And it isn’t the vaguely entertaining comical ineptitude version of lacking expertise either. I mean. Its not like I go get chased by rhinos in the African veldt, cause international incidents by wearing the wrong pair of pants in an Italian restaurant or anything like that. Mostly i just forget things, carry around too much useless crud and occasionally overdo things and end up getting home in need of the proverbial vacation from one’s vacation.

As I write this, I am currently on the San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale leg of my outbound flight for the cruise, about 2,243 miles away and somewhere over middle-of-nowhere Nevada. Thanks to the handy screens they have here on the plane, I know all of that, as well as current ground speed, outside temperature (-73f) and what inflight movie options i would have if i wasn’t busy writing this and/or lacking the attention span required for inflight movies. Combine all that with inflight Wifi and an iPad, and I’m pretty sure i wont be getting much sleep on this flight, thus ensuring that I should be a barrel of somewhat dubious fun tomorrow morning. Oh, and i am also running on about five hours of sleep last night, and it’s a wonder any of the stuff i am writing rit now is coherent at all. Actually, for all i know, it may all just be blather anyway. I am typing on the iPad, so if it doesn’t make any sense I’ll just blame the hardware, same as usual.

This particular trip started off this morning with one of those awkward customer service calls that goes nowhere to Virgin America trying to figure out why I was supposed to not only pay twice for my checked bag, but to also go claim it at SFO, recheck it, and then go back through security. That didn’t accomplish much, so the next step was to post a complaint on Twitter, which got a surprisingly prompt response, although I soon learned that writing a complaint letter in 140 characters is a lot harder than it looks (and it looks pretty dang hard.). By the time I got that resolved it became a bit of a moot point anyway as my checked bag ended up with my parents (who had two checked bags included in their reservation) on a different flight. So when all is said and done I am flying to Fort Lauderdale through San Francisco, my luggage is (hopefully) getting there a couple hours later via Charlotte, and if I’m lucky enough with all that I may not have to wear a big oak barrel to Formal Night.

Aside from that, the travel has been mostly uneventful so far. The airport shuttle from the hotel near my apartment ended up being an Escalade, which sounds more luxurious than it really was (but I have to get my delusions of grandeur from somewhere, right?) the flight got delayed in Seattle by about an hour, but with three hours in SFO expected, that was no big deal. Not much to report beyond that , aside from a mildly regrettable meal at Sea-Tac. Oh yeah, I also have that old hippie song about wearing flowers in your hair if you’re going to San Francisco stuck in my head right now (and you probably have it there too now if you’re old enough to know it or listen to classic rock radio) but that’s a minor detail.

As noted previously, blogging will be light to semi-nonexistent for the next week or so (i will probably manage to come up with something in St. Thomas where my phone will have coverage) but there should be plenty on this when I get back. I don’t know if i am going to do one of those full excruciatingly detailed trip reports like I did for Disney World a couple of years ago, but there should be plenty of material to work with here.

Meanwhile, i have 1,893 miles to go to get to Fort Lauderdale, and I am pretty sure I won’t be sleeping for any of those. At least there are plenty of new and exciting ways to be bored in style on this flight.

February 8, 2011

Fun with Late Night Jackhammering Outside the Window

Filed under: Fun With Insomnia — Brian Lutz @ 1:42 am

Most of the time, living right next to the freeway is actually an advantage compared to where I lived previously.  After all, with a major 405 onramp literally right outside my window, I can pretty much go right out of the parking garage, wait a minute or two for the light to change, and be on the freeway almost immediately.  It also provides nice little animated backdrop out the window, although it has proven a bit disappointing in the weather-related carnage department this year (there’s still time though…)  On the other hand, living next to the freeway does have its drawbacks too.  Right now, this manifests itself in the form of a major construction project that’s going to completely change around the way people get to 520 from northbound 405 by moving access to 520 to a new onramp on NE 12th, and removing it from the existing NE 8th interchange.  If you’ve ever wondered where spaghetti junctions come from, this illustration (PDF) should give you a pretty good idea of what’s being added to an already convoluted 520-to-405 interchange.  And somehow, all this is supposed to make getting around easier.  If I was a traffic engineer I’d probably know why, but for now I can just take their word for it and keep sending over tax dollars.

Although usually the construction doesn’t create any unusual distractions beyond some occasional flashing lights outside the window, around 11pm this evening, someone began jackhammering.  Actually, to be perfectly honest I don’t know what the sound is (probably some sort of pile driver, now that I think of it, or perhaps a freakish mutant woodpecker escaped from some lab full of twisted biological experiments) but I do know that it’s loud, and that it’s been going pretty much nonstop for the past two hours.  I suppose that all things considered, it’s really not that bad.  It’s not too incredibly loud (most of the time) and if needs be I can probably sleep through it.  The problem is that, just a bit before Midnight, the smoke detector in my room decided that it would be a great time to start beeping every 30 seconds.  Jackhammering and piledriving I can probably abide.  Beeping every thirty seconds, on the other hand, is pretty much a guaranteed one-way-ticket to a sleepless night of looking up the name of the guy who invented smoke detectors on Wikipedia and then cursing it for the rest of the night (yeah, I know the guy has saved millions from fiery death, but what has he done for us lately?)  Anyway, I’m guessing the solution to the problem is a replacement battery, but since I don’t know if I have anything else in the house that uses a 9-volt battery anymore, the only solution to the problem is going to involve a Midnight trip to the store for batteries.

Of course, by the time you’re making the effort to get dressed back up, make the journey down to the depths of the parking garage (at least if they wanted to try to ticket my car down there it would take them the better part of an hour to make the trek down there)  and drive over to the store, you might as well do some other shopping too.  Assuming I can manage to navigate through the maze of pallets and boxes full of stuff for the overnight crew to stock on the shelves without tripping over something and faceplanting in the cereal aisle (*kkkkshhhht* Rick, cleanup on aisle 9, cleanup on aisle 9 *click*) I might as well pick up some milk, and some popcorn since I’ve been meaning to grab some.  Oh, and some onions, because I might run out eventually if I use up the stuff I’ve got on top of the fridge.  Oh, and look, they’ve got steaks on sale, might as well grab one while I’m there.  An item here, an item there, and pretty quick a late-night trip to the store for a battery turns into $30 worth of groceries.  Granted, it is groceries, which I’m probably going to need eventually anyway, but it still seems like it’s kind of missing the point.  At least I managed to actually get the battery I was looking for, unlike the times when I’ve made a late-night trip to the store and walked out with $50 worth of stuff, none of which was the one specific item I went to get in the first place.  Of course, just to make the whole exercise even more pointless than it already was, the beeping had stopped by the time I got home.  I changed the battery anyway, because I’ve never been a big fan of fiery death.  The jackhammering/piledriving/mutant woodpecker rampage outside continues unabated though, and I don’t think a trip to the store is going to fix that.  Oh well, I suppose if it saves me 37 seconds of waiting in traffic three years from now I’ll put up with it.

Oh, and the smoke detector?  This guy is the one who is credited with inventing it.  An associate of Thomas Edison, but then again, it seems like practically every major invention of the late 19th century had Edison’s name on it somewhere.

January 17, 2011

Fun with Insomnia, and a Side of Hypochondria

Filed under: Fun With Insomnia — Brian Lutz @ 2:39 am

(Note:  Yeah, I’m up way too late and probably babbling incoherently again.  Unless you somehow enjoy this type of stuff, skip to the last paragraph or so for something that might be vaguely interesting.)

Once again it’s 2am, I’m wide awake, and that means it’s time for yet another of my soon-to-be-infamous Fun With Insomnia posts.  I should probably apologize in advance for writing so many of these things since I’m pretty sure most of the people reading this Blog are here for something besides semi-coherent late night ramblings.  But keep in mind that this IS the Internet we’re dealing with here, which means that 90% of everything is crud (in much the same way that 90% of everything in real life is crud, and yes, there is a law for that.)  I suspect there’s not a whole lot I can do about 90% of everything being crud, but with hard work (sort of) and dedication (eventually) I think I might eventually be able to get this particular Blog down to only 87% crud.  It’s posts like this one that will help make sure that turns out to be a very, very, very long process.  I’m guessing that this is a pretty lousy way to get myself to sleep, but it’s at least moderately less lousy than some of the other alternatives, and it even works occasionally.

With as long as I’ve been a night owl, being up at 2am really isn’t that unusual for me, although I’m sure if anyone else was living here I’d probably have driven them nuts with this whole routine years ago.  Then again, even though I’m up way past most sane people’s bedtimes, it seems to be one of those things where at least it’s consistent, and if I can manage to get to sleep I have no problem staying asleep.  Keeping in mind the various caveats associated with trying to self-diagnose one’s problems on the Internet, a bit of recent reading has led me to wonder if what I have isn’t just plain old insomnia, but a case of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.  In a nutshell, it’s a condition where someone’s sleep cycles seem to be perpetually off by a significant margin from what would be considered normal, but if one is allowed follow their “adjusted” cycle they can generally function normally.  The problem for most people with this condition is that they’re expected to function on what would be considered a normal cycle for most people, and have trouble doing so.  I don’t match all the symptoms, but do match enough of these that it might be something to consider.  Either way, I find that in the field I work in later schedules tend to be more the rule than the exception, and as long as I don’t need to be in too early I’m generally OK to get through the day.  Even if getting to sleep does take an occasional incoherent Blog post or two.

Anyway, if you somehow made it through all that without being put to sleep yourself (which is kind of the point of the whole exercise really,) I offer my congratulations and/or apologies.  In terms of more typical Blog content, I’ve noted recently that there seems to be a surge of interest in the subject of the Totem Lake Mall, presumably as a result of recent coverage in the Kirkland Reporter.  With the resources of a professional newsroom (as well as direct access to the stuff I can only get on blurry microfilm,)  they have been able to perform much more through historical research and come up with much better copies of the various photos than I’ve been able to find in my own research, as well as several I hadn’t seen before.  I’ll have more to say on this later, but if you haven’t seen it yet I would highly recommend a visit to the first article in what is intended to be a six-part series on the history of Totem Lake Mall.  I really need to go in and update my various Mall posts (which, in spite of my relative lack of activity on the topic recently, remain some of the most popular posts on this Blog) since there’s been quite a bit of activity (in some cases) since I originally wrote them.  Watch for these soon.  If I don’t fall asleep first, that is.

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