Tom Flanders World

All the stuff about me and my life
Tom Week – Stress and Relief
stress of moving

The Move Stress

Surprisingly the stress level about moving is decreasing. We are making great progress. The shed and the back room are done. The dogs area is well under way. We should have the cottage done in a couple weeks. Pat is painting everything in site.

In addition, Pat found a company that will take all our furniture, sell it and split the profits with us. This removes a giant stress point for us.

Sick Dogs

On the other end of the stress scale, both dogs picked up kennel cough at the groomers. We gave them Benadryl. Rex handled it fine but TJ developed “muscle tremors.” These look like seizures. Very scary. He’s much better now.

The Website

Sorry for those few days that the website was unstable. After several years at the same host I had to move the site. The old host became totally flaky and their customer support, which used to be great, failed to live up to expectations. So the site has a new home and everything is back on track.


Photo by Bekathwia

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Tom Week – feeling better
feeling better


My wife upped my vitamin D. I’m feeling better.

Last week I rode for 4 out of five days. Also making me feel better.

Today I published my first 100 word story in a long time. Proof that I’m feeling better.

One of the joys of going back to the east coast is getting to go to Dunkin Donuts. Unfortunately they no longer make fresh donuts on site. They are trucked in and taste no where near as good.


In the absence of writing I did some programming. It’s like writing. It involves typing, problem solving and imagination. I wrote a WordPress plugin that I think will be useful for people other than myself. This is a first.

I’m in the process of creating all the support artifacts I need for submission to the official plugin repository. Should be done this week.


I did a 20 mile ride today. My course took me around the city and up many of the city’s steepest hills. I did just over 1000 feet of climbing. It felt like a whole lot more. Exhausted but satisfied.


Photo by Sabbian Paine

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Puppy and Jury

Lost Puppy

We got to babysit a lost puppy yesterday. The dogs were in heaven at first but the puppy’s infinite energy soon got annoying. Fortunately we found the owners before we took it to the shelter.

Jury Duty

On my way to jury duty, as I approached the courthouse, an ambulance pulled up. The EMTs got out and pulled the stretcher out of the back. Only there was a man already on it. They took that man into the courthouse.

I had a dream last night that the defendant in the case was the daughter of my odd neighbors from across the street. I was dismissed. Wishful thinking?

On Tuesday they picked the twelve jurors. Wednesday we had to go back to pick the two alternates. I got put on the hot seat but knew they weren’t going to pick me. I even told the woman sitting next to me that I would be the first rejected by the lawyers. I was right.


A family in crisis is like having a group of people put together a puzzle with everyone bringing their own pieces. No matter how good the intentions there will be insults and hurt feelings. I just hope at the end of this dark tunnel we can return to our previous state of tolerant indifference.

Random Thoughts

Yelling at a deaf dog is not productive. So why do I continue to do it?

Still waiting for Racoon Land to be a thing.

The problem with the bad guys in my stories is that they know they’re bad guys.

It’s a wise man who can win an argument with a fool, but a wiser man who doesn’t bother.

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My Trip to Toledo
toledo mud hens

My Nephew’s Toledo wedding.


The trip to Toledo starts tomorrow. The plane takes off 24 hours from now. Mixed feelings. Was hoping to see dad but he’s too sick to fly. Don’t expect him to last much longer. It will be nice to see my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. Looking forward to meeting the new in-laws.

I’m a bit worried about my mental state. I just discovered that unemployment was affecting me more than I thought. I’ve gotten out of many of my maintenance routines both personal and cycling. Started them back up again but what else has slid?

So, mental state. Worried about Dad, Pat, Tonya and TJ. Worried about drinking too much. Worried about my absence of human contact. Worried about cleaning out and selling the house. Worried about access to Pat’s meds when living on the road.


The shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal was hilarious. I got to ride with the band dudes who were off to some gig on Frontier Airlines. They were arguing about how cool or uncool it would be to live in Alameda.

At the terminal I printed out my boarding pass and found that my name was spelled wrong. Thomax instead of Thomas. The TSA guy pointed out the difference but let me through anyway.

I picked a seat at the back of the plane hoping for some extra space. So close. The row across from me had just one person and she got to lay across the seats. I had a guy in my aisle, who looked just like Hermes Conrad, so I had to remain upright.

Also, my plan had several unexpected flaws. Seats in the last row don’t lean back. The wall is in the way. And on just the other side of that wall is the lavatory, so loud flushes every few minutes. Finally, the galley is just past the bathrooms and remained brightly lit to whole flight. Fly and learn.

The head flight attendant was named Cheyenne and had a cute Texas accent. Glad Pat didn’t hear her. She’d be talking southern for a week.

I nodded off a couple times on the flight, but never for more than a few minutes.


The Dulles airport is hot and humid. I arrived at C19 and leaving from D32. I’m guessing it was close to a mile walk. I got a chocolate frosted donut at Dunkin Donuts. It had the least amount of frosting possible. Ah well.

In the corner of this cluster of gates is a glassed-in smoking lounge with bright orange biohazard warnings all over it. It’s like an exhibit at the destructive behaviour museum.

I don’t care which channel it is. 24 hour news is nothing but an excuse for assholes to make shit up all day long.

Detroit is a nightmare. It’s 9:30 in the morning and everyone is drinking, a lot! All the food places up and down the terminal have signs that read, “Alcohol Served All Day.”

Maybe this is a reaction to all the drinkers, I have never seen so many obese people in my entire life. And they are all wearing shorts.

I had a very good burger and fries at Ruby Tuesdays. The guy next to me drank three beers, two before his food arrived. I’m just not living up to my gluttonous potential.

The sun is out now. Almost tempted to try to busses. No, too tired. In my current state I wouldn’t enjoy it. Time to look for a safe place to take a nap.

Coming off a plane was a group of monks. Their driver met them and directed them to baggage claim. They had to explain that they had no baggage.

I’m not used to riding in cars. My sense of direction is all thrown off.

Patsy and Hank have a great little house by a lake. It was good to see everyone and the ones I hadn’t met yet, but by the end of the night it got to be a bit much.


Had a great sleep. The time change is hitting me hard though as everyone else is up and about I was still in bed at 10. (7AM my time.) Even worse I am out of Coke. Must have caffeine.

Feeling like an outsider. My own fault. So used to solitude that finding my social self is proving difficult.

I’m going to lose my pro drinker status. Family members are planning a drinking excursion BEFORE the wedding reception. Just can’t get that into drinking.

Apparently you shouldn’t order the green beans at Big Boy’s. Ann did and was unable to keep a single bite in her mouth.

Downtime watching Harry Potter. Maybe a shower is in order.

Took a shower. Went to put on my suit. Quickly discovered that it was not my suit, but Dad’s. Hope they don’t mind a slightly casual guest.

Conflict over readiness and willingness to conform to the schedule. In a rush I forgot my phone and camera in the room.

The reception was fun. Mike and Melissa’s friends are great people. They had much fun. The two families didn’t mix much. Not sure it would have been good if we did.

After the reception we went to a karaoke place. Many bad singers, and a few really good ones.

On the phone Pat reminded me that I needed to check on jury duty. Fortunately I don’t have to report on Monday, but I do have to check again on Monday evening for a potential Tuesday jury.


Kenny was up early again. I decided to get up and get some breakfast. Toast, bacon and a banana. Yum.

Lunch at Applebee’s with Theresa, Jim and Nancy. A quick stop at Mike and Melissa’s house then off to the airport. Now waiting for the flight.

The flight went well. I had the United app working this time and I was able to watch movies the whole time. Made the flight go much faster.

After thoughts

While in Toledo I had this feeling off discomfort. I realize now that it was the wide open spaces. We spent the whole time in the suburbs and mall land. We were never in the “city.” The lack of neighborhoods made it feel artificial. This isn’t a criticism of the places we went. It just goes to show what a creature of habit I am. Or, in this case, creature of habitat.

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Tom Week – Clever Stupid Hack
hack group

The silliest hack ever

Someone took every word from my about page and tried to use it as a login name. Clever, but it was to naught. Apparently I’m not stupid enough to have my admin login published on my website.

Climbing Knowledge Mountain

There are no wise men sitting in wait at the top of those hills. There are only more wastelands of stuff that need to be learned. The more I learn, the less I know.

Doom overshadows the city

Batman is dead. Adam West wasn’t the first or last Batman, but he will always be my favorite. I can’t count how many toy Batmobiles I’ve had. I also have to thank The Batman TV show for jump-starting my journey towards sexuality, thanks to all women who played Cat Woman. (But mostly Julie Newmar.)

Random thoughts

Panic attack last night over the prospect of moving out of a house and into a Winnebago.

It wasn’t until I came into contact with an evil spirit that I discovered that I am surrounded by good spirits.

We should set aside one day a year to celebrate surly teenage store clerks. Where would we be without them?

Guy with a man bun: “I love the taste of jalapenos but I hate the spiciness.”


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