Throughout the majority of my adult life, I've been known for my patience and easy-going demeanor.  I smile easily and often and am always happy to talk to my friends.  I listen when people have problems and offer advice if it is needed.  I have noticed in the last few months that I am having more moments when I lose my cool...never in front of anybody, but I lose it nonetheless.

I'll be in the car and get stuck behind a slow person.  I submit for time off and get denied due to a system error.  I get a food order that has something wrong.  A call I make doesn't get returned.  These things didn't bother me much, but for some reason now I just get angry.  I'm not talking frowny-face and grumble angry.  If I'm in the car, I yell at the top of my lungs.  I get SO IRRATIONALLY ANGRY and upset.  Sometimes I feel like crying.  What has happened to me?

I swear a lot more.  I take things personally.  I'll get sad.  Sometimes I just scream.  But never at anyone, or with anyone.  Always by myself.  It's like my fuse, which was once plentiful, has grown painfully short.  And it's not all the time.  I just get set off and feel like my entire world is collapsing.  I don't want pity, or feel like the world owes me something.  It just happens so quickly and is not a reaction I am accustomed to dealing with.



One thing I’ve noticed since being home is my tendency to be tired more often. At first I likened it to ‘having’ to be awake via an alarm rather than just waking up on my own…and I do think that has SOMETHING to do with it…but as I examine how my life has changed and what my daily routine looks like, I know there is more to it.

I am working an 8-5 schedule right now. Getting up at 6:00 AM has never come naturally to me, and it probably never will. I drink coffee all day at work (I loves it so) and I’m sure the lack of caffeine in my system by the time I wake up drags me down. My diet has gotten worse, and although it’s not where it was when I left last year…it’s definitely not where it was when I first got home, either. I am not exercising at all, not even taking walks in the evening. You have to spend energy to have energy, right?

My lethargy and daily morning disappointment in life in general has to be coming from these things. My daily grind has to be altered; I’m setting myself up for failure out of convenience and habit. There’s a walking path RIGHT HERE NEXT TO THE OFFICE that I’ve never truly used. I can bring shorts/tank in a backpack daily so I don’t get my normal clothes all terrible. I can stop drinking coffee (at least cut myself off, not drink 4-5 cups a day) and substitute it with some good ol’ WATER. I can stop eating such heavy foods and re-focus my efforts on controlling my portion sizes. I also gotta stop eating so FAST.

I live in a great part of town now. I can walk to many places, but still I hop in the truck. STOP. Go for a walk. Take your camera. Enjoy things instead of passing by them in a hurry to accomplish your tasks. Be patient with your time. Force yourself up early enough to take a stroll before preparing for work, that way it’s not a race.


Back to the Future Timeline

Alright, I’m tired of this. Someone(s) on the internet is wrong!

There’s an online twitter/Facebook/Blog broadcast going out that yesterday was the day that Marty traveled into the future. It’s totally inaccurate. In BTTF II, Marty Doc and Jennifer traveled to Oct 21st, 2015 in order to prevent Marty’s son from getting in deep with Griff and his goons in some kind of bank robbery scheme. There’s no question; they even show the time circuits. The confusion has to be coming from a single place in the first film.

Before Doc is shot by Libyans, he mentions going “25 years into the future”. The date that early morning (in the parking lot of the Twin Pines Mall) was October 26th. If he meant PRECISELY 25 years, it would be Oct 26 2010. Not any time in July. He never mentions a specific date, and at the end of the film he answers Marty’s question of “How far are you going?” with “about thirty years.” I doubt he has an exact date in mind.

The confusion must be coming from the movie’s release date. BTTF I was released on July 3, 1985. Twenty-five years later would be July 3, 2010. But that doesn’t jive either, because this whole “MARTY TRAVELED TO TODAY LOL” movement was on the 6th. It just doesn’t fit into ANYTHING.



The Oatmeal Squares Thing

Some of you may have seen errant posts on my Facebook or random posts elsewhere (including an infamous YouTube video sent to me while I was in Japan) in regards to my friend Billy and the breakfast cereal, 'Oatmeal Squares'.  You probably don't understand.  That's okay.  I'm going to type it all out for you and you STILL won't understand.  At least this way I have a resource I can update and point people to.  An Oatmeal Squares wiki, if you will.

This all started back in 2009 when my friend Billy and I were newly acquainted and were both trying to get to know one another.  I am a big fan of breakfast cereal and posed the question, "I say, good sir, among the vast array of choice, which breakfast cereal do you prefer?"  Now, I grew up around the grocery industry and I have a long history of product knowledge.  I was prepared for a great number of cereals, both available and discontinued, yet his answer astounded me.  "Oatmeal Squares," he replied nonchalantly.  I blinked.  Oatmeal Squares?  Really?  Out of all of the tasty cereals on the market, he goes with the OLD MAN cereal?  Perhaps he didn't understand the question.  When I asked again and received the same reply, I knew that something was wrong.

I pondered this for a few minutes.  Was there some redeeming quality in this part of a balanced breakfast that I was overlooking?  Just because it has the word 'OATMEAL' in it doesn't mean that it's some lacquered attempt for old people to look cool among the breakfast crowd.  But, alas...it is.  I could not accept this.  I called Billy on his love for a clearly inferior product, but he would not relent.  What was a simple conversation between friends turned into a quest for truth and justice.  If I was truly a friend, I would not allow this man to continue this delusion.

I started taking every opportunity I could to bring Oatmeal Squares into conversation.  Too tired to come out for a drink?  Those Oatmeal Squares are aging you prematurely.  Is the queso too hot?  Well, your poor choice of breakfast cereal has obviously blanded your taste buds   Cough got you down?  That's because Oatmeal Squares rot your soul.  You know, that kind of thing.  Soon, though, it was time for me to leave the country.  So I did.  I thought the battle was done.  But it was not to be.

Many months later, in Japan, I receive a message.  It's from Billy.  I am overjoyed to hear from my friend, but what awaits me is heartache and misery.  He went out and bought a burger from one of my favorite local establishment and relished in a mockery presentation that ended up with the burger in the trash and his sinister enjoyment of Oatmeal Squares.


This doesn't cover all of the other things we've subjected one another to, but the YouTube Video is just the latest volley in a war of words and images.  It won't be the last, either.

[Update:  Among other things, since this posting I got an autograph from Summer Glau of Firefly fame and had her write, 'Oatmeal Squares are awful' and gave it to Billy as a gift.]


The Iron Giant

One of my favorite films of all time is, 'The Iron Giant'.  It's an animated film released by Warner Bros. in 1999.  It flew in under the radar and 'bombed' at the box office by only pulling in $23 Million but well internationally.  I didn't know about it until it had been on video for some time.  I was told it was something special.  It's one of the very few DVD's I kept when I sold everything because it IS truly special.

'The Iron Giant' is set in 1957 and revolves around a young boy named Hogarth and his friendship with a giant alien robot that he befriends in the forest outside his hometown.  It's well animated and voice acted, but the thing that makes this film such a gem is the story.  It's a story about changing your destiny and living up to your potential.  It's an animated movie, sure, but it's not a children's movie.  There are so many nods, references, and themes that puts this up with Shawshank Redemption for me as a favorite film.  Now, when I say 'nods and references' I'm not talking about in a Shrek kind of way.  This movie is now eleven years old and NOTHING falls flat.  It's not pop culture.  It's a slice of America.

First off, the main character is not a stupid kid.  He's intelligent.  He has an imagination, but he's not an exaggeration.  Also, the other characters are well realized.  The villain is a pompous government nobody that wants to be a somebody.  He's a threat because he is desperate.  In his bid to convince others that the Giant exists, you believe that he would do anything.  There is a beatnik character named Dean that is a local to the small town but obviously doesn't fit in well, mirroring Hogarth's existence...but in a real way.  There is a sense of realism that permeates the entire movie, actually.  At one point, Hogarth runs into a tree branch and it gives him a small nosebleed.  That's what happens.

There are so many small things that make me smile in this film.  The horrible, stilted acting in the B/W horror film that Hogarth watches on late-night TV.  The cheesy duck-and-cover Nuclear Holocaust film at the school.  The picture of Hogarth's absent father (getting into a military jet) on his nightstand.  The 'Red Scare' comic book on the porch.  The mention of alcohol as a contributing factor to a sailor's incredible story about a giant robot in the sea.  And then there's Superman.

The main theme of the film is that you can choose who you want to be.  Superman is used as a parallel to the Giant's disposition and abilities, and done well.  I've talked about how I'm more of a Batman than Superman kinda guy, but in the 1950s Superman was the idealized nature of humanity.  Although the Giant may have been designed for more sinister purposes, he has the option to choose to be a good guy, just as Supes could've ruled the world like Zod.  There are a lot of parallels to other media in this film, but it's all from the time.  Lots of communism and us-vs-them conversation too.

Finally, I want to mention love.  Near the end of the movie, Hogarth looks up to the Giant and says, "I love you."  It's a heartbreaking moment and a rare use of the word 'love' to deal with emotions that don't involve romance.  A lot of films try to communicate love in it's raw form and few succeed.  I freely admit I weep like a baby at the end of this movie, and often throughout it.  I highly recommend it.

Also, there's no singing.  Thank God for that.


Cash Flow

I start my new job at U.S. Cellular next Monday.  I am excited to get back into a routine and hopefully shed the 'useless' feeling that blossoms with unemployment.  I'm also keen to see some income.  After some scary touch-and-go, looks like we'll be able to make the mortgage payment for May, but we won't have much money to live on.  We'll make it, but just barely.  And I mean barely.

I don't remember ever living with this high level of financial concern before.  I remember having to watch the money I spent, but I don't ever remember being this stressed about it.  Indi and I have done a good job at shoring up our expenditures and have done great at stretching our budget.  I have had no problems adjusting, save for one aspect:  fast food.

Before we left last year, we ate out a LOT.  Five or six times a week easy.  As we traveled, the vast majority of our meals were eaten out; after all, we normally didn't have a kitchen at our disposal to cook our own meals.  Now that we're home, we're eating in, and that's good for money and health.  But I long for the unhealth.  I can't pass by a drive-thru without wondering what I could do to get a little money so I could get a burger.  It's ludicrous; I mean, it's not an addiction.  Is it?  Sometimes I get downright DEPRESSED.

Is it because I desperately need some pizza or fried chicken?  Do I have this unnatural requirement for grease and preservatives?  After some thought (and a homemade ham sandwich), I don't think that's it.  After all, it's never a good idea to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach; the roads are nearly paved with temptation around here.  I think it is more of a problem with choice.

See, previously in life, if I wanted to eat unhealthily or get something fast it was no problem.  I was free to make that choice, even if I didn't.  Now I have to buckle down and simply CANNOT stop to get something or make a trip to try out a new restaurant.  I will have to wait.  And I hate the fact that I am crippled by the last few months of unemployment.  I am thankful that this period is almost over.  I think I will have a new appreciation for the money I spend.  After all, of what worth was my world-wide trip if I returned to my old ways so quickly?


The Wonders of Forgotten Technology

I loved my history classes in High School.  I was blessed with a few really good teachers, with a keen interest in the subject they were teaching, and that kind of excitement is infectious.  I've always leaned towards American History rather than old-world history (see what I did with capital letters there?) but once in awhile something comes along and piques my interest again.

Historical inaccuracy fascinates me.  What do we 'know for sure' that really didn't happen?  Or perhaps happened differently?  The current 'Tea Party' movement in American politics is a great example of current values being projected backwards in history and applied to situations that were vastly different.  My recent deep questioning of my religious beliefs also falls into this category.  But there's another side to the whole 'certainty' aspect that I don't see much of and read an article today on Cracked.com, of all places, regarding forgotten technology.  Simply put, technology and advancement that was forgotten for ages and would've made a REAL difference in historical development.  Here are the examples from that list and a few more I've looked up.  SCIENCE!

  • Steam Engine
    • Common knowledge states the steam engine was invented in the 1700s and was the catalyst for the Industrial Revolution.  However, the first steam engine that actually designed in Alexandria in the first century.  Nobody knew what to do with it, as they couldn't properly translate it into a useful purpose, so it was considered a novelty.
  • Gold Statue of Buddha
    • This isn't really 'technology' but it was on the Cracked.com list.  A 10-foot-tall solid gold Buddha statue in Thailand was forgotten and misplaced for centuries.  How does this happen?  Well, in the 1700s the Burmese (lovely chaps) were invading Thailand and the Thai gov't covered the statue in plaster and placed in a nondescript temple to prevent it from being plundered.  Well, one thing led to another and they forgot where they put it.  It was found in the 1950s by accident when it was dropped during transit and chipped.
  • Cure for Scurvy
    • Scurvy happens when you don't get enough vitamin C, and was quite common with sailors as they'd spend months at sea.  The British Empire discovered that lemons kept the scurvy away, but hadn't quite caught on that citrus fruits had different properties, and after awhile replaced lemons with limes (as they were more plentiful) and replaced actual limes with juice for ease of use.  Limes don't have as much Vit-C.  Re-enter scurvy until science proved that, yes, limes and lemons were DIFFERENT.
  • Ligature
    • Ligature is the process of tying up a bleeding artery to prevent catastrophic blood loss.  It was first discovered as a useful surgical method in the second century and was regaled as a breakthrough in prolonging life, but then the Dark Ages came.  Ligature was forgotten in favor of cauterization by burning tar.  What's that, got a gash in your knee?  Pour some ol' burning tar in it.  That'll fix it up.  Ligature wasn't re-discovered until the late 1500s.
  • The Great Hedge
    • This sounds silly.  A hedge, really?  Hear me out.  Back in olden days, salt was king.  It was used as currency in some places and seen as the driving force behind most commerce.  Think Dune.  However, anyone could get salt if they knew how to mine it from evaporated ocean beds in places like India.  The British East Indian Trading Company didn't like their colony finding a workaround for their steep salt tax, so they planted a big hedge.  It was 2,000 miles long.  There were NO mentions in ANY history books until some random guy found passing mention to it in a footnote.  Makes me wonder what else existed that we don't know about because no one thought to write it down.
  • Concrete
    • Did you know Romans discovered concrete in about 300 BC?  Makes sense, considering the architecture of Rome, the aqueducts, the invention of the arch, etc.  However, one of the prime ingredients in Roman Concrete was volcanic ash, and when other Europeans tried to replicate their success, they failed...so, here come the Dark Ages again, and people just abandon it.  It wasn't re-discovered until the 1750s.  That's a long time.
  • Antikythera Mechanism
    • This really gets my brain buzzing.  In the early 1900s a small geared device was found in a wreck off the coast of Greece that dates to about 150 BC.  This device was as complicated as astronomical clocks built in the 1800s and was used as a sort of 'astronomical calculator' similar to a sextant.  It calculated the position of the Sun, Moon, stars, other known planets, and was designed with Earth being the center of the solar system, as that was the knowledge of the day.  And it's miniaturized.
  • Baghdad Battery
    • Not just clever alliteration.  Archeologists discovered that folks back in Mesopotamian days had designed a system for electricity.  It consists of a jar with a rolled-up copper sheet wrapped around an iron rod inside it.  The jar was filled with a sort of acid for conduction.  They didn't produce much in the way of electrical charge, and there's many theories as to what they were actually used for, but that fact that a form of electricity was discovered that long ago staggers me.
If you know of any others, please comment with them.  I love this stuff.


How did this happen?

Before I go into a recently discovered travesty, let me tell you about my friend Nikki.

I met Nikki at Cingular Wireless...I think it was early 2003. One of the first things I learned about this person was her deep, entrenched love (and obsession) with all things Beatles. It is a rare occasion indeed when I see bits of her collection, and I can tell you it awes me. There is no other person I know that even comes close in terms of Beatles knowledge. She is eager to share her opinion on current projects and still cannot talk about George's passing. Oh, and if you tell you that the original 'Let It Be' is better...I pray for your soul.

I was driving to the grocery store the other day and tuned my radio to 94.1, a local classic rock station. They were playing a Beatles song that I'd never heard before. I listened, made sure I didn't recognize it, and rang her up.

"Hey, what song is this? I don't recognize it," I asked with confidence.


"That is 'Golden Slumbers'," she answered definitely.

"Huh. I've never heard it before."

"That can't be true. It's on Abbey Road."

She sounded rather dismissive of my claim.

"No, I'm positive. It segued in from this other Beatles song I'd never heard either."

"'She Came In Through The Bathroom Window?' This is not possible. How is it you've never heard Abbey Road?!!?!"

Now she was starting to sound incredulously angry.

"Well, I don't know! I know all their radio hits, but I guess I just never sat down and listened to all of Abbey Road."

In a suddenly refreshed and upbeat tone, she advised me that we MUST get together and listen to it on vinyl. I agreed and the conversation ended. This was a week or so ago. Today, I start listening to a streaming broadcast of 'A Hard Day's Night' as I watch the snow fall outside.

I realize quickly I've never listened to this album either.

Scanning Wikipedia, I don't think there's a single Beatles album I know all the way through. I've never seen any of their films. Hell, I'd have a hard time picking George out of a lineup.

Nikki is going to kill me. How in the world did I get here? How have I not heard these songs?


Food Moods

I am continually amazed at how my mood changes depending on the food I am eating or have just eaten.

Tonight, Indi fixed tacos.  I love tacos.  Granted, my version of 'tacos' is little more than a tortilla, beef, and cheese, but whatever.  The point is I eat a lot of it.  And now I feel miserable.  The food was good, don't get me wrong; Indi is a fantastic cook.  She has helped me appreciate foods I wouldn't come within a 10 yard radius otherwise.  No, my problem is when I like a food, I eat too much of it.

I'm sitting on the couch, a heavy stone in my gut and a slight feeling of nausea playing at my throat.  I only had two.  But after ten months on the road, eating smaller portions of much healthier food...I can't do this anymore.  I recall the Before Times when after every meal I felt lethargic and mentally dull.  Food comas were a way of life.  I just spent the last half hour going through old pictures on friends' MySpace pages and seeing what that had done to my body.  And I was happy.  I do not EVER want to be happy like that again.

As the time fast approaches when life tries to return to "normal" I must not let myself fall into this chasm of calories.  Do I want to be ridiculous about it, entering my culinary choices into a mathematical equation @ lunchtime?  No.  But I do need to be more careful about what I eat, and the amounts I eat.  The profound feeling of regret I hold now is enough to remind me that life is about more than a tasty meal.



Making friends has always been something that has come fairly natural to me.  I'm easygoing, flexible, and nearly always in a good mood.  I interest myself in the passions of others and have often found that just simply listening is often key to maintaining relationships.  I am usually the peacemaker and, even if I feel I am in the right, often back down in order to prevent fracture.

I had a conversation with a friend last night about my forthcoming re-entry into the world of the gainfully employed and the trepidation that comes with my uncertain future.  She said I was one of the most well respected and well liked people she knows, and that my worries are fruitless.  Which all worries are, actually, but that's not the point.  The point is that my nature and outlook on life reflects positively most of the time.  I truly am rich with friends.

But that's not what I want to write about.  The thing that bubbles in my mind most often are those friendships and relationships that have NOT gone well.  Some have mended over time; others not.  When I'm alone in my mind with nothing to keep me busy, it seems I always return to these soured friendships.  What went wrong?  What could I have done differently?  Is there any way to patch things now, even if I don't want to remain a friend?  I don't like thinking I have 'enemies' out there or folks who think ill of me.

I now consider that a weakness.  Why should I care if someone doesn't think I'm all wine and roses?  People are different and that's life.  If I dedicate myself to just making others happy, I myself won't be happy.  One of the things I've gained in my travels is a greater sense of self worth and identity.  I see myself approaching relationships in a different light, but not in a bad way.  Just in a more assertive way.  This is fine and good.  I call it progress.  But I do still find myself returning to the collapsed friendships of years past.

So, what's the deal?  Does this mean I haven't moved on?  Does this mean I'm a perfectionist and not wired to just let sleeping dogs lie?  As a famous Captain said, 'As a doctor, you of all people should be aware of the dangers of reopening old wounds.'

It's just hard to forget the good times, I guess.


'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' by Jonathan Safran Maier

First off, thanks to my cousin Amanda for constantly recommending this book to me since it's release and to my wife for finally whacking me over the head to actually read it.  You were both instrumental to my resignation to read this book.  I'm ever-so-glad that you did.

This was a devastating book.  It's very good, don't get me wrong; just the first of it's kind for me.  The story deals with a nine year old boy who lost his father in the September 11th, 2001 attacks and his subsequent quest to unravel a mystery that he feels is the 'key' to staying close to the memories of his father.  It also deals with similarities and parallels his grandparents faced during World War II.

This is the first piece of fiction I've read or seen that uses 9/11 as a backdrop.  It's not tacky, it's not politicized.  It's something that happened, and it changed things.  For everyone.  It brought back memories of those first unbelievable moments as I watched the horror unfold live on television.  It reminded me of the endless walls of 'Missing' posters in New York and the outpouring of grief, sadness, and support from the rest of the nation.  It also reminded me of the innocence of childhood and how an event of this magnitude must have ripped so many children from that innocence prematurely.

The passages in this book about the young boy's memories of his father tore me to pieces.  Granted, I'm a sucker for Father/Son relationships in media (especially movies, like Field of Dreams or Big Fish) and I fully expected some personal emotional instability.  It's the little things that reminded me of my childhood and the details of my father.

The stubble of his beard.  The sound of his briefcase latches opening.  My careful footsteps upstairs to bring him his coffee and tea in the morning.  His Tarzan yell from the living room.  Watching him practice his golf swing in the back yard.  Going with him to store inventories late at night.  The smell of the leather of his chair at the office.  The iron grip of his handshake.

After I finished the book, I sat for a long time and considered.  The book deals a lot with themes about losing loved ones; some to death, others to separation.  I was reminded of the ever-popular theme in Hollywood of the "Life Changing Event" and how characters responded and become 'better' people.  I thought to myself, "Why can't we appreciation people when they are STILL HERE?  Where is it written that we have to learn life's lessons when it is Too Late(tm)?"  Fact is, we don't have to.

It's very easy to take life for granted.  My time abroad has taught me many lessons, but the ones I learned the hardest are the ones I cannot do anything about, like conversations I would like to have with my grandfathers, who have both passed on.  Not to some sudden disaster or unexpected circumstance, but to long standing medical issues.  I had plenty of time to grow closer to them.  I failed.

I heartily recommend the book, as it has some fantastic life lessons and is written EXTREMELY well.  It'll break your heart, but in a way that will get you to re-evaluate your relationships and take stock of what is important.  It will also transport you to a time of uncertainty and nationwide attention, albeit through much younger eyes.



Did you know that Oklahoma is experiencing a rapid population growth in the East/Northeast area?  So much so, in fact, that the State has been weighing options to prevent them from running out of 918 area code phone numbers.  There have been two options on the table:

New Area Code:  Split the 918 into two areas, one 918, one a new code.  Some numbers would change.
Overlay:  Newly issued numbers in the 918 area would be given a new area code, but no maps would be redrawn.


Lex Luthor: [pointing to a map of Oklahoma] Right now, this state has two area codes:  918 and 405.  Since the state of Oklahoma has less than four million people in it, this has not been a problem.  However, a certain area of the state has seen a rapid jump in population
[Whaps Otis with his pointer]
Otis: Uhhh... Northeast Oklahoma.  Tulsa area.
Lex Luthor: Now, call me foolish, call me irresponsible, it occurs to me that a total exhaustion of phone numbers in a huge segment of the state, uh...
Superman: Would cause chaos and panic.  No one could get a new phone number. And the ease in which we talk to one another-...
Lex Luthor: Falls into the history books. [Gives a little wave with his hand] Bye-bye, landlines. Hello, US Postal Service. But I have an idea!.
[Otis overlays map with new map]
Lex Luthor: Split the 918 area code!  Some keep their old area code, some get a new one.  It takes a little getting used to, but it’s organized!  It makes sense!  Just like the map here.  I’ve written what I feel are fair boundary lines for a new area code division and, uh.. Overlay [hand-written by Otis, with backwards 'Y']... Overlay?
[Lex looks at Otis with a narrow and darkening gaze]
Otis: Other states, they went with an Overlay.
Lex Luthor: Overlay?
Otis: It’s just a small change, old people wouldn't have to learn something new.
Lex Luthor: [Angrily] OVERLAY?!
Otis: Okay, I'll just wipe it off, that's all. It's just a little town. [Erases Overlay]

Oklahoma is going with the overlay.  WHAT?!  This is the most ridiculous item of the day.  So you are telling me, if I have a 918 number in my home, and I want a second line...it may have a DIFFERENT area code?  If I have a personal cell and a work cell, they might look like they are from ENTIRELY different areas?  This is preposterous.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission decided to go this route due to the fact that people having to learn new area codes could "hurt small businesses" and cause confusion for older people.  Call me crazy, but it's WAY more confusing to have the SAME geographic area with TWO different area codes, the only differentiation between the two being some invisible time line.

Oh, but they are warning people that they will start to have to use ten digit dialing.  Naturally.  Because if you want to call your neighbor, it's an entirely different area code...but only that neighbor, the other one has a number just like yours.  It's EASY, SEE?  Surely easier than just dividing the map differently and providing an easy A B C area code solution.  Oh, wait, no, that's NOT easy, because some people will have to LEARN.  This way the good ol' boys can do things the way they always have.

It is this kind of compromise and "we don't want to change the way things are" that REALLY puts me in Yosemite-Sam-Shoot-The-Floor mode and want to find another place to settle.  This. Decision. Makes. No. Sense.  Cotton-pickin' varmints!

If anyone has any way to make me see this in a better light, please...I'm all ears.  And rage.  Ears and rage.