Living Off the Grid: a new home

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For those of you who have been loosely following my blog, you may have noted that I was forced to move due to some mysterious circumstances, plans fell through, dark and scary things began happening in the night, etc etc… Well after some conversations with a former mentor of mine, he confided in me that a former coworker who was pissed off I reported her for stealing over $150k from the company, gave out my name and address to public enemy #1, a former client’s exhusband who vowed to kill all the workers who helped his wife escape the marriage. Oh shit. I found out when I called my mentor when I pressed my last job offer why the plans suddenly went awry. I phoned them for 3 weeks after the plans fell through absolutely persistent they give me 30 seconds of feedback, “Everything was going so well. I was supposed to start Monday, what happened?” Well, Howard was what happened. Howard (false name for protective reasons), my mentor, had given me bad reference after bad reference, to four different agencies I had originally been hired on to, but the plans suddenly fell through. When I confronted him about it, he was surprisingly docile, and told me that each of the agencies, he knew for a fact, this man who had a contract on me, had ties to. Well, I suppose that explains it, but really? No, really? Well, we sat for hours in his apartment covering all the connected names, locations, and details, and sure enough- the market I was looking to penetrate was dominated by this guy. Close call. “I thought you had been applying in different fields, or would just return to PSP (Protective Services Program). I didn’t actually think you were serious about changing careers so swiftly.” So we discussed my career plans more seriously, and he helped me map out a new destination. mynewdigs04

I have been living at a friend’s place, and today, moved into a new safe house until things get worked out. There are some other complications, but I’d rather not get into it- it’s more things you suspect, but aren’t quite sure of- but you know that the risk is far greater than just playing safe- so you might as well play it safe. My new home is ridiculously small, but luckily comes furnished. It’s a temporary stay, maybe a couple weeks or a month. It even comes with a cat. Or rather, the property comes with the cat. Apparently cat has lived on the property for nearly a decade, even when there was a fire and the previous building burned down, cat did not leave. Cat stayed. It’s a glorious 400sqft, equipped with a loft style bed, cutest little prep kitchen ever, and the deepest most inconvenient soaker tub! More importantly, it’s safe, and it’s mine for the next little while. I am not entirely sure where to go from here. But I am letting no resource go without exhausting it first. I am determined to succeed at this.

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I have been told I am allowed to leave the local once a week when an escort will come and pick me up. I met him today, nice enough, definitely my people. He will come by twice a week with groceries and basic provisions. Once a week I can go with him into town and pick up extra stuff I may want. Apparently (I was left a directional handbook, no kidding, I’d love to be the person who wrote this), I can request him to bring me specific things within reason, IE. if I’m a vegetarian, request high protein veggies, and diet specifications; or if I want a book (and believe me, I took 10 books with me, they were not impressed), or if for whatever reason I need an extra blanket or whatever- this guy delivers. (Could have used this service in the city! sheesh). I’m allowed internet, cable, and a phone, must be a landline. All my activity is monitored.

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The house is under 24/7 surveillance. It makes me uneasy. Although I’ve been in this situation before, it’s just a little too close for comfort. I wave at where I assume the camera in the kitchen is- but only because I was on my cell phone when it kept cutting out every time I leaned my phone in to one specific object. Typically, you’re not supposed to talk to anyone on your cell, but don’t worry, my cell is also monitored, and it’s been approved :) just no FB lol or any other social media. And no pictures from my phone (geotagging). I make sure though that all my behaviour is patterned, so surveillance gets used to my rhythms. Wave at the camera in the kitchen, smile at the one by the front door, etc etc… this way, if something goes wrong, it can be told immediately by my expression, and the perp  is non the wiser. I watch cat too, and monitor cats behaviours so we stay close and watch out for our safety together. I have found animals are surprisingly in tune with things, and can tell almost instantly when something is off.

Cat doesn’t have a name. Neither do I. I think that’s fair. We’re well matched.

We’ll see how this all unfolds. Tomorrow my “neighbour” is supposed to stop by. I’ve been told it’s some wilderness tough who lives off the land out here. Apparently he has become accustomed to the circumstances in which this home provides, and I will be spending New Years with him, my escort, and the unsuspecting locals. Holidays are prime time for any predator to attack, it’s always best to be on your guard. So have a safe and peaceful New Years everyone!

Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful. ;)

Games People Play (Pt I)

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A part of my training, has been to do assessment, profiling, and scenario predictability. This comes in handy more often than not- especially when playing at sociopolitical office and community games. Check out some of the games people play below. Maybe you’re guilty of them, or maybe you’ve been victimized with one…

To understand group dynamics games within the office it is helpful to understand the equation process in which they play out.

Behaviour + Lure = Response

Response = Switch in character/ego + Payoff

  1. The first game brought to light is a 3 player game called “Courtroom” in which each player assumes one of the following roles:

  1. A plaintiff

  2. A defendant

  3. A judge

This game is typical in non-profit settings as communicative problem solving is often used in non-profits. It begins with the plaintiff: “Let me tell you what happened…” With a response from the defendant, “Here’s the real truth… And before that they were…” At which the plaintiff will conclude with, “I’m glad you got to hear both sides of the story…” The judge will chime, “I must consider…” If the judge is a therapist or social worker it would be typical for them, should there be an audience, to also ask, “Would anyone like to add anything?…” In a scenario where no hidden agenda is at play the scenario will end with the judge, “Plaintiff, you have done… Here are your options to resolve…” At which point the plaintiff would agree, “Yes I take responsibility…” and resolution would conclude. When there is a hidden agenda and game playing is evident the plaintiff will respond to judge’s first remarks with a dramatic or otherwise complicated reaction. The theme of the game is rivalry in hopes of accomplishing reassurance and ego stroking.

2. Fresh Meat is a typical game played with those who major in psychology, social work, or lifespan and development. It is a simple game constructed of two components: undermining and withholding information (lying). Fresh Meat is often played in the presence of colleagues and coworkers. This is a two-three player game. The two player game is the Fresh Meat and the colleague. The three player game is usually the Fresh Meat, a colleague and a novice. The game is typically started when the Fresh Meat overhears of a story (either positive or negative) or dilemma or if a colleague shares with them a story or dilemma. At this point the Fresh Meat jumps into the middle of the conversation and begins to undermine the decisions of the worker verbally expressing a wealth of knowledge, history and personal experience. They often talk about education they have received and certificates and training they have partaken in as a way to undermine and dismiss your decisions and outcome of the task/scenario/story/dilemma. However, the Fresh Meat will often withhold the final step of what they brag about, shrugging it off as if, “Of course, you know?” making the other worker feel inferior with previous statements so they naturally agree as if they understand because they do not want to be continually shamed.

Worker: “… and my client finished NA successfully and I am proud to report they are active in the housing program and have demonstrated good behaviour so they no longer require supervised visits…”

Fresh Meat: “That’s great! … But you know, because of the demographic, they will most likely relapse.” (This being said as if the worker is not educated on the demographic stats of their clients and behavioural outcomes)

Worker: “I understand that, but I am happy with their progress. We’ve worked hard getting to this point.”

Fresh Meat: “Mhm. It’s nice to see clients make progress. I remember when….. and when I got my BSW…. And then my certification in…. But you know all that. The sad part is the negative reaction of your client which will probably show itself in… We learned that in… I know because… But your training is in …. The steps really should have been done differently because… But you know that… Here are other facts I know… But you know where I’m going with this right? Of course you do.”

This completely shuts down the other worker and dismisses their education, knowledge and position in both the successes of their client and in the organization. The motivation behind this is it is newly learned information for the Fresh Meat. Even if the information is 10years old, because the Fresh Meat has not updated their training, they still believe it is cutting edge and they know better. The desired effect: One-up-manship.

3. Fresh Meat is usually accompanied by I’m Only Trying to Help You. IOTHY (I’m Only Trying to Help You) is usually initiated by an employer or supervisor. This is a two player game. It can also be played by a parallel department who really has nothing to do with the department handling the dilemma. Typically the game starts off with the worker having a dilemma. Then the Fresh Meat gives advice, characteristically ego stroking themselves for their good advice, however they are secretly aware that their advice is not grade A advice. They proceed to watch their advice fall through with the worker and then blame the worker with the expression, “I’m Only Trying to Help You.” This leaves the Fresh Meat feeling superior while watching the worker take a pitfall. Goal: ego, rivalry, Parent/Child complex.

4. Let’s You and I Play Office is a multiplayer game with a potentially shifting role between two players. The two players are usually colleagues with the same motives. If two players from different games of LYIPO meet, they are likely to become enablers in each others game as they recognize the immediate goal and outcome. The game is initiated with verbal comments and public displays of distress, including wiping the upper brow, narrowing eyes to appear serious and concerned, and keeping a messy work place that never shifts from one project to another. Goal of the game: encourage as much emotional and political drama as possible while minimizing the actual work of the individual to make them look busy/hard working. This game is played out by people who seemingly have a finger in every pie, take documents and files home with them, do incredulous amounts of overtime or appear to stay late regularly. The key player to LYIPO uses a very public display of, “See how much I love my job, see what a hard worker I am?” in order to dramatize their workload so they can assign tasks to other workers, but will feign modesty when questioned about it. These individuals usually have poor workplace boundaries and exaggerate their roles and responsibilities within an agency. Often these individuals have a strong charisma, charm or vulnerability that draws you in. Typically the player of LYIPO is a “Dandy”, “Rake”, “Charmer”, or “Star”. They are known to take leaves, extended holidays, many sick days, accumulate a lot of lieu time, and have lavish social lives or an annual event such as a marriage, funeral, cruise, or a move.

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Stay tuned for more updates on games people play…

How Evil Creeps… & The Very Secret* Diaries

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Sometime ago, when I was in love with Lord of the Rings, before speaking Elvish was cool, and Gandalf was an expression as common as it was on the show, “Friends” (the one where Chandler and Ross are stoked their friend ‘Gandalf’ comes to visit- said friend is wicked at parties) I was enveloped in favor and mystic with LOTR, for a few distinct reasons. And believe me, although I totally had a thing for Eomer, just by reading the book, there was a lot more to it than that.

I was enthralled with how LOTR foretold evil as being slow moving and creeping. LOTR takes place over decades. Most people are familiar with the middle earth timeline of Frodo taking a month or less to get on the road and somewhere around a year or so to complete the quest. However in the novels, from my recollection, it takes several years after Bilbo disappears and Frodo inherits the ring, for anything significant to happen. And such, is real life. Unlike exaggerated Hollywood, life takes years and years to come to fruition. Even in contrast to my own escape and evasion, it does not happen over night. Plotting, scheming, running, rescuing, scrounging, and hiding can take anywhere from days to years to do successfully.

Evil is often mistaken for a monster in the closet, a shadow in the dark, a horribly disfigured creature waiting and attacking with full throttle. The fact is, evil can wait 40 years into the span of a lifetime to molest and abuse. Evil can be passive, and slowly destroy reputation, and then seep into ones life canceling out all options for employment, home, and family. But people do not interpret evil this way- at least not commonly. Evil, like goodness, takes years to build, and has little tell tale signs. Evil exists because it once told a lie to a man that it was imaginary.

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, he was gone.” – The Usual Suspects

For a comedic breakdown of evil, do me a favor and check out this blog for the Very Secret Diaries (the Wraiths and Legolas are my favorite)

http://www.ealasaid.com/misc/vsd/

 

The Hostage’s Insider to the Interrogator II

InterrogationNow that we’ve covered the most common forms of interrogation, it seems only fitting that we discuss the most common types of personality responses to the interrogation, as acted out by the hostage. Keep note that these profiles come the Counterinsurgency manuals of Canada and the Unites States.

Again, to quote my good friend and mentor, Dave Seymour:

“Upon capture everyone experiences shock. Psychologically it is difficult to adjust. For those who have experienced multiple hostage scenarios, they may be more likely to make conversation with their captors. Rather than begging, pleading, or crying, the veteran hostage may make friendly conversation about weather, food rations, or anything that will minimize the initial shock and normalize the situation. The veteran hostage is also more likely to bargain and haggle off the bat or negotiate a safe passage. Typically there are 8 character types identified by the CIA that play out in a hostage and interrogation setting.

1) The Orderly Obstinate Character; responds to order, has strong distaste to extreme emotion

2) The Optimistic Character; uses the interrogator to make promises of safety, bargaining, looks to change the role of the captor to fulfill their own needs

3) The Greedy Demanding Character; clingy, dependant, passive/aggressive, feels others should give up their own rights and needs to provide for him

4) The Anxious Self Centred Character; uses risky behaviour to mask fear

5) The Guilt Ridden Character; has a strong, cruel, and unrealistic conscience obsessed with reliving feelings of guilt and pity; tends to blame and alter goals in order to win

6) The Schizoid or Strange Character; lives in a fantasy world, off puts the reality of the situation

7) The Exception; feels the world owes him and that he has suffered grave injustice

8) The Average or Normal Character; ability to cope and adapt within average limitations”

Im’a Come Knockin’

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For most who have survived urban torture and attacks, you know that sometime at night, there is a “knock” “knock” on you’re door around 3am. Call it what you want, call it ghosts of Christmas past. But you know, when they come for you, shit just got real. So when a cohort of mine txt’s back and says, “Sorry babe. Friend just passed away, gotta go to service.” There’s a little twinge in your spirit because you know the truth.

An acquaintance of mine seems to have ‘lost’ a friend over the Christmas break. I don’t ask too many questions when interpol is involved, and stay about five cases back. But we meet up for drinks to debrief and talk never the less, he’s broken up and in shock. And I, well, I can’t blame him. He’s a strong fellow, shot a couple more times than me, laughs a lot harder at life than me. We’ve only known each other guess, 2 solids. But we support, appreciate, and advocate for one another. This time, seeing him broken up, and unable to attend the service funeral in his home country, bothered me. Why is it, when we pay our debts as veterans, get exiled into a state where we can’t even see our friends die peacefully? My exile has been something else. It’s been dark, lonely, and full of despair. So we sat, Ali and I, with an aromatic bottle of scotch (I drink whiskey typically), and be still, and be silent, for a long while. In our past people have recommended counseling and support groups. It sounds enthusiastic and assuring, however when this is a number among the dozens six feet under, no counselor can provide the support you need. Sometimes, just quiet. A silence with a base of empathy to comfort your fears and thoughts. It’s no longer about seeking reassurance or advice. You become focused on raw lurid truth, and when you glance next to you… you want to know the person sitting across is thinking the same thing. “If it’s clear, it ain’t water.”  I’m sorry I don’t have all the words for it.  But one day, someone’s gonna come a knockin’. Knockin’ on your door for your soul, for your money, for your dreams. And you better pray you don’t owe no one, nothin’. Pay the Romans what you owe the Romans. The rest, leave to the runners.

The Hostage’s Insider to the Interrogator I

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Interrogation in an urban setting can be utilized in a variety of creative formats. This may look like an interview for a prospective job, questioned by a disgruntled family member (like my in-laws), or quite literally being held hostage; whether that be emotionally, physically, or both.

There are fifteen standard tactics used to interrogate a detainee:

1) Direct or friendly logical: Straight forward questions. Typically they begin as inconsequential. The idea to appear straight forward with a goal of attaining information and a guise of letting you go as soon as possible.

2) Incentive, or removal of incentive: Using bribes, incentives, privileges, and rewards as a form of attaining cooperation.

3) Emotional love: Emotional manipulation of using the likeness or feelings of one hostage against another. Reminding a hostage of why they need to live, family friends, children, etc… Showing letters from or pictures of friends, family, and loved ones, etc…

4) Emotional hate: pitting hostages against one another, or creating anger between the goal or honor of what the hostage is fighting for and themselves.

5) Fear up harsh: Using strong fear enforcement tactics to break the hostage. Usually blunt, immediate fear inducing tactics.

6) Fear up mild: Using more mild to intermediate fear enforcement tactics to build the fear slowly into an internal terror. In example, using a haunting technique vs using a fight or flight technique (fear up harsh).

7) Reduced fear: Using techniques to reduce fear so the hostage feels a new level of relief or safety that has been strongly desired. It doubles as a reward or privilege in which to get the hostage to be obedient.

8) Pride and ego Up: Using flattery, recognition, comradery, and supposed envy as a way to boost confidence and ego in a hostage so they feel better than other hostages and more valuable thus creating a potential slip-up.

9) Pride and ego Down: Verbally or physically humiliating or degrading the hostage so they feel worthless and give up ultimately releasing information.

10) Futility: Using reminders of failure, shame, and pointlessness to have the hostage believe there is no point in going on.

11) We know it all: Making the hostage feel worthless as if the only thing sought after is cooperation, even information is pointless as the interrogators already know it all. If people think someone is already in the know they are more likely to admit or repeat information they feel is longer worth saving. Also, the captors may use the “correction” advantage. This is where they will talk from anywhere between 30 seconds to 4 days to the hostage about information that is remarkably accurate and purposefully say something that is false to wait for the hostage to correct them in turn receiving new accurate information.

12) Establish Your identity: Having the hostage believe they have been mistaken for someone else and will be tried for the others crimes, thus coercing the hostage into giving information about who they are, their rank, training, and information about themselves.

13) Repetition: Repeating the same question(s)  during the interrogation to irritate and wear down the hostage.

14) File and dossier: Pulling out the good old file box and folder in an interrogation letting the hostage assume that the interrogator has damning evidence against them that they must correct or despute. The evidence does not in fact exist. The captor is simply drawing more facts and information from the hostage.

15) Mutt and Jeff: “Good Cop/Bad Cop” in urban terms. Two interrogators play this game. One is aggressive, accusatory, irate, and willing to obtain information at any cost. The other is understanding, even sympathetic, but listens to reasoning and expresses genuine interest in the captive.

 It’s good to always ascertain from the beginning, what kind of interrogation it’s going to be: short or long. There are distinct give aways at the immediate beginning- so you can tell what kind of road you are in for. So in the words of my favorite War Strategist, Dave Seymour, here’s the direct reference:

“In every hostage situation, the captor(s) will seek out what the rank of the hostage is. This determines the value of the individual and tactics used. If a young girl is kidnapped in a parking lot, the captor will try to determine what kind of family she comes from, how educated she is, how intelligent she is, and if she can offer him anything of value. Similar tactics are used in both military and civilian hostage scenarios. This is why it is important not to engage in conversation with your captor(s) and to not make any broad physical movements that could hint at your training.

 

There are two types of interrogation, tactical and long term. Tactical are typically short term, start immediately after capture, and focus on immediate actions. Long term focuses on prolonged psychological torture, and physical torture. The information and desired result may be historical, background, in depth information. It may also be to break an individual into submission. Tactical interrogation is generally practiced by a team of one or two individuals. Long term interrogations can be practiced from one to several individuals. Typically 2-3 to start as the captors will want rotating shifts of interrogation. If there is one interrogator then a long term interrogation can be identified by the amount of psychological fear based tactics used to start the interrogation. The less psychological intimidation and more physical intimidation generally hints at a shorter interrogation. A shorter interrogation is categorized by 24-36 hours. A long term interrogation lasts more than 36 hours. A hostage scenario is defined by days as opposed to imprisonment which is defined by 5 days or more; typically a week or more.”

 

Now this all may seem like over the top for the average housewife or door to door salesman- but let me reassure you that these tactics are used in every day settings. Think of the last time you got into a fight with someone, recall their tactics? Parallel anything mentioned in this article?That’s what I thought. Now you’re a little more prepared to dole out strategy at it’s best, not just street smart, but combat smart.

Good luck!

On the Way to the Combatant House

ImageRecently, while I was on my way from one house to a safe house, I got called out by a passerby. “Hey Trainer!” He called after me, while I walked down the street. It caught me off guard. What the hell does that mean, “hey trainer” ? I kept walking and he yelled it again, followed by, “Are you okay? Need a hand?” Admittedly, I was hobbling a bit, as my right foot has been – for some ridiculously odd reason- acting up ad causing severe pain through my leg and up my back. I stopped, made eye contact, and replied, “No. I’m good.” Gave a sloppy wave in a “stop” motion and kept walking. He called out again this time taking a few steps toward me as our paths began to meet, “You’re a Master Instructor. What? Maybe, Brazilian JIu Jitsu?” I stopped again, admittedly a little pissed off, and said, “No, try hand to hand combat,” Shook my head distastefully and continued onward, almost home. One last time he commented, “I could call you a Yoga Instructor, but that ain’t from yoga.” I knew I had for sure, 400% been found out. I had been sighted. I took a few steps back and examined this man, doing a full workup assessment. He was tough, hardened, and looked like he could yell at a brick shit house to make it move, nevermind just using his pinky ring finger to push it aside. His eyes were black hooks, and that comes from one of two things: 1) psychopathy 2) having killed. I thought to myself since he was determined on making me, I should pay some attention because he will either be my next ally or greatest enemy. I approached him, “Every man’s got a file, what’s it say?”To his smart answer, “I’m on a two week leave from the military. I’m a weapons specialist. I know that walk.” Our conversation in the street carried into a whole story of service records, traveling, working with mercenary teams, and more.

Funny. I originally wrote this guy off as a threat while I walked down the street. His very cat call was predatorial. And, I guess, he is. He is a threat, he could cause serious harm to me. But I also wonder, how else do we recognize eachother? We’ve gone for drinks and all we do is laugh and joke about all the time spent in Jordanian prisons, North Korean detainment, and hostage scenarios on the Shuri Line. We have become inexplicably war buddies. Strange? … I did not foresee this coming. We served in different regiments, in different units, for different countries. We make jokes that his being Iranian, and my being Jewish would have both our Lt. Colonel’s in a fit worse than the battles of Tyre. I never thought I would discuss my hardships, and laugh, with my seeming enemy.

But, I suppose, our greatest lesson, as taught to me on a wild hunt on the Ho Chi Minh trail, “My enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Our common enemy are the people who conscripted us- the people who turned us in for a buck.

Why Surveillance Makes us Chuckle

ImageWhen dealing with surveillance -or- counter surveillance, the like and like are too alike for appreciation. When Hollywood portrays surveillance teams, it’s usually some guys in a car, *think stakeout*, with obnoxiously large cameras, cold coffee, black clothing, black leather jackets/or trench coats, sunshades, bad hair, and parked way too close to the target. It leaves you with the thought, “How does that guy not see them!?” Let me assure you, Hollywood and yourself, and are not too far off. Surveillance teams, tend to oddly be passively obnoxious in a sort of foolish way. It’s really only the vets that have got the stance right. My favorite counter surveillance team, has a ridiculous name- think Tony Montana. It’s a good laugh, and sounds surprisingly official in meetings. It always makes me chuckle.

At my last apartment, I had a team of surveillance parked outside for some months. Originally it caught me off guard. One, because I thought, “How in the world did they find me so fast?” and the other because, “What kind of team is this? They’re so obvious! I’m a little insulted.” It took a few days after discovering them for it to dawn on me that I may not be so special -as I like to think- and maybe, just maybe, someone else was under surveillance. That thought never crossed my mind. As it was, the team was there for someone else, in my building. It was a riot watching the guys day in and out, while I followed my own routine. I was tempted on a few occasions to approach them for kicks, maybe bring them a coffee and say hi, but the vindictive, injured ego side of surveillance teams can be very nasty.

For example, when they are found out- they pull fits. I have found in my experience, that most, being either former police officers, or journalists, students, or security guards, can be really petty and be super put out because their ego was no longer stroked when they got “found out”. The guys who I love more than anyone, include the NCO’s, and retired police of the following specializations: narcotics, and special victims. They are way more laid back, blatantly lie about being surveillance *even if they point and shoot the camera while you’re in conversation with them*, and they are so convincingly serious and determined, you just can’t help but have a minimal level of respect for them. Also, they are way less drama oriented. Their jokes tend to model the legion culture with, “Hey John, did you get shot in the ass too!?” Followed by intense laughter.

The long and short is that surveillance teams are a toss up- and when you choose one, don’t forget you can interview them for a job. Just don’t do conflict of interest and choose the same team as your counter enemy. Believe me, it happens more than you think. And oh boy is that awkward….

 

Winter Hunt

It seems as though every year, a bit repetitive, and a little predictable, the hunt gains some intensity. A new whiff of hope for the predator, and a new tactic of stealth for the hunted. Every year around winter the stalker re-assumes his dedication. This, I am unsure why. Is it because in summer there are so many more distractions?- like enjoying the warm air, visiting foreign and exotic places, holidaying, and getting actively involved in the summer energy? Then fall sets in, and winter is underway, and all of a sudden the footsteps behind sound heavier and closer and odd signs come into view.

The most interesting part, no matter what your religious beliefs may be, or cultural believisms, is that sometimes, the fates foretell a story, and appear to rescue you from horrible circumstance. Sometimes, for reasons you can’t see at the time, there is an interference, and you must move, lose your job, or “friends off” with a an old acquaintance. But this isn’t always a bad thing. I have been forced from my home, lost jobs, and said goodbye to many friends only to learn within a few months time, that the friend or home, or job, had somehow put my life in jeopardy and life was telling me to get out quick because something bad was going to happen. Last night, I had to leave my home again. For the simplest circumstances really- I had to leave my job after going temporarily blind, and simply could no longer afford rent. It seems like an easy problem to fix, but everything in the universe kept me from staying.

So, I examine the winter hunt, what are the signs I have been missing, what are the new developments, and how am I to cope? I suppose it will all come together, but really- it always does- but it’s frustrating at how unexpected it all is.