Of SuperMoons and FleaBags

I checked out of the “better motel” earlier today. Went to a friends house for a party (someone was having a birthday). At about midnight, needed a place to stay. So pulled into one of the dozen or so “less good” places a bit further down the road. Some can be great deals; others not so much.

This one it seems is “not so much”. They advertize a $29.95 / night room that, of course, turns out to be unavailable. It is reputed to have twin beds anyway. For only $39 I can get a room with a king size bed. I’d pretty much decided to only take one night and look for a ‘weekly’ tomorrow… the next point confirmed it. They want a $5 service charge for using a credit card or debit card. So much for “good as cash”. I hand them 2 Twenties…

Somewhere along the line I’d picked up a “bug” so my nose is stuffy. The ‘scented candles’ at the party didn’t help, and I really just want to sleep now and “fix it all tomorrow”. I probably ought to have gone on down the road.

The place is the “Star Motel”. It makes Motel 6 look glamorous… There IS free wi-fi that works, and a small fridge and microwave in the room. But the main lamp (the one turned on by the switch near the door) has no bulb in it. (OK, I have my own… “Be Prepared”…) There’s a stale odor of “something” in the room. That “dusty mixed with air freshener” smell… But not enough to bother through a stuffy nose.

The tube fluorescent over the bathroom sink has no cover over the bulb and wiring. There’s an old can of Corona beer in the upper closest level of the fridge, where a casual check would have missed it (seems both the last guest and the maid were not that careful…) Outside, a police siren chiruping in the distance, then a follow-on rising falling wailing siren. I’m all of about 2 miles down the road from the other hotel, but the ambiance is all very different.

I unloaded anything of interest from the car. I did leave the big “kitchen box” and my laundry in it (as I am not feeling like unloading the whole thing for 12 hours…) Now I’m thinking that a window costs about $400 and maybe I ought to remove even the temptation of “old laundry and grubby plastic box” from the stupids who will not realize that used clothes are not very valuable.

The things you think about in a Flea Bag Motel when living on the road…


Tonight is a Supermoon. Moon is full, and at perigee. I checked the quake logs, but nothing looking out of order on a casual check… yet…


Lots of 5.x and the occasional 6.x; about like usual.

It also is Summer Solstice. I ought to have put up a Summer Solstice posting on Church Of The Sacred Carbon. Tomorrow will be too late… so I’ll likely do it tomorrow. Life becomes more chaotic when living out of a couple of suitcases on the road. Some things slip.

I’d promised myself I’d put more effort into getting a proper calendar of events up, with Summer Solstice one of the “biggies”. I broke my promise. Not for lack of wanting. For lack of remembering that it was Summer Solstice. At least until 3 or 4 days ago, when several surprise social engagements took my evenings, work took my days, and today laundry and more social events and the “change hotels” all hit together. Sigh.

So maybe by Winter Solstice I can keep it on track.

Now it’s near 2 am. In 9 hours it is check out time. All I can do is sleep, and “try again” when I wake up.

Such is the nature of life on the road and fleabags.

To sleep, hopefully not to dream. Not here ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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15 Responses to Of SuperMoons and FleaBags

  1. omanuel says:

    Thanks, EM. I too am on the road. Spent the night in Mississippi, the only state in the union where politicians have not sold their souls to capitalists and blanketed the roadside with billboards that block our community with nature.

    I am in the process of completing a paper on the origin of deceptive government science:

    Dear friends,

    Comments would be appreciated on a paper in progress, “Neutron repulsion: Source of life.” 

    Click to access Neutron_Repulsion-Source_of_Life.pdf

    I will be on vacation next week but able to receive comments sent to omatumr@yahoo.com

    Comments on personal bias or distortions would be especially helpful.  I hope to complete and submit the complete paper for publication when I return.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    With kind regards,
    – Oliver K. Manuel

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. You just began a novel and perhaps you didn´t realize it! :The Wandering Programmer or The Untraceable Programmer: The last free man in the USA

  3. John F. Hultquist says:

    Church Of The Sacred Carbon

    Last night we had to settle for baked Salmon. (Electrons from water power!) Circumstances beyond my control have pushed the Solstice celebration to next Saturday, the 29th. That to be followed by attendance at the July 4th cherry pie party at George, WA.

  4. Ralph B says:

    My goodness man…I am guessing you have a good reason for not getting a room for a month. Craigslist etc have many listed…listening to your tribulations I wish my place was closer to put you up. I have done the fleabag routine and it sucks…I feel for you. Try a shot of Makers Mark 41, a shot of Cointreau, and a shot of fresh squeezed lime juice mixed with crushed ice every 15 mins for an hour. You will feel better in no time…I guarantee it.

  5. omanuel says:

    E.M. My wife tells me we willbe in Destin, FL tonight. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee if you’re in the area. Oliver

  6. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks for the offer, but “check your map”. Destin is about 8 hours from “south of Orlando”… Panhandle vs center of state.

    @Ralph B:

    Unfortunately, after many “trials” of various “home remedies” that include alcohol, I’ve come to appreciate that “I am different”. IF I consume alcohol while sick, the immune system stops fighting the bugs and the bugs have a party. I extend the illness (whatever it might be) by the lenght of alcohol presence plus about a week. Sometimes two. For these kinds of “snivels”, I’m usually over them in a couple of days, a week max ( IFF I’m not taking any care of myself…)

    Basically: Kick back, warm up to just below an “artificial fever” level, eat Vit-C, and sleep alot; I’m over it in a couple of days. Sometimes the very next day. “Push it”, and add any alcohol at all, I’m down for a week minimum, 2 possible. Just the way this model works.

    I envy the folks who can have things like mulled wine or hot rum or “whatever” when ill. I have to be a “tea totaler”…

    As to “why the fleabag”. That’s a bit long, convoluted, and not all that interesting. I’ll try to simplify it and condense it (but do realize if something seems to ‘not fit’ or ‘not add up’ that is only a compression artifact… pulling that thread will result in hours of tedious detail of no value…)

    It has to do with “total effects” in several balances.

    1) Credit Card bogus rules.
    2) The nature of too long at one hotel. (And other guests).
    3) Having sniffles.
    4) A “timing fault” that is not yet resolved.
    5) And some more I’m going to leave out as not of sufficient merit.

    1) I have a “crappy credit card” I like to use when “on the road”. If lost, stolen, hacked, whatever, the max exposure is minimized. It is a “Sears Mastercard” that also has the “feature” that I can pay at any Sears store. No bank needed. No mail needed. No online access needed. That has been handy some times in the middle of nowhere. I used it in the “pretty good hotel” that is my current default. $250 / week (more or less) for a suite with maid service. Not shabby. I’d almost hit the limit on the drive in, but dropped $700 on them (in two payments). that are reflected on my “amount due”. Yet the “credit available” had not released. The $500 payment has already left my bank, per the ATM, as of about last Wednesday. As of about 2 hours ago, the Credit Card is still preporting “will be applied withing 2 business days” as it has said for the last week… On Friday last I paid the balance to zero, just to make a point… As of Sunday, still not showing up at all in the card account…. Someone is sitting on float. A LOT of float. About $1500 of float at this point…. In San Jose, payments are typically reflected the next day if made before 3 pm… I’ve not figured out what is different ( I made the last 2 payments one week apart here from my account here, so a “local” check.) Suspecting that maybe the Hotel was camping on some “available credit” it made sense to check out and let them clear that “obligation”. ( I payed the bill via debit card, just so no more money went to Sears / Citi bank).

    So “first pin” is just “Zero the ‘crummy card’ and zero the hotel outstanding. So check out and change hotels.

    2) One of the guests at the prior hotel had started a conversation. As often happens, he wanted free tech support. After some fair discussion of his Android phone, the difference between IP Phone calls vs Cellular phone calls, the desire to have privacy in location, phone calls, and data; it was clear he was “not getting it” that these are not all on big bucket and there is no “Magic App For That” to restore the privacy his government has stolen. I was looking forward to more “button hole in the hallway” extended “hand holding” for no result. (I’d already arrived late to the start of an important project meeting after repeatedly saying, in ever more blunt terms “I need to leave now or I will be late and my butt will be in a sling.

    Nothing like “free tech support demands from a ‘low information user’ of a product you do not support sucking you away from billable time” to make “stay here” a non-starter. Time to swap hotels. Pin 2 drops.

    3) Having sniffles means many things don’t happen as fast or as well as otherwise and many options are foreclosed. At “The Party”, being more sensitized via a hyper immunity, I started reacting to the scented candles that had been lit. (A common problem for me is sensitivity to fragrances). The “crash on the couch” became “not an option”. Now at midnight, with an 11 am checkout, not at your best so “rapid” car unload / reload is “not a good idea” and searching for an optimal solution that will take 2 more hours is that much less sleep you get when 10 to 11 is ideal and you are already down to 8 or so (fine when not sick.. but not now)… Well, the “optimize” moves to “bed NOW not better bed later.”

    Now, not wanting to use the Sears card, nor drain the Debit card too much, nor put things at a marginal hotel onto a good card (i.e. I like using the crummy card at crummy places) kind of means not checking into the $800 / week place for a week right now. At midnight. On a Saturday. When they are max booked and typically full…

    Had I not been snively, and / or had the party not started just about the time “check in” begins at hotels, I’d have done a checkin somewhere at 2 pm instead of ,midnight. But the party DID start at start of check in time and I did NOT have the energy and ambition to do an online check-in thing while trying to look like I’m part of the party while… So it gets postponed to ‘late’ (and after the discovery that ‘crash here’ is not going to work….)

    Pin 3 drops..

    4) I’d planned to make a posting when I sat down of “Oh Lord, Stuck In Starbucks, Again!”… I’m not. Instead I’m putting 1/2 of it into this comment here. That’s an example of a ‘timing fault’. It’s part of a ‘cascade failure’ process that often happens when you start having things go “not to plan”. They will continue to go ‘not to plan’ and with added faults, adjustments, corrections, and reactions until you get enough “gap time” to catch things up and get back “on plan”. The “timing fault” is hinged on “leaving the pretty good hotel” caused by the collective of all the above events. So instead of being in a nice suite I like at a low price, I’m back at “square one” with “hunt and find a place for the night at least, the week if possible”. I’ve sunk a few hours into that already today. All part of the “timing fault”.

    5) There’s a lot of stuff in here that I’m leaving out. Things like “why not a place for month”. The short form is “because that takes time”. I checked into a hotel here and was at work in less than 12 hours. Think about it. That was after 36 hours on the road. Barely time to sleep the minimal to function well. Jet lag and ‘catch up’ for a couple of weeks. The general pattern I follow is “take something OK and known” the first week, better and equal or lower cost weeks 2-4. By then, have a “monthly” option worked out. Would it be better to have that monthly option in hand right now? Certainly. But not it if was at the cost of $1000 of billable time… So bookings, billings, and working ALL take #1 slot. (that is WHY I have the pattern of rapid OK hotel to longer and better while cheaper over time…) So, for example, today I found out that “Extended Stay America” wants about $2000 / month in 2 week increments and down to about $1600 / months if booked monthly (rough estimate from what was going to be done in detail for the posting that’s not being done… the “timing fault” continues to roll on in spreading ripples of impact…) Well, the “pretty good” hotel is only $1100 / month or so. Also “Extended Stay America” was booked for tomorrow… (likely folks getting here for the July 4th holiday rush… so another timer running…) Several others also checked. Not an improvement. My “plan” of stay at the “pretty good” for 2 to 4 more weeks while lining up a monthly is now “hustle and shuffle hotel to hotel” again just like when first arriving in town. Yes, I could toss $2000 at the problem and NOT be in the car looking for a hotel. IFF I felt like flushing $2000 because some guy wanted me for personal tech support and I chose to duck out instead. I don’t feel that the “discomfort” is worth $2000. Besides, at this point I’d have to pop that from my Debit card and I’d rather not. Hopefully by the end of next week the Sears Card folks will realize: 1) They have a zero balance on the card. 2) I paid prior to statement date so “no doughnuts” for them. 3) I’m not charging more when my credit limit is encumbered by charges that are not being made and payments not being credited.

    In short, I’m doing a “local optimize for me, my immediate needs not long term desires” and with a “stick in the eye” to a couple of annoyances.

    Besides, when you have sniffles it’s not the time to be making big commitments to long term contracts…

    So I figure I’ll find a place for the week sometime near dinner time, and then regroup – catch up. Ought to be back more or less on schedule by next week.

    Oh, and one other of the “misc points”: It isn’t often clear at midnight when ill and looking at a sign next to the road for a hotel you have never used that the room quality leaves much to be desired… and when desperately seeking sleep, deciding to tack on another 1/2 hour to an hour to find something that might not be any better AFTER checking in and seeing the room is not always a good solution…


    You caught me guy. ONE of the reasons I don’t really mind the Gypsy On The Road lifestyle is that it IS a bit of liberty… For hours to days at a time, nobody knows where you are or what you are doing. You are in control of when that state starts and ends, too. Were I not posting some “details” here, I’d mostly be leaving behind just credit card bread crumbs… but could choose to not even leave those via paying cash. (And taking the battery out of the cell phone…)

    Even as it is, I sometimes swap locations just so it’s not too easy to say “he always stays there”… “Itinerant Computer Stuff” is what I do, BTW. ;-)

    @John F. Hultquist:

    Sounds wonderful…

    Ah, well, I need to resume the Search For A Hotel so “ta ta for now” ;-)

  7. tckev says:

    Good luck E.M.

  8. Power Grab says:

    Ever stayed in student housing on a college campus while school isn’t in session? I know a school that always has “VIP” rooms and/or by-the-night rooms available.

  9. omanuel says:

    @ E.M. Smith

    I’m doing an informal and unscientific survey. To date I’ve met nobody who doubts that we now live under an Orwellian one-world government.

    Amazing! Even uneducated laborers see this but Nobel Prize winners and members of the US NAS claim they are doing science, not manufacturing government propaganda.

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    What bothers me is that so many folks see it, yet so few are willing to do anything about it…

    At a recent party one “20 something” was heard to say “FINALLY whatever it is that watches what I do on my computer figured out I’m a runner and started showing me ads of people running!”. No worry about being monitored and watched. Just wanting the cage properly decorated…


    Interesting idea, but don’t know any campus close to where I work. (I’m spoiled by a short commute ;-)


    Ended up back at Motel 6. (though a different one where the WiFi works for postings!).

    It’s my “default while I look for a better place”. I like it OK. The rooms are nice and adequate, but nothing fancy. The price is low. So a bit small and nothing fancy (like wood credenza or mini-fridge or even Financial Channels on the TV) but a decent clean place to stay. This one runs out at $202.xx / week plus a $3 or so charge per day for WiFi (so if I get to use StarBucks for free on the way here, I’ll do that instead…)

    But there’s a lot to be said for a clean quiet room that’s functional… And at about $868 / month, it will be hard to beat the price. Yes, I’m a compulsive optimizer… so I’m going to be trying to beat both the quality / comfort aspect and the cost aspect. My major complaint about the other M-6 was just that the WiFi would not let me make a posting… and this one fixes that.

    At least I’m “set” for this week (and I’ll likely just extend it for the next week too… fighting for a ‘upscale’ hotel during a holiday week is not likely to work out well. And I’d rather use the time to figure out a better solution than hotels.) Part of me likes the idea of a camper in the local RV park. It’s a nice place with trees and the occasional wildlife to watch. Might even get to set out some potted plants and pretend to garden ;-)

    We’ll see. When the spouse comes out, I’m going “up scale” for a couple of weeks anyway. She doesn’t optimize for cheap ;-)

  11. Chiefio,
    When it come to Motel 6 and all those other Fleabags and Greasy Spoons I know exactly what you are going through. May I suggest you try Suburban.

    These are really cheap, especially if you take the weekly rate. The ones I like only do room service twice per week so you have to make your own bed. The good news is that the kitchenette is pretty good so you can cook your own stuff rather than exist on microwave dinners.

  12. omanuel says:

    @E.M. Smith

    Go outside, watch the Moon and know that these frightened bullies are going to fail.

    “Truth is victorious, never untruth.”

    Oliver K. Manurl

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Just a quick note to say that the 2nd Motel 6 is more “internet challenged” than had seemed at first. All day yesterday it was non-functional and “they could not get into the room” to reset the router…

    So my apologies for the shortage of postings and comments from me. Between the hotel being “dead air”, and it being inappropriate to post from work, well, that just leaves the odd Starbucks visit… but it’s several miles down the road from the hotel, and once I’m in the room unwinding, if I find the internet is unreachable, well, it’s a day gone.

    FWIW, I’ve pretty much decided to get a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and perhaps use mobile wi-fi. This stuff is getting old… (The Galaxy is Android, but can be made dual boot with a couple of Linux flavors. Also quad core and likely can use all of them…)

    At any rate, I’m expecting that by Saturday or so “things will be different” (again…)

  14. omanuel says:

    Dear friends,

    When I return from vacation next week, I hope to finish and submit a manuscript showing that:

    Well-intentioned international agreements to save mankind from the threat of nuclear annihilation – by obscuring the energy (E) stored as mass (m) in cores of atoms, planets, stars and galaxies -instead destroyed credibility in post-1945 world governments and government-sponsored science.

    Recent government spying on citizens is like the action of a drowning person.  It will hasten the end.

    Only acceptance of reality can restore sanity to society, and destroy our delusion of power over Nature.

    I regret that I was so slow to decipher this post-1945 web of pseudo-science.

    Oliver K. Manuel

    PS –

    A. These post-1945 discoveries will likely be confirmed:

    1. Two forms of one fundamental particle – the neutron and its expanded form, the hydrogen atom – comprise the whole universe.

    2. Self-sustaining reactors operated on the early Earth.

    3. Nuclear reactors are in cores of some planets.

    4. Local synthesis of elements occurred in the Sun.

    5. The Sun’s core is an energetic pulsar.

    6. “Cold” fusion is an energy source.

    B. These consensus models of reality will likely be falsified:

    1. The Standard Solar Model of Hydrogen-filled stars.

    2. Yukawa’s model of all attractive nuclear forces.

    3. Models of pulsars as dead embers of ordinary stars.

    4. Theoretical black holes.

    5. Sub-particles of neutrons & protons: quarks, gluons, etc.

    6. Oscillating solar neutrinos, and

    7. AGW/AGC models of global warming & cooling induced by humans.

    Oliver K. Manuel
    27 June 2013

    Sent from my iPhone

  15. P.G.Sharrow says:

    @Oliver; interesting list of comments, I concur. pg

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