Lost in the confused focus on the out-of-focus text recently has been another phenomenon that I’d been ignoring until today. Until 12:37PM today, to be exact. I had previously considered blogging about this but had ultimately declined, due to the fact that it seemed a little flaky. And I’d hate to introduce flakiness into a blog that’s otherwise constructed, layer upon layer, of rock solid practicalities?
Two weekends ago, I started working on the blog post “Wait. See.” I began writing on Saturday. For some reason I noticed the time on my computer was 12:36 in the PM. I only remembered that start time because I continued writing again on Tuesday at 12:35 or :36 or :37, something around there. And I thought, “Hey, this is almost the same time that I started writing a few days ago.” So what, I responded. But I had noticed, and I couldn’t help noticing that I’d noticed.
I have a really crummy digital clock/radio/CD player that I bought in the past year, so that I’d have a convenient way to play CD’s without using my main stereo system. The thing was apparently designed by people who aren’t familiar with music, human hands, or ‘functionality’ in general. But it had a CD player, so I bought it.
I keep the radio plugged into a power strip that’s connected to a power outlet controlled by a wall switch. To play music or listen to the radio, I have to have the wall switch turned on. I also have a lamp connected to that same power strip. If I want to listen to music but not have the lamp on, I have to turn on the wall switch and the radio, but turn the lamp off. Isn’t this fascinating? And this morning I ate Raisin Bran for breakfast. It was made of raisins and bran. And to eat it, I had to open my mouth, place the cereal in there using a tool called a spoon, and not forget to chew before swallowing. And then I walked to the bank using things I call ‘my feet’…
Seriously, the power setup is relevant. Owing to the fact that the radio is digital and also terrible, once it is taken off the power source at all and reconnected, I have to start from scratch reconstructing whatever medium of listening I want to use. As is usually the case with digital time displays, the clock starts itself at 12:00. Which is the point I’m getting to with all this radio power talk. It is really easy to accidentally or intentionally take the radio off power, given the setup that I use. So on days when I’m around the apartment and so inclined, I often find myself powering the radio on, adjusting as necessary, and then seeing the time display on the clock face say whatever it says.
But in the past couple of weeks, I have seen that clock face say 12:37 or thereabouts more times than usual. Or I’ve noticed that I’ve noticed, which gets weird. Why do I care? I see digital clocks displays all day at work, on my phone, in my car, and in my apartment. There are approximately ten digital clock displays that I see on any given work day. At any given moment, each of those displays will show a time; and there’s a 1-in-720 chance (or 1440, if the device is on military time) that the displayed time will be 12:37 or something nearby. And I won’t give 12:37 or any other time stamp a second thought (ba dum) unless the time actually matters in my schedule.
But I’ve been noticing that particular time lately, and, frankly, I’ve been getting annoyed. After a couple of weeks of this, stumbling across the time in question, I have started thinking WHEN AM I GOING TO SEE 12:34. AS IN 1234, WHICH IS AN ACTUAL CONSISTENT AND WELL KNOWN SEQUENCE OF NUMBERS? AND NOT 1237, WHICH DOESN’T DO ANYTHING AT ALL? I HAVE GOTTEN I have gotten the sense that I keep juuuust missing the critical time of 12:34. Just barely missing it. Over and over. My car clock has gotten in on the act a couple of times recently, on days and at times that I wouldn’t usually be in my car; and wouldn’t be in my car so increasingly attuned to something as absurd as how many minutes after 12:34 it might be.
But it’s that clock radio that has been the biggest and most recent player. Two evenings back, when I normally wouldn’t even have had the radio on, I wanted to listen to the local sports radio guys talk about the Texas Rangers. I came in to my apartment after work, went through the routine of getting the radio turned on and tuned in, and set about making and eating dinner. While listening to the sports talk, I wandered over to my sliding glass door to check out the wildlife scene out by the pond. I glanced at the clock radio and saw 12:36. Hmph, I tried to think casually. Then I left to get the mail. I reached up and instinctively turned off the wall switch as I stepped out the door, from habit of turning off the lamp. Instead, I powered off the clock radio. “Dang it.” I’d have to reset everything when I got back. I got back. I reset everything and continued listening to the radio broadcast while checking out the weekly grocery specials I’d retrieved from my mailbox. Once I was done with marking the sale items I planned to pick up this weekend, I went to intentionally power off the clock radio. Which said 12:37. “OK…alright,” I said, looking around the room suspiciously for whoever might be doing the clock joke thing. It was officially getting weird.
It was getting weird at the same time that the text vision thing was going off-the-chain weird, while I’ve also been wondering if I ruined my destiny due to self-gratification. The usual. And I didn’t have the energy to seriously consider that this repetitive time-noticing thing was a real deal. And over the past week, I wrote and posted the two entries about Wait See and the Text Visions, which text visions didn’t show up yesterday morning, by the way. I was all set to be uninterested in text visions or destiny, since I couldn’t see a way to influence either.
I’ve been upping my exercise routine recently, which has likewise increased my need for calories. Historically, when I undertake a sudden and sustained spike in regular physical activity, I’ll forget to start eating more food to compensate for the increased activity. I did the same thing over the past two weeks since I started swimming. Not swimming much, since I haven’t done it in months and my shoulder is a wreck. But it’s still a lot more calories than I’m used to burning; and I’ve been feeling noticeably hungry often. That usually precedes me getting sick due to lack of adequate nutrition. I’ve got a hair-trigger immune system, in that respect.
With that in mind, yesterday at the office I ate up three days’ worth of work snacks, like hard-boiled eggs, almonds, and tuna and crackers. I was still ravenous. I ate a couple of handfuls of M&Ms from the reception area bowl. I intentionally don’t usually do a lot of sugary snacks, because I love them so very much and don’t ever want to quit eating them. It was early in the day, and I’d swum and done some lifting in the morning; so I figured my metabolism would go through the sugar no problem, and it wouldn’t affect my sleep.
This morning, early – earlier than usual, I could tell, even by the recent standards God has been holding me to – I woke up. It felt like a strange time to wake up, and I was aggravated. Sleepily I surveyed the dream I’d just been having. Dreams have taken a noticeably pedestrian feel, with some blatant exceptions, ever since the late-March compromise in chastity, which pedestrian feel has been bugging me. The dream I’d woken from this morning actually referenced another dream I’d had in mid-March and, at the time, had me seriously considering getting in contact with an old friend to see if he was healthy. I never did contact him.
The dream this morning was about me trying to find my phone voice note about that mid-March dream with a date stamp from (surprise) mid-March, so I could show my friend that I’d had that previous dream, which dream seemed to indicate God wanted my friend to know that God was going to take care of him. In reality I have been looking for that voice note on various devices, in vain, so I could type up a summary of the dream, email it to myself to have a date stamp on it, and then show it to my friend in the event that I heard he was not well. Which would be a way to show him that God told someone in advance that He was going to take care of my friend in his time of infirmity.
This morning I was laying there aggravated that I was awake. I was also aggravated and suddenly somewhat alarmed that I haven’t found that voice note yet. What if there’s something wrong with my friend and I’ve lost the means by which to give him date-stamped hope? “What time is it, anyway?” I reached over for my phone and pulled it close to my very myopic eyes. 12:37. I set the phone down immediately and closed my eyes. I do not wake up at 12:37 or 12:any another time. Ever. I sleep until at least 2am, even if I’ve eaten an half a bag of Oreos or something the day before. I kept my eyes shut. I was trying to get away from something. Instead, I saw inside my eyelids the faintest image of what appeared to be four distinct lines of text, complete with line spacing. No more of this whole screen filled with random letters or whatever. It looked like this:
text text text text text text text text text.
text text text text text text text text text text text text.
text text text text text text,
text text text text text text text text text.
Something like that. But it was really dark. I had no lights on and the sun wasn’t yet up at 12:37, because I do not live in Alaska. So truthfully, I can’t say for sure that it was text. But something was there, and it wasn’t any artifact from my lighted phone display. I blinked my eyes, and the image stayed with me. Too much. Just too much. I considered turning on my lamp to give back light to the possible text in my eyes/brain/spirit/whatever. No. Too much.
I went back to sleep almost immediately, running away.
This morning I got up to a load of early responsibilities and didn’t think much about the 12:37 thing. (As I type I’m pretty sure I’ve not previously seen 12:37AM since this whole noticing thing got started.) I wasn’t going to work today, since I’m scheduled to be onsite all day on Saturday. I did some reading, went grocery shopping, and ate breakfast. Did a little cross-town chauffeuring, and went back home.
After the demands of the morning died down, I had more time to ponder. What’s this all about? Did I really see possible text this morning, in a format that hinted at legible and actionable content? I had definitely seen something non-standard for the lighting situation in my room. And it was at 12:37. Was that important? Was I ready to throw my hat in the ‘magic number’ ring? I’ve gotten married for less conspicuous promptings than 12:37 (albeit dozens of individual and sustained promptings over a period of months). Couldn’t it be a wild coincidence? ‘Maybe’ but not necessarily ‘probably’, was all I could come up with.
I continued the machinations while walking to the bank. Was the numbers thing God’s way of telling me I’ve just barely missed something? What have I missed, in that case? A destiny? OK, so now what? I just see 12:37 forever, as a nagging reminder to not miss a beat ever again? That didn’t seem like anything God would do. And why hadn’t I turned the light on to verify there was text or not? It’s not like I haven’t been paying a bunch of attention to that thing for a month now.
I was also frustrated with what I perceive to be the constantly changing nature of the way God deals with me. The frustration is legitimate. But I used that frustration as an attempt to pass the blame to Him for my not turning on the light to see if there was finally some actionable text in my sleepy eyes. “I feel like I finally start understanding something just a little, and then you go and change everything up. This whole text thing has been precipitated by reading the Bible, primarily in the early morning hours before falling asleep again. And by early morning, I mean between the hours of 0300 and 0500. Now this 12:37 thing today, with what appeared to be four simple lines of text, instead of the unwieldy full-screen view of blurry text that I’ve gotten used to seeing. With no prior wake up or reading. And the 12:37 thing and the text seem to have happened at the same time. How can I ever figure anything out if You’re always changing the parameters I’m working with?”
Waaah. It’s not my fault that I didn’t reach over ONE FOOT and turn on the lamp. It’s God’s fault.
After I finished at the bank and was walking back home, I wondered what I would do with my day. I had some reading I wanted to do, trying to clear out books to sell, in the event that a possible major life change is coming my way. This month. Or might have been coming, since I possibly just missed it. Whatever. I was intrigued by 12:37 but tired of all the reading of tea leaves. “Check the time stamp on your bank receipt.” Right. But what am I going to do with my day? “Check the time stamp on your bank receipt.” Don’t be ridiculous. SIGH. Ok. I got my wallet out of my pocket and pulled out the receipt that the teller had handed to me just minutes earlier. Here be the time stamp:
I let out an uncharacteristic and involuntary OMG and immediately thereafter dropped an F-bomb right there on the sidewalk in front of me. My mind went in many directions. “It probably WAS the text thing this morning. WHAT DID IT SAY?” “OMG. F.” could be construed as a brief and very inappropriate prayer. I’m sorry, God.” “Exactly WHAT is going on here?”
I clearly don’t know what is going on here. But what I’ve done with my day is type up an unexpected blog entry about a time stamp that has become very near and dear to my heart, while it has also likely crossed paths with the text visions. The End.
Apparently not The End.
Early this morning, I remoted into my office and did some antivirus maintenance on our company network. I made note of a few workstations that I’d need to check on later, to verify power and software versions. Then I did all the stuff that I just wrote about.
On my way to the wordpress.com interface just now, where I intended to post my blog, I stopped off to do the antivirus follow up. Of the four workstations in question, three were powered on and fully updated. The fourth was responding to network pings but wouldn’t allow remote access; and it was showing up as Offline in our AV database. Normally, that combo means the Windows workstation has been replaced by a terminal. I checked our ticketing system for that location, but there was no ticket activity indicating the service desk had replaced that station. I dug out the location’s phone number, entered it into my phone, and hit Dial. While the phone was ringing, I noticed the phone number I’d just typed. “YHGTBSM.”
The manager answered and I made a mess of asking him if he would please reboot his workstation. I repeated myself, and he went to check on it. He casually mentioned that it had been replaced with a terminal this week. Which I knew would explain the results I was seeing. If the techs doing the work had created a ticket for that job, I’d have seen it in our ticket system and not needed to call the branch. I thanked the manager, hung up, and LOL’d at the store phone number:
I need to come up with less profane ways to be floored, apparently.