I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to do “I go back to work tonight and can’t sleep” post–by the way, I cut my finger on the lid of a yogurt container this morning and it is just enough to be a pain in the ass while typing–but I can’t sleep and I go back to work tonight.  Which is really how most of the posts get written, to be honest.  I can’t sleep before I go to work, so I try to wear my brain down enough by writing to sleep.  Which might answer a number of other questions about what gets written as well.

Lesson for the kids at home:  SLEEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.  TAKE IT FROM SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T GET NEARLY ENOUGH.  (My bosses don’t seem to mind me falling asleep while cooking cheese, but that will eventually catch up to everyone)

  • Been experimenting with cooking rice lately.  Cooking it in a frying pan has been a bit more of a pain in the ass, so I’m likely going to be looking into a rice cooker.  Basically I’ve been simmering the rice on a low heat in Chicken Broth.  Today I tried adding a couple tablespoons of Liquid Aminos–essentially soy souce, just in a much purer form–for a bit of flavor.  Added some carrots and celery.  Took awhile and the rice didn’t really cook as thoroughly as I had hoped, so a rice cooker might be an investment in the near future.  Cooked up some chicken to serve on top of it the first time, some stew meat the second time around.
  • Might look around for slow cookers/crockpots as well.  I never to experiment as much with that as I would have liked, but that might be something to get into next winter.  Slow cookers aren’t a big summer thing and the way the weather is acting, that might be sooner than ever.
  • I live with my parents, which isn’t something that unusual these days or bothers me that much.  My mother was talking to somebody about it and she mentioned how I buy my own food, which is true.  I probably buy and/or cook/prepare probably about 90% of what I eat.  I also have a number of kitchen implements–knives, colander, garlic press, leftover containers, etc.–of my own that I use.  I would have a set of frying pans, but my ex kept those.  Anyway.  The person my mother was speaking with was completely stunned by the idea that I buy my own food and cook for myself.  Nothing that extraordinary really.  My father is picky and I prefer a wider selection of options, usually geared a bit more healthy than he prefers.  As I’ve said before, being able to cook is a basic survival skill.

Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.

–The Doctor in Doctor Who “The Zygon Inversion”

 

  • Continuing with a previous post: Freedom of Speech.  I was thinking about the Bill Maher/Yiannopoulos interview and a point occurred to me.  I like to think that the whole point behind Freedom of Speech is the exchange of ideas.  Put forth new ideas that open people’s minds and get them thinking.  There’s a difference between trying to pick a fight and putting forth a new idea.  Ideas encourage thought and discussion.  Whenever I’ve tried to write seriously about any topic–guns, religion, relationships, politics, social issues, etc.–I’m really just trying to give people new ideas to think about.  I don’t necessarily overburden myself with a notion of being right or wrong.  And any of those ideas I usually think on more after I write about them and would be willing to have a discussion about.  I know that probably was never really possible for some people and probably never will be, but I wouldn’t mind discussion where possible.  Being challenged helps new ideas to form.
  • I’m pretty impressed that I’m holding steady at 175 pounds right now.  My diet and exercise routines seem to be working effectively enough and I’m ramping up the cardio lately.  Made it to 6.5 minutes on the elliptical machine.  Can’t wait to kayak and hike again.  I pretty much cut out cardio completely for the winter under the rational that I’m on my feet and running around for most of my eight hours at work every night so that should amount to something and I was trying to gain some significant weight.  Still not where I want to be in regards to sleep, but there’s always something to work on.
  • Trying to figure out how one is really supposed to celebrate President’s Day.  What is one supposed to do?
  • Lately, I’ve been giving more thought to bringing back Chlorine and Acid.  I almost did a special page about something that was going on at work, but events unfolded so it was unnecessary.  I feel like it is needed again.  Going to do some page layouts and maybe redraw some of the early pages.  Maybe even make some use of various reference pictures I took.

I was going to share this article on Facebook, but I find a lot more thoughts on it than I’d like to shove into a link description.  It’s a critique of Bill Maher’s inviting Breitbart Editor and controversial figure Milo Yiannopoulos on his show and how Maher handled it.  They conducted an interview followed by Yiannopoulos sitting in on the Overtime panel discussion.  Given the recent events surrounding his speaking at Berkeley and other schools, his name has been one I’ve heard quite a lot lately and I figured I would learn a bit more.  I watch Bill Maher’s program so it worked out nicely.

Yiannopoulos is an interesting person.  He’s an “alt-right” figure who works for Breitbart, which has it’s own controversial reputation.  He’s a practicing Catholic.  He’s openly gay, yet opposes LGBT rights.  I won’t even get into the controversial statements about a number of other topics, but it is a “fascinating” array of opinions.

Which brings me to his appearance on Maher’s television program.  It really just made me go “Huh.”  I will say that I thought Maher should have challenged him more.  I understand he’s the host of the show and feels a certain need to maintain a certain atmosphere, but I think there were opportunities for him to challenge Yiannopoulos’ stances.  Times when it was necessary.  Particularly in the Overtime segment.  Two of the other guests did push him on a couple of points in ways I thought were effective.  While freedom of speech is wonderful thing, it is just as important to be challenged and held accountable for the things we express with that right.

Freedom of Speech should be about starting a meaningful discussion and dialog, which appeared to be something that Yiannopoulos has no interest in.  While I appreciate what Maher wanted to do, the point was completely missed over the course the interview and panel discussion.

Grokking Truths

February 16, 2017

I like to occasionally take a moment to reflect on why I’ve been really trying to do a regular blog.  As I said when I was talking about the idea of Truth and how we struggle to speak them sometimes, one of my goals was to better understand the Truths in their fullness.  To grok them, if you will.  I will admit I did get sidetracked at times, but that was really the fundamental goal.  To grok what it is to be human and how to be a better human.  To better grok our world.  There has been some success and some failure, things I was right and wrong about.  When you understand the Truths of the world you live in, it becomes easier to develop the ideas necessary to build a better one.

A Truth I’ve come to accept lately is that humans are in too much of a hurry.  Like I said about the tendency to “Hurry Up and Wait” in people, we get into such a rush sometimes that all it leads to is waiting for the next thing to happen and the inaction can be worse than anything.  When I was in a relationship at about the two year mark, my ex and her cousin got together and planned out a whole wedding–best man, groomsmen, bridesmaids, color arrangements, etc.–and texted me about this when I was at work.  I believe it concluded with the message: “All you have to do is propose.”  At the time, I wanted to make sure we had a clearer plan about our future–housing, her family’s farm, etc.–but I had been giving some serious thought to proposing around that time.  After that exchange, I chose not to out of annoyance.  I think I shot back, “Why doesn’t your cousin just do it for me?”  I was annoyed, but then again, I was being pressured into something I had simply waiting for the right moment to do.  My own annoyance there might have been a bit of self-destruction on my part.  My point is, you get into a rush, you miss details and then you wonder why things go to pieces in the end.

Truths are important to acknowledge and I like to think I have come to realize many.  I’d like to touch on a few.

  • It is necessary to move beyond the binary–male/female, gay/straight, liberal/conservative, etc.–and think in terms of just being human.  Maybe an oversimplified approach, but it does prevent the traditional labels from interfering.  All of the words for human do little to add to the conversation, only muddling up what should be a picture of progress.  It will take a long time, but I like to think we’re getting closer.
  • Humans are too self-destructive.  I’ve covered a lot of the ways I’ve done damage to myself and I realize how hard it can be to stop self-destructing.  And the worst thing about that can be how we keep trying to tell ourselves how doing these things will somehow make things better even though we know they won’t.  And chances we don’t take out of fear where the stagnation only makes things worse.
  • One thing I’ve noticed is how nothing is really private in the sense that ripple effects hit a lot of people and everything goes outward.  When I went through a break-up after a three year relationship, I actually spent some time talking to her mother and sister in part for their input on her actions and in part to make sure they knew it wasn’t really my decision and if she was willing to listen and work things out we would have.  I felt like that was a half-way decent human being thing to do as I thought of them as family.  This last December, her mother actually sent me a message on FB wishing me a happy birthday.  I didn’t reciprocate for hers, but I wish I had.  However, I guess my ex never really felt the need to make contact with my mother after the break-up, despite numerous declarations of how “if we break up, I’m keeping your mother.”  My mother actually has expressed some offense over that and even declined to go to a wedding just to avoid seeing my ex.  My point is, the ripples will have an impact.  Not just in relationships, but there are ripples and aftershocks to almost every action we do.  I could probably come up with some work stories, but this is the one that springs to mind.

Just learning something new everyday, it seems like there are just as many questions as answers out there…

  • Got my Deadpool mask.  Very pleased with it.  Bit more difficult to see out of than I had hoped, but I’m getting more used to it.  Here is a picture.
  • I’ve been thinking over something I’ve observed lately.  I call it the “Hurry Up and Wait” mentality.  Basically I’ve noticed people have a tendency to take what they believe to be a faster approach that isn’t necessarily so.  I’ve observed this in a number of cases where the time gained with the perceived faster approach doesn’t necessarily gain you much time in the long run and at best it provides more idle time that could be used to complete tasks more effective and efficiently.  Might try to do a longer post about this at some point, trying to oversimplify it in a blurb here.  I do think people get in such a hurry they don’t take the time to appreciate the progression or the steps.
  • Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  Or Single’s Awareness Day.  Or Lupercalia.  I personally prefer Lupercalia.  Those ancient fertility rituals are really a lost art.  Always seemed like such a weird day that shouldn’t be necessary.  Admittedly I did spend most of last Valentine’s Day resisting the urge to send my ex a topless picture of myself with the caption: “This could have been making you waffles today, but you’re a bitch and I don’t like Waffles.”  Or something along those lines.  One of my more douche-bag ideas as I processed things–might still do it someday.  Point is, all a special day devoted to showing our love for one another proves is how much we have left to learn.
  • I think back on a lot of the projects I wanted to start, but never really got a chance to.  A lot of it would have been getting in touch with a more “redneck” side.  I kinda took some steps in the direction–getting the chainsaw, some odd yard projects, kayaking, etc.–but there were a few more I still have yet to really parlay into.  A lot of it is more dependent on getting into a more independent living arrangement.  Right now, I don’t necessarily have the space or resources for getting a dog, ATVs, archery of some kind, livestock…  all the other things I want to mess around with.  I have a coworker who keeps suggesting I buy a gun, but I’m pretty meh about it.  I’ve thought about it before, but it has never been something I’ve been terribly excited about.  Point is, there’s a growing list of things I want to try but have yet to do and I’d like to start in on that.

Speaking Truth

February 10, 2017

I was reading something the other day about how Tom Perez and his bungling a comment about last year’s Democratic Primary.  He acknowledged that the primary process was rigged against Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton and that the next DNC Chair Person would have to be “honest” and “transparent” to succeed.  Then he essentially retracted the statement, stating that he “misspoke”.  Or rather the party elders and establishment got wind of it and voiced their disapproval.  Cue the groaning and eye-rolling.  He was right the first time.

I’m trying to be a little less political, but this article I read kind of fits with my general train of thought on a number of matters.  Our whole political system needs an influx of new ideas.  Why do you think Bernie Sanders, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party had such a significant impact on the election last year?  However, those ideas cannot be expected to flourish if truth cannot be acknowledged.

One of the overarching themes I’ve tried to deal with in my writing this blog has been the “Idea of Ideas” and how important it is to always embrace new ideas and information.  When it comes to truth, I often quote Obi-Wan Kenobi from Return of the Jedi.  In explaining his misleading account of what happened to Luke’s father, Kenobi states that “Many of the Truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”  I keep throwing that line out there, but it is a good line.

Ideas were a focus of mine here, but how we regard those ideas is also worth looking at.  Truth and belief can be subjective, but they can inspire ideas.  I will admit that something I’ve struggled with is knowing when to challenge people’s truths and ideas.  Where the lines are drawn.  I have disregarded a myriad of them, but sometimes that needs to happen too.  Although I would hope my writing here does occasionally inspire people to look at their beliefs, ideas and truths from a different perspective, I don’t claim absolute authority on right or wrong here.  I’m sure there a number of opinions on that.  I simply hope I challenged some truths and some new ideas came as a result of them.  Even if it is just an expanded perception, I think it would be a benefit.

Regardless of the situation, ideas and truth need to be challenged.

The game is afoot.

  • I collect Magic Cards, but I haven’t really played since college.  Mostly I just put decks together.  I’ll buy a booster pack or holiday box or whatever and start seeing what cards go together.  I’m not even really up to speed on a lot of the new abilities–energy counters, etc.–that have been added in recent years.  I might try to sell a few decks at some point.  I really don’t need the two dozen or so decks I’m working on.  I mean, I might like to play a few of them (the Chandra one, the Elf Deck, the Vampire Deck, Red/White Angel Deck) but most of them are ones I don’t really need.
  • Going to start working on a series of Magic the Gathering drawings soon.  Already did a Chandra sketch card, planning to do some some of those.  Maybe something more complex.  Going to try to get back to page work in the near future.  Problem is I always want to do ten pages when I should do one.  And burn myself out.  I have no pacing whatsoever.  Working on that.
  • Officially done bulking.  Got up to 180 pounds.  Pretty pleased about that, although I did briefly hope to get up to 200 pounds.  Combination of factors got in the way, but 180 was the goal along.  My general plan is to cut down to 170 or so.  The biggest thing has just been trying to learn to work with my body, not against it.  The big issue is still sleep, but not much to be done about that for now.  Kind of a body and mind thing.
  • Tried a new pre-workout that somebody gave me a sample of.  Stuff called 5150.  I think I read that it has 8 different types of caffeine.  Very powerful stuff.  If anybody wants to try it, be warned: it is very intense.
  • Thinking about trying to make Meatballs or something different than I’ve been making.
  • I wrote the other day about my experiences growing up on the family farm and been pondering that a bit more.  Basically I’ve gained more insight into a lot of what unfolded regarded my family’s history in farming and it has given me some new avenues of thought.  I don’t deny those experiences did give me a more pessimistic view of farming–and also of opportunities I was presented with, but that’s a story for another year.  Trying not to get into what ifs, but I do believe there were opportunities I could have done a lot with.  And maybe new options will present themselves.  I’m always keeping an eye open.
  • I find myself pondering options and opportunities.  The average person will change careers seven times.  I have to wonder if in trying to create a stable workplace, do employers limit the ability of workers to find better options and opportunities.  I get paid $22 and some change an hour with good benefits where I work, but does that pay rate keep me from seriously considering a job where I might be happier?  Where I might have better opportunities for advancement and more flexibility to pursue other endeavors?  And does the effort to maintain a stable workplace keep employers from finding people who are potentially better fits?  Stability and comfort can be as much a hindrance as a help.
%d bloggers like this: