March 4, 2017
One thing I find myself thinking about more lately is problem solving. In particular, the desire and preference for the fast solution or the “Quick Fix.” This has been something I’ve noticed at work lately, as there has been a lot more… micromanaging in the cheese production process. I won’t get very technical or detailed about it, but there has been a lot of small adjustments that might solve one problem, but in the end only create two or three more.
I see this more and more in the news lately. Take Trump’s Wall on the Mexican border. Does it really solve anything? Drugs are still going to come in. A wall isn’t going to do a damn thing to stop that. Most of the “criminals” are already well established here. Undocumented workers? They are what keep a lot of agricultural industry going. They are the dishwashers. I don’t see a lot of Americans lining up to do these jobs. It might be a short term solution, but doesn’t it just create more problems and cost even more billions later on to maintain the wall?
I’m reminded of what Yoda said about the Dark Side being stronger–another case in which that puppet had more wisdom than most people–in Empire Strikes Back, when he said, “No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.” The point I see in that is that quick fix might seem easier and more seductive, but doesn’t it lead to more problems in the end?
In another life, with an ex, we had a couple of fish tanks. Each had probably five or six fish and my ex had suggested we get more fish. Personally, I was never really that interested in fish and we did struggle to keep them alive. I told her this and she was a bit miffed. I suggest the idea of getting a dog at that point, being something I had an interest in doing at the time. She ignored the suggestion and brushed it off, and I didn’t really bring it up again.
As serious of a step as that would have been, there were a myriad of issues that needed to be solved. We could have gotten a puppy. We could have gotten ponies if it made her happy. Or more fish. But would it have done that? It would have been the same deal with proposing. Yes, we could have done it, but would it have made a difference if she didn’t want to deal with those other issues? I mean, I lost count of the number of times I said, “we’ll talk when you’re ready” only to have her never really want to talk about anything. In a lot of ways, her quick fix of breaking up saved me from dealing with her drama, but I doubt it really solved any of her problems.
In general, I do find that the quick fixes are more detrimental to the long term than people like to think. One thing I’ve been doing more of lately is thinking about the long term. Have the long term goals clear and defined. My mother asked me the other day if I had “given up” on trying to be a writer. Given up? Fuck no. Admittedly the mental toll of working nights has caught up to me and I’m a bit more sidetracked, but that’s temporary. I’m thirty, I got plenty of time. If I leave my current job, I want to make sure its a better situation, which is the only reason I’m still there. I haven’t set up the better, long term situation.
October 30, 2016
I got a few points bouncing around my head I wanted to touch on. A bit on work/home separation, human nature… might tie some of this into a NaNoWriMo thing… Not sure yet…
The struggle of balancing work time and personal time has been something on my mind lately. I saw something not that long ago about how Google has set up a gym and laundromat at their corporate offices, and I believe other places have implemented similar benefits. Not necessarily a huge fan of this.
I actually have begun to turn down overtime if only because I feel work is trying too hard to take over more of my time. I’ve been getting more concerned about how this impacts any number of things I wish to accomplish outside of work. Our culture expects us to “get the job done” at whatever the cost, but that cost is ever growing.
An interesting thought occurs to me in thinking about how I was considering a venture into farming over the last couple of years. Mostly in that the separation is very difficult to consistently maintain in that industry. That was one of my bigger concerns in that particular aspect if only because farming tends to be more of a lifestyle than a job. Not impossible to find balance, but I would at least acknowledge the challenge.
I think it is an American thing, and not necessarily a healthy one. We should have the people to make it easier to disconnect and live. Just a thought.
First Statement: People are silly. I find myself thinking this due to a comment somebody made at work about how “men should use the men’s room and women should use the women’s room”. There might have been a cheap shot about Hermaphrodites in there. But what occurred to me is this: Isn’t the whole premise kind of silly in the first place? Isn’t it kind of sad we’re still at a point where we require separate bathrooms? I totally understand the reasons why and they are legit. As a culture, we’ve still got a lot of work to do in regards to respect and equality. Really just stating the obvious there.
Second Statement: Humans are not binary. Lumping everybody into male or female, straight or gay just doesn’t work. It never really has. I was reading something not that long ago about how the percentage of women who have at least considered being with another woman is something in the neighborhood of sixty or seventy percent. Guys are probably less inclined to take such a question serious enough to get real information on that, but I would admit to having given thought to what such things might be like at one point or another. No intention of following through, but I would at least acknowledge the consideration. Point is, we’re beyond the point where the binary designation apply.
July 16, 2016
I’m lying in bed right now, wearing this “Swole Wars” t-shirt I bought off of Flex Comics and I’m pondering the balance of life. Because what is more likely to get one thinking about balance than a fitness related spoof of Star Wars? In a lot of ways, I just feel like working out is a Jedi thing to do. Devoting and discipling yourself to bring balance the Force within yourself and around you. I’m also on a bit of a Star Wars kick the last few days.
As I lie here, I wonder about the balances of my own life. I’ve essentially overhauled my lifestyle to better focus on bringing about balance. Working out, eating better, drawing, writing… These are all part of that balance. I look and feel better than I have in a long time–having a weekend where I’m not working midnights, instead going in at 4am is helpful–and I hope to continue that pattern.
Just realizing the importance of being at balance and connected with the world. Creativity helps. So does solving problems. I’ve been in a self-imposed exile for the last year or so and I have used that time to better attune myself. I have learned and studied and pondered the arts I lacked mastery of–even if I have yet to take full advantage of those studies. I have waxed philosophically. I let go my anger.
And then there’s how people fit together… It can be amazing how the right people at the right time can bring about and maintain balance. In relation to this, I do find myself thinking about dating again. That’s something I’m going to be very conscious of, is how we fit together and balance each other out. While I am still sticking my decree of not dating until I’m done working midnights, I think the day is coming when I won’t be doing that anymore. There is someone I’m actually interested in and I may yet pursue that if the opportunity does present itself. However, balance and compatibility does maintain a presence in my mind. Not that the whole midnights thing–which is more a self-motivator to get done with a bad idea I never should have pursued in the first place–doesn’t negate that whole idea. The big thing is, where am I in my life? Where is she in hers? Does that fit together? How would that facilitate balance with both of us? Even bad ideas could have a good result in the end, I just want to make sure it is the right bad idea.
April 6, 2016
Where I make a strange comparison, consider a few points and just generally reflect on planning.
- Still trying to get a good load of pages ready to go before I start posting Order of the Dragon again. Still getting distracted. Getting some of it done though. Hoping the change in hours gets done soon. Moving at the speed of bureaucracy, I guess. Bit of staffing/scheduling clusterfuck going on. Working on developing a new character for Order of the Dragon. One who interrogates people with the method of flicking pistachio shells at them. Not like I bought a pound of them and have been steadily working my way through them…
- I think the head-games we put ourselves through are worse than anything other people can come up with. Started thinking about this morning at work. Partly due to the stuff going on there, partly some personal stuff. I’m glad I’m at least trying to close this shit out though. The number of problems that could be solved or avoided if people just got their own heads sorted out before dealing with someone else…
- I remember way back in 2008, there was a bit of drama in the Democratic primary process. There were a couple of states that wanted to move their primary up by a few weeks, which caused a fair amount of friction within the Democratic Party. These primaries were effectively rendered irrelevant until the DNC could figure out what to do. The majority of the candidates chose not to campaign there and went so far to remove their names from the ballots. There were four that remained on the Michigan ballot at the time of their primary: Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Hillary Clinton. I remember that being the event that really pushed me to support Obama. My thinking was that walking away from those primaries was the right decision as it could potentially do more harm than good to campaign or remain on the ballot in those states. Could unfairly sway that pool of voters in the favor of one candidate or another. I started thinking about that after reading an article yesterday about how the Democrats are giving away the election–the Republicans are trying too, but I don’t think they’re alienating their base as effectively. In some ways, I see Hillary Clinton becoming a Democrat version of Trump. The comparison might be a bit weird, but the way her rhetoric has progressed makes me aware of a similar disconnect.
- Getting more creative in my cooking. Creating more variations on the fundamental ideas I work with. Next week I might make the Chicken Parm stuff with fennel in it. Just an idea I’m going to try. I’m working on a plan where I cook a meal each night with a certain number of meals in leftovers to go over the next two or three days. Enable more of a mix and still maintain a fresh selection. Will involve more prep work later on, waiting on my hours to change to put that idea into motion. Probably going to look into bulk orders of meat at some point, as that would probably make this whole thing a bit more feasible and cut costs a bit. Want to do some more baking, but again, I’m waiting until the stuff with my hours is resolved. Diversifying snacks to include stuff like pistachios and other things.
- Tearing into my loans. I’m a bit behind the pace I was hoping to have, a few things have interfered. The systematic approach I have working is still viable, I need to get a couple more pieces in place. Hoping to have that moving more efficiently soon.