Waking up can be the hardest thing to do.

  • I had succeeded in playing as every character in Overwatch for at least an hour.  At least until yesterday, when the new character came out.  Will be getting that caught up in the near future.  It was worth it for the other characters.  Helped me to better appreciate each one’s abilities and skills.  I would say on some level that’s the right way to play.
  • Been drawing more at work lately.  Feel like that’s a good thing.  Now if I could just get focused on actual comic pages again…  Mostly I’ve just been struggling with certain panels and that’s slowed me down a bit.
  • I was reading this article recently about how complaining creates more negativity and basically only begets more complaining and negativity.  The article itself recommended a focus on solutions to remedy this.  When I’ve written about a number of issues, events, topics, and people here, I do see a lot of complaining and negativity in those scenarios with very few solutions being offered.  I prefer not to entertain “What If…” scenarios, but I do think a lot of things would have played out differently if people had been more focused on solutions rather than getting caught up in their own negativity.
  • I get thinking about “What if…” scenarios.  I have occasionally come across an event or two that brings them up, I’ve written in some detail about them.  What if my ex and I had handled that close call with pregnancy differently?  What if I had left the Cheese Plant for any of the various jobs I had interviewed for?  What if I had been more encouraged or willing to get into farming?  I could list off dozens of these.  I don’t seriously speculate on them too much or really believe the ultimate outcome would necessarily be different.  I admit I have made a myriad of mistakes.  If I can make amends for them, I do.  There are some I can’t, although I would not necessarily turn the opportunity to do so if it was the right thing to do.

I might be a bastard sometimes–maybe most of the time–but I try to use it for the greater good.

  • Planning on upgrading the hard drive on my Playstation 4.  I’ve heard its a relatively simple process.  Just need to get the gear for it.
  • Getting closer to an hour of gameplay for each character in Overwatch.  At least until the new one becomes available.  As for this posting, I’ve got one character at an hour and the others are all at fifty minutes or more.  It has been a lot of fun although there are characters I’d just as soon not play after this experiment is done.  Not going to get all “These characters suck, these characters don’t…” but I just have some preferences.
  • I tend to leave the microphone plugged in and ignore it when I play Overwatch.  Usually I’m playing with random people, so I don’t talk to them too much.  The bigger thing is people don’t realize they’re on mic and I get to hear discussions about feeding their kid a PB&J sandwich.  It’s almost better when its in a language I don’t speak.
  • Annoyed that I lost track of my compass and French curves.   Couple of pages I could really use them for.  Found the French curves at least.  Will have to keep looking for the compass.
  • Had a close call with my Macbook laptop the other day.  Screen was lighting up, but did not seem to be getting a signal.  Was convinced there was bad connection–apocalypse scenario was the motherboard was fucked, but I felt pretty safe ruling that out–and was planning to bring it to one of the nearby people who work on Macs.  More on a lark than anything–to clean it up before it went into the shop–I got an airblaster and hit up around the keys and the vents.  Working fine as of this writing.  A little luck with my ridiculously expensive computer.  I eventually want to set up a desktop, but that’s an “own place” kind of thing.
  • Rearranging my workout rotation.  Given that I need to up the cardio, I’m only going to the gym five days a week.  Saturday and Sunday will be days for Cardio–kayaking when it warms up enough.  Basically the workout are going to concentrate more on back and shoulders, basically the stuff I need to improve on.
  • Had a breakfast burrito the other day with black beans in it.  Still find the taste of beans to be annoying, but I ate it just fine.  Making progress on that goal.  Eating healthier, I think it does change my tastes a bit.  Going to look into some recipes and see what I can find for recipes involving beans.

Been playing a lot of Overwatch.  Making it a goal to play at least one hour as each character.  That could take awhile.

  • Started getting serious again with the Order of the Dragon stuff.  Drawing it out in pencil, rather than on the computer.  I just like the feel of it better.  Going to try to do more of a hybrid workflow.  The mix has worked well in other projects, I’m hoping for the same here.  I always found a more hybrid approach more appealing, as there are some details that I can get better in pencil and some I can get better digitally.  If I have what I consider to be a healthy start, I might start posting new pages in the next week or two.  That’s kinda dependent on me stopping with Overwatch long enough.
  • Still giving some thought to bringing back Chlorine and Acid in some form, just want to make sure I get it right.  One of my main goals with that–and in writing here–is to get some more self-evaluation going.  I might be too open and honest at times, but there is a goal at work.  Try to share the ideas that will help people grow.  I feel like that I failed that in the first go around, but I wonder if a more focused attempt might work for the comic.
  • So I heard there will be Star Wars: Rebels Season Four.  Is there enough story left to tell?  I mean, I feel like the storylines for each character are wrapping up now–we got the freaking Obi-Wan and Maul showdown coming up–and the Rebel Alliance has essentially been formed.  I just have to wonder if there is going to be enough story to tell and if it is really going to justify a fourth season.
  • So I live the next town over from Middlebury, where there were protests recently about Charles Murray’s speaking engagement and a professor was injured in the course of events.  I am honestly not that familiar with his views, but those I am aware of are ones I don’t necessarily agree with.  I get the impression that his beliefs influence his research and potentially skew it.  Not to fault having beliefs, but there are times when beliefs can interfere with your ability to observe, think and develop ideas.  I would personally prefer to see people challenge his ideas than resort to violence, but I can understand the strong feelings.
  • Freedom of Speech should be about ideas, but do when certain individuals aren’t really bringing ideas, should they be entitled to a platform?  Is Murray really bringing ideas to the table?  Was Milo Yiannopoulos anything more than an exploited and troubled individual?  (Not to dismiss anything he said, but I do think there are some real personal issues at work there)

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.

Sometimes you just have to think about those odd little things…

  • Finished reading a biography of Nikola Tesla.  He was very complicated individual, struggled a lot because of his complexity.  A lot of what he theorized about has come to pass, so you can’t help but wonder what might have been.  Three day weekend coming up, so I might head over to the bookstore and pick up a couple more books.  Also right across the street from the cookware store, so the rice cooker might happen.  The books will probably be the priority.
  • I had a dentist appointment the other day.  Nothing terribly exciting, although I will admit that the hygienist scolding me for not flossing enough was a bit of a turn on.  Probably helped that it was relatively attractive female–relative if only because beauty is defined by our own perceptions.  The field of dentistry does seem ideally suited for some odd fetishes.
  • I feel like there have been a lot of little things building up to something lately.  Not sure what, not sure if I care.  I just see these odd little events that seem to be pointing in one direction or another.

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.
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