So, how many more examples until we break?
So how many sacrifices must we make?
Because we’ve all been there once before
And it looks like we’ve returned once more
So is this the beginning or the end?

-“The Big Sleep” by Streetlight Manifesto

  • Finished penciling out the first issue of Order of the Dragon.  Well, debating if I want to add one more page, but I’m pretty happy with where it is now at 22 pages.  Starting to roll along with inking it now.
  • First week of selling comics on eBay was a mixed result.  Got the ball rolling anyway.  Made some money, but not as much as I had hoped.  I’d like to have four five auctions going every week.  Funny story.  I posted that Thor 165.  7.0, CGC Signature Series signed by Stan Lee.  First Full appearance of Adam Warlock who’s cocoon was introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  So I post it for auction, starting at $300.  Last year’s price guide–new one comes out in a couple of months–lists a 6.0 at $108 and an 8.0 at $259.  Mind you, the key thing to remember about a price guide is that it is a guide.  Not a set value.  Given GotG2, I thought there would be a good demand and started the listing a bit higher.  Not much going on there.  Some watchers, no bidding.  One message asking if I’d be willing to take $235 for it.  That was it.  After it ends with no bids, I get four or five messages from people asking I’d be willing to make a deal.  I’m just sitting there thinking, “$300 was not unreasonable.  I think I could make an argument that twice that much is fairly reasonable.  If you really wanted it, why didn’t you bid in the week it was up?”  I know how this business works.  I’m not about to get myself screwed over because somebody else is trying to take advantage of me.
  • Drama at work.  The production manager put in his notice.  There was a lot of swirling information going around the other day.  Lack of stability is one of the reasons I cite for the problems that people have had there.  It makes it a lot harder to have a clear picture of where you stand.
  • I applied at this place where three or four of my former housemates work, a soap factory.  I sent their HR person my resume and cover letter.  Didn’t name drop or tell them I was doing it.  I could see myself there and doing well, although the aspect of LMCBW’s best friend being there could lead to some drama.  Or not.  It would not necessarily surprise me to find that she agrees with a point or two I made about LMCBW.  I have wondered if there have been or will be some unknown consequences of writing about her like I did.  I think those thoughts needed to see the light of day and I don’t have serious regrets, but I’m cognizant enough to acknowledge the idea that others might not have been impressed.

Personal Review

May 1, 2017

But with a presence that billows out

Of any space

That even tries

To contain it.

“It’s Always The Quiet Ones” Something I thought I had deleted

So I’ve been working on my employee review questionnaire as part of tonight’s can’t sleep so I might as well do something and I’m going to share a few thoughts.  Basically it’s four questions.  What jobs can you do?  How can the supervisors help you with your performance/career growth?  How can your job be improved?  What are your personal or professional goals?

Writing it up was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Mostly I just acknowledge I’ve held myself in place and need something different.  Nothing really new, just a slight redefinition.  Part of it is a bit of bad luck with a mediocre job market.  And in all honesty, how many jobs can you really get without 3-5 years of experience in a given field?  But that’s not really the whole story.

Maybe on a level this has been some kind of punishment for how things ended with Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.  In some ways, that’s probably been true.  I do think I made a mistake in not going to work on the farm.  I think there would have been more opportunities there than I had initially believed if I had not been so daunted by things going on at the time and the general feelings of it.  Speculative, I know, but I definitely think there were a lot of unexplored positives.

So yeah.  I will admit I have been confined for whatever reason.  And the constraints are going to have to go.

Another week.  I ordered a Deadpool mask.

  • Did a job interview a couple of weeks ago.  Thought it went pretty well, but it doesn’t look like I’m getting the job.  Oh well.  It was a local coffee company.  One of the things that stood out to me was the specification that applicants aren’t smokers.  I’ve speculated at various times that where I am currently might implement such a ban, especially after they reduced the areas where employees can go to smoke.  People leaving cigarette butts on the ground outside has always been a problem, and I even found one in a trash can in the area where we box cheese–likely left thrown their after someone went out for a smoke, just sitting right on top of the trash.  Given that some of the higher ups smoke and half the workforce smoke, it would likely be some time and effort before such a ban is implemented.
  • So I was at Home Depot the other day, looking into a number of ideas for projects.  Mostly just getting a vague idea of what type of gear I can or should get to do a lot of the projects I have in mind.  Big one I was drooling over was a table saw.  I’m thinking of building a few bookshelves and eventually a couple of desks–one for a computer and one for drawing.  More of a project for when I’ve got a house of my own situated. The desk might end up being built into a wall, so I’m planning on that being after the housing saga is close to its conclusion.
  • I was thinking about how other people working nights make relationships work.  A lot are married, but there are a few people who are still single.  Everybody is a little different, but I do think being in a relationship while working nights can be tricky.  It seems to require a high level of patience, understanding and commitment.  Part of the reason why I’m glad I remained single.  In the past I’ve pondered the usefulness of a rebound relationship and have tried to avoid getting into anything based in desperation.  People are fond of saying, “You’re 30, blah, blah, blah…”  but isn’t the point to not rush and form better long-term plans?
  • My father and uncle are in the process of getting a solar company to put panels on some of the farmland–the farm I grew up on until I was thirteen.  It has been controversial in a myriad of ways.  While I’m all for expanding solar panel usage, I do have some doubts about the situation.  My family and the surrounding neighbors aren’t necessarily… “progressive.”  Solar energy is something I’ve been very interested in though.  When I was a heartbeat away from farming, something I had thought about was seeing if it would be possible to use part of a field for some panels.  Nothing too elaborate.  At the time I was thinking that they were pretty heavy into dairy and it might not be a bad idea to diversify a little–solar energy, pigs, maybe bit more foodstuffs, lately I’m thinking about goats, etc.  Anyway, solar energy is a market I think there could be a lot of potential for.  I’m sure there will be a fair amount of excitement with the process my family has set into motion.

The Illusion of Free Will

January 5, 2017

One of the topics I like to come back to is the idea of accountability.  Personal responsibility.  I talked about this a bit in a variety of terms–personal, social, professional, etc.  I’ve argued in a lot of ways we don’t necessarily acknowledge or understand the responsibilities we have and struggle to reconcile them.

A recent incident at work has brought the topic back to my mind.  We have this new piece of equipment and with it has come a lot of learning as we go and figuring out how best to work with it.  The other night, the sanitation workers were spraying cheese curds off the salting system–basically a long conveyor where salt is applied to the cheese and stirred in with massive stirrers.  One of the sanitation workers was spraying this out and jammed up his hand.  Somehow he didn’t break it, but it was pretty messed up.

In response, management adjusted the system to hopefully prevent this from happening in the future.  Kind of an interesting situation, in that it forces the sanitation workers to readjust their methods when they are still getting accustomed to the new equipment.  On the one hand, I can understand the need to make an adjustment.  However, isn’t their a certain level of responsibility to acknowledge the worker himself might have made a mistake and expect everyone to learn from it?

Obviously I’m giving a very general overview, but the point I’m trying to make is that no number of safeguards or adjustments or whatever will completely negate the occurrence of mistakes.  People will do dumb stuff.  They always have and always will.  But do they take responsibility for it?

Nobody really wants to take responsibility these days.  The idea that when someone screws up it could just be their own damn fault is a foreign concept these days.  Four or five years ago I got my foot run over by a forklift.  It hurt, I iced it down a bit, but on the whole not a big deal.  I never once blamed anyone but myself.  I was the idiot standing next to a forklift, not paying a damn bit of attention to where I was and my foot got run over.  Another coworker had the same thing happen to him.  He went to the emergency room and ran his mouth about the guy driving the lift–as I recall, not too many people were impressed by that.

People don’t really want responsibility.  They want the appearance of it.  In the end, all they want is the illusion of control.  To be the decision maker without making any real decisions.  People want to call themselves “informed” when they vote, but do they really know what it means to be informed?  After this last year of politics, I wonder.  Nobody really wants to take the responsibility if only so they have deniability.  We’re willing to give up free will if it means no consequences.

I’ve made mistakes.  I like to think I know what all of them were.  And in a lot of ways I own up to them.  I take responsibility for them.  I’m proud of myself for that.  I’m not perfect, but I like to think I’m getting closer.  And I am continuing to hold myself accountable for where my life is.  However, I have to wonder if we do enough as a culture to take responsibility for our decisions or just try to give up that accountability.  If we do give it up, aren’t we giving up free will in refusing to take responsibility for decisions?

Resolution Post?

December 31, 2016

I suppose this could the “New Year, New Me” post, if the meteor doesn’t wipe us all out before midnight tonight–this year has really softened us up for it, so I wouldn’t be surprised.  So yeah, I really question the validity of a post detailing any real resolution for the coming 2017.  I mean it really shouldn’t take the arbitrary determination of the passage of a rotation around the sun to get your shit together.

I do have some ongoing goals for the coming year.  Some of which are more realistic than others.

  • Get to more family gatherings.  Strangely enough, I miss going to family gatherings on a regular basis.  Working nights disrupts most human interactions on a variety of levels and I’m feeling like that’s been one of my biggest issues is the lack of person to person connection.  Family gatherings in specific, I’ve come to like those more than I used to.  I would like to make sure I get to more of them in the future.
  • Somewhat related, try a new vocation.  While I am ramping up the job hunt in recent weeks, I’m also tempted to… inquire about some part time opportunities.  Farming is one that sticks out to me.  One of the bigger eye rolls I had about my ex and the farm was that she never took the hint that if her parents had made a real offer on a job with the farm, I would have taken it.  Kind of a ridiculous thing, but I took that whole dynamic seriously and did not feel right initiating that process.  So I’ll see if there’s potential for some kind of part time gig.
  • Continue to get into better shape.  I’ve accomplished a lot of goals in the last few months, but I’ve no intention of stopping.  Kayak more too.  I still have an interest in archery that I would like to explore a bit more.  I have a coworker who keeps trying to talk me into shooting guns, but firearms don’t really hold that much interest to me.  I acknowledge my politics might influence that, but I honestly think guns are overrated.  If I’m messing around with weaponry, I’d rather it was something I was putting more effort into than a flick of a finger.
  • Do more art.  I’ve made a lot progress and I’d like to continue with that.  On me to keep that going in the right direction though.

So random…

  • Started working on a new comic.  Kind of a western type of thing.  Only really got rolling on one page so far.  I’m just glad I’ve been able to keep drawing and writing.
  • Been listening to a lot of Hamilton lately.  My biggest disappointment about NYC was that I didn’t manage to get tickets to see the show.  Unfortunately, they are ridiculously expensive and sold out.  Then the whole thing with Mike Pence happened and I started listening to it again.  The song “Non-stop” sticks with me.  Primarily the line “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the idea that time has already run out.  In a couple of situations, I think that might be the case.  I try to think of it as meaning there’s nothing left to lose, which can be nice in its own way.
  • Made Shepherd’s Pie a couple of weeks ago, that was really good.  Put some bacon cheddar cheese on top.  I’ve missed being able to cook on a regular basis.  Threw together some Ranch Chicken and baked french fries the other day, planning on some more cooking too.  I got a couple of ideas I want to try at some point.  Something involving seafood.  Hopefully I’ll be able to prioritize more time for that in the future.
  • Trying to hit 200 pounds for my body weight before I really start cutting and toning up.  It was kind of exhilarating to actually 180 pounds on my driver’s license when I renewed it last week.  Kind of a weird thing.
  • The other day, a supervisor told me he’s been hearing complaints about me, apparently thinking I’ve been slacking off.  Regardless of my opinion of that assertion–*cough* bullshit *cough*–I never take complaints like that seriously.  The big reason being that my dad works at the plant.  Basically, I acknowledge that there’s a lot of back-stabbing politics in any work place and having a parent there makes me a big target.  So I’ve come to expect such if only because it is human nature and I choose not to really care.  I put in my 40 hours a week and do my best for those hours.  That’s it.  I’m already in a situation I’m not really that keen on and I have no interest in getting into pissing matches over delegitimized nonsense.

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.

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