Logging Off

Over the past two years there has been a string of events, day by day, that has had my nerves shot, my blood pressure high, and causing me to lose sleep like I have never experienced before. This is all after by daughter was born and she came home from the NICU, however she is not the cause of these things.

The news, the media is a constant attack of shitty news and horrible events that is being shoved in our faces to make us think the world is a dangerous and threatening place. if one looks at the statistics we are safer now than we have ever been, so what gives? Ratings, money, advertising. I’m tired of all of it. I need a break. It is no wonder anti depressants are sold at record numbers these days.

So what do I do? what should all of us do? I left FaceBook two years ago after some dickhead made threats against my micro-preemie daughter, nothing like re-enforcing how shitty people can be, and I haven’t missed it since. I’m still on Instagram and have YouTube channel but I have started to weed out the news channels from my feed and stopped following several channels for the same reason. These days I just don’t want to know.

as the primary caregiver for my daughter during the day I find myself juggling several things at the same time. the last thing I need to have taking up my time is some breaking news that in the end doesn’t effect me. Should I really care what new member of the Trump administration is going to spend the rest of their life in prison? guess what guys, hang out with shitty people and you usually end up in jail. Today it took an Instagram post to tell me we were in a national emergency, whatever the hell that means. my day continued on exactly how it would have any other day.

I don’t want the news, I don’t need the news anymore. what I need is a vacation, one that takes me to a far away land of “I don’t give a f*ck” and I can spend my time care free and not feeling like the world is falling apart when I know damn well it isn’t. is that too much to ask? stop treating me like i’m a f*cking commodity.

So today was a good day. My daughter and I have some laughs. I read her some sesame street books and she didn’t want me to go to work, something she does when a do a good job. I want more of those days. I want to sleep better at night. I don’t want to picture Roger Stone in a prison shower with his Reagan tattoo. I just want my life back. so starting tomorrow i’m shutting off the news. the Washington post made it clear today that I only had one free article left anyway before I had to start paying, which is weird with all the damn adds I have to flip through anyway.

so to close this, the media sucks, the government sucks, people suck, and I just want to be left alone. if all you have to butch about is what pronoun somebody used than you have a great life and shut the f*ck up. when trump presses the nuclear button give me a call. my tax return is the same as it has always been, I have no idea what anybody is talking about anymore. so long CNN and FOX news, you are the opposite sides of the same coin sitting at the bottom of a urinal. I’m still waiting for you to be flushed away.

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Bill Maher: so many drugs, so little time

I know that weed is legal in many places these days, including my own state of Michigan, but whatever Bill has been smoking please take it away from him. After a series of hoaxes over the years Stan Lee finally died, for real, like permanently. Instead of a short word of respect, or keeping his mouth shut, Bill decided to talk shit about guys reading comic books and bitching about comic movies. When he was called out on his stupid behavior, he again took the low road and even quoted the bible, his favorite book, to make the argument about being an adult.
I would like to point out that I like Bill, I have always liked Bill, but I think that Donald Trump becoming president broke that man’s brain. How much did he smoke that night, that week, after the election? Was he buying bad shit, or really good shit, like really good my brain no longer functions shit? As someone who grew up reading comics, I can say that in some ways, yes comics can be childish. Big guns, big tits, superheroes with painted on suits, the list can go on and on, but isn’t what Bill is doing no different than the high school antics of the stoner kid making fun of the other kids at the bottom of the totem pole for being nerds? A man died whose legacy will out live most of ours, including Bill’s. With everything that is happening in the world defending his shitty comment was at the top of his list along with having his secret fuck buddy Ann Coulter on the show. Seriously, let’s dive into this one. Bill has never been married, no kids, smokes weed god knows how often, takes nothing seriously, and caters to women who are out of his league. But he says guys reading comics are immature and need to grow up. Like most stoners Bill didn’t bother doing his homework for his monologue either.
There was a list of literary works that he claimed were never criticized for their merit. For starters some comics have won literary awards including Sandman and The Watchmen, that’s just for starters. To get back to the literature let’s start with Moby Dick, a book that was criticized for having the narrator of the story dying at the end, leaving the reader asking the question “if the narrator just died, then who is telling the story?” Shakespeare was thought to have been losing his mind when his last piece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written because people didn’t know what the hell it was supposed to be. Great literature, like comics, has been criticized over the years for being improper or immature pieces of trash. Hell, nobody read The Great Gatsby while Fitzgerald was alive. Of course, Bill wouldn’t know about any of this, he just slapped his retort together like he did with his original comment, straight out of his ass, read off of some fresh toilet paper.
Bill, you lost your damn mind. It was going to happen eventually; all the great ones lose it in the end. Over the last two years you tried to recover, having Jordan Peterson on as your own personal Dr, Phil moment but not listening when he asked you the question “how do you accept the Trump voters when their party loses?” You have been so caught up in Trump’s pubic hair that you don’t see the forest for the stump. There is no destination in your thinking, the current plan has no goal and you are riding the wave of a tsunami not knowing how to get off the board. In your frustration you resorted to the lowest of the low, acting like Trump, belittling those who you think are inferior to yourself. What you don’t realize is that one day, not long from now, you’ll wish you had a hero to sit by your bedside keeping you from that horrible act of trying to suck your own dick one last time.

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The Second Coming Civil War?

On January 1 of 2019, James Weasley Rawles wrote a post for his Survivalblog.com about a coming Civil War. Unfortunately, people are taking this poorly argumented post to heart. Prepper channels all over YouTube shared the message with their own interpretations and crappy excuses for why their personal wet dreams will come true. One channel, Praxis Homesteading and Survival Skills, created a video called “USA Food Riots Within 60 Days” using the current government shut down as an excuse to blame poor people for the coming riots they predict. Of course, the logic behind this is the lack of funding for programs like WIC and food stamps, which I would like to point out are NOT affected by the partial government shutdown. While Rawles doesn’t discuss this argument in his essay he instead takes a religious tone instead.
The history book was thrown out for this essay, making claims that the FBI was once nonpartisan and could uphold the law without discrimination. J Edgar Hoover would be wetting himself with this praise if he was here today. Rawles comes across like a Muslim Cleric in post invasion Iraq talking about a war between the godly and ungodly, whatever the hell that means? Then he caters to the Trumpets pointing out the landmass map of red and blue states while complaining about the colors used for the demographics. I can’t figure out what kind of religious purge he is envisioning, or why he thinks 87% of the population that label themselves at Christian are being oppressed and unrepresented. I guess when you live in your own world, isolating yourself from the rest of the country you start to think that people who are different are a danger and need to be “taken care of.”
I have seen this before in my own life. People who are not satisfied with how their lives turned out trying to find someone to blame for their own mistakes in life. If you work in a factory and your job is shipped overseas, well you blame the poor or immigrants. Another school shooting it must be those gun hating liberals trying to take our weapons. Doesn’t matter the shooter came from a conservative home where guns were readily available. Rawles has become the front man of the conservative blame game. Why shouldn’t he? If works great for other outlets like Blaze and FOX news. Give your viewers someone to hate and sent them on their way, hell they will even throw money your way to keep hearing the message. It’s like their own person self help guru feeding the flames of their discontent and pointing them in the direction of their own self destruction. For a group who talks about fiscal responsibility and moral leadership both are lost somewhere on the horizon of their past.
Post that have followed the new years essay have been about funding for the website and asking for money. Rawles won’t use Patreon and instead ask for cheques to be sent to help keep things up and running. Survivalblog.com has become the southern welfare states of America, hating gays, the poor, and minorities while not seeing they are what they attack. In the words of Ron Swanson “people are idiots” and the last day has shown me how right he was.

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New Year, New Shhhh…stuff

Today is the first of the year and while many people are nursing a hangover, trying to figure out where they parked their car last night, or wondering where the hell they just woke up, I am at home figuring out what direction I want to go in for this year. I’m 39 years old, still work for someone other then myself, and have a daughter who is 1.5 years old. While I’m not hurting for anything and my bills are always paid there is this nagging feeling that I should, if not need, to be doing something else. My job isn’t anything to bitch about, I am paid handsomely for what I do and finally after years of doing the same thing for other people, nearly doubled my income by finding a new employer. The downside to this? Spending the majority of my awake hours doing something I don’t really enjoy.
So where do I go from here? The following is a list of goals/ resolutions I have come up with for the new year. Hopefully they will help me be in a different place in a year from now. The following is in no particular order.
-Buy nothing big and/or expensive
-Save $100 per paycheck
-Pay over the asked for amount on the mortgage payment
-Don’t eat out
-Exercise more/ be more active
-Take Zoey to the park
-publish 3 books with audiobooks included
The list isn’t big or impressive. To me this is the usual stuff that people say they are going to do but never follow through with. I will go through this list one at a time to further explain.
Buy nothing big and/or expensive. While this could be self-explanatory this boils down to not buying a new car, television, house, or even typewriter. For the last week or so I have been seriously considering purchasing a cabin in northern Michigan. Alas I must tell myself that I have to earn it first. As for the typewriter portion of the list, I have been collecting, repairing, and selling typewriters for the past three years. It is finally time to hang up the hobby and move on. I still have 30+ machines to part with and I will be participating in the local antique markets to help find them new homes. I still have a handful that I will keep for myself.
Save $100 per paycheck. If I am going to be smart about this, I would simply change my direct deposit and leave myself with my leftover paycheck to pay my bills. In fact, I will likely do that this week.
Pay over the asked amount on the mortgage payment. I already do this and it is a habit.
Don’t eat out. I don’t want to find out how much I spent buying my lunch at work for the last year. All I have to do is either eat a big meal before work at home or bring my lunch with me. Why is this so difficult?
Exercise more/ be more active. Earlier this year I did Tae Bo every morning for a week. That was the extent of my workout routine for the year. In the spring and summer I would take my daughter on long walks up a local hill to a park. Then the construction started and the entire place was torn up. I am hoping that project will be completed this year. Also, I would like to start riding a bike to work, not a big feet since my place of employment is only a mile away. Oh well, at least I would save on gas for the trip.
Publish 3 books with audiobooks included. That is why I bought the laptop that I am currently writing on. The last time I bought a laptop I made $20,000 I three years. I made some mistakes along the way. I never released audiobooks for one. Editing was lacking. While I can look back and see how bad I did I also know I have learned a lot from those mistakes. Scrivener has been downloaded, Audacity is waiting for me, and Amazon is likely wondering where the hell I went. Life is too short to not do the things you always wanted to do.

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A Century of Loss (or All the Dogs will Die!)

With Earth Day come and gone I am reminded at the path our species is taking. I went to the celebration downtown and left disappointed, more so than when I arrived, at what was really a party for middle-aged baby boomers to brag about their high mileage cars and the protest they have been attending over the decades. One doesn’t have to look hard to find that what they accomplished was little, if anything. There was a sense of nostalgia for the 60s as I looked at people with rainbow-colored shirts who had not bathed in days telling people how they were working to save the planet, while driving god knows how many miles to attend a mostly dead event. After a quick round through the park I was done.

Earlier in the week I read a story online about the end of Syrian tobacco and how it would no longer exist once the last of the blends were sold from the online retailers and brick and mortar stores. This may sound like whining to some and in one case i was called a white capitalist pig for bringing it up. “With all the death and destruction that happens over there you are complaining about tobacco?” Sure he had a point but what I was trying to point out is the loss of a species that may never be seen again. Sure, it is tobacco, not food, not a medicine, but still it represents something that is lost from our world. Over the coming years we will start to hear about crops being lost, species of insects and birds that will never been seen again, and lakes that disappear from the landscape. In the coming generations there will be animals and food that our descendents will only be able to read about.

I watched a documentary about a chef who was trying to reconstruct a recipe from a hundred year old cook book. many of the technics had been lost over the years but slowly they were able to piece together the ingredients and make what was close to the original meal. There is one difference between this story and what is happening in the world, the ingredients will be lost forever. I learned on earth day that the sugar maples that i grew up with in my yard and the syrup i savored on my pancakes will no longer grow in my home state of Michigan. Many of the birds I listened to outside my bedroom window will be gone. The insects I watched crawling on the plants in the garden will no longer exist. My daughter might be the last member of my family to experience these things that have been a staple of our life here, the end of an era with unknown repercussions in the future.

Many people were bragging about their electric cars at the Earth Day event, talking about the need to convert our power sources to renewable, their point was to boast about being ahead of the curve on climate change while they charged their cars on electricity produced by coal and natural gas. They didn’t consider the power it took to manufacture the car, the oil that went into the tires, the fuel to transport the materials for the batteries over the oceans so that they could enjoy a vehicle with less guilt associated with it.

While my city discusses how to waste a 30 million dollar gift given to it by donors the only things I have seen done with the money was provide free WIFI in the park and the planned removal of a racist fountain that is crumbling to pieces and should be destroyed since it provides no social or historical merit. There was one obvious use for the money that they could have done, one that would provide financial security for the city and helped the planet a little bit. The city has several large plots of land that were once the factories for paper and automotive manufacturing, contaminated land that they are constantly talking about “cleaning up” but instead sits there unused. Why they didn’t consider putting a solar farm on these lands is beyond me. providing the majority of the city’s power, reducing the tax burden on its citizens and providing jobs for locals, it is a win win all around and yet they are more concerned about a fountain crumbling in the park. Priorities are, needless to say, fucked up when it comes to our political appointees and I have to wonder why these people stay in these positions as long as they have.

With choices like these I hope you come to understand why my vision of the future is bleak at best. Instead of talking about climate change and pushing the agenda that we need to discuss we are preoccupied with where Donald Trump put his dick before the election. The last male white rhino died this year and more species are disappearing from the planet than we can talk about. Maybe if we changed the discussion to a different topic we can make a difference. My suggestion “all the dogs are going to die!” get the dog lovers involved, they tend to care more about their dogs than their own lives or the lives of other humans for that matter. So when talking about climate change start out with “all the dogs are going to die!” If you have a friend who smokes a pipe tell them “all the good blends will go extinct if we don’t solve climate change.” Those guys, myself included are already concerned about some of the big loses we ahve had in our hobby over the past year. Thanks FDA, you don’t know how to regulate opiates but you have become concerned about an ancient hobby that built this country? Again, messed up priorities.

I do my best when it comes to helping with the problem but then policy sometimes contradicts what is best for everyone. My place of employment offers a reimbursement for parking spaces downtown but no incentives for people who walk or ride their bikes. While I live less than a mile away I am told to use my parking money or lose it, weird right? In my garden I grow heirloom plants that may go extinct with the changing climate, saving the seeds each year in the hopes they will keep growing and not die out half way through the season like some of them have.

Today I ordered a can of the Syrian blend that will be no more. Yes, i know that by having it shipped I will have added to my carbon footprint for my own selfish desires. My goal is to sit down, open the can, smell the aroma, taste the flavor, and write the most accurate description i can muster so that those in the future will know what it was like to experience something that no longer exist. Think of it as cataloging a vintage of wine that has come and gone. It’s all I can do, document what this world was like and hope that people care in the future while blaming us for ruining everything.

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Fail now so you won’t later

I have been gardening for several years now. I have played around with urban farming and I have had good years and bad. For those people who think that they can store some seeds away and put them in the ground when they really need to, I have some bad news for you. Gardening, like most things in life worth doing, is something you become better at over time. For a person to try living off of what they grow is almost suicidal that first year. If you don’t trust me look at Walden and see how well Thoreau did that first year.

I have played around with several styles of gardening, Square foot, Bio-intensive, traditional, victory garden, and the list goes on and on. I discovered a mix that worked well for me and the area I live in. This is something that will be different for everyone in their own areas. what works well in one place might not in another. The point I am making is that if a person is planning on gardening later for food then they better start now. It doesn’t take long. start with something small.

With a simple book like Square Foot Gardening a person can play with a four foot by four foot garden bed and learn some basics in a few hours a week. Start small and build up to something bigger.

There isn’t much to starting your first garden and if you are the type of person that doesn’t have the time or comes up with some other excuse this year than maybe you’re not cut out for surviving the apocalypse anyway.

 

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