Can I get a Ramen? (or) Stocking up for the Apocalypse

My grandmother died on Tuesday. A morbid or uncomfortably personal announcement to start out with, but one to set the mood for the rest of this post. She was 79 years old and i was only able to meet her four times during my life. I found out her health had declined and that she might leave us soon just before the weekend. the next day i came down with the flu that had me out of commission for four days. On day number four, the one that i was finally starting to recover I received the call that she had passed. Times like this come as a reminder of how quickly our life can change. One moment we think about retirement and the years ahead for a goal that we may never reach. the next moment someone we know is hit by a bus and we say “fuck it, I’m eating this bacon and enjoying that beer because YOLO.” I don’t know where the balance is and this is something I have always struggled with. At the same time all of this crazy business is happening my girlfriend’s dad is in the final stages of colon cancer. The world is changing all around me. The polar vortex that keeps all the cold air at the north pole can no longer stay where it belongs because all the ice is gone. Russia is using chemical weapons in foreign lands. Trump is meeting with Kim Jong Un to discuss which country has the best porn stars. Congress is willing to vote on saving puppies in planes but not on gun control to save the lives of children. the list of crazy goes on and on.

I’m stocking up. I have my list ready. Canned goods and non perishables are on there of course. Ramen supplies to keep my hobby going during the apocalypse is on there as well. .45 APC ammo since my supply has dwindled from practicing. And baby food, lots and lots of baby food. I don’t know what the future is going to bring. I watched a documentary called LA 92 on netflix and the damn thing freaked me out. I kept thinking “well if that thing with trump…” “If a cop shoots a black kid here…” “If this global warming thing kills the crops this year…” Ya, I’m not too positive about the future. Having a child changed a few things. Now I worry about her having food. I think about the world that she will be growing up in. I live in a small city that thinks it’s a big city. We had the Uber shooter and the Cyclists that were run over by a drugged out douche bag. We had a giant oil spill in our river and the city’s response “let’s brew beer.” I know we are not immune here from the problems of the world. I know that whatever the future brings my daughter will have to face it. In the meantime I will keep the basement stocked, just in case, and when i’m not thinking about the end of the world you can find me in the kitchen making ramen. Maybe that is what the world needs. Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant ramen said “feeding the world will bring it peace.” So maybe, if we all try a little harder, and clean off our pots and pans, we could bring some peace to world by making some ramen and slurping away our problems.

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Self Authoring for the Apocalypse

The weekend didn’t start out how i wanted it to. Zoey wasn’t acting like herself on Friday with a long drive to the doctor’s office an hour away. The appointment started late and we were back in town by one o’clock. Zoey didn’t eat much that day and threw up all of her food that morning. I found out later she did the same thing that afternoon and slept most of the day.

That night was the usual for me. I left work at midnight and had to be back the next day at one in the afternoon for some overtime. all morning I didn’t feel right, my joints ached and my stomach felt funny. I finished my shift and closed the building. On my way home I called Sarah and told her that I didn’t feel good. A few hours later i was running to the rest room. My palms were sweaty and my weak arms were heavy, no I wasn’t in a rap battle, everything felt cold and my breathing was quick shallow breaths. At some point i found myself in the bedroom with my phone in hand, sending Sarah a text downstairs since i was unable to talk. I wrote “help” and a few minutes later she appeared in the doorway. “What the heck!” she said finding me half dressed and delusional. I thought about telling her to call an ambulance but being the cheap ass that I am I knew that dying would be cheaper, hey at least life insurance would pay out. That night was a long journey through hell. every movement hurt. all my muscles and joint ached. walking 20 feet to the bathroom felt like a Crossfit competition being performed by a morbidly obese man. There were a few moments i seriously thought I might die.

I woke up the next morning, still alive. My stomach hurt and I knew I was dehydrated. This time around Sarah came down with the bug and it was her turn to sleep for 14 hours. We were both scared that Zoey might catch whatever we had but looking back she might have been the first one to catch it.

The day that followed had me waking up at 4AM. I couldn’t sleep anymore. My body hurt from being in bed for too many hours to count. I went down stairs and turned on the Self Authoring Program. If there is one motivation to change your life it’s thinking that last night might have been your last. Remember that scene in Fightclub when Tyler robbed the store and asked the kid what he wanted to do with his life? That was how the flu felt to me. Already this year a nurse at the local hospital died after catching it, she was 40 years old. I finally sat my ass down and finished the Past Authoring program, long overdue by the way. Next came the hard part, the future authoring program.

This program changes everything, no longer able to wing it, or stumble through, you have to sit down and shut up to figure out what you want to do with your life. Saturday night i remember thinking about all that I had accomplished until then. I wrote a few books, had a daughter who’s life I wanted to see, and well, not really much else. What the hell had I been doing with my life? I sure as hell hadn’t been enjoying it.

For three hours I worked through Jordan Peterson’s program and figured out some things about myself and my life that i really wanted to accomplish. Some of the goals I wanted to start right away, feeling encouraged by the event, but the flu had other plans for me. It may take time for me to recover but when I do at least I have a layout of what I want to do in the near and distant future. Finally, the task is finished and I can move ahead to something worth bragging about when the boatman comes to pick me up at the river Styx.

So what is my plan you may ask. I will save that for another time. The flu is not done with me yet. Until next time, clean your room.

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Three Days of Hiking

One of my goals on this page was to start hiking at least once a week. Considering the weather and flooding that happened last week the hikes that I have been doing involve walking a few blocks from the house and up a large hill to a park that overlooks the city. I didn’t have the stroller so my daughter was harnessed to my chest and I climbed the hill 14 pounds heavier. the walk wasn’t as bad as it sounds. most of my job is spent on my feet and walking around the building finding things to clean or fix. The goal of these hikes is to become fit to some degree and lose some weight in the meantime. when the weather stays reliable and I’m able to travel further out of the city i would like to see Chipman Preserve again and bring a weighted pack. The preserve is covered in rolling hills and steep climbs. the scenery changes from prairie lands to hard wood forests. It’s common to see tree stands left from the hinting seasons. Deer or often seen in the middle of the day and during the mid summer months you can find all kinds of black and raspberries to pick for later use.

Cooking has become a hobby of mine this year. While it is not healthy, Ramen has caught me attention again, sending me to the local Asian market for supplies and trying out different recipes to see what I like. bags of fresh-cut noodles sit in the freezer and instant packs fill a box on the shelf waiting to face my judgement. My curiosity has taken me on YouTube binges lasting several hours watching cooks, reviewers, and vloggers eating ramen all over the world. I have come to appreciate the 7 minute egg and have come to see the major differences between instant and fresh noodles. the broth is the hardest part of this hobby, taking several hours and learning the subtle differences of certain ingredients.

My cheap hobbies have kept me from spending cash lately. Overtime is coming up and I plan to put that into savings where it belongs. Nine months after Zoey was born the insurance is starting to decline certain visits since it is the new year. already bills are coming to the house and I doubt the money I’m planning to save will stay there long. For more on Zoey visit The Proud Preemie Poppa on The Good Men Project website. For being 9 months old Zoey had a long journey already so i can’t complain when i have to pay out for something she needs at this point.

I worry about the world that will be left for her. the trash we walked past on the side of the road. the items i saw floating in the pond that supplies our drinking water to the city. the needle i walked over in the park today lead me to believe that humans, for all of our genius and technology, have not learned to keep the only planet we can live on. The city is a mess. There is a loss of pride that once came with life. Leave this place better than how you found it, is no longer a motto anybody believes in. temporary gains are better than seeking longer term solutions. why wait when i can have it now. that is the motto we live by these days. our kids, who cares? they can clean up our mess after we are gone.

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Almost a week has passed and for a few days I was doing well with my goals for the year. Then, the weekend came. In my defense the weekend is the time that i get to spend quality time with my lady and our daughter. So when we went out to breakfast this morning I didn’t feel bad paying for it. Most of the things i bought this weekend, or at least paid for, were necessities of one sort or another. Did i need the leather work shoes that were $15 at Goodwill? No, But at that price my personal shoes will last longer and in the end save me more money. Should i feel bad for spending daddy daughter time at the local burger joint Nonla Burger when a double burger is $3? No probably not.

The other dilemma i came across is a business that I have been running for almost a year now. It’s a small antique booth in a mall where people have come to depend on typewriter ribbon and other related products. I had several typewriters when sarah and i started this adventure. now neither of us have the time or the money to invest in keeping it going. yesterday on a trip to see how low our supplies in the booth are running i learned that people have been asking if i also repair typewriters. i was interested in this as a side job a year ago but didn’t know how to get the word out. now i find myself with a possible answer to my antique booth issue and yet my time is limited these days.

As for my other goals, i did Kayak the new lake that has formed down town from the flooding this year. I went not once but twice this weekend and dodged a sherrif deputy who was standing on the shore watching me. How many times in my life will one be able to kayak through a large portion of downtown? News 13 was filming me paddling across the water and somebody with a drone flew it overhead as i was about to land on the shore. In my opinion the hiking goal was met. plus i carried the kayak the two blocks to the former pond.

So maybe I didn’t meet my savings goal this week. new opprotunities have arisen and I have been debating taking advantage of that. After i finish this blog I am off to finish the Self authoring Program. There isn’t much left. My only fear is that I still don’t know what i want out of life. Well i guess some things need to change.

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Clean your room

To those of you that have been following the adventures of Jordan Peterson this phrase will sound familiar. For a man pushing forty, this was something i needed to hear. I originally started this blog a few years ago with the intent of learning and sharing various skills in the event of a world ending disaster. At some point before now it should have occurred to me that maybe the disaster is my life.
In May of last year I became a father. It happened later in life and circumstances lined up so that things would work out the best they could under the circumstances. My daughter was born premature and spent all summer in the NICU. For more on that story check out my other blog on The Good Men Project website under The Proud Preemie Poppa or buy the collected Ebook version (Hobbit Baby) for .99 cents on Amazon. Once you become a father and are responsible for someone other than yourself you realize how careless and irresponsible you can be. Granted I’m doing better than most but i still have my issues. My savings are almost non-existent, I can’t remember the last time i exercised, my writing career is a sad image of its former self, and I can’t remember the last time i sat down and read a book. It maybe a little late for a new year’s resolution but a change needs to happen.
A few weeks ago i purchased Peterson’s Self Authoring program, a three step guide to learning about oneself and planning a better future. two weekends in a row i worked on it and found myself half way through it and stuck. I completed the Present course then went onto the Past course. this was where i found myself in trouble. I had gone to a counselor for over a year and thought i had faced my demons, instead i found myself not wanting to write about the same things i had always dealt with since i was a teenager. Memories flooded back and i found myself saying “fuck it” just to get away from the computer. The last time i logged into the self authoring site was two weeks ago and i haven’t made plans to return to it. the last portion of the site is the future course, where you sit down and figure out the future you want and how to get there. This was the selling point for me, where am I going? How do I get there? what are my goals for myself? I have no answers for these questions and that was what had been bugging me for so long.
So why am I writing on this blog instead of finishing the damn program? While i was at work tonight i had a vision of what i wanted my future to be, at least for the next year. I need to save money, a nest egg in case something happens in the future. i need to get into shape so that i can enjoy watching my daughter grow up. I need to pay off my house and figure out what my goals in life are. there is a balance missing from my life and i need to find it. So Jordan Peterson says to start by cleaning your room. That is what this blog is going to be about. My efforts in cleaning up myself and my life to live the way i want to live. first lets set some goals.
1. Save $5000 in the bank for emergencies
2. Go hiking at least once a week with Zoey
3. Do not buy any big ticket items unless it is necessary.
4. do not eat out
5. cook at home as much as possible.
6. try to obtain as much food from gardening, hunting, and fishing as possible.
7. always pay over on the house payment.
8. white this blog once a week
9. work in the garden every weekend while in season
10. go camping at least once this year.

So those are my 10 goals for the year. i will have other things during the year to keep me occupied but this is a start. as for the self authoring program i am giving myself two weeks to finish it. other small goals will be added throughout the year when needed. this is the new collapse experiment, getting myself in order just in case the end of the world happens.

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