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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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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Make what is old new again

While working on a project titled “The Climate Change Manifesto” I wrote a quick sectioned called make what is old new again. I thought I would share what I meant by that and hope that this idea might carry on into the near future. I have a side hobby of fixing up old typewriters and making them as close to new again as I can. Sometimes putting them back into working order means I have to have new parts made and for anything made after the 1950s that means using a 3D printer to make new keys or feet that have rotted out. The idea of using a 3D printer to create new parts for an old machine is nothing new, however there are a few people out there that have come up with ways of making typewriters a 21st century product. The USB typewriter is an open source product that can convert several styles of typewriters into a working keyboard for a computer. When connected to an Ipad or tablet the typewriter can mimic a laptop with a lit up screen sitting on the carriage of the typewriter. more about this product can be found at http://www.usbtypewriter.com

This isn’t the only piece of old equipment that is finding new life in the 21st century. Old vacuum tube AM radios are finding new life with blue tooth routers and mini-jack being added to century old technology. These old wooden radios are able to broadcast podcast and new music via cell phone without needing to plug anything in. For more about these old but new radios check out at ExceptionalRadios at http://www.etsy.com

With technology becoming more available and at a cheaper price there isn’t much that we couldn’t fix if we just put in the effort. Currently, my ability to fix things on typewriters is limited, however there is new material coming out that expands my ability to fix more typewriters. Rubber material is available now to create new rollers for carriages, new rubber feet for older pre-WWII models, or handles on older models like the Royal #10. New laser printers are available that could possibly replace those glass panels if they are broken.

Maybe I am being too much of an optimist, delaying the inevitable fate for technology that has seen its day come and go. At the local Michael’s store I saw the box for a Memory Keepers typewriter, brand new and produced in China. I don’t know what this says about typewriters in our culture these days, could the demand be so high that a new over priced option is a viable option? The new typewriters cost $175 and most collectors that have bought one to try it out only complain about the cheap parts and being over priced. the overall opinion i have seen is that anyone would do better to buy an older model at an antique booth and oil it up. I haven’t used the new machines even though I have been curious but when the going price could pay for three or four machines at a flea market i would rather save the older ones and let the new model sit on the shelf.

I hope this kind of behavior becomes the new normal, fixing and refurbishing older technology to fit into our new lifestyles. There is something missing from this digital age. Craftsmanship and quality have been sacrificed for the promise of a new and better model next year. There was a time when you could buy one product and it would be with you, loyal and reliable till the end, for have a century or more. What happened to that kind of quality? Why don’t we value our time or money like our grandparents did, instead choosing to stand in line for half a day trying to get a new Iphone? As a society, when do we start to realize that we have become disposable like the shitty products we have been fed to purchase?

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Today my cellphone died, I blame Russia

Unexpectedly, without a warning, my cellphone froze on me with one screen that said the data was damaged and I had to restart to factory settings. What it did not tell me was that I couldn’t reset the settings, or go past the screen that was showing, or do a hard reset and try to start over on my phone. No, my phone is dead. It wouldn’t even connect to my computer to pull off the hard drive the last photos i took of my daughter. I guess i should not be surprised. My phone has seen two administrations, the end of the Iraq War, several relationships, and three jobs. today, on April 8th 2018 my Samsung galaxy 3 died.

I don’t know where I will go from here. I told myself a while ago that when this phone died I would be done with cell phones. Having a child its not the best idea, but shit man what did people do before the cell phone was invented? Now I have to submit myself to the most vile form of predator, a festering hunk of bile that will descend on me as if I was the last meal of a dying man, the lowest of the low, the cellphone sales man. I will say “man” here because a woman should not want her title being lumped together with these vermin. I will be shown new plans, better rates, phones I don’t want, the latest swag I don’t need, insurance and services I will never use and if i did I would still find myself pulling money out of my pocket for one reason or another. I have been to this level of hell before. it was the one that Dante forgot about, the one that didn’t exist back then and would have made the final level of Brutus and Judas feel like an evening at a spa. The Secretary of State office has been demoted and no longer holds the reputation of a soul sucking institution as it once had. A part of me knows that some stupid kid sitting behind a computer screen saw that I was using a Samsung Galaxy S3 and decided it was time for me to get a new phone. The company hasn’t made any money on me in a few years and I will be herded to the nearest store to replace an item I can’t live without. Is this what the Unibomber was talking about? I deleted Facebook months ago, Twitter is a twat fest, and even YouTube is pissing me off with their latest policy of banning videos they don’t agree with. The last refuge of freedom in this country, the wild west of the internet, is coming to an end. what was once a place to bitch about movies and share pornography with others has become a leash, a voyeurs wet dream of internet stalking and corporations collecting and selling data to foreign parties. Maybe it is time to move on, step back a few feet and figure out where I want to go in this crazy world. Do I really want a leash attached to me at all times telling people I don’t know where I am? The adds are bad enough, just for once I would like to pick up a news paper, check the answering machine, type on my typewriter, or listen to the radio to keep from being bombarded with adds or waiting five minutes for a news webpage to load because it is crammed with so many adds the entire site shuts down or skipping the first ten minutes of a podcast because Joe Rogan has five companies paying for airtime. I’m tired of only getting two or three sentences of a story or having telemarketers calling me with fake names like Elizabeth trying to get me to switch service. For $90 a month nobody should have my number that I don’t want to have it.

My phone is dead. Maybe it should stay that way and keep the freedom of having my life to myself. For years companies like Facebook collected my information and sold it to companies for the sake of selling me things. Then it turned personal and they sold an election for a few thousand dollars. we don’t read the agreements, instead skipping to the end and clicking “Accept.” Our lives are not our own anymore. I want my life back. I want a company to have to pay me for the information they want from me. If they are going to be so careless as to give it away to whomever ask for it then we should not be so careless was to paying them to take it from us.

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Is the world a typewriter?

I have this hobby of finding and repairing old typewriters. I look for these things at flea markets, antique shops, and garage sales. It is amazing how many good deals I come across and the quality of these machines sometimes a century past its prime. with a little oil and some cleaning they work just as well as they did when they came off the assembly line. The older the machine the better.

I see these machines and I wonder if this is like the planet, are we longing for the way thing used to be while knowing somehow they will never be like that again? I heard a story on NPR today about Walden Pond and how the water has been ruined by the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to see the place made famous by Henry David Thoreau. Who came blame them? There was a time when it may have been one of the most beautiful places in the state, now it is a tourist destination that has had the chemical balance changed from people peeing in the pond. The same thing happened with the beach seen in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach. so many people went to find it and play in the clear blue water, the pristine site has been destroyed by those who wanted to enjoy it.

Those beaches, like my typewriters, will be forgotten and stored away in the forgotten past, having been loved too much and being traded in for something better. I came across an old Underwood four bank portable the other day. sitting alone in an antique booth waiting for me. I found the lid under the table and paid for it at the counter. It was painted blue, the decals still visible under the new blue hue. the keys looked like new with their chrome rings and glass tops. the parts moved smoothly being oiled and cared for during it’s life. I took it home and found it to be almost too good to sell. I regretted selling the last Underwood portable I came across wanting to write on it like Kerouac did when he typed out On The Road using a roll of teletype paper. The Underwood was a great find and maybe one to protect, keep it away from hands that might not appreciate it for what it is. There are still wonders in this world that can be saved, places that need to be forgotten and stored away for other to never find. let them become legends and fables for people to tell. Our planet has seen better days, Walden pond and the Beach aren’t dead, just asleep waiting for the right people to come along and give it some TLC. There is a chance that the earth can be saved. maybe we can’t save the entire planet at one time but we can find some gems and polish them up to be loved again. maybe we can fix this world one typewriter at a time.

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Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping

This title comes from the second rule of Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life. While the lesson may appear obvious it is harder than it looks. When my daughter was in the NICU for three months the staff repeatedly told us to take care of ourselves first. How useful were we going to be in helping her if we weren’t taking care of ourselves? This rule goes beyond everyday care, but also applies to the you of tomorrow and twenty years down the road. If you had to plan how you wanted to be in the future what would you do to help that guy? As a parent we do this type of thinking with our children. what school will she go to? How do I make sure she can go to college? What hobbies or sports should I encourage for the best outcome? We do this all the time except for ourselves.

Recently, financial security has been a concern for me. One of my goals for this year is to have a decent amount of savings for security. While researching for my podcast I came across some things in the market that had me concerned about the near future of our economy. So how do I help myself and my future self if something does happen? For starters I have to be more responsible with my finances. Spontaneous spending has stopped, I don’t buy anything these days unless I need it or plan to flip it for a substantial profit. I run an antique booth on the side and have found some ways of adding some profitability to the setup. Along with the typewriters I sell I also supply new ribbon and coming soon I will offer what I am calling “Kerouac paper.” Sales have been well but there are times when I consider closing the booth to spend time and money on other adventures. When I have these thoughts I am pulled back in by customers who are thrilled they can not only find typewriters that work but also the supplies to keep them going. At times I tried to branch off into other areas such as sewing machines but I have yet to sell one of the cast iron beauties I refurbished and restored. typewriters is where I will stay until they stop selling.

I have noticed a change in my behavior since I finished the Self Authoring Program. I am more focused now on the things I am working on. I have started projects I would have talked myself out of in the past. There is a new podcast, I am considering expanding the website beyond the free site so that I can offer more than these simple articles. I have a plan on where these projects are going for the next couple of years. The difference is that I now have a plan.

There are still other things on my list of goals for the year that I need to work on. I have kept up my hikes with Zoey and try to get outside more than I normally do. I budget my time more and accomplish a set list of goals per day. I stopped eating out as much and cook more often at home. I am already making some headway on how I want this year to go but it is a slow process and I have to make sure I stay on the path. I have to treat myself like somebody I am responsible for helping.

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Typing like Kerouac

Today was the first time i ever stepped into a Hobby Lobby store. I had loathed the place after the supreme court ruled in favor for them in the ability to discriminate against their employees, but i digress. Sarah needed to pick up some items for a project so i decided to make the most of it and do the same thing. on YouTube a man named Joe Van Cleave had been tinkering around with figuring out a way to run a roll of paper through a typewriter, in order to writing a constant stream of consciousness. he had played around with several forms of paper and created devices to hold the roll of paper. I took the “fuck it” approach and rolled it into the carriage and plopped the paper on the table. a few feet of paper later i i was running into few, if any, issues with the set up. I an using an old Royal 1930s desktop KMM and the weight alone is enough to move the paper how it deems fit. The machine is a beast and works long after many typewriters f a younger age have seen their demise.

I have been a fan of Kerouac for a few years now, truly reading his works in the past couple of years and learning about him and the rest of the beat generation. After On the Road I went onto The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. Kerouac lived a life that would surprise most being the young good looking man that he was. His style of writing was as tough on his mind as his drinking was on his body. endless hours spent behind the typewriter drinking coffee and taking whatever drugs were available to keep him awake. the life of a writer is not an easy one and it can only become harder when one decides to take the path never traveled before. today I continued on that path and started to write a book that had my attention long ago. the rough draft needs to be written and this is the way I decided to get it done. the paper won’t be changed until it runs out. 50 feet stands between me and a break. I don’t have the option of devoting weeks to finishing the piece or the majority of a day for that matter. it won’t turn out like On the Road, a steady stream of thought placed on paper, instead it will be broken up and continued when time allows. maybe, one day, when the chance arrives, i can take that break and torture myself doing something that most people would never dream of doing.

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